children-and-divorceThroughout life, I have encountered numerous traumatic events. One of the hardest events was when my parents divorced. I didn’t know how to deal with the emotions I encountered going through  it. It was so overwhelming and I felt very isolated.

Between 40% – 50% of marriages end in a divorce. Of that 40% – 50%, not every couple has children. I believe that of those who do have children, the chance of that child experimenting with drugs and alcohol rises. I believe this because I was one of those kids for a long time.

During the divorce process, I didn’t think my parents needed to deal with what I was going through. I felt like they were going through enough as it as it was. But I had my own confusions and fears about what was going on and I didn’t know where to turn. I had a real life situation I did not know how to solve.  So I turned to whatever was available.  That was where the drugs came into the picture.

I thought they helped me deal with the different emotions. Emotions like feeling like I had to take care of my younger sister and be there for her. I know during divorce, children can sometimes be overlooked and their coping mechanisms are not as good as you might think.

I placed a lot of blame on myself. I asked myself what I do or could have done to make it different.  In reality the answers to those questions were easier than I thought, but they seemed unsolvable at the time.

Of course the answer does not lie with any fault on the part of the children. Parents are adults who make their own decisions. Yet the children have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

As much and as often as possible when life situations get difficult, take the children and their emotions into consideration.  For any couples with children who are considering separating or divorce, take time to get with your kids and listen to how they feel about the situation so they don’t hold it in. You will probably have to do that more than once.  Even though marital relationships don’t work out, parenting is a relationship that is forever.

Your actions, right or wrong, impact those around you. Drugs and alcohol are so much easier to turn to when you feel alone. So make sure your children don’t feel alone or that they are to blame for what is happening around them.

If you or a loved one need help call us today.

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