Updated: Mar 23, 2019
This is the second part of an interview I conducted with Jen Abbas – author of Generation Ex: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of our pain. The interview took place a year ago. Her book has been recently released as a kindle book on Amazon.
Q: In our first interview, your relationship with your parents and step dad was not as solid as you would have liked. Has that changed now that you are married and they are grandparents?
A: My relationship with my mom has gotten a lot better. I think mom has really relished the roll of grandparent. When I [travel to] see my step dad we visit for an hour or so. [Theres] a couple of letters, a couple of emails and I think that’s pretty much all he can handle at this point. There’s no bad feelings, its just kind of where we’re at. My dad makes a really good effort. He calls me. He sees pictures of Daniel and they’ve come out to visit a couple of times. My stepmom and I kind of had a falling out. Her parents are divorced and she comes from the perspective—she doesn’t want to get in mom’s way [of being a grandmother]. Her feelings of how she should interact with our son is very different than what I would prefer.
Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the years since you wrote your book?
A: God can take hearts of stone and turn them into hearts of flesh. When I look back at where I was when I was writing that book I was really good at putting on the happy face, but now the joy just is.
Q: What would you say to the adults with divorced parents who are just discovering that they are still being impacted by their parents’ divorce?
A: Don’t be afraid to face what’s making you hurt. Don’t be afraid to dig in and name that hurt and take the fear out of them so that you can choose how the future is going to be. You can’t choose the past, but you can choose the future and there’s hope in that.
Hope, for many adult children divorce, is like a vapor that dissipates as they try to grasp it. Jen’s faith and perseverance have solidified her fragile hope and it has become trust. Hope and trust are elusive and precious treasures in the world of adult children of divorce. Jen offers her treasure map called Generation Ex to all those from broken homes who fear that a successful relationship and marriage is beyond their reach.
* Jen Abbas, Generation EX: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain (Colorado Springs, Co.: Waterbrook Press, 2004), 61. ** Ibid. *** Ibid., 102