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Your Family

TIP: So Your Parents are Getting Divorced


Somehow, in some way, someone has dropped the bomb on you.  It happened.  You find out that your parents are getting divorced.  So now what?

Prepare to Feel Feelings.

Anger: "Why can't you be grown up and just work it out? You are going to ruin our lives." 

Fear: "If they don't love each other, maybe they don't love me?"

Denial: "Maybe this is just a bump in the road, and they will get back together."

Confusion: "Why does this have to happen to my family, did I do something wrong?"

Sadness: "I just want to go to my room, be by myself, and cry."

Jealousy: "Why do my friends parents get to stay together?"

Stress: ""My entire life has been turned upside-down. What is going to happen to us now? "

Shame: "How embarrassing. I don't want anybody to find out that my parents are splitting up."

Guilt: "This is all my fault.  I should have done something to fix this."

You Can SURVIVE  Your Feelings

You can't stop yourself from feeling emotions, but you can find good ways to deal with them and keep them from driving you crazy.  Here are some tips:

  • Denial is a completely normal and acceptable feeling, but don't cling to it.  If you keep thinking your parents are getting back together when it's clear they aren't, you won't be moving forward.
  • Figure out the difference between a fact and a feeling.  You may feel like the divorce is your fault, that your parents don't love you, and that your entire world has gone up in flames.  Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's true.
  • Try to understand why you feel what you feel.  Do you feel like everything is falling apart?  Is it because you don't understand what's happening?  Are you worried about the future?  Just identifying why you feel something can relieve some stress.
  • Don't bottle things up.  If you can feel a bunch of emotions simmering, find a way to let them out.  March up to your room and cry for a few minutes.  Listen to music.  Go on a jog.  Write letters describing your feeling to your parents, then tear them up and throw them away.  By the time you're done, you might feel a whole lot better.
  • One feeling at a time.  Let's say you feel a whole lot of sadness, guilt, and stress.  Put two of those feelings on the backburner while you deal with the other one.  Dealing with multiple overwhelming feelings at once is too exhausting.
  • Don't take responsibility for the situation. Although many people may be impacted by a divorce, it's ultimately a decision between the two married people, and that's it. 

There May be Positive Results

After living for a few months with one parent instead of both, you might notice that your parents are happier.  You might actually be happier.  You may think you should feel bad about this, but don't.  It may be a sign that your parents made the best decision for everyone involved.

 

You don't have to face your problems alone! Counselors are standing by.

4 Ways to Get Help