Though there are many, two recent divorce announcements have caught my attention.
The first was the potential divorce of Nicole Richie (Lionel Richie’s daughter) and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte. Both are adult children of divorce which means, even without all the “stardom” complications, the odds of their marriage failing was over 200% higher than their peers from intact families.1
They’ve each shared that their parents’ divorce impacted them significantly. Nicole (who was 8 when her parents split) was quoted as saying, “When my dad divorced my mom it was kind of like him leaving me also.”2 In an interview with Oprah, Nicole acknowledged that although they didn’t have good templates to follow they would make it work.3
Joel Madden’s father left the family one Christmas Eve. He and his twin brother Benji told interviewers numerous times that their parents’ divorce is what caused them to take up music.4 And some of Good Charlotte’s biggest hits describe the impact of being a child of divorce.
So where does Hillary Duff come in? She recently commented about the impact of the divorce on her toddler son. Michelle Zipp from “The Stir” reported Hillary’s Cosmopolitan Magazine quote as:
“We are a unit and we’re going to be a unit for the rest of our lives. We realized [as a couple] we weren’t where we used to be. But I feel so lucky this happened when Luca was young because this is his normal now.”5
Hillary’s heart is in the right place, however she, and thousands of other couples that are splitting up, don’t understand that this “new normal” will never be normal. More important, unless intentional steps are taken to deal with the pain of having two parents in two different worlds, the cycle of divorce will continue as we see with Nicole and Joel.
(For other misconceptions divorcing parents have read“8 Lies That Parents on the Brink of Divorce Might Tell Themselves.” An article by Couples Mediator, Debra Macleod.)
1. Admit that there could be a problem. For example, your anger is probably tied to your parents’ divorce.
2. Learn about the issues – Check out the Resource Page on this site and learn how you are still being impacted by their divorce.
3. Seek the Lord for healing – “With God all things are possible”, and that includes brining healing to your personally and giving you the strength to overcome your hurts from your past.
4. Stand on biblical truth – We believe many lies as a result of our parents’ break-up. Memorize Bible verses so when you’re tempted to believe lies like, “I’m going to be abandoned,” you can stand on God’s truth ” I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Our prayers go out to Nicole, Joel, and Hillary. Hopefully they will all take the steps to save and restore their marriages. None of us want their children to be added to the ranks of children of divorce in 2015 (which will approach one million children this year.) May we all commit to strengthening our marriages and lowering this terrible figure!
1 Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Understanding the Divorce Cycle; The Children of Divorce in their Own Marriages. 2005, (Cambridge University Press: New York, NY)
2http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/children-of-divorce-how p_n_1757335.html?view=screen#es_share_ended; accessed 8-30-13.
3Zoe Shenton; http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/joel-madden-nicole-richie-heading-5529441
4Eminem is Right – Policy Review Online December 2004. From Home-Alone America by Mary Eberstadt. Copyright © 2004 by Mary Eberstadt, via Smart Marriages.com.
5http://thestir.cafemom.com/celebrity_moms/184715/hilary_duff_says_she_timed. Accessed 4/13/15
*Image of Hillary Duff is “Hillary Duff” by David Shankbone
*Woman and Bible image – “Prayer a Powerful Weapon” by abcdz2000