Teen Advisor Teen Advisor
  Home About Us Contact Us

Your Feelings Are Normal

     If your parents are separated or divorced, you are probably dealing with a lot of changes in your family life. You may be living full-time with one parent, or you may be going back and forth between both of your parent's homes. You may be living with a parent and your parent's new partner and also dealing with stepbrothers and sisters or new half-brothers and sisters. You may even be living with your grandparents.

     Whatever your situation is, it's normal to have many different feelings and emotions about all of these changes. Dealing with divorce or separation can be really hard to get used to. This guide was written to answer the most common questions teens have about coping with divorce and separation.

Upset all the time?

     If your parents are separated, in the process of getting divorced, or recently divorced, it is normal for you to be experiencing many different feelings. Even if your parents were divorced a while ago, it is still normal to have strong feelings about it. Some common feelings or emotions are:

* Shock or surprise
* Anxiety - you may worry about what is going to happen to you and who will take care of you
* Sadness and a feeling of loss
* Anger - you may be angry at your parents or you may feel angry in general
* Fear - if one of your parents leaves, you may be afraid of losing your other parent.
* Guilt - you may feel like it's your fault that your parents split up
* Loneliness - you may feel that you have no one to talk to or that no one understands what you are going through.
* Worry - you may worry about your own ability to have a good relationship or marriage in the future

You may also feel:
* Relieved because there is less stress at home. Sometimes when parents get divorced they have been arguing or fighting a lot. In some families there may even have been physical violence, alcohol problems, or other situations that created stress in the home. After the divorce or separation, it is normal to experience feelings of relief as your environment becomes less stressful and more stable.

* Happy to have special time alone with each parent.

     All of these feelings are a normal part of coping with all of the changes in your family life, but if these feelings are making you feel overwhelmed and bad most of the time, it would be best for you to talk with your parents, a trusted adult, or a friend. Many teens who are going through a family divorce find it helpful to talk with a counselor or therapist too.

     Your health care provider should be able to help you find a specially trained person such as a social worker or psychologist to talk to. Talking with someone can help you feel better while you're dealing with difficult times, and it can also help you to find solutions to problems that you may not have thought of on your own.

     All of the feelings above are felt by children and teens who have experienced divorce. These feelings can remain inside or be expressed through outside actions, and will result in certain behavior. In the following links these feelings are described in more depth. Deep Hurt
Anger and Bitterness, Guilt, Shame & Inferiority, Low Self-Esteem

Related Links
Divorce and Separation - A Guide For Teens
Life Changes
Loss Of Family
Life Differences
A Parent's Change
Tips To Make Divorce Easier
Positive Life After Divorce