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Divorce and your feelings

It is difficult to say what feelings someone who goes through divorce will experience. It could be a whole range of emotions which might change at different stages of your life. You may feel anger at your parents for splitting up or you may be relieved that now the arguments will stop. Here are some of the common feelings:

  • Shock: When something as big as a divorce happens to a person, shock is often the emotion that they experience first. It can take different forms but a person experiencing shock may feel very numb and not feel like doing much at all. They may not want to eat, cannot sleep or do not want to talk to anyone. Feeling shocked is not an uncommon feeling and you should not feel guilty for not being as upset as you think you should be. Often this reaction is something that the body initiates to try and protect you at a difficult time.
  • Anger: It is quite natural to feel angry particularly towards your parents. They have hurt you and through no fault of your own. At the time it must all seem very unfair. You may feel like hitting out at someone or throwing something. It may be difficult for you to calm down for a long time but eventually you will and you will no longer feel angry. You will realise that it was never your parents intention to hurt you, they could just no longer go on living the way they were.
  • Sadness: Whenever you lose something whether it be a person, a treasured possession or a situation that you are happy in, you are bound to feel upset and you have a right to grieve. If you feel like crying, go ahead and cry. It can be tiring but you should never stop yourself from crying because in the end it will all boil up into something bigger. You shouldn’t be worried about being brave at school or at home. Do not neglect school work or your job but just put it to one side for a while until you feel you are able to cope with it again. That doesn’t mean putting it off forever but it can be difficult to carry on in the same way and you will need time to adjust. You will eventually feel better just as long as you let yourself feel your emotions so that you can then deal with them.
  • Denial: When your parents get divorced it is normal to believe that if you leave it long enough, they will eventually get back together. This is, however, highly unlikely. Most parents think long and hard before they get a divorce and usually they feel like they have made the right decision. It may be easy and comforting to cling onto the hope that they will get back together but you have to realise that the separation is usually final. Once you have realised this you can start getting used to the idea and carrying on with your life.
  • Fear: The fear that you might experience when going through a divorce is mainly the fear of what is going to happen to you and your situation. Change can be very scary especially if you have no idea of what is happening. The best thing to do is to ask your parents questions. They have probably thought that you would want to be considered but were unsure of when and how to talk to you about it. Ask them questions, tell them what you would like, where you would like to live and things like that. They may not be able to give you all the answers but they may be able to tell you some of the things that might happen.

How To Cope

It is difficult to know how you are ever going to be happy again after being through a divorce. Many things such as not knowing how you are going to visit the parent you are not living with or who to spend time with on your birthday can make things very difficult. There are ways of coping though:

  • Even if your Mum/Dad does not see you very often, they will always love you. It may be nice to remind them that you feel the same. You could phone them to tell them how you are getting on or e-mail them. They would be very happy to hear from you and keeping in contact with the parent you are not living with will help you to cope with the divorce.
  • Talk to both your parents. They may not want to talk to each other because they find it hard or they may not even want to talk about each other especially in your company. If you find this difficult speak to them about it. Try to get them to understand that you love them both and that you won’t stop loving one of them just because of what the other says. Try to explain that you do not want them to ignore each other, that they do not have to be close but that you would like them to be civil to each other. They may not be able to do this for a while but eventually, they may be able to be nice to each other once they have recovered from the divorce.
  • You are still allowed to have fun even if your parents are upset over what has happened. Going out with friends or having fun with other members of the family is all part of the healing process. Your parents would want you to be happy. Talking to friends can also make you feel better.
  • You may feel like you are on your own and that no one else has to go through what you are going through. This is wrong but an easy mistake to make. Perhaps you should talk to your friends. They may have been through a similar thing or know someone else who has. They may be able to give you good advice on how to cope or be able to listen to you. You may also be able to join support groups either in your local area or on the internet who could put you in touch with other children of divorced parents or just be able to give you advice.

Remember that whatever your parents feel about each other they will always love and care for you.

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©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick