The end of a marriage can be devastating, not just for the two splitting up, but the whole family. It can be difficult to cope with the changes that come with divorce and how to manage them. As the family relationships change, it is important to be more aware of how to support the family throughout those changes and create a system that everybody can benefit from. This may mean asking others for help.
Maintaining the new “normal”
While there is no easy way to deal with divorce or navigate the issues that may arise as a result, you can try to create a new sense of normalcy for all parties involved. Children dealing with parents that are divorcing need structure, now more than ever. This means that any extracurricular activities they are currently involved in, need to be a priority. As their life changes it is key to make sure all other aspects remain the same or a close as possible. This helps provide reassurance and a sense of stability.
Children dealing with divorce often find ways to cope that may not be in their best interest. Different things like acting out in school, losing interests in activities, and increased bouts of anger are all ways that some children may handle divorcing parents. It is important to understand that behind this behavior are feelings of hurt, fear, and a multitude of other emotions.
Be prepared to answer tough questions that are often asked by children.
- Is this my fault?
- Who will I live with?
- Will I have to move?
- Where will I spend the holidays?
- Will I get to see my friends?
- Where will my parents live?
Because the dynamics of your family are changing, it is best to seek support to deal with how this will impact everyone involved. Pay close attention to changing behaviors in your children and try to talk things out with them. In addition to private conversations with your kids, seek support through experienced counselors. Sometimes it is difficult to admit that you need help. In today’s society, independence and self-sufficiency are heavily promoted. While these are great qualities to have, it is also good to know when extra support is necessary.
The negative impact of divorce can have a lasting impact on children and determine how they view the sanctity of marriage in their adult life, or the way they see God and His love for them. This is why counseling can be very beneficial.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Coping with a divorcee is not a simple task. There are good days and bad days. It is important to have people around to reassure you and help provide support, whether it is a friend, family member, pastor, chaplain, or a faith community. Also, having a pet can bring a lot of comfort.
Providing Support to the Family
Even though no one has passed away, this is still a heavy loss that requires time to grieve. As people grieve, they may neglect other aspects of their life. Simple tasks can easily remain undone while focusing on the grieving process. A great way to support your loved one who is going through a divorce would be to assist with laundry, household chores, and other small tasks that you can do to make things easier for them.
- Home cooked meals. This is an easy way to help a family in grief. Through this process it can be difficult to find the strength to prepare a meal or even remember to eat. By providing a meal, this can help provide comfort and security to those in need.
- Care packages. Show love and support by sending a care package with practical items. You can get creative with the items you choose to include but here are a few suggestions:
- Gift Cards. If your friend needs financial support, this is a great way to help. You can add a gift card to a grocery store or home improvements store.
- Positive Affirmations/Prayer Cards. Include a thoughtful card or a card with positive affirmations to remind them that you are here for them and that their pain won’t last forever. These inspirational prayer cards will be a way for them to focus on keeping their communication open to God.
Spiritual Care Support Ministries offers a wide variety of support including one-on-one counseling and specialized groups. Our support groups provide a welcoming and compassionate environment for all to safely share with others.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9