According to psychologist and researcher Judith Wallerstein, “the highest impact of divorce on children comes 15-25 years AFTER the divorce, when the children enter into a serious romantic relationship… they expect to fail.”

Though it’s a great challenge, many people with divorced parents still try hard to be fully engaged in a relationship. In the process, there’re plenty of challenges…When you love them, please remember the following 10 things…

1. They Don’t Trust Easily

Trust is hard won when you love a person with divorced parents… especially if one or both parents suddenly became unreliable after divorce. They might be able to trust, but they often remind themselves things can change rapidly and unexpectedly. To reduce risks and avoid hard feelings, they choose not to trust easily.

2. They Still Hurt

Divorce reaches far into the future and for some adults with divorced parents, the pain is still real. When movies show parental love, or when they see loving parents with kids on the street, loads of bittersweet and bad feelings are stirred up.

3. They Need to Know They Can Count On You

Parents are supposed to be the best support system during our childhood. The sad fact for people with divorced parents is that they don’t just lack that support system, they even have great pressure standing between their parents. That’s why they tend to take a huge burden on themselves. But it doesn’t mean they don’t want to rely on someone…They just need someone to offer their shoulders, and to tell them to be themselves and relax.

4. They Don’t Express Their Feelings Very Well

They don’t have their parents around to always tell their stories, feelings, experiences, etc. They might tend to suppress feelings and unable to express their feelings well even if they really want to.

5. They Think Twice About Changes

Divorce is a traumatic change for nearly every child. A child’s safe, comfy, bubble suddenly bursts. To their impression, changes often denote something negative that can disrupt their lives. They know changes can be positive too, while they’ll hesitate when everyone else are going ahead.

6. They Can Hardly Picture A Healthy Relationship

A happy relationship is a complex mixture of good communication, respect, gratitude, acceptance, trust, friendship, etc. With parents divorced, the model disappears. Or maybe that model hasn’t existed at all before. Unable to picture it well, they find it hard to know which parts they need to work on their own relationships. So never take it as reluctance to work on the relationship, they sometimes really don’t know how to.

7. They’re Great Caretakers

Many of them often feel like they need to become emotional caretakers for the custodial parent. If you love someone with divorced parents you may find yourself being “taken care of.” Recognize that this may be a symptom of a co-dependent relationship that your love may or may not be aware of.

8. They’re Eager To Take Control

If you’ve never been a child whose parents divorce, you may have a hard time understanding why it’s so important for the person you love to have an unrelenting need to control nearly every aspect of his/her life. With so much unhappy experiecnes out of their control throughout their childhood, they’d really like to take control and never let such things happen again.

9. They Secretly Believe Their Relationship With You Will Fail

You need to know that one of your love’s deepest fears is that your relationship is doomed. If their parents couldn’t make it work, maybe they won’t be able to either. Though they try hard most of the time, when difficulties come, their pessimistic mode will turn on easily.

10. With All These Fears And Struggles, They Still Want Their Relationship With You To Be Forever

This flies in the face of their deepest fear but they really do want their relationship with you to work and they want it to last. The contradiction you see in the one you love may show up as anxiety, worry, and neediness. Be kind. Be compassionate. Understand that your love really wants their relationship with you to be happy and healthy.

It’s not always easy loving someone with divorced parents. But if you can, your relationship would be the strongest one ever.