The Long Term Effects of Divorce on Young Adults’ Relationships

couple speaking to a divorce lawyer

People who grew up in divorced families may suffer from emotional and psychological trauma. Most of the time, the reparations of these are carried until adulthood. As adults, they continuously have to face anxieties and doubts when getting into romantic relationships.

Trust Issues

Children of divorce develop trust issues in relationships because of the internalized phobia of failed romantic relationships. According to a study, “many children fear that their future marriages will lack love, trust, or communication and that they will be beset by infidelity, conflict, or abuse.” This leads to the inability or difficulty to indulge in more profound, more serious relationships as they reach adulthood. Studies also show that children of divorce suffer from self-esteem issues that may result in less satisfaction in intimate relationships.

Children with separated parents are also more likely to support divorce and cohabitation as their belief in marriage drastically declines, deeming marriage as “unpredictable and unstable.” They become anxious and develop doubts that if they get married, there’s a big chance they’ll set a meeting with divorce lawyers in Suffolk County, NY. Additionally, they begin to believe that separation is better than staying in toxic relationships.

Attitude in relationships

When children of divorce get into relationships, certain qualities manifest in the way they navigate these partnerships. It is a result of upbringing–whether they live in a paternal or maternal home–and psychological trauma.


Women from divorced families tend to have commitment issues, engaging in more failed relationships. They enter into relationships that are more likely to lead to rejection and cause emotional damage. Ironically, women seek love and attention and fear abandonment.

Aside from relationships, these women expose themselves in sexual activities earlier than those whose parents are still together. According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the likelihood of African-American teenage girls engaging in sex goes down by 42% if they live with their biological fathers. Moreover, this hyper-sexuality can be accompanied by risky sexual behaviors that may lead to teenage pregnancy and contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.


Instead of being communicative, affectionate, and cooperative, men from divorced families develop a hero syndrome of women they are attracted to. They are also prone to exhibit violence in a relationship.

Men usually lack role models for relationships and look up to their fathers for social skills. Consequently, those who live in a maternal home exhibit more feminine tendencies that those in paternal homes.

couple smiling at each other

How to restore your faith in love and intimacy

Just because your parents ended up that way, doesn’t mean your relationships should crumble, too. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but there are ways to overcome trust issues:

  • Learn from your past relationships. What are your recurring patterns in a relationship? Can they be avoided? How do you want your partner to deal with the problems you encounter?
  • Take it one step at a time. Relationships are already a risk, so don’t pressure yourself to dive in head-first. Give only what you can.
  • Communicate. Tell your partner about your anxieties, so they can understand what you’re going through.

There are so many factors that affect love and intimacy. Sometimes, personal trauma plays a huge role in romantic relationships, and it becomes hard to commit. It’s a risk, and it could be worth taking.

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