Divorce Delilah

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Q: My parents are going through a divorce and I don’t know how to handle it.

A: When our parents get divorced, the first person we blame is ourselves. For some odd reason, we, as children, blame ourselves for our parents’ marital issues. Our world feels like it is spinning out of control and we’re just trying to hang on. What is most important for you to know is that, there is no ‘one way’ to handle it. We get upset, we get angry and eventually we get through it.

There is no sugar-coating it, divorce is messy. If you’re one of the lucky ones, your parents are having a dignified, civil split. And if you’re not as lucky, like I was, you’re in the midst of a custody battle, a name-calling blood bath, a war in the home. In either situation, divorce stinks.

It is okay to not be okay. You aren’t expected to be happy, or even fine. You will be angry and that’s okay. But there comes a point when you must accept it and try to make the best out of it, because with or without you, life will go on. You can choose to make the most out of what you have, or be miserable because of what you no longer have.

It’s easy to be selfish when your parents shield you from what is really going on in their marriage. My parents got divorced when I was young. I was ignorant, I didn’t know why they split and I didn’t care. I wanted them together again. As I grew older, I slowly began to understand why they split. I realized what my mother had gone through, for us, her kids and what she sacrificed simply because she didn’t want her kids to be from a broken home. I realized how brave she was to walk away and demand better for herself and for her kids. Now, I am glad they split. It was in the best interest of my mother, my father, myself and my siblings. As for you, I believe the same is true, divorce may be awful, but more often than not, it’s for the better good.

It does get easier. You will be okay.