Divorce Support: Is My Parents' Divorce All My Fault?

Divorce is never easy, especially when your parents’ divorce is sudden or involves a lot of conflict. Whenever I talk with people about their parents’ divorce, I get one question more than most: Is my parents’ divorce all my fault?

If your parents are fighting a lot about what’s best for you and your siblings, you may be tempted to think, “Maybe if they didn’t have kids, they wouldn’t be this upset. Maybe this whole thing is happening because of me.”

There are many reasons for divorce, and your parents have their own thoughts about why they needed to make this difficult and painful decision. But it’s time to stop blaming yourself for your parents’ divorce. Their decision to end their marriage is not your fault.

I hope I can offer more encouragement by way of some important reminders as you sort through this tough time.

Your Parents Care About You

Parents are in conflict about their kids during a divorce because they care about their children and want what is best for them. Often, they may have different ideas of what “best” means.

Anger and conflict often come from a place of fear or from feeling hurt. It’s very possible that one or both of your parents are fearful that they won’t get to see you as much as a result of their divorce – and that’s hurting them, so they’re upset.

While it is difficult to see our parents get angry with one another, it doesn’t mean that they are becoming abusive or that things will always be this difficult.

Your parents are human, and they are both struggling through some very difficult emotions. Do the best you can to understand where they’re coming from. Know that they love you no matter what.

Your Parents Want to Hear from You

No doubt your parents have struggled through their divorce knowing it will impact you. They want to know how you’re doing. Take time now and then to check in with them and let them know how you’re feeling. Ask them questions if you’re unsure about things and let them know what is important to you moving forward.

Don’t forget to express your love to your parents when you have the opportunity. If you’re not sure what to say, telling them you love them goes a long way. Praying for your parents can also be a great source of comfort for you and for them. God always knows how to comfort us in the ways we need it most, no matter what we’re going through.

Don’t Bottle Things Up

It’s hard not to feel like you’re in the middle of things during your parents’ divorce. But it is possible to make time and space for your healing after divorce. And while your parents’ divorce will always affect you, you will be able to lead a fulfilling life after this change.

One of the most helpful things you can do is build meaningful relationships with people who make you feel calm, encouraged, and heard. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be difficult to know where to turn.

TheHopeLine offers confidential mentoring. Reach out to us anytime you need to talk to someone about your parents’ divorce. We also have many divorce support resources like blogs, ebooks, and podcasts that have helped many people find hope and healing.

We are here to listen, and you don’t have to go through this alone.

Divorce is a type of loss, and it is normal to experience grieving. Read my blog on healing during grief for more help with dealing with your parent's divorce. 

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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