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  • Bella Duncan

Assumptions


If you’re a kid of divorce, you have probably felt as though people have made some assumptions about you and your situation.


For example, you might have felt as though people have assumed:

1. What it is like being a kid of divorce; or

2. Why your parents got a divorce.


Let’s break down what these assumptions can look like, how they can make you feel and what you can control in these situations.


Assumption No. 1: Assuming To Know What It Is Like To Be A Kid Of Divorce


One of my favourite things to say is this:


You and your experiences are unique to you. Nobody can ever take that away from you. No two situations are alike.


So, What Does This Assumption Look Like?


This assumption can come across in a heap of different ways:

· “Oh yeah, that means you have two bedrooms, right?”

· “Oh, look on the bright side, you get double the Christmas presents!”

· “At least you don’t have to see your parents argue anymore”

· “My cousin’s parents are divorced, so I get it”


How Can This Assumption Make You Feel?


Well, even writing those examples just now, I feel frustrated.


Why? Because, in my opinion, these assumptions are so far from the truth.


How?

· Because there is so much more to being a kid of divorce than having two beds or getting double the Christmas presents;

· Having divorced parents certainly doesn’t mean that you no longer have to see them argue; and

· No two situations are alike – one kids experience of divorce can be vastly different to another’s.


So, let’s face it, people’s assumptions are not always correct. Actually, they’re quite often incorrect.


So, What Can I Control?


Being completely honest, over the years I have struggled to understand what I can control in these situations. Typically, my response has been to ‘agree’ for the sake of moving past the topic. But who does this help? No one.


So, we know that we can’t control the actions or thoughts of others. But what we can control is our own thoughts and actions.


Some thoughts you can control:

· Acknowledging your unique circumstances

· Reminding yourself that not everyone will understand your unique circumstances


Some actions you can control:

· Communicating your unique circumstances or challenges

· Disagreeing with totally incorrect assumptions


Don’t get me wrong, the onus is absolutely not on you to have to explain your situation, but it is in your control to do so, if you wish.


For example, you may say:

“Sure, I’m lucky I get more presents on Christmas Day but I wouldn’t describe that as being the only consequence of divorce.”


Let’s end this section with a reminder: no two situations are alike. Nobody can ever take away your unique circumstances.


The assumptions of others do not invalidate your feelings.


Assumption No. 2: Why Your Parents Got A Divorce


Over the years I have felt as though many people have made an assumption about why my parents got a divorce.


It’s been a topic that I have always struggled with, failed to understand at times and ultimately, choose not to talk about.


As such, when people have made assumptions about why my parents got a divorce, I’ve struggled to know how to feel and what to do.


So, What Can This Assumption Look Like?


People may expressly assume why your parents got a divorce; others may assume in a round about way.


For example, some may say: “oh did somebody cheat on the other?” whilst others might say “Sometimes people just fall out of love.”


How Can This Assumption Make You Feel?


Again, depending on your unique circumstances, this assumption can make you feel:

· Confused

· Frustrated

· Angry

· Upset


Often, the reason why people get a divorce is super complex and not easily identifiable.


Sometimes, as a kid of divorce, you may not know exactly why your parents got a divorce.


Subsequently, hearing these assumptions can make you feel all kinds of things.


So, What Can I Control?


Again, you can’t control the thoughts and actions of others, however you can control:

· How you react to the assumption

· How you comprehend the assumption

· Whether you wish to confirm or deny the assumption or simply ignore the assumption altogether


Let’s finish off with another reminder: You are not responsible for explaining your parents’ divorce or why it occurred.


People can and will make assumptions, it’s up to you how you react.


You’re Not Alone


Because although your situation is unique, there will always be somebody who can empathise, especially me.


Reach out to me at akidwithtwohomes@gmail.com or submit a contact form here.


You’ve got this.

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