It is a well known fact that divorce not only hurts children, it can also sever relationships between parents and grown children. When a teenager or adult child decides to side with one parent during the divorce, it can damage the parent-child relationship forever.
My own 22 year old daughter has not spoken to her father in almost 5 years. Because of my ex's actions and behaviors during our divorce, she chooses not to have him in her life. I have encouraged her to try and forgive her father, but she is not ready to make amends. She feels that until he expresses true remorse over his behavior during the divorce and stops placing blame on others, she does not want a relationship with him. Of course it makes me feel horrible that my ex and her father, who were once very close do not have a father-daughter relationship anymore. But what drove my daughter to cut off ties with her dad were some horrible comments he made during the divorce about her grandfather who then passed away months later.
At her age, I must respect her decision to not speak to her father, but it is still makes me sad to hear my ex tell people he has 3 children when he has 4 and I feel bad that my daughter will not have a father to walk her down the aisle someday. Maybe they will eventually reconcile, but until then there is little I can do to help repair their relationship.
I think divorcing couples need to be careful about confiding in teenage or adult children during a divorce. You may have the best intentions and want to be honest with your adult child about the divorce, but letting adult children in on the ugly details of the divorce can backfire and cause the child to take sides. It is bad enough that friends and family often take sides, but when a child chooses end a relationship with a parent because of a divorce, it can be devastating. Click here to read a free chapter of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...