How to Deal When Your Parents Get Divorced

My parents got a divorce when I was two or three years old.

I don't exactly remember why or when it happened, I just know they've been divorced for a large majority of my life.

At first, I didn't really understand what was happening. I was scared and confused. None of my friends had divorced parents, so I didn't have anyone to confide in. I kept wondering why my parents had to be the ones to separate when all of my friends' parents got to stay together.

Aria crying while taking to Ezra on Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)

It was hard to deal with through the years, especially because my parents always fought and I felt like I was constantly stuck in the middle of it all.

Now that I'm older, I've realized the mistakes I've made when it came to dealing with my parents divorce. So, if your parents are currently divorced or are planning to be, here are my tips for dealing with this experience.

Don't Blame Yourself

Say it with me: This. Is. Not. Your. Fault. It's so easy to blame yourself for your parents getting a divorce. You'll think you did something to set them off, but none of this is any of your doing. Your parents are getting a divorce because they have issues that they can't work out.

There was definitely a brief period where I was convinced I was the sole reason my parents were divorcing. I thought I was too much of a troublemaker for them to deal with and was the cause of all their marital problems, so they got a divorce because of me. That wasn't the case at all, but I wholeheartedly believed I'd done something wrong. Looking back, I realize how silly it was for me to think I played any part in my parents splitting up.

 

Don't Resent Your Parents

After I got over blaming myself for my parents' divorce, I started to resent my parents. I was upset with them for all that they put me through. I always felt as though I had to choose a side and it took a toll on me—so much so that my relationships with both my mom and dad faltered because of it. To this day, they're still not that great.

I know my parents didn't mean any harm, but at the time, it really felt like they did. Instead of talking to them about it, I kept it all bottled inside. This brings me to my next point.

Aria looking mad at her mom on an episode of Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)

 

Express Your Feelings

Tell your parents, your siblings, your friends, someone how you feel about this whole divorce situation. Do not keep your feelings bottled up inside or think that you can deal it with yourself. You can't.

My biggest regret is not telling my parents how I had such a difficult time dealing with everything that followed their divorce. I was scared to share that information with them, because I thought they wouldn't understand. Maybe the wouldn't, maybe they would.

Every situation is going to be different, but I strongly recommend reaching out to someone when it all becomes too much. It's so, so scary to ask for help. I used to think it made me weak, but I've realized reaching out for guidance means you're incredibly strong. Though you may feel alone, I guarantee there is one person in your life who will gladly be your shoulder to cry on.

 

Look on the Bright Side

Dealing with a divorce isn't fun. To put it bluntly, it freaking sucks. But there are a few perks that happen because of it. For example, you'll get to celebrate your birthday on multiple days. This means more presents, and, more importantly, lots and lots of cake. The same goes for holidays. You get double everything, so that's nice. It's weird to have to split your time with your parents on holidays and birthdays, but the perks make it all worth it. Well, almost all worth it.

It'll be tough at first, but believe me when I say it'll all get better. I know that's so cliché and the last thing you want to hear, but it's true.

Aria's parents getting remarried on Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)

 

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