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Monday, May 16, 2011

Living with divorce

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:49 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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Living with divorce

Rita, 17, has quite an unusual living arangement with her divorced parents. It's been four years since their divorce, but both parents still stay together in the same home with Rita and her two younger brothers.

What makes it even more unusual, is that both parents have moved on to seeing other people, and they bring their new partners home as well.

"My parents' divorce was quite different. There wasn't any fighting. They just felt that they were more friends than a married couple - because they couldn't deal with a lot of the issues that come with being married - and they wanted to start dating other people," said Rita.

She still remembers the day her parents broke the news to her. She was 13. She had just got home from school and her parents said they needed to talk to her about something.

"They got me to sit down, and asked 'do you understand what a divorce is?' I said yes, and then they asked 'are you okay if we had a divorce?'

"If I had said no, then they'd be together for me, and not each other - what would be the point of that? So I said it was okay," she said.

Even though she had come to terms with her parents' divorce at home, Rita had problems with it at school.

"Every time I got into trouble, the teachers somehow thought it was because of the divorce. They would send me to the school counsellor, and basically just assume because my parents were divorced, I have problems; I'm a bad kid," she revealed.

With divorce rates rising steadily in Malaysia, more and more young people are like Rita, having to learn to cope with the issues that come with separated parents.

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