How to cope with your parents' divorce - even if you're an adult, according to experts
- Experts say a parents'
divorceis challenging, even if you're an adult.
- Even if you're a mature adult, your parents' marriage can feel like a security blanket.
- Talk to your divorced parents about your feelings to avoid lasting emotional damage.
Although a parents' divorce may be painful, Sussman said there are steps you can take to navigate your way through the experience.
Even if you're a mature adult, a parental divorce is shockingSussman said it's OK for us all to admit to ourselves that, even as mature adults, the world is a scary, hard place, and sometimes you may rely on your family unit - and your parents' marriage - for a sense of security.
In adulthood, we get jobs, pay bills, and create our own schedules, but when you're with your parents, you can revert back to being a child; being looked-after."There's a dynamic with even adults that when they're with their parents, they can feel a little childlike and they want to be cared for by their parents," Sussman said. But a parental divorce can leave you feeling unstable.
"It feels like that last security blanket is being ripped out from under them," Sussman said.
Ways to cope when your parents get a divorce
It is shocking, but there are ways to recover and adapt, according to Sussman.Sussman said clients she sees in her practice go through different stages of emotions: shock, sadness, anger, and acceptance. She advises people to articulate these feelings to their parents in the moment, to avoid lasting emotional damage.
Sussman also recommended going to a therapist who will provide an outlet to discuss your feelings, and creating a support system of friends.
A parental divorce can also lead to resiliency. If your parents had an amicable divorce and left the marriage in a happier, better place, Sussman said it may help you to navigate your own relationships and potential breakups in the future.If you're parents had a nasty divorce, Sussman said, that doesn't mean it has to be a weight you will carry for the rest of your life.
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