Families Change Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Emotions

There's no doubt about it — it isn't easy when your parents split up. In fact, it might be the hardest thing you've ever had to deal with!

Whether you saw it coming after a lot of conflict and tension, or it just seemed to come out of the blue, you’ll probably experience some strong emotions. The good news is that this is entirely normal — and it will get better!

This section

  • describes some of the emotions you might be feeling, as well as some other reactions you might have,
  • suggests ways to make yourself feel better and
  • tells you when to get help.

Q & R

Q:
I'm feeling really upset and confused about my parents' splitting up. Is this normal?
A:

Your parents’ splitting up might be the hardest thing you've ever had to deal with. So it's natural — and entirely normal — to experience some intense emotions.

You will feel better over time. There are lots of ways to help yourself feel better, and there are people who can help you if you need it.

Q:
If my parents divorce, will the same thing happen to me?
A:

Many teens whose parents split up feel anxious about their own relationships in the future. But just because your parents split up doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you. You can learn from their mistakes. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!

Q:
Can I do anything to get my parents back together?
A:

Most parents split up only after trying very hard to save their relationship. Their decision to split-up is usually final.

Some teens hope and believe that if they try to be on their very best behaviour, their parents will get back together. However, this plan isn't likely to work, since their parents' decision to split up had nothing to do with them.

Apart from suggesting that your parents see a marriage counsellor if they haven't already done so, the best thing that you can do is to begin to accept the situation so that you can get on with your life.