Roald de Boer
Copyright 2009 - 2021
I. (43) was 14 when he had to sit on the couch in the living room and his father said that "We are going to divorce" whereupon he answered airily "Oh, I already knew". His sister, six years younger, started to cry but didn't really understand what was going on. When asked if they wanted to talk about it I. very stubbornly said "No!". His parents had been living separately for a while, his father had been living on a boat, but then they bought a house together. He heard his parents arguing through the bedroom wall word-for-word and gathered that his mother didn't want to divorce. His father had had some affairs and his mother had one but that wasn't the reason to split up, they just didn't fit together. His father wanted freedom but in his next relationships was just looking for stability and now has a sassy girlfriend. His mother has been with the same man for quite a while now who is just as stubborn as his dad but easier to dominate.
M. (33) was 4 when her parents definitely broke up after a divorce from bed-and-board, because in the end her father stayed away from home. He was living a chaotic life but she did see her father regularly and sometimes she stayed the night with him. Now and then they went on holidays together. When she was 7 her mother had a new boyfriend who became her second father and brought stability. Ten years later her mother broke up with him, her father's girlfriend had alreaydy left him some years before, and both her parents became depressed. She left the house at 17 to live with her boyfriend, a relation which lasted four years. Nowadays her mother has a boyfriend for 12 years while her father is alone and never wants a relationship again. M. herself is on her own for some time now and she likes it that way.
D. (34) was 16 when her mother told her and her little brother "Please sit down. We are going to have a divorce." Her instant reaction was "Yes! Why didn't you do that before?" Both parents soon had new relationships. Her mother had wanted to divorce because she already met someone whom she married soon afterwards but they had a divorce too. Then she developed some sort of bipolar disorder so D. moved in with her father, a very sweet but soft hearted man. He remarried, divorced and now has a girlfriend since about five years. Her mother is single but is dating a lot. She herself always falls for the wrong kind of man.
F. (48) can't remember when his parents had a divorce because it went gradually. His father had temporarily left the house but had come back and the whole family, including his older brother, went on winter sports when he was about 8. When they returned his father left his suitcases standing in the garage unpacked and soon after that he left forever. There was an official announcement in the living room where his father said: "We think it's better to go our separate ways". "No, no!" his mother cried out and they started having a fight. His mother didn't want to have a divorce but his father didn't love her any longer and was bored with living in a terraced house in a small village so he went back to the city. His father remarried eventually but his mother stayed embittered and never got into a relationship again.
H. (34) was 12 and in the first class of secondary school when her father left. This time for good, he had been living in his studio, part of the house, a couple of times before but until then he had come back at dinner time after a week or so. He was a short-tempered man but became more quiet in the course of time and in the end all seemed to go well between her parents. Then he confessed there was someone else and from letters she and her mother recovered this had been going on for over one-and-a-half years. Her mother drew the line, she had told him not to have an affair ever again, so he had to leave. H. woke up the next morning to find a note on the light switch which asked her to come over to the studio where her father slept on a small matress. He told her he was going to leave the house. He was going to live with a woman who was married too and it took a while before he had cleaned up the studio. In the end they had to make use of a lawyer for that.
S. (43) was 12 when his parents split up. For years his mother had been telling him that they would get a divorce and there were a lot of fights at home because they differed in temperament. His father cheated as men do, according to S. and his mother did it due to an emotional need. When he entered secondary school they finally divorced and he stayed with his father. He could go by at his mother's house, at the other side of town, whenever he wanted for a cup of coffee or dinner and sometimes he stayed the night with her. After the divorce she quickly got to know the man whom she's still living with. His father had lots of affairs but they never came over to visit, he kept them seperated from his homelife. S. was very self-reliant, his father left him shopping lists and money so he was able to take care for himself . He calls himself a loner who wants to have nothing to do with marriage, living together or having children. A relationship is for doing nice things together and for sex. You cannot control it but you will always be confirmed that you can't count on others. The relationship he's in annoys him.
E. (34) was 20 years when her father left the house to get "some cigars". It was a saturday morning and he was to take her little brother on vacation so his suitcase was already packed and in the car. He disappeared without a note, the company he owned went bankrupt, and he started a new life in France. Once in a while he sent an e-mail but it was only after a year that her mother saw him again at the notary to settle their divorce. She herself saw him back after two years when he visited her to explain things: "He had flipped and that's why he'd left". Her mother managed on her own and found a new husband. She sees her father once a year when he's back and they can get along quite well. When later asked how she gets along with her mother these days and about her love life, she didn't want to talk anymore.
L. (39) was about 9 and remembers there were fights between his parents. But it was only afterwards that he heard that his father had fallen in love with a divorced mother from his school. One night during a heavy storm his father came home late at night and confessed he had been with this other woman. He was so in love that he left his family. Shortly after his mother fell in love with the ex-husband of the woman. These relationships lasted for about five years. When L. was 19 his mother met someone whom she's still with at the moment while his father has a new girlfriend but is living in a home because he has Alzheimer's disease. L.'s longest relationship lasted 3 years, he was 23 at the time and they have lived together. He doesn't have a girlfriend at the moment.
F. (33) can't remember anything about her parents divorce when she was 11 years old. She thinks she has blocked it. There were a lot of fights and there was tension, but they told her nothing. Suddenly she was living in another part of town with her mother while her father was laying parquet flooring for them. She still visits him one day a week, he now has a girlfriend whom he has met at a workplace for disabled people cause her father is blind as a result of an accident at work. Her mother had a boyfriend shortly after the divorce but they split up quite recently. F. , who is an only child, always has had lots of attention from both her parents who still get along well together. She feels like she's a princess who has strict requirements and is looking for a prince. At the moment she's not in a relationship.
C. (24) was 6 years old when her mother took her to the duck pond in the park and told her she was going to divorce her father. Afterwards her mother bought her a Bambi-video for consolation. Her parents had been together for 12 years but eventually didn't match. Half of the time she was living with her father and the other half with her mother who moved to the other side of town where she went to primary school. When she was about 14 she moved in with her father because she didn't got along with her mother anymore who was depressed quite often. Her father had lots of affairs but now has a girlfriend who probably will stay with him. Her mother has had some friends but now prefers to be alone. She herself has had relationships once in a while but hasn't found a balance between her longing for freedom and her longing for children. She says she suffers from separation anxiety.