Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Engaged & Scared If Your Parents' Divorce Was Ugly!

Engaged & Scared If Your Parents' Divorce Was Ugly!
Family, Heartbreak

Don't Be Afraid! Your marriage can be a great success.

You may be madly in love, eager to tie the knot and make a home with your cherished partner. Then the ring is on your finger and you freeze. Something powerful takes over. How can you wish for happily-ever-after when deep down inside you fear the worst, getting divorced just like mom and dad?

You remember the sick feeling of standing between your parents as their marriage went up in flames. As a child of a high conflict divorce, the scars of those frightening memories of hurt, fear and emotional confusion are deep in your mind’s eye. Your family being torn apart is a nightmare that gets replayed often. If your parents’ marriage was filled with raised voices, threats, and slammed doors, the fear associated with those moments may get triggered when picturing yourself getting married. Trauma, which may have shaped your memories of home, of parents at each other’s throats is now known to sometimes cause real changes in the brain. The helpless feelings can continue to have a life of their own, getting your thoughts stuck on disaster when you try to picture a stable future for your own home.

Sometimes sharing the painful times of growing up in an unhappy home is the only way to get unstuck from those scared feelings. Couples premarital counseling gives you a place to get closer to your partner by sharing what you went through. A loving fiancé can give you the comfort you may need to trust that your teammate will be there for you no matter what.  It is possible that by becoming more aware of the belief system that marriage is inevitably doomed, you will picture the future more optimistically. You and your partner can learn how to work together as teammates, learn how to compromise and most importantly, trust each other. Your brain can find new pathways, as you become more positive in your thinking, by putting your worst childhood fears into the words of an adult. It is possible to learn to paint a new picture, a happy future as a married couple and by working together, turn your dream of a happy home into your personal reality.  


Call Mimi Licht today, Founder of Wisely Wed, for premarital couples counseling and Mimi’s helpful understanding if you are an engaged adult child of divorce. 


Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.