August 26, 2011 - submitted by Maddie, United States of America

Q. Team Oracle Question # 38
Do you have any tips on how to get passed a divorce? I'm almost 13 and my parents are getting divorced and I'm so scared. I need tips on what to do. My dad won't tell me very much on his point of view on it but my mom is really sad and she tells me a lot of this, how can I get my dad to tell me why he has fallen out of love with my mom?

The Oracle replies:

I'm afraid you can't sweetie. I know they're your parents but this is between them and as two adults they don't need to explain their feelings to anyone but each other - if they see fit. They do however need to take your feelings and reactions into account as they have a duty of care. One day you may understand how this has happened without fully knowing why. Sadly some people do grow apart and fall out of love. Try not to worry because they've not fallen out of love with you. There may be times when you're stuck in the middle so try and be strong and brave by telling your parents that you do not wish to be involved in their issues. Try not to take sides because trust me, there may be things that you do not know so without all the facts, you may make bad judgements. You can be supportive of your mum but remember to look after your own needs. My parents split up when I was 13 and it was very hard but I think it was the best thing for them to do and therefore the best thing for me. Without giving too much detail it was better to see two separated happy parents than a couple together in turmoil that also created difficulties for me. I was scared too but it all worked out well in the end. Do tell your parents how you feel and talk to friends. Things will get easier so just hang in there. There may be some tough times ahead for a while yet but don't be afraid to share this to help you through it. Good luck Maddie. Over to you.

First off, I'm so sorry about your parents divorcing. We all deal with things differently. Some like to vent, some like to keep quiet and some are caught between the two. The best thing you can do in all of this is just to listen to your mom and wait until your dad can talk about it. It sounds like he's just trying to get over the initial shock. You're thirteen. That leads me to believe that your parents were married longer than that and even longer in a relationship. It couldn't have been easier for him to accept that his relationship with your mom is over. So you just wait it out. And remember, the divorce is between your parents, but you will still be their daughter. This doesn't mean that they don't love you, ok? Hang in there and I promise you, I'll get better. I know. Laura.

I was in the exact same situation as you just last year. I'm now fifteen and my parents are still going through the divorce. It is an extremely difficult thing for a child to go through, let alone someone who is coming into their teenage years and just forming all their morals, opinions, and plans. Our situations are slightly different because my mom told me that she had asked my dad to move out, something I had seen coming. My parents have never truly gotten along, and even though my mom tried to protect me from it, I knew they fought. I don't know what your parents are like, but maybe it's just something they've kept hidden from you. I think they best thing to do would be to try to talk to both your parents. It may be hard, and very emotional for you, but I never had (or took) the chance to talk to my dad and ask him his side of it. I get to talk to my mom, but it's hard. I think it's something we can't truly understand till we are completely matured. I don't know if you have any siblings, but if you do, it's nice to talk to them, especially if they're older like mine. Having someone to give you support and understand what you're going through, being in the same situation, is nice. Good luck and thank you for helping me to give and take my own advice. Anna.

This situation is just one of the ones we have to pass in our lives, and I understand it is not nice, but this kind of things are the ones that forces us to be strongers and go on, because that's what life's about, fall and then stand up, without looking back. In life we find a lot of obstacles, just like this one, but we have to step up and be strongs, because if we don't, we'll be stuck forever. So, you can't just ignore a situation like this, and it is not what you should do, but the best thing to do is understand that this are things that happen, we know love is not forever, just like we can't live forever, because this is how the world is. Sometimes we don't like it, but we have to learn to live with that and be happy, enjoying all the things that happens in our lives, without letting the bad moments let us down. I am Argentinian, this is a foreign language for me, so I did the best I could to translate what I wanted to say. Paaz.

All while I was growing up, my mother and father would get into fights, something about there personalities just didn't click. My father was *at times* a bully, and my mother would just listen to him, and take it, usually sarcastically. I never tried to intervene, except once on my senior year of high-school, and it got physical, and we almost had to call the police. To sum it up, things like this are very hard to get through. However, I'm not trying to scare you, you're very young, and divorces are serious issues. My biggest tip would be to cherish all of the things that you're grateful for, for instance, I would always look forward to going to school, or just being with my friends in general, and that would be the highlight of my day. When you're older you're going to want to remember the happy times in your child-hood, so I encourage you to stay strong, you're still the biggest priority in your parents eyes, and even if they are breaking up, they will never stop loving you.
Best wishes, Bradley H.

I have two children and I am currently going through a divorce. My children live with me and they have also found it very difficult as their mother does not really talk too them about it. The most important message I can give you is that your mother and father love you very much. Grown ups find all of this very difficult to deal with too. I found it really hard to think about how my children were feeling and if I thought they were upset it would upset me. Give your dad a little time to come to terms with the change, I am sure he will open up soon. Remember, what ever you are feeling, they are feeling exactly the same. But, you are the most important person in all of this. Be strong, write a diary of how you feel or draw, or sing or dance, but stay positive. Try not to get caught up in all of the adult stuff, its best if you just focus on being a 13 year old girl and focus on school and friends etc. It does get easier and it will settle down but you MUST remember, this is going to be difficult but you WILL come out the other side a stronger more emotionally intelligent young lady. Good Luck, Antony.

Maddie, try to think about your parents as people, not as your mum and dad. Sometimes a relationship doesn't work anymore and that doesn't mean your parents don't care about each other anymore or they don't think about you. Getting divorced is not a decision you make from one day to another. Usually people postpone it and try everything before they arrive to the conclusion the only think they can do is separating. This is hard, but sometimes it's the best. Try to imagine how you'd feel if you were in a relationship that isn't working, that's hurting you and your children. I'm sure that you must have seen your parents fighting. I can make you sure that divorce sometimes can bring a calmer atmosphere to your home. Some tips: First of all, don't blame your dad for this. Relationships are built by TWO. Don't see your father as a selfish man who's leaving your mum, because things are much more complicated than that. Second: DON'T TAKE SIDES with any of your parents. It's not your right to judge them for what's going on and if they are mature enough, they will understand that they don't have to put you in the middle of all this for your own sake. Sometimes we feel that we have to intervene in their problems and that we can help; but Maddie, there's nothing you can do here. If they are fighting, leave the room and go and listen to Coldplay for example. If you have siblings, protect them. And (this is VERY important), if one of your parents try to talk crap about the other one, please, tell them to stop; that that is not good for you. Don't feel guilty for having a good time when you are with only one of them. Occupy your mind by doing activities you like and if you need to be listened, talk to your grandparents, an school counselor, a good friend or even your mum and dad. They will listen. Hope it helps. Love from Argentina. Noelia.

My heart is with you, Maddie. My parents divorced when I was ten and it hurt A LOT. It felt like the world turned upside-down. My dad was silent about it, too, and my mom was very depressed. When marriages fall apart it can be very complicated, and even if you knew all the reasons why, it won't repair their marriage. There's not a ton of stuff you can do about it, regrettably. Let your mom vent to you, but don't let her depend on you too much, you shouldn't be burdened that way. If your dad doesn't want to talk, leave him be. Silence may be his way of processing the pain. It's totally okay to be sad and confused and angry about it. It's totally okay to cry and punch your pillow. Your parents are imperfect people, so try not to blame your mom or dad or even yourself (I found myself doing that). I saw a therapist for a few years and it helped me a lot. She helped me see that there is no curse like a stagnant or loveless marriage. Now your parents can be freed from it. The trouble with love is, it always involves risk. When you extend yourself to someone, you always run the risk they'll say 'no', and walking away. This risk doesn't end with marriage, which is sad. But even with all the sadness of broken relationships, there is hope. Not all marriages and loves are failures. There are lots of happy ones! When you grow up, don't be afraid to risk, to love, and to hope. It took me years, but I now believe that love is worth the risk. I promise, it gets better. Amber, USA.

It's rather unfortunate these things should happen and I'm really sorry to hear that you're caught in the middle of this. My best advice is to keep you head up high and be strong. As for asking your dad about why he doesn't love your mom anymore, I'd say the best thing to do is wait till he tells you on his own, rather you keep asking him. I learned the hard way that patience is the key. So for now, just keep you're head up high, talk and hang out with friends, and keep your ties to both your mom and dad high. I wish you the best Maddie! Billy N.

My parents recently finalized a divorce, so I have a good idea about what you are going through. My father was very distant and didn't talk to me about it at all. He moved out a week before my mom told me the truth about his absence, and when I realized what had happened I was scared, too. Unfortunately, I was never on good terms with my father when he was in my life, and we haven't spoken to each other since he left. I've learned that you can't make anyone do something they don't want to do until they're ready, so your dad may not open up to you until he feels comfortable, so give him some time to come around. My best advice to you is that you don't bottle up your emotions, but rather talk about them with family and friends. My mom has always encouraged me to talk with her about how I feel, and it seems like your mom offers the same comfort. In addition, don't feel guilty or blame yourself for the divorce. I know I felt this way sometimes, but in reality it is your parents that are having the dispute. I don't know how well you get along with either parent, but try not to take sides if you feel tempted to support one parent over the other. Instead, let them know that you love them and that you'll be there every step of the way, no matter what happens. Best regards, Blake.

First of all, I'm very sorry about your parents' divorce. Most often, it's us, the children of these parents who end up feeling the blunt of the consequences. It may be difficult for your father to open up to you and as with most situations, being honest and upfront with your feelings is the best way to go. I am sure that if you approach him this way, he'll be reminded of how his actions are affecting you and in turn do his best to open up to you. Please remember that their situation has nothing to do with their love for you as your parents and even though right now it all seems too much for you, as time goes by, it will get better. Relationships are very complex things and sometimes for two people it's better to be separate. However, they will always be your loving parents. MDM.

Thank you all for your replies.
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