Families Change Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

You are here

Many teens really believe that their parents will get back together. They try very hard to make it happen by being on their best behaviour.

Sometimes this is a way of denying what’s really happening in order to protect yourself from the painful reality.

Chances are your parents reached this point only after trying very hard to save their relationship, and their decision to split up is final.

It's hard, but it's probably better for you to begin to accept the situation as it really is.  It’s best to get used to the changes you’re facing in order to get on with your life.

Q & R

Q:
I'm feeling guilty about my parents splitting up. Was there something I did to cause it?
A:

It's very common for teens to believe that they have somehow caused their parents to split up. But you’re not the reason for your parents splitting up. Parents split up because of problems in their relationship.

It's not your fault!

Q:
I have so many questions about why this has happened and what is’s going to happen in the future. How much can I ask my parents?
A:

If there are things you need to know, ask.

You have a right to ask questions about what’s going to happen and why. Although you need to respect your parents' right to privacy, they have a responsibility to answer your questions as best they can about things that directly affect you.

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.

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:
Will I be able to spend time with both parents?
A:

In most cases, children get to spend time with both parents. How much time you spend with each parent and exactly how that will work depends on your parents’ custody and visiting arrangements.

Remember: Parents divorce each other, not their children. Your parents are still your parents, and they still love you.