Families Change
Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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When to Get Help

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If strong emotions are lasting for a long time and are really keeping you from living your life normally, ask for help. You can and should get help if you’re:

  • feeling depressed or extremely anxious,
  • having trouble managing your anger,
  • thinking about hurting yourself or escaping, or
  • just feeling out of control.

Tell your parents, teacher, counselor, or another adult you trust. Say that you want to talk to someone who can help you. If you aren't getting the help you think you need, keep asking until you get it.

More Help Resources here.

Q & A

Q:
Can I do anything to get my parents back together?
A:

Most parents split up only after trying very hard to save their relationship. Some teens hope and believe that if they try to be on their very best behaviour, their parents will get back together.

However, this plan isn't likely to work, since their parents' decision to split up had nothing to do with them. Their decision to separate or divorce is usually final.

Q:
I'm feeling really upset and confused about my parents splitting up. Is this normal?
A:

It's natural — and entirely normal — to experience some intense emotions. You will feel better over time. There are lots of ways to help yourself feel better, and people who can help you if you need it.

Q:
If my parents divorce, will the same thing happen to me?
A:

Many teens whose parents split up feel anxious about their own relationships in the future. But just because your parents split up doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!