Going through a separation is never easy. Even if the marriage or relationship ended on good terms, it’s hard to let go of a person and all the memories you have of them. Of course, if it’s a tough separation, things get even harder.
While you may want to simply wallow in your sadness, that’s not always possible, especially if you have a family. If you and your partner have kids together, the separation will affect them just as much as it affects you, if not more.
That’s why it’s important to support your family during a tough separation, while also taking care of yourself. If you’re not sure how to do this, keep reading.
Get a lawyer
Often, a couple that is separating will decide to do so without a lawyer, because they think it will be easier. And of course, that is sometimes the case.
But when it comes to a tough separation, having to deal with your ex-partner can be incredibly difficult. It also often leads to fights and it’s harder to get anything done. In this case, getting legal assistance may be a good option.
Doing so will help lessen your contact with your ex-partner, and also ensure that no one is being disadvantaged. Be sure to get a lawyer that specializes in family law, such as this family law attorney, Utah. This way, you can get a good outcome for your children as well.
Don’t make them pick sides
It’s natural to feel a lot of negative emotions about your ex-partner, but you can’t let that impact how your children view their other parent. As tempting as it may be to badmouth them and tell your children how horrible they are, you need to remain civil and respectful when it comes to your ex-partner – at least when you’re around your children.
You should never make them choose sides. It may hurt to know that they want to spend time with their other parent as well, but remember that this is about what is best for the children. You can’t let your own feelings get in the way of that.
You’ve probably heard the saying “communication is key” a hundred times before. And as cliché as it may be, it’s true. It’s especially important to talk to your family when times get hard, even if it’s difficult.
Remember that they need you, so avoiding the subject will mean that they will start bottling up their feelings. If you’re struggling to reach them or they are pulling away – a behavior often found in teenagers – you may want to try these tips to effectively communicate with your teen.
Have a plan
One of the biggest problems when it comes to separating once you’ve started a family is that it’s very disruptive towards children, whether they are young or old. They need to adapt to an entirely different lifestyle, which can be overwhelming at any age.
The best way to help them through this is to have a plan. Sit them down, and answer any questions they may have about how their lives will be.
Of course, things will change over time, but it’s also a good idea to have a plan for when they will be living with each parent. This will help prepare them for what’s to come.
Only make this decision once everything has been finalized and there is a court order, though – you don’t want to have them expecting one outcome and then something else happens.
There used to be a stigma surrounding therapy, but there’s no shame in it at all. If you are struggling, you may not want your family to know this. You may feel the need to appear strong for them, but they need to see that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and to get help.
Going to therapy may mean that you can support them better. On top of that, they may also need therapy to deal with their feelings about the changes happening in their lives. You can click here to learn more about when children need therapy.
Have a support system
Naturally, you will want to be your children’s main source of support. But you need to remember that you are also going through a difficult time, and you need to take of yourself as well. Which means you need loved ones you can talk to and lean on.
Having your own support system will help you to deal with your own emotions and talk about your feelings, which will, in turn, allow you to better be there for your family.
Spend time with them
While most of your time may be taken up by the process of separation as well as normal day-to-day tasks like work and buying groceries, you need to make time for your children.
In fact, you may need to make more time for them than usual. They probably feel unsettled and unsure of the future. Children involved in a separation may also feel like they are losing one or both of their parents.
Be sure to spend some fun time with them without pressuring them to talk. Just have fun and enjoy it. If you’re at a loss and you have no idea what to do, search for some fun at-home activities for families.
Any separation is difficult enough on its own, but trying to deal with a difficult situation as well as support your family at the same time is enough to take its toll on anyone.
You need to find a balance between looking after yourself and being there for your family. You can’t do just one. If you constantly focus on your own worries, your children will feel alone. And if you only worry about them, your mental health will suffer.
As hard as this time may be, you need to hold out hope that it will get better – because it will. It may take a while, and you may always still have negative feelings about the situation, but it will get better eventually.