How does one cope with one’s divorce?
Even more important, how does one cope with the impact that your divorce has on your children?
It is more difficult for a child to go through this than it is for the partners involved in the divorce.
This happens despite efforts made by family counselors and others to attempt reconciliation.
Why does this happen? Why is divorce so devastating an experience for the children of the marriage?
This may be one of the main reasons: most parents tend to think of divorce [Divorced parenting] as ‘their issue’, that is, an issue that involves no one other than them.
This can be extremely traumatic for the children, for whom both parents are equal most of the time, and who would never want them to separate.
However, divorces do happen, and here are some of the more common effects of a divorce on children:
- Children suffer greatly from the fear of change. Children of a divorce will know that nothing will ever be the same for them again, and that their basic sense of security is being shattered beyond repair. First and foremost, their dad or mom will have to disappear from their lives, or at least play a less significant role than before. Second, they will be forced to lose contact with their extended family, and may even have to change school.
- Children will suffer from the fear of abandonment, regardless of how old they may be. They may feel that if they can lose one parent through this divorce, they may well lose the other one too through some other means. This can create great feelings of insecurity in them.
- In addition to all these fears, children have to cope with the parental tension pervading and intruding into their safe and secure lives. It is a fact that these tensions escalate in the periods immediately before and after a divorce, and it is children who are forced to bear the brunt of it, and this is often quite unavoidable.
- Some children, especially if they are older, may take up addictive habits such as smoking or drinking in order to get through the tensions.
If you are a couple heading towards an inevitable divorce, make sure you find the time to reassure your children, and soothe away their fears and insecurities to a small extent at least, so that they will be able to come through it unscathed.