A number of years back, I wrote a book about divorce out of my own consternation and guilt going through my child's marital breakup The book is entitled Your Child's Divorce: What to Expect...What You Can Do to help guide parents of adult children through their son or daughter's divorce that typically affects the entire family.
This was a subject that plagued me since I found myself grieving long after my son announced he and his wife were splitting. Hoping to understand my role, I sought the advice of family and friends who had divorced children. Many were bitter and seemed to think by blaming the "out-law" they were supporting their child. Others complained about the imposition in their own lives. They were suddenly opening the couch; writing checks to lawyers; fielding desperate midnight phone calls; becoming full-time babysitters; putting retirement plans on hold. Of course, many were relieved their child had escaped a bad situation. More than a few found their relationship with grandchildren had changed. This was a cause of great sadness.
There is no question a son or daughter's divorce can be a minefield, especially for well-meaning parents who want to be there for their child while he or she rebuilds his or her life. There is always the danger of prolonging the rescue stage.
It is not easy to disengage with the past. It took a while for me to discover that my child's divorce is not an end, but a beginning. He has since remarried. I have a new wonderful daughter-in-law and a beautiful grandchild. I couldn't be happier with how things turned out.