Families Change
Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Emotions

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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 will probably feel some intense emotions. The good news is that it's entirely normal—and it will get better.

This section

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

Q & A

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. 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. Their decision to separate or divorce is usually final.

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

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 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. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!