My son was having a play date with a little girl in a pink dress. They sat in the dirt under the trees, making “traps” out of leaves to catch the fat, wet snails lumbering about the lawn.
I stood watching them with the little girl’s mom. “They have so many friends with divorced parents,” she said. “My older daughter asked, ‘Are you and dad ever getting divorced?’ I don’t know what to say. Of course I don’t think we’ll ever break up. But they see it all around them.”
She also didn’t know how to characterize the divorced parents of their friends. If she was too upbeat, if she normalized divorce too much, wouldn’t that make them worry more that she and her husband might split? “I can’t really make a black-and-white statement about us never divorcing when it’s so obviously a fact of life.”
Divorce does create a ripple affect in the lives of those around us. Our friends not only have to explain divorce to their children but also figure out which night we have our children when trying to make a play date, or ask at which house to drop off a child. If we’re fighting, that toxicity can spread to the play date, the classroom, the soccer field.