Children Of Divorce Explain What It Was Like To Split Their Childhood Between Two Homes

Children Of Divorce Explain What It Was Like To Split Their Childhood Between Two Homes
Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Sad fact, sometimes, love isn't meant to be forever. Not all marriages are built to last.

In fact, divorce is on the rise thanks to the pandemic.

Or maybe the pandemic just showed people the cracks in the their love story.

Divorce sucks. It sucks even harder for the children.

It can't be fun having to juggle your parent's issues and the new dynamics they're creating, all while trying to manage your own emotional breakdown.

A house divided, two new house rise. The shuffle begins.

Redditorhopelessmoderate wanted to hear from kids who survived their parent's split. They asked:

"Those who are a child of divorced parents and spent your childhood between two different houses. What is something that those of us raised in a single house don’t understand/consider?"

My parents never even married. So I got lucky. But I witnessed many friends go through tons of strife due to their parent's break up.

‘part time poor’

"For me, it was weird being ‘part time poor’… I lived in a tiny trailer with my mom, where we lived a painfully frugal life, and every other weekend I would be eating a steak dinner at my dad’s house." ~ acefrosting


"Getting in trouble at school for not having the right books/uniform because you forgot them at the other house or lost them altogether. Having to be very careful about being excited or positive about the other parent’s house. Always feeling like a houseguest in whichever house is not your main. Generally being totally disorganized and a mess at all times and becoming an adult who is a mess at all times." ~ krewekut


"The mental exhaustion years of being a middleman for your parents takes on you. Going from one house to the next, listening to one parent *itch about the other parent, and then having to put on a brave face while listening to one parent trash one of your other parents trying not to lose respect for the parent in front of you."

"While also trying not to harbor any feelings of resentment towards the parent at home with the parent in front of you was talking crap about. When you go back, and you hear your other parent complain and it goes on and on. I think a lot of us were used as therapists and we ourselves don’t even realize it." ~ Dogman_Howel


"It was damaging for me. My dad's family had a beach house, so on weekends and in the summers we’d be living in another world, then we’d go back to my moms dingy apartment where she’d be dating tatted bikers and doing painkillers. And my dad wasn’t doing much either, so I never understood how I could have some of the things we had but feel so poor and hopeless." ~ Donacelli


"When I was young I mainly lived with my mom in Utah and I’d visit my dad in California for my birthday in the summer and holidays. He was/is an amazing dad. He didn’t even spoil me, he just… provided for me. Made my summers enjoyable. Loved me. Then I’d have to go back to dusty old Utah to my miserable mom trapped in an abusive marriage with my five younger siblings."

"Everyone would trash my dad, tell me I was spoiled. The kids would tear apart my gifts from my dad. Stepdad would talk all this crap about how he could take my dad in a fight and blah blah. My mom would always be like 'Ugh you sound just like your dad.' It was awful." ~ mistajc

See why can't adults act like adults? It's sad when they neglect they effect they have on their children.

Living Separate

"Didn’t grow up with divorced parents, but they’ve separated several times and in 2016, my senior year of high school, officially separated (though still not divorced .-.) and I’m very much caught in this right now. I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish of being a child and shouldering that."

"My mom seems to think it’s okay to do to me ‘cause I’m an adult technically, but this should never be tolerated. I love both my parents and it’s okay that they don’t love each other anymore, but please don’t air out your dirty laundry to the human you created." ~ nonchellent

Such a Mess

"I went from a manic depressive mom who raised me in a trailer house ala Hoarders style. And then I'd go to my military father's house where everything had to be on time and spotless. I've gone to therapy to help me work through the disdain I've had towards my parents for my upbringing."

"At this point being mad at them is only damaging me and no one else so I've slowly been learning how to just let it all go. What's really help me is realizing how much I love myself as a person today and I wouldn't be who I am if I hadn't gone through all of that so I just have to comfort myself in the fact that it all worked out." ~ AlwaysInTheFlowers


"No worse feeling than having to leave your 'preferred' household on a Sunday evening to go “home” before school Monday morning." ~ drushiesty

"The way the anxiety just grew on me towards end of the week when I was going to my dads, and then like counting the days to go back to my 'preferred.' But at the same time I felt bad for my dad because I didn’t want to hurt him." ~ Ixster1999

Being Forced

"For me it was always awkward spending time with my father, felt forced. Most of the time we would end up watching tv for 2-3 days before heading back to my mother’s house. Lasted for maybe 1-2 years after divorce and then would just go over for a day around Christmas time. Probably the minority but always felt I was a burden as a kid and we just never really clicked so felt like strangers hanging out." ~ Jabronie88


"Going to multiple Christmas lunches on Christmas Day was absolute bullcrap. 25 years later, one of my parents says 'but you always liked that.' Apparently we have very different memories." ~ commentspanda

unexplained abandonment...

"When we were little, Mom worked full time and Dad stayed home with us. When I was 6 they separated and we only saw him once, maybe twice a year. I have never recovered from this sudden and unexplained abandonment."


"I have a very similar scenario, it was like oh that explains so much when I realized it. I went from having 2 parents, 1 full time and 1 I could see 5-7h a day. After the divorce, full time gone and seeing the other one even less than before!"


All new...

"Having brand new familial relationships when a parent remarries and then never seeing them again when that marriage fails as well."


"My dad has been married 4 times after divorcing my mom (wife 1). He recently divorced the wife we liked a lot and have a good relationship with her. She's grandma to my kids. He has a new girlfriend and we are polite but I refuse to get to know her. She'll be gone in 10 years."


Just Like Them

"When you say or do something that your parent doesn't like, and they tell you, 'you're just like your father/mother.' Yeah, no s**t, I was made by the both of you. I get that you no longer like my dad/mom, but it hurts that you also hate half of what makes me me."


Are they lonely?

"There is always guilt about the parent you're not with. Are they lonely? Are they crying? I'm 53 now and the guilt is still there for every holiday."


"And the added layer of emotion when you want them to be alone because of how mean they are to you, but once they actually are alone, you feel the guilt of them being alone plus the guilt over wanting that. It’s so strange to feel sad for a person who hurts you."



"The battle of favoritism your parents force on you, talking shit bout the other and trying to make you take their side."


"It’s tough for parents because it works in the short term. You see the other parent feeding bad info to your kids, and you see how it impacts your kids’ perception/treatment of you. It’s very easy to want to turn the same behavior back on the other parent. It’s often not until adulthood that the kids realize how truly messed up that behavior was and develop an appreciation for the parent who didn’t engage in the favoritism war."


Bad Behavior

"Do you act this way at your dad/mom's house?!"

"Parents can sometimes, maybe/hopefully unintentionally use the kids as pawns. At 31, I still get envious of people even my own age who's parents are still together. Holidays are a stress-fest having to make sure to spend equal amounts of time at each parents house."

"A lot of my childhood memories are either lost due to trauma or not very enjoyable to remember. I feel like I became an adult before the age of 10. Also, don't forget about the abandonment issues that arise later in life."


Even at 40

"I am turning 40 this year and the amount of things I have realized looking back is horrific. I don’t remember a lot of my childhood due to trauma and also just the fact that I don’t want to think about it. Whenever my parents bring up the past I immediately change the subject."


Never a Home

"One of the houses is the other house, not home. You might keep some clothes over there, but they're the clothes you don't necessarily like or wear often. And then you forget about them because you're not there enough to wear them so by the time you put them on they don't fit and you're reminded yet again that you're not home."



"Living out of a suitcase is a f**king horrible way for a child to live."


"Yeah then my parents would get mad when I forgot to pack my hairbrush or deodorant or something. I was an adult when I realized that instead of being mad that I would occasionally forget something when I was packing twice a week, they should have bought me duplicates of the necessities."



"When you forgot something at the other house so you have to get it and your teachers want to give your parent a note so they ask which house you’re going to and when I was a little kid if we did a craft for our parents I would have to make two."


Good luck to everyone who knows this pain. You can get through it.

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