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I fear my parents are close to divorce.


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I'm 18, and my parents have recently started arguing, and I don't know what has caused it.

Earlier today I picked my mum up from work and while in the car, she explained to me that my dad was moving out temporarily, and would be leaving tomorrow.

This came as a total shock to me, and I had no idea how to react. I wish I knew how serious their problems are, and I just wish I could do something to help.

I had a long conversation with my dad tonight, and he has just no idea how their relationship has reached this point, and he just seems in despair, and it's so hard for me to take. He explained to me how he fears that my mum has already decided she wants to leave him, and I know that it'll break him if she is going to. I know for sure there isn't another man involved, she just feels that their relationship is boring, and described it as 'stale'. My dad explained to me that he needs to know whether she still wants him or not, and explained to me his plans of how they were going to go on weekend trips away to try and save their marriage.

I then briefly spoke to my mum, and she said that what I want, and what my dad wants may not be what she wants. It made me feel like she doesn't care about what her own children feel. I'm beginning to think that she wants to leave me dad, and I just can't let that happen. It'll break us all, and I just wish there was something I could do. Please help me.

Thanks for listening.

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I can recall the look on my children's faces when we told them we were getting a divorce. There was shock, a stunning shock to both of them (8 and 14 at the time) and then they began to cry. Very few things are more painful to a parent than to know that their decision, right or wrong, will be one of the most hurtful events in the life of their children. It is the one event that marks their souls. I am so very, very sorry for your pain!

Some things you should consider:

1) there is nothing you can do to change the outcome of their decision, and in fact, efforts to intervene may be counterproductive and bring about more pain to you and them. What you can and likely should do, is try to sit with both of them and have them begin to make joint decisions about where you fit into the picture. This is ever more important now since the decision to tell you was done only by one parent at a time as opposed to both simultaneously.

2) Take no sides except your own. Blame no one and don't accept from either parent that the other is at fault. Parents frequently use the children as pawns (and it seems there may be some of this going on here)-- your job is to stay completely on the outside of their "argument" and decision. When one parent decides to talk about the other, stop them immediately and say that this issue is between them and to involve you will only create more problems. Say no more and walk away if you have to. Tell that parent you love him/her equally as the other, PERIOD!

3) If you can, sit with both as soon as possible and tell them what you're feeling and what your needs are (do try to know this ahead of time). Your feelings should not be to blame or look at one parent more than the other (each parent was and is 100% responsible for the success and/or failure of the relationship) as the reason for the decision, but more so to let them know that you want to be assured that both will still be involved with you. At your age you are old enough to be on your own, so you can actually make arrangements to maintain a close relationship with both parents, even if one moves farther away (unless they leave the country or city entirely- then it's a bit harder).

4) You may also have to be the adult in these situations (and this will require lots of strength and self empowerment on your part) and remind them of certain realities, such as telling them that it would be especially harmful if they involve you in any way (pass messages, use you to complain about the other, or begin to look to you to shoulder some of the emotional load).

5) By the end of the discussion with your parents, you should know:

* As much as appropriately possible about the reasons for the


* When the separation will take place.

* Where the parent who is leaving will live.

* With which parent you will live or whether you'll be

supported on your own somehow

* When and under what circumstances they will see or talk to each


* Whether the parent that leaves will be moving into a new house

or apartment and whether or not the home you live in will

continue to be your home for the time being.

* You will have open telephone communication with the parent

who is leaving.

Each parent should cover one or two points and then give the other a turn.

These are just the most basic things to consider. I'm sure others will chime in with many other ideas and questions. Stay strong, be assertive early on and understand that there will be moments in which you will need to take a back seat while they struggle with the decisions and aftermath of it.

Good Luck. Hope this helps. Please keep us posted.

Edited by David O
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi 152355,

Welcome to our community. We are happy to have you here and are more than willing to provide you with support and advice. I see David has already given you some very excellent advice.

I agree that you should let each of your parents know how you are feeling. To be specific, you should let your Mom know that you fear that she does not love you and does not want to be near you. If she is a normal Mom, she will feel bad and will reassure you.

I feel the need to tell you, firmly, that this has to do with your parents relationship with one another and not with you. Whatever is wrong is a marriage issue. Children of every age feel this way when parents separate and divorce. You cannot know what is wrong with their relationship and there is no point in asking your father. In fact, he should not be discussing it with you other than to say something like, "Well, it happens, etc."

David is right, do not take sides. I sense that you may think it has to do with your mother or your father is making you think that but it is not true: It is both of them.

Make sure tha they both know that you need to see them and talk to them regardless of what happens. You are only 18 and today that is a very young age. (Sorry, I am not trying to be offensive).

Do you have siblings: brothers, sisters, older, younger, grandparents, other family you can turn to for support? Do you have friends you trust? Are you in school at this point? Please, tell us more, if you can or want to.

Allan :D

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