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Jessica, 24, wrote in after seeing the shows about children of divorce. Her parents, Colleen and Tim, divorced nine years ago. "I, too, was child of divorce and went through several of the things that the children talked on your show about," Jessica wrote. "Not only did I feel trapped in the middle of my parents, but I thought it was my responsibility to keep my family together."

Colleen says her marriage began to splinter after 16 years. "I got real busy taking care of the kids, and he got real busy working," she says. "We were basically roommates."

Jessica says she was devastated when she heard her parents were getting a divorce. "It still hurts, I mean, it never goes away. I don't think I'll ever completely feel better," she says.

Mollie and Amy, Jessica's sisters, are also in their 20s. Mollie says she stopped talking to her dad after the divorce. "I blamed him for everything," she says. "My mom would tell me stuff like, 'I wanted to go to counseling with your dad, and he didn't want to make it work.' I would automatically be like, 'Wow, why wouldn't Dad want to make it work?'"

Colleen says she used Mollie as a girlfriend. "I really wanted Tim to look like the bad guy, too," she says. "I wanted everyone to know that I was innocent and he was the one that was wrong."

"I think as time went on, I really thought the girls were dealing with it very well," Tim says.

In September 2006, Tim remarried. "It was fine until they said their vows, and that was hard because you knew that he had said those to my mom," Jessica says. "It's a death of a family—that was just one more thing that showed we were never going to be the same."
FROM: Adult Children of Divorce Confront Their Parents
Published on March 14, 2008


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