No matter how old you are, divorce affects everyone in
a family – even teenagers.
No matter how old you are, divorce affects everyone in a family – even teenagers.
For some teens, their parents’ divorce can come as a bit of a relief. Maybe they’ve been
fighting for years, and maybe one parent has even been physically abusive. You’ve known
for a long time that their marriage was in trouble and the separation brings a sense of
But for many other teens, the divorce comes as a total shock. Things seemed fine, like
they always were. Maybe your parents were just good at keeping the problems in their
marriage from the kids. Or maybe one of your parents had an affair, or is going through a
midlife crisis, and so the divorce comes as a surprise to the other parent too.
Either way, since teenagers are older and more mature than young children, they have a
better understanding of the implications of divorce. Teens also feel the need to shoulder
a lot of responsibility, thinking that maybe they had a hand in their parents’ unhappiness,
or can do something to fix it. Most of all, they know that divorce will bring big changes to
the family and wonder: How will it affect me?
Hopefully, your parents will give you some input into issues like where you’ll live and how
often you’ll see both parents. But the truth is a lot of this is out of your control. Divorce
is something that happens to your parents, not to you. Sure, you’re affected by it – it can
change your whole life. But your parents’ divorce is ultimately about them, not you. You’re
not the reason they’re splitting up, and there’s little you can do to change the situation.
But as much as you can’t control the end of your parents’ marriage, there is a lot you can
control about how you – and your parents – handle the changes that are happening to