Sayeba Bintay Zahir
We all dream of a family that happens to be supportive, happy, safe, and most importantly united. There are people around us who have always craved for a peaceful home, wanted to be loved but ended up having a dysfunctional family. To get rid of the constant disagreements, fights, and conflicts the dysfunctional parents choose to be separated. Sometimes nothing bad happens and yet, the parents don’t feel emotionally connected anymore and decide to live apart. And that’s how a broken family is caused.
The divorce rate has increased a lot over time in modern societies. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the separation rate in Bangladesh has increased by 34 percent in the past seven years. A new divorce application is filed every hour in Dhaka. Though separation has become normalized these days, struggles of the broken family children have remained the same.
Growing up in a broken family, dealing with emotional stresses, and still trying to act normal is not as easy as they seem to be. For understanding someone from a broken home better you need to be empathetic, supportive, compassionate, and responsible. But you must keep in mind every person that comes from a broken family is not the same and has completely different struggles.
Last year a friend of mine started dating one of our classmates who comes from a broken family. When he told us about it, my friends made a face and suggested him to stop seeing that girl immediately. It’s a common misconception in our society that people coming from broken families surely have issues when it comes to love life. But it isn’t always true. It can be complicated sometimes but they will love you with all their heart if you can make them believe that you always have their back all the time and stick with them through thick and thin.
When the parents split up, the whole world of the child breaks apart. Children from broken families have seen their parents lying deliberately, constantly making promises and breaking them. Every time they trusted someone it brought up nothing but a big disappointment. So it’s obvious that they will take time to put their trust upon you. Just be loyal to them and gradually they will start trusting you and let you see their inner selves.
You may find it upsetting but they won’t open up so easily. They would prefer to know more about you rather than telling about themselves. Give them time. Talking about your family members and sharing cheerful family stories may make them feel uncomfortable. If you can sense it, you better change the topic. But when they will feel like talking about their struggles, don’t come up with advice or judgments. Sometimes they just want you to hold their hands and listen quietly.
It’s really important to understand when not to talk.
You may think meeting your family will make them feel better and accepted. But the truth is that it can be terrifying for them. Don’t rush while introducing them to the family. Focus more on creating a friendly environment around them. Interacting with your close friends, cousins, and siblings before meeting your parents will make them even more comfortable. They will also get an idea of the warmth and acceptance they are going to receive after being a part of the family.
They have already experienced how terrible a marriage can be. So it’s normal for them to feel awkward when you talk about marriage. Don’t force them for any social or legal contract. If they genuinely love you, someday they themselves will start planning their future with you.
Loving someone and being in love is never easy. Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Commitment, loyalty, sacrifice, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance are the things a relationship thrives on. Being with someone from a broken family may ask for all these too but a little more. They may have already seen the ugliest side of love so you have to rebuild their trust in it. They will keep saying that they don’t deserve to be loved. You need to prove them wrong and be there for them even at their worst. They may push you away but trust me, they don’t actually mean it. Give them some space but don’t give up on your love, fight for it.
Be the shelter they have always asked for resting their heads in and help them to grow as a person and move on forgetting their miserable pasts.