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My Parents Are Getting a Divorce

My Parents Are Getting a Divorce

So Now What?


 

If your parents have told you that they're getting a divorce, chances are, you're going through some rough times right now. You might feel hurt, mad, confused, abandoned, or just sad about your parent's separation. No matter how alone you might feel, you're not; many children whose parents separate also go through the same thing. Part of dealing with divorce is learning how to understand it and adjust to it.

Husbands and wives make the decision to separate when they reach a conclusion that no matter how hard they try to make their marriage work, they just can't live together anymore. The decision to separate is not only hard on the kids, but hard on the parents. After all, they too have to adjust to life without each other.

Things to Remember:

  • Although your parents are separating, they are still going to be a mom and a dad to you-your parents are separating from each other, not from you or their responsibilities to you. Even when you only live with one of your parents, the other one will still be your mom/dad…forever. Nothing will ever change that.
  • You are NOT the cause of their separation-husbands and wives separate for many different reasons, although children aren't one of them. Many kids think that they have caused their parents' separation through performing poorly in school, behaving badly, or slacking off on chores. However, things like these don't make husbands and wives end their marriage.
  • It is not up to you to try and get them back together-because you are not the cause of your parent's divorce, you can't be the one to bring them back together. Even if you got straight A's and behaved perfectly all the time (no one can be perfect ALL the time), that would make mom and dad happy, but that doesn't mean that they will get married again.
  • No one expects you to act like nothing is wrong-your whole world has turned upside down and you do not have to act like nothing is wrong. Many times it helps to talk to someone outside the situation, someone you trust, such as a favorite teacher, counselor, other family member, minister/priest/rabbi, or mentor. Sometimes it helps just to have someone to listen.
  • You should not have to relay messages between your parents because they're not together anymore-sometimes your mom or dad will ask you questions about what the other is doing, what's going on in their life, etc. This can make you feel uncomfortable and you should let your parent know that it does. If this happens, ask them to speak directly to each other instead of you.
  • The future doesn't have to be bleak-although you may feel very uncertain about what the future holds for you, your mom, and your dad, try to look to the brighter side. Things might seem really tense right now, but in time, once everyone has adjusted to the situation, things between your parents will settle down.

Family matters after divorces don't always run smoothly, but if you keep an open line of communication with your parents about your feelings, it will help the situation a lot. Also, try to be open-minded and helpful to your mom or dad in trying to make things work. Remember, they're also going through a change in their lives. They'll appreciate your concern and cooperation more than you can imagine!

An important thing to remember is that you are NOT alone! Below is a list of places that can help if you need someone to talk to. The people on the other end are trained to handle situations just like yours, so give them a try.

 

National Runaway Switchboard and Suicide Hotline
(Not just for teens who have run away or are contemplating suicide)
1-800-621-4000

Crisis Hotline
1-800-999-9999

National Youth Crisis Hotline
1-800-448-4663

 





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