Why do children of intact families have so many advantages?
These go from things like children of divorce not having the same protection because we are often packed like meat onto an airplane to go across the country…and even issues with inheritence that for technical reasons divorce children are often gyped in.
As a child of divorce I’m often left wondering why can’t I have those things that to them seem so simple yet to me are distant!!!
Over human prehistory, children born to parents who both lived long enough to raise them to maturity (and even lived long enough to assist in raising grandchildren) and who were present during their upbringing did better in their lives than children raised under any other circumstance. This is because the children had the daily wise input and supervision of both a mature male and a mature female who both had a vested interest in their childrens’ well being. Back then, your children and grandchildren were your retirement plan – that’s why it was important to raise them well. So, the very idea of parents staying together for life comes from the fact that doing so became a survival mechanism – it was in everybody’s best interest. People or cultures that didn’t follow this pattern eventually stopped reproducing and died out because people who did follow this plan were able to out-compete them for resources. Basically, it became a social system that worked better than any other social system. This does not mean that all children raised this way had every advantage over all children not raised this way. But, it was enough advantages over tens of thousands of years that resulted in this system becoming the social standard.
As a child of divorce, your parents were spending time, energy, and money not getting along, and on attorneys, etc. And, without both parents under the same roof, you couldn’t have both their supervision and input every day. You couldn’t experience enough of the advantages of this prehistoric (but still powerful) social system. You were designed (or evolved) to have a type of upbringing, just as you were designed (or evolved) to need certain kinds of nourishment (you know, fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, etc), plenty of fresh water, sunlight, etc. What you’re experiencing is sort of like social malnourishment, except that some symptoms of malnourishment can never be recovered from, but many of the symptoms of social malnourishment can be reversed in adolescence and adulthood if we recognize what is going on.
It looks to me like you’re figuring this out. You probably can’t fix stuff like getting gypped out of some or all of your inheritance, but you can begin teaching yourself the values and morals, etc that your parents’ divorce stole from you. And, you can take control of you life and prevent the same thing from happening to your children.
But, it is not as easy as it sounds. Children of intact families have been taught a “life map” or sorts, whether they know it or not. You don’t have such a map, or you only have parts of it. So, even though you try very hard to prevent this from happening to your children, you may find yourself lost without a decent life map. While you are lost, your marriage crumbles.
People in your situation very commonly declare: “I’m never getting divorced!” While that declaration is made with absolute sincerity, the folks who say it are almost invariably unaware of the actual tiny day to day steps that need to be taken to having a successful marriage.
Once again, these things can be learned, but they require tremendous commitment and focus. And, understandably, they require a spouse that understands the issues like you do.
I know I’ve just about written a book here, but I am a child of divorce and so are my three children, so I’ve given this subject a great deal of thought. I recommend you start by reading Dr. Laura’s “Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess up Their Lives”. Then try to learn as much as you can by reading other books. Some of it will apply to you, some of it won’t. When you see an elderly couple, stop them and ask them how they stayed married so long. They will be delighted to share their wisdom with you.
Best of luck.