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Divorce may be bitter and painful. It is likely that before it is finalized, the atmosphere at home was unpleasant. In the disintegration of everything you know till now, your parent’s divorce might shake the fundamental blocks of you as an individual. It might leave you vulnerable, unstable, angry, hurt, and even guilty. You might be wrecked with negative emotions and somehow, in your confusion, think that your fault led to the divorce. But feelings like this are natural. You just need to learn how to deal with parent’s divorce over time.
Many parents choose to divorce when there are issues like constant fights and arguments, misunderstanding, disrespect, infidelity, abuse, or substance abuse issues. You might mistakenly even feel that their divorce has something to do with you. However, your parents’ divorce may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Remember that their actions are not your fault, and it may help you overcome your feelings of distress over their divorce.
Anger, confusion, sadness, grief – all these are normal feelings when your parents divorce. Your feelings are real, valid, and that it is normal. Acknowledge these feelings, but do not allow them to consume you. Many young people suppress their emotions. But when these feelings go invalidated, it will lead to harmful and self-destructive behaviour. You might end up coping with these feelings in ways you never thought possible.
Stress is caused not by the event but by our response to it. For many, especially younger children, parent’s divorce might constitute the most stressful event in their life so far. More so, if you don’t have anybody to talk to. Therefore, you need to find things that relieve your stress level. Find things you love doing as it will take your mind off the stress.
Many children think that if they only did more for their parents or were better children, their parents might not get divorced. However, repairing their marriage is not your problem. You may tell them that you love them and want to have a healthy relationship with them individually. It is also not acceptable that you act as a messenger for them and relay messages from one home to another.
Many children do not want to grieve their parents further and end up suppressing their feelings, instead of finding a healthier way to deal with parent’s divorce. But the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to talk to them. Whether you feel lost, angry, sad, or disillusioned, you must tell them how you feel. It is okay to wish they would get back together. But the most important thing is that you recognize they should be happy.
Talking things through with someone trustworthy will help you. Talking to parents or friends helps. However, consider talking to a therapist or a counselor. Maybe you are uncomfortable talking to a stranger about the issues at home, or you feel guilty or think you are letting down your parents by talking to someone. However, seeking professional help will help you recognize your feelings and give you insights on how to deal with the situation.
Divorce can adversely impact children in many areas; psychologically, physically, emotionally, financially, and even academically. Its impact can cause a ripple effect and can leave a lasting effect on your psychological makeup. Therefore, if your parents are going through a divorce, it is pertinent that you sift through your emotions and get the necessary tools to help you feel better.