When I explain to others that I came from a “broken home,” I do not speak proudly of it. But I should. It means that two people who were together or married or at one time loved each other, separated. That would be my mother and father. They separated bravely. They separated because they knew that the goal in life is to be happy, and they knew they could not achieve that together.
I should speak proudly of my “broken home” because it means that my parents understood that it’s better for their children to see two happy, but separated, people than it is to see two people who hate each other forced to live together because society says a “traditional home” is best for a child to grow up in.
Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, but yet, it is a shame and it feels rare to be in a “broken home.” The term makes us feel as though we are broken. But we aren’t broken. Weakness is failure to stand up when you are uncomfortable, unhappy, or unsatisfied. That is broken. It takes a strong person to be able to say “I can’t do this,” or “This is not a positive atmosphere for our children to be raised in.” Would you rather have your children grow up to think that they cannot leave an unhappy place?
Coming from a “broken home” does not mean I am incapable of love. It does not mean I am unworthy of love. It means my parents loved me enough to make sure I could grow up in a happy environment, and experience love.
I have respect for “traditional homes,” but only the ones where the parents are a team and are together and love each other deeply. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe those relationships are the best ones to raise a family in. No one wants to raise children alone, but no one wants to be unhappy either. The thing is, we shouldn’t let society tell us what is best for us.
Some of my friends felt badly for me when my parents divorced. But in reality, I felt just as badly for them because their parents stayed in an unhappy relationship “for the kids.” These kids listened to arguing every day. They sat at the dinner table as a “family,” but sat silently. Home was not a happy place for them. Of course, my home was not happy for the year or two before my parents divorced, but they didn’t stay stuck in sadness.
I am from a broken home, and my parents love me very much. My stepfamilies love me just as much. I am not broken, I am wiser.
Originally published on www.theodysseyonline.com | March 1, 2016