• Children of divorce may fear commitment due to the trauma and instability they experienced in their parents’ relationship.
Growing up with divorced parents can be tough, especially for kids who were caught in the middle of all that drama. It’s no wonder some children of divorce have a hard time committing – they’ve seen firsthand how messy relationships can get.
• This fear can manifest itself as a reluctance to commit to long-term relationships or even avoidance of dating altogether.
If you’re afraid of getting your heart broken like your parents did, it makes sense that you might want to avoid anything resembling a serious relationship. Who needs that kind of stress?
• The child’s perception of marriage as an unstable institution may also contribute to their fear of committing to it themselves.
When Mom and Dad split up, it shattered any illusions you had about “happily ever after.” Marriage suddenly seemed less like a fairytale ending and more like Russian roulette.
• Fear of abandonment, which often stems from the experience of parental separation, can also be a factor in commitment phobia for children of divorce.
It’s hard not to feel abandoned when one minute you’re living with both your parents under one roof and the next thing you know they’re splitting up and shuffling you back-and-forth between two houses every other weekend.
• A lack of positive role models for healthy relationships during childhood can make it difficult for these individuals to form secure attachments later in life.
Let’s face it: if Ross Geller was your only example growing up on what constitutes healthy romantic behavior…well then God help us all!
• Childhood experiences such as witnessing conflict between parents or feeling caught in the middle can create negative associations with committed partnerships.
Watching Mom yell at Dad (or vice versa) over whose turn it is this week for custody probably didn’t leave much room in your brain for warm fuzzies around lovey-dovey stuff.
• Individuals who grew up with divorced parents may struggle with trust issues that prevent them from fully opening up emotionally and committing to another person.
It’s hard to believe in love when the people who were supposed to love each other forever couldn’t make it work. Trusting someone enough to let your guard down can feel like a Herculean task.
• Children of divorce may feel a sense of responsibility for their parents’ failed marriage, leading to feelings of guilt and anxiety about committing to someone else.
“Maybe if I had been better-behaved as a kid, my mom and dad would still be together.” It’s easy for children of divorce – even adult ones -to blame themselves for something they had no control over.
• The fear of repeating the same mistakes as their parents can also contribute to a child’s reluctance to commit in relationships.
The last thing you want is turn into one half of your parent’s toxic relationship. You’re determined not repeat history…even if it means being single forever!
• Growing up with divorced parents can lead some individuals to develop an avoidant attachment style, which makes it difficult for them to form close relationships.
You’ve learned how survive on your own because you never knew what kind mood or situation was waiting at home after school. This self-reliance doesn’t always translate well into romantic partnerships.
• A lack of emotional support during childhood due parental conflict or separation can make it challenging for children of divorce trust others and open up emotionally in romantic partnerships.
When all hell is breaking loose between Mom & Dad (or Step-Mom & Dad), there isn’t much time left over worrying about whether little Timmy got picked on at recess today. Emotional neglect has long term consequences
• Some adult children of divorce may have difficulty setting boundaries in relationships due feeling responsible keeping peace between their parents when they were younger
As kids we often felt caught between two warring factions: our loving but feuding folks. This can lead to an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for keeping everyone happy, even at the expense of our own needs.
• Fear of vulnerability and intimacy is another common factor that contributes to commitment phobia among those who grew up with divorced parents.
When you’ve seen how quickly love can turn into hate, it’s hard not to be a little gun-shy when it comes to opening your heart. Vulnerability feels like playing Russian Roulette…with both barrels loaded!