Divorce is never fun, especially if you are just along for the ride and you are unsure about what is happening and what is going to happen. When my parents got divorced 5 years ago I was 16 and my brother was 12, so we were both old enough to know what was happening (which is almost worst). Our situation was nasty and long… in fact, the fighting is still going on today thanks to my wonderful father.
Anyway, I decided to create a “how to” list of things that made me feel better and hopefully they will help you out as well.
1.Understand What is Going On
The more you understand the better everything will be. Now I’m not talking about diving into the whole psychological conversation of why people act the way they do… I mean understand why your parents are getting divorced. What was the straw that broke the camels back? This may seem like a painful journey and it is, but talking about it and understanding it will put you on the fast track to coming to terms with your situation. Half of the reason I was stressed out during this divorce was because I was uncertain of the future if you know what is going to happen or at least the next few steps to the process yu will feel a lot better. Ask questions!
2. Talk to Your Friends
Not that you should ignore your family, but I found myself more comfortable confiding in my friends. This in part was because I am the oldest and I felt that now I am in a way in charge or am now going to relied on heavier. So I felt that I needed to be strong for my entire family and the first few days if I talked about it I would cry. I talked to my friends about it a lot, mostly how mad it made it, but it felt good getting it out. Long story short find someone to take your frustrations out on, your best friend, a teacher, a family member… anyone… it could be the stranger on the bus. If you keep all that rage and/or sadness bottled up you’re only going to get worse.
3. Distractions Are Amazing
As much as it might suck and as much as you might not want to… get out of the house. Go do something with your friends, go to school, go to the gym, go anywhere. Distract yourself from the situation. This is not running away from your problems, this is prioritizing you over your problems. Your happiness is more important than this problem. Plus it is not healthy to constantly think and over think about your family breaking up.
4. Pick A Divorce Anthem
When you are done distracting yourself for the day and it is time to lay down, go to bed, and have a good cry… pick a song that is relatable to you and your situation. I’m not talking about just any song… pick your divorce sucks anthem. Pick a song or entire album that you can scream and/ or cry to that will make you feel better. My song was “If you ever come back” by The Script. One of my friends’ song was “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink. We both also listened to a lot of Mayday Parade and One Direction, but we always came back to our Divorce Anthem.
5. Forget About Your Problems at School
This one goes hand in hand with distractions, but I wanted to make this a special section because I feel like when teens go through a divorce their grades drop and that did not happen with me, but it did happen to my brother. When I was at school I would get so focused on what I was doing and with the help of my amazing friends, going to school became an amazing distraction. Don’t become a statistic, do not let this divorce ruin your education.
6. Don’t Create Problems
This one is probably easier said than done… During this divorce, it is no surprise that you are probably going to be an emotional mess. This can cause you to act a different way or make you quick to anger. Just don’t start fights with your friends over something dumb. If you do all the steps above you should be able to avoid this. If you are constantly talking about your feelings and letting out all your stress, anger, and sadness you should be ok.
7. Expectation Go Out The Window
Typically in a nasty divorce, one parent is labeled the ass hole. For example, in my situation, my dad is labeled the ass hole because he decided to cheat on my mom after 25 years of marriage with a girl who was 3 years older than me (19). So all expectations I had of him went out the window. Never expect an ass hole to do the right thing… ever. If you don’t hold them to a standard they can’t disappoint you. This may seem like a tough pill to swallow but in the long run, it will benefit you.
8. Be Prepared For The Long Game
In a nasty divorce, the long game is key. Unfortunately, once you sign the divorce papers it is long from over. My parent’s divorce happened 5 years ago (2012) and they still fight. It’s about growing and not letting it bother you or affect you as much as possible. This is where your expectations come into play… if you keep your expectations high you will be let down time and time again. Keep them low and don’t expect bad people to do good things.