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How to stay close with your family after a divorce

 

Divorce is never easy, no matter the circumstances. It feels like your family has fallen apart, and it's hard to mantain healthy relationships with people who've hurt you. But there are ways to cope and to not let it completely ruin you and your fam.

Don't play the blame game.
While one of your parents may have initiated the divorce, placing all of the blame on them is only going to hurt you. It's okay to feel angry, just don't let it consume your life. Let your parents know how you feel about the situation and make sure your voice is heard. Hiding your anger and pain won't make your problems go away. Instead of bottling up your emotions, speak about them with a loved one when they come up.

Don't pick sides.
In most cases, divorce is a mutual decision. By siding with one of your parents, you'll not only hurt someone you love, but you'll miss out on a great relationship with them. Remember all of the times your parents have been there for you, and make it a point to support them through this difficult time. As hard is it is to forgive someone who's hurt you, pushing them away will only worsen the problem.

Lean on your siblings.
If you have siblings, stay close with them through this tough time. The truth is they are the only ones who know *exactly* what you're going through, so share your feelings with each other. If you're an only child or your big brother or sister moved away, speak with a friend who's dealt with divorce. You're not alonealmost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce these days. Seeking help from someone will lighten the burden.

Keep busy.
While it may feel like the world stopped turning when your parents split, it doesn't have to. Stay on top of your schoolwork and activities. It'll give you something to look forward to, and a steady schedule can be a nice distraction. If you're having trouble concetrating, talk to your teacher, counselor or coach. Adults understand when you're going through a hard time, so don't be afraid to keep them informed on what's happening in your personal life. 

Be honest.
When your parents ask how you're feeling, don't brush them off. Share your thoughts with them and ask them for support. Lying about how you feel or acting like you don't care may feel good now, but your emotions will pop up eventually. Remember: Your parents are hurting, too. 

Stay in touch with both parents.
You may be in a situation where you're only living with one parent. Missing someone you love takes a toll on your emotional health, so keep in touch with family members you don't see often. If you're stuck in the middle of a custody battle, ask both parents for the opportunity to stay close and keep comminicating with them. Something as simple as a weekly phone call can do wonders for a long-distance relationship. 

Have you ever dealt with divorce? What are your thoughts on the subject? Let us know how you dealt with it in the comments! 

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by Julia Bonney | 4/11/2017
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