Surviving Divorce as a Teenager

They say 50% of marriages end in divorce. The statistic was only a number until my family became a part of that statistic. They say as we get older, we handle divorce better. They say it is easier. They say not a lot changes. Well let me tell you, those are big fat lies–divorce hurts. No matter what age you are.

If you are watching your parents go through a divorce, I am so sorry. No matter how bad the relationship is between mom and dad, EVERY child wants to see their parents happily married. It is really easy to feel alone, especially because it is hard to admit to your peers that your family isn’t doing well.

Although I would much rather write about happy thoughts, divorce affects everyone whether it’s your family or a friends. Hindsight, these are the survival tips I would have given myself and I hope they bring you peace as well.

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Don’t blame yourself. The choices your parents have made do not reflect you. Even if the choices that seem to tear them apart revolve around you, it’s not really about you. Sometimes a bigger problem will disguise itself in a smaller problem. You are not the problem. They are adults and have to take responsibility for their family.

Raise your white flag. Hateful words might spew from their mouths accusing one another. They might want you to pick their team, and sometimes it’s going to be hard not to. Seeing your parents hurt is really hard. The person they vowed to spend the rest of their life with is theirs no longer. Don’t try to fix it, because that is not your place. You are not responsible for making one person change.

Cry. Let it out.

You are not their counselor. It is inevitable you have seen your parents do things in their relationship that was the wrong way. But do not make the mistake of trying to counsel them. This may be the most helpful thing you can do for your parents. They are still the parent, not you. If they need help, they need to find it from another adult–NOT FROM YOU. Even if they get mad at you for not wanting to counsel them, let them get mad. It is not healthy for either of you to have a turned around relationship.

You are not alone. There are so many people out there that have gone through divorce, which is very sad, but true. Don’t wait to talk to someone about what you’re going through. Seek out a school counselor, a youth leader, a mentor, a teacher, a coach, or adult in a healthy marriage right away. When your whole world is falling apart, it really helps to have someone to help you put the pieces back together.

Marriage can be beautiful. Please do not lose hope in marriage. When we see our parents go through something as hurtful as divorce, we don’t want to go through it ourselves. It is easy to have a skewed idea of marriage when we’ve seen it end in disaster. But the good news is we are not our parents. Marriage can be one of the most beautiful, life giving, relationships between two people who come together as one. So, please don’t stop dreaming of building a healthy family in your future. They do still exist.

Give love freely. The best way you can love your parents is by forgiving them for putting you through this. The way you show love will be unique to the situation you are going through. For this reason, it is important to have a mentor helping you see the truth from the lies.

Life gets messy sometimes. But no matter how dark the day might appear, there is always a hope for a new day. You are going to come out on the other side of this stronger. You are loved. You are not alone.

With love,
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23 Responses to Surviving Divorce as a Teenager

  1. It’s also difficult the for parents when their children go through a divorce, and very difficult times for all involved. Our daughter got divorced earlier this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Absolutely! Divorce is difficult all around. No matter what age. I’m so sorry you are having to watch her go through that. Continue to show her love and support, which I’m sure you are already doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not just watching, as parents, we’ve ended up in the middle, and at times were the main support, both emotionally and financially. I would say our daughter is about your age. She had a very good job, and was the primary breadwinner. When she couldn’t work because of a medical condition she developed, her husband chose to leave her for another woman who could support him better, rather than man-up, get a real job and support his wife through sickness as in the vows.

        My wife and I discovered, sickness is a real trial of love and the strength of a marriage, as we both got really sick, one after the other, in 2010. For us, it strengthened our marriage as we changed roles of being patients and care takers for each other. But I guess there is a lot of difference between the bonds of marriage and responsibilities spouses feel for each other after 4 years of marriage as compared to 30 years of marriage.

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      • lightthelie says:

        Absolutely. I’m sorry I used the wrong word. No one is a bystander in divorce, it hurts everyone. If one views marriage as “what can I get out of it” then when times get hard it makes it much harder to fight for. Marriage needs to be viewed as “what can I put in.” Sounds to me like your ex son in law was looking to benefit from marriage not give freely. Praying for your family and daughter!!!

        Like

  2. rolerrol says:

    My parents divorced when I was a teenager and my whole life changed!!! I agree with what you have written. The key thing you said was about expecting a great marriage. I will hold on to that…..! It really gave me hope!

    Rolain

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you for your comment Rolain! It’s so hard to go through divorce as a teenager, especially since a lot of life changes around this time as we become more and more independent. YES! Marriage can be SO beautiful. Let me tell you… I haven’t experienced anything more beautiful than seeing God bring my husband and I together. Talk about redemption!! I will be praying this for your life as well. We have such a good God. So glad He was able to speak to you through this post.
      With love,
      Emily

      Liked by 1 person

      • rolerrol says:

        I would really appreciate your prayers in this area!! They are needed……haha! From what you have said, I am really looking to marriage!!
        Your excitement about marriage has also given me hope!!
        Enjoy the rest of your week Emily!!

        Rolain

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so right to say that divorce affects everyone. My niece and her husband divorced and it not only affected them but the entire family as far as get-to-gethers, family outings, and even relationships with the kids and their cousins are concerned. I think you’ve shares some absolutely amazing survival tips that along with prayer and faith are bound to ease the aftermath of such an experience and make itmuch easier to get through. Thanks for sharing.

    Be Blessed,

    LaTrice

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Absolutely everyone is involved. Divorce changes the entire family’s dynamic. It saddens me how hush-hush people try to be about the aftermath of divorce, it only makes things harder. It’s definitely not fair for anyone to have to pretend things are the same, when everything is different. Thank you for reading and for your kind words!! I appreciate you! I would have to say that prayer is the key to any tough situation.. but as I try to keep this blog open to teenagers who may not yet believe in God yet, I try to show His love through my words without pushing too much spiritual talk. He has opened so many doors through this. So thankful for a God of hope and redemption!
      Grace and peace to you today,
      Emily

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  4. This is such a heartfelt and encouraging for everyone affected by divorce in any way. It’s a loss and tragedy for anyone to go through a family breaking up, but even during these times hope can be found in God. Your advice is so needed because children especially feel at fault in some way or another for the divorce of their parents and have low expectations for how their own marriage will be. But with Christ you can choose to find the freedom and the peace that you need to move on and not allow it to get in the way of your future. Thank you for sharing this Emily. Be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Absolutely Anna! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are always so beautiful and Jesus pours through them. Our God is a God of redemption. He can make beauty from ashes and He can absolutely give children from divorce the most beautiful marriage. He is all about that 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement you give to all those around you, especially me. I am so grateful. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beingeternal says:

    Good to read another beautiful post on hope. You have put your profound thoughts very subtly. Love @white flags. Marriage is beautiful with all that little ugliness. It is a choice which part you want to focus on.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great words! Wish I read this when I was 15, when my folks got divorced, I unfortunately ended up playing counselor to my mom. My dad is a sociopath, so growing up we live by the words ‘kids should be seen an not heard’ with 1000’s of rules + chores to keep us in line. But I never realized how much he did it to my mom (as she was always in his shadow). When they got divorced my mother basically became a teenager with me. We drank together, danced together, went on road trips, even got tattoo’s! I loved that time with her and would never take it back. Having said that though, I became the adult very quickly, I not only had to look after her and her newly found freedom and wild ways but I was also adjusting to no rules or discipline. I scraped though school and had no desire to go carry on at a college or a university. I ran as far away as I could from my moms new alcoholism and recklessness and at 18 moved in with my BF (now husband) for some sort of stability and normality! I wish I had some stability in my life back then to motivate me to take the right path. I’m struggling still at 27 to make a decision in my life and to sort all the depression its caused me. Don’t be the counselor to either parent! Thanks again for wide words

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! I would have to agree that I experienced going through divorce as a teen caused me to have to grow up faster. Through this we have to go back now and find some of the missing pieces and sometimes have to relive some of the hurt to find healing. Going through divorce can give us the encouragement to put more effort into our own marriages, as we have seen first hand the damage that can happen when a marriage falls apart. I am so sorry you had to go through that and had to see your parents in that state. You sound so strong though! And I am honored and thankful to share in this part of your life. Much love and hugs to you today ❤ I hope you will be able to use your story to encourage others.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Surviving Divorce as a Teenager | {Enigmatically~Stoic}

  8. whataboutthis6527 says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have many friends that are going through this and it’s exactly what they need to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you for sharing this encouragement with me! Divorce is such a devastating life occurrence and I would wish it upon no one. Thank you for being with your friends while they are going through one of the toughest situations they will ever have to experience. You have a beautiful heart!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marla says:

    So beautiful, Emily! And not only beautiful, but very wise. I’m sorry that you had to experience this. But how kind of you to turn around with understanding in your heart and reach out to offer advice to others. Divorce is heart wrenching. My sister was close to getting a divorce at one point, they have since made huge progress in their marriage, but it affected me to the core. Once again, I love your writing! Keep it up because your voice is full of understanding and kindness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you again for your encouragement Marla! Divorce is such an awful thing to experience, but I am so happy to hear there has been redemption in your sister’s marriage! I pray you and your husband will constantly fight for your marriage. ❤ Love covers all wrongs.

      Like

  10. writer dog says:

    so informative! thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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