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- Affable – accidentally befriends the wrong sort of people; pushes to befriend…
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Anonymous said: So, I don't know if you already talked about it - sorry if so -, but I really need to ask: what kind of problem can I put on a teenager character that suffered because of his parents divorce when he was a child? I needed some kind of conflict in their past and I've choosen the divorce thing, but I'm having trouble in putting some real effect of it in his life. Thank you for answering :)
For some people, divorce can leave a lasting impression on their lives as they advance out of childhood and into young-adulthood.
It’s tough when you’ve grown up and learnt to love your parents in equal measure, and then one or both (or all) of them decide that they aren’t happy in that set-up anymore. A child should be assured that a split-up or divorce is never their fault… but naturally, they can be led to feel this way, especially if a custody battle ensues.
Things can be made even more complicated if one - or both/all - of the parents then invites new partners into their lives.
So let’s look at some potential scenarios that could follow your character into his later life:
- MIA Parent. The parent that initiates the divorce, or leaves on account of the divorce, fails to have any involvement in their offspring’s life thereafter.
- Manipulative Parent. For whatever reason, the remaining parent - usually the divorcer or one that secures custody - refuses to allow the child(ren) to have any involvement with the remaining parent(s).
- Separate Families. One - or all - of the parents gains a new partner and the child(ren) involved will spend equal amounts of time with each family as a way of keeping in contact with the divorced and the divorcer. Not only does this mean the child(ren) will need to get used to new parental figures, but there may also be new siblings involved.
- Outside of the Norm. Unfortunately, in many societies, a nuclear family is considered the ‘norm’. The child(ren) involved in divorce may be suddenly aware that they are ‘different’ because of this.
- Difficult Relationships. Either in the adoption of a new side to their family, or left alone with the remaining parent(s), the child(ren) go on to have strained relationships with one or more of the new or existing members. Whether they don’t get along with their new siblings, or feel mistreated by a parent’s new partner, it can be difficult for them to overcome the differences or find a way to escape them.
- Insecurity. Divorce can leave young people disillusioned about love and the structure of marriage. It may go on to affect relationships they try to forge in the future.
- Custody issues. In cases where custody can not be properly established between the parents, the child(ren) may find themselves rehoused, either with a new relative or a new family altogether. In other cases, the child(ren) may be under the custody of a parent who is not able to care for them as well as the other(s) might have.
These are just a few potential situations, you may be able to think up more by yourself. All you really have to do from here on out is think about how these scenarios - or, more specifically, the scenario you decide upon - will affect him.
How will it dictate his choices in life? How does it change his outlook, if it changes at all? What kind of hopes and dreams did he have for his family, and how do they fare now that his family has essentially broken up?
Not all families that go through divorce end up worse off though… so that’s something to consider. In some cases - such as with my own - it was really for the better and I’m happier now with my adoptive dad (and the reconstituted family we have) than I would ever have been with my biological father had he found some way to stay in my life. It also helped that my mom made an effort to remain amicable with our biological father, even though it didn’t work out. That said, the fact that I don’t see that man now is all on my own terms.
So yeah, divorce can be way more complicated than just one parent deciding they’ve fallen out of love. Divorce can be the result of domestic abuse (witnessed by the child[ren]) or other difficult situations that would see a happier home life if a divorce was filed and finalised.
I hope this helps you out a bit… Followers or Admins, please feel free to add to this for Anon.