Helping Children Cope with Separation and Divorce

Written by Information Children

As difficult as separation or divorce may be for a couple, it can be very troubling for children.

Virtually all children whose parents are separating experience painful feelings such as fear, loss, anger, and confusion. However, children can and do recover. In fact, most children of separated parents grow up relatively healthy and well-adjusted. Parents can play a crucial role in helping their children cope with the crisis of their parents’ separation. With understanding and guidance, children can learn to deal with the emotional trauma of separation and the healing process can begin.

Feelings of sadness and loss

During the elementary school years, children typically experience feelings of sadness and a profound sense of loss

in reaction to their parents’ separation. Strong feelings of grief and sorrow are common, and children often long for the non-resident parent and the security of their old family. Some children even feel embarrassed or ashamed about their family’s situation. Though it is less common in older children, feelings of responsibility and self-blame for the separation may occur. While some children express their anguish outwardly (i.e. crying), others struggle to hold their emotions inside.

What can parents do?

  • help children express their feelings verbally and non-verbally (i.e. art, music, writing)
  • acknowledge children’s emotions and help them understand what they are feeling
  • reassure children that their feelings are normal and okay
  • provide age-appropriate explanations for the separation so children know it isn’t their fault
  • help children meet other kids whose parents have separated so they know they’re not alone
  • consider enrolling children in a separation/ divorce support group

Anxiety and fear

Fear and worry are also common reactions among elementary school children with separating parents. The safety and security of family routines are often disrupted when parents separate, which may leave children feeling scared and insecure. Some children experience an overwhelming sense of helplessness in the face of the many changes in their lives. Younger children may even be afraid that their parents will abandon them or stop loving them. The conflict that children often witness between parents during this transition is also extremely stressful and can result in anxiety. Sometimes children at this age will talk quite openly about their concerns. However, nervous habits such as fidgeting or nail biting and physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches are also common. Among older children, withdrawal from friends and social activities is another sign of worry or fear.

What can parents do?

  • avoid conflict in the presence of children
  • minimize disruptions in family routines
  • tell children what changes to expect in their lives: where they will live, who will care for them and so on
  • reassure children that you love them and will continue to take care of them
  • allow older children some input into custody/ visitation plans but maintain ultimate responsibility for making decisions
  • provide steady and predictable parenting
  • set aside special time with each child
  • encourage children to express their worries, acknowledge and validate their feelings
  • teach children relaxation and coping skills

Anger and aggression

Angry feelings are also common among elementary school children whose parents are separating. Sometimes children are outraged at parents for separating and may berate or scold parents for their actions. They may express their anger by blaming parents for causing the separation. Older children may try to initially hurt parents through verbal attacks expressing their anger. Children’s anger at parents may take more subtle forms too, such as uncooperative behaviour, arguing about rules, or complaining about chores. Sometimes children’s anger shows itself in aggressive behaviour and fights with other children or siblings as well.

What can parents do?

  • let children know it’s okay to be mad
  • teach children healthy ways to express anger (e.g. talking, artwork, sports)
  • be firm when children’s angry behaviour is inappropriate and encourage better ways to cope with their feelings
  • remind children how to deal with frustration and conflicts with other children
  • let school teachers and other caregivers know about the separation so they can help the child cope.

Virtually all children experience some difficulty adjusting to the changes brought on by parental separation. In most cases, the emotional wounds heal over time and children recover from the crisis. If a child’s distress is extreme or persists for an extended period, professional counseling or intervention can help. By being aware of the ways that separation can affect children, parents can take steps to ease the difficulties children often face, and help them cope more successfully.

Recommended books:

  • Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce by Florence Bienenfeld
  • When Mom and Dad Separate by M. Heegaard
  • Helping Children Cope With Divorce by A. Teyber.
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45 Responses to “Helping Children Cope with Separation and Divorce”

  • hgs says:

    Hello,

    What can you suggest I tell my 16 year old son who is afraid of continuing the cycle of bad relationship/divorce in his adult life?

  • Rhonda says:

    My husband wants a divorce we have been living apart for 8 months he is already dating and already introduced her to the girls (our 2daughters 8and 4) he had me arrested in the beginning of this on false accusations I still would get back to him because I know the man I married is still in there and it’s really hurting the kids my 8 yrs old is very angry and very upset all the time, but she is rEally good with her dad

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Tending to Homelife,

    It sounds like you’re in the midst of a complicated situation. Do you and your husband have full custody of the children? Is this a new situation for them? One thing that is really important when dealing with blended family is to be really careful about the language you use to describe the other parent. It may that their Mom is in crisis, she may be making terrible choices, I don’t know, but through that remember that anything you say about the Mom reflects on the children. They are 50% her, so if you say, “Your Mom is so selfish and inconsiderate” then the children may internalize that THEY are also selfish and inconsiderate. It is hard, but you’re the adults here. You don’t have to approve of her choices but there’s a different between saying, “Your Mom is making some challenging choices right now” and letting the kids hear you tear her apart. Children will always feel a deep loyalty to their parents, even when they’ve been hurt, or rejected. Don’t make them choose between you and their Mom. Let them see that they can have a relationship with both of you – that loving you doesn’t mean they have to hate her.

    It is hard because you can see the damage of her choices, but you’re the adult. You need to keep the children safe, and that may mean that they can’t see their Mom right now, but remember that the goal is always that they will one day have a healthy relationship will all three of you. You can lay the groundwork for that now.

    It sounds like the children are dealing with a lot of stress. Is there any chance you could take them to a counsellor? Sometimes when children don’t know how to handle changes they regress back into younger behaviour. A counsellor could help with that.

    There’s a really great resource for step-families here: Smart Stepfamilies Ron Deal is a world-leading expert and you’ll find all sorts of helpful articles and discussion there. This article might be a good one to start with.

    Also, if you’d like to talk to someone privately we have mentors available. You can use this form to contact a mentor and you’ll hear back by email, usually within a couple of days. (Mentoring is a free and private service.)

  • XYZ says:

    I just got to know that my boyfriend’s parents got seperated.This is the reason for his insecurity.
    He also has trust issues and doesn’t trust me fully.How do I make him understand that I really love him?

  • tending to homelife says:

    I came in as Daddy’s friend. Now step mother. Mom literally left the 13 year old seems to be coping…..possibly secretly. The 8 year old is all the sudden in shambles. Cannot sleep. Slowly getting worse and worse grades. We (along with our attorney) believe she is on drugs. More like Meth. We were hoping she would at least come visit here ot at McDonalds with them. So this abrupt leaving would not have the impact it is having…….any responses help…..

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Jessica, you asked, ‘My daughter is 15 months can it affect her an.her have night mares cause ever since he took her one night with his new girlfriend she wakes up every night screaming an only I can.comfort her an its multiple times a night’

    Although something may have scared her during that visit, it is probably more likely that she is just going through a stage that all children seem to go through. Nightmares or night terrors as they are sometimes called are something that young children do go through at different stages of their development.

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    bubwit,
    Although it is true that divorce and separation leaves a lasting impact on the children, God’s grace is bigger than that and they can grow up to wonderful, productive adults who have dealt with those issues. It really is up to each of us, whether we blame our past for our behavior, or whether we take hold of our lives and move forward.

    For your nephew, show him that you love him, that you are always going to be there for him regardless of what else is happening in his life, and be a constant adult in his life. Listen to him, love him and encourage him always.

  • onoh cv says:

    its all right for the parents to break up but its up to the child to stand up and say NO TO THE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA….SAY NO TO DIVORSE…

  • onoh cv says:

    its all right

  • jessica says:

    My daughter is 15 months can it affect her an.her have night mares cause ever since he took her one night with his new girlfriend she wakes up every night screaming an only I can.comfort her an its multiple times a night

  • bubwit says:

    hello! Is it true that most children who are products of separated parents always grow up to be delinquent? I have a 5 year old nephew whose parents separated two years ago. He is now in pre-school and his teacher, who knows the situation of his parents once told me that my nephew will have difficulty studying in a big school because it’s either he will be bullied or he will be a bully.I know that he is not in a normal situation and my heart goes out to him. I love him so much but I know that I cannot protect him from being hurt or from his feeling of emptiness or possibly anger. What can I do to help him?

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Brittany, It’s awful that you don’t get to see them. If your stepdad wouldn’t give them the letters could you write them anyway and keep them so that when your siblings turn 18 you could give them the letters yourself and be able to say, “Look, I never forgot about you. I wrote to you all the time.” Is your Mom able to help at all? I’m sorry to hear that he’s still so angry after several years. Sounds like a really complicated situation.

  • Brittany says:

    Claire,
    My mom and him have been split up for 3 or 4 years now. If I wrote to them he wouldn’t give them the letters because he really does hate me. He’s told me that to my face. I’m the oldest (16) my sister is (12) and my brother is (9). I just think it’s wrong that he would keep me away from them.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I am sorry to hear that your family has gone through a divorce. I did a little research and from what I could find half siblings do not have specific legal rights. Access is granted or denied at the parent’s choice. Is there any way to talk to your stepfather and ask him why he won’t let you see your siblings? If the divorce was recent he may be so caught up in his own pain and challenges that he has not realized that he is causing you addition pain. I don’t know how old your siblings are. Would it be possible to write them letters? Perhaps if your stepfather could read through what you were saying before he passed the letters along he’d be more comfortable and would realize that you just want to stay in touch with these family members. It would be great if your siblings knew that you had not forgotten about them and wanted to stay in touch.

    Divorce often comes with a lot of very painful emotions. I don’t know what the situation was like between you and your stepfather during the divorce. Is it possible that he is upset with you for things that happened? Would apologizing help set things right so he would be more open to you talking to your siblings? Is there a pastor, a teacher or a counsellor that you could talk to? We have coaches available if you’d like to talk to them. You can use this form to contact a coach and you’ll hear back by email, usually within a couple of days. (Coaching is a free and private service.)

    I do know that it gets easier as you get older and are able to make more decisions for yourself. A good friend of mine chose to stay in contact with her stepbrothers after her mom and stepdad got divorced, but it happened when they were all 18 or older. As adults you can find each other on Facebook and make your own decisions about how you define family.

  • Brittany says:

    My step father and my mother just got divorced. In the divorce my step father won custody of my brother and sister. He is allowing my mother to occasionally speak to My siblings; but isn’t allowing me. I call every day to talk to them, and he never lets me. I haven’t seen them in a month.I don’t know what to do, and I’m not sure if it’s right for him to do that to me..?

  • Anjw says:

    I’m seriously considering srperating from my husband of almost 20 years who has had a porn addiction for years before we met and continues to this day. I was not aware of it and believed his desire not to make advances towards me while dating was due to our Christian beliefs. After we got married, I knew something was wrong but he repeatedly told me I was just needy and making things up. When the Lord revealed his sin and perversion, I confronted him and he denied it of course but admitted things in part after years of back and forth contention. At this point, he’s lied so often about so many things I don’t trust him at all. I don’t really like him at this point, and the only love I have is to fulfill the commandment. I do believe lusting after women in your heart is committing adultery which based on that allows for a divorce biblically based on that viewpoint. He has made no meaningful attempts to get professional counseling and remains in denial. He complied and attended brief counseling once but didn’t follow through as he believed I was the one with the problem. I’ve never had a full time husband emotionally, sexually, physically or intellectually and I’m just tired of being married and alone. My biggest concern is my children, preteen and teen and lasting impacts of the seperation and possible divorce. I believe God has a great plan for their lives and I don’t want to derail it. Any thoughts on whether it’s best to wait until my youngest has completed HS (6 years) vs. beginning the process now? I think being single and alone is incredibly hard but being married and alone is tragic, destructive and 100% apart from the will of God.

  • Ash says:

    I moved to Aus when I married 2nd time. I brought my son here but 2nd marriage failed and I took him back to his Mom. I am not rich and moving back to US is out of the question as I have no family and would be worst off. My son is home schooled and his Mom has mental health issues now had him diagnosed with mental illness he never had when he was with me. It has now been 4 years and it has destroyed me. It takes a full year in a steady job to get up enough money to visit him and now my job is going to be gone after repeated bullying at work. I am really hurt in more ways than one. Don’t know what I am supposed to do or cope as the nightmares of seeing him in my dreams doing well and then waking to this nightmare of hopelessness. Even if I get him back it seems he will be so damaged from the meds, video games and no social life (he doesn’t have any friends but on net) he will live the rest of his life in depression. I am just confused, worn out and extremely sad. Thanks Ash

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Ema, Would it be possible to take your son to see a family counsellor to help him work through this? It’s wonderful that he has bonded so well with his Stepdad and has maintained a great relationship with his Dad. That’s very positive. It’s normal for an eight year old to want all the people he loves to live together under one roof, but it’s not within his power to make that happen. It’s not even within YOUR power to make that happen. He’s going to need some extra support as he works through these complicated feelings. Be firm, but gentle. Help him to see that all of you living together is simply impossible. He may be blaming you because he’s angry and he feels powerless and so he lashes out. Again, this is where a counsellor can really help. He needs to have his feelings validated but also needs age appropriate tools to be able to work through his feelings in a healthy and non-destructive way.

    It make sense to be sad when you can’t have what you want. Learning how to deal with our sad feelings is part of growing up. I know it’s hard, but if you can try to see the good here. It’s GOOD that he loves his Stepdad. It’s GOOD that he loves his Dad. It’s GOOD that his idea of perfection involves seeing both of them as much as possible. That means that all three adults involved (or 4 if your ex is remarried) have put in a lot of hard work to make sure that those bonds are nurtured and supported. That’s such a positive thing. I know that this current situation isn’t easy. Parenting never is (it just looks that way on TV sometimes).

  • Esther Esther says:

    Peter,

    It is a pity that your wife seems to be taking advantage of you and even using your children. You say you have supported your family and children till they are through with their post schooling. It is unfortunate that the children seem not to know that their mother is using you and turning them against you. Is it possible for you to agree with them so that you can hold a meeting with them in the presence of their mother and iron out issues once and for all? This is because when she gives her story and you give yours, it appears as if they are very parallel and either party seems to be lying. Should you plan to settle it out that way, you need to speak out your mind and let them also know that you have the responsibility of your current marriage. Your children of ages between 23 and 42 you would ask me are grown ups.

    Ema,

    Since you are in another marriage, you need to let your child understand that even though he loves his dad very much and vise versa, he has to appreciate that he is now under the care of your current husband. You should be the one to make it clear otherwise it may be confusing for the child. It will be impossible to stay with both many and the child. You as the parent (mother) may decide if the child should go and stay with the dad or stay with you and respect and love the step dad even though he knows that he has the biological dad somewhere.

    In this case, you need wisdom and above all the Spirit of God to guide you in your decision.

  • ema says:

    i need advice please,i was divorced years ago and my son was (a year and half 1.5 years old) and then i got married again when my son was almost 3 years old my husban raised my son and he treated him as a son and they are getting along (thank God ) and my son loves his step dad very much.also he loves his dad (my ex husband) very much the problem is that my son now (he is 8 years old)is telling me that he is very sad that me and his dad are not together and that he wants all the family to be toghter (dad, mum and step dad) because he loves them all and at the same time he can’t belive that one of his two dad’s is not a real dad because he is in deep love with both of them (he was raised up by his step father since he was 2.5 years old) and he is blaming me now.although he is surrounded with care,love, peace and stability all aroud he sometimes cries asking why we aren’t all together

  • Peter says:

    I am a Christian man,and believe it or not….when thru emotional abuse for near 20 years in my marriage and horrible financial spending on my spouses part…very addicted to shopping and other.eventually became such a serious issue ,I had a mis-diagnosed heart attack .after many years of compromise in her actions…because I was not perfect either…I felt I deserved this treatment:(:(. After this heart issue,decided I must get out….horrible pain for me and for the kids whom loved me dearly!! The counsellor told me that the cup was certainly full with their love…I proceeded and kept in mind financially to look after kids and her:)..I have now 10 years later helped all 5 children get thru post secondary schooling and all with excellent jobs! I am still paying spousal support.,court order. Here is the problem …the children have drifted to her pity on herself and whenever any issues her and I have…she goes to the kids and tells her story and they get so upset ….phoning me very upset or withdrawing from me….and their Mother knows the game because she knows my heart full feelings for the kids and their for me.i am married (happily) and she has dated at length 3 different me.
    How do I deal with the kids now ages 23 to 42!!!!????

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Chris, I can understand that you are frustrated but you can’t use your children as bargaining chips. You said, ” I am thinking about cutting off all contact with them for at least a month to see if they start to miss me and show me more respect.” I urge you not to do that. That is not going to make them want to spend more time with you nor is it going to communicate to them how much you love them. Your children are at challenging ages – they’re old enough to understand SOME of what is going on in the family but they are not adults. You have to remember that both of them are innocent in the breakdown of your marriage and you can’t blame them or try to manipulate them to gain the upper hand (or even just what you want) with your wife. If your children are not eager to spend time with you then you need to build INTO that relationship, not make it conditional or push them away.

    As far as the amount of support goes, that’s a complicated question to answer when there is no legal paperwork. It’s a conversation you can only have with your wife. Remember that the support you pay their mother is for their upkeep, you are not “purchasing” time with your kids. That’s really important. You are not paying for access, you are their parent which means that you are responsible for their wellbeing. Whether or not they want to spend time with you will depend on the relationship you’ve built with them. If things are rough they can get better but they won’t improve with threats. I know that this is hard for you, but it’s hard for them too. They are probably confused, possible sad and angry, it’s a lot to deal with for a kid. Give them extra grace, extra time, extra gentleness, extra care. You may not feel like it but you’re the grown-up here which means you’re the one who has to do the hard work of sacrifice.

  • Chris says:

    I need some good advice . my wife and I have been separated for a little over a year now. We have a 9 year old girl and a 14 yr old boy. We decided the kids were to stay with me every other week end. My daughter has had ificulty adjusting and doesnt like the change so therefor she doesnt stay with me. I go see her, but lately I don’t know what is going on. My son fist started out staying with me a lot. Now lets keep in mind her family has plenty of money and my wife lost her job and didnt work for two years. Therefor she has always been able to get support from them when she needed it. I make 50 thousand dollars a year, she is a registered nurse. You know she could have gotten a job before then. Well lately I have been fhaving problems with my son coming to stay with me. The last time they both stayed with me together was about a month ago, and when they did stay with me they were calling or texting her to come pick them up at 1100 am on Sunday. In my line of work I know they stay with the non custodial parent until 6pm. Keep in mind we have nothing legally binding. I was getting irritated about them leaving early and doing this behind my back, I noticed him texting someone on the phone and I said let me see the phone and he persisted not to give it to me. I am big on morals like doing what your told and telling the truth, etc., but since then my daughter hasnt stayed with me and now my son is not wanting to stay with me either. I have been giving my wife $1000 a month and hardly have any money left to do anything with my kids. she got a new job finally about a month ago and recently told me she was hired full time which probably came with a raise. a couple of issues I need help with. I am thinking about cutting off all contact with them for at least a month to see if they start to miss me and show me more respect. And two should I still give her the same amount of money when she is making almost as much as me. I am having a difficult time with this and do not want to divorce. I am not an ass to my family, but I am not seeing my children like we discussed and she seems to think I should still be giving her the same amount out of money. Can someone please give me some input.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Munk, Have you had a chance to get any counselling to help with the pain? It’s awful that your family is being split apart but please don’t chose to walk away from your son. I know it hurts, it must hurt more than you knew it was possible to hurt, but that little boy has done nothing wrong. He doesn’t deserve to lose his Dad, especially not a Dad who loves him so much. You can sort yourself out without cutting all ties. Take some time if you need to but let your son know that you will ALWAYS be there for him. If you go to go away for a little while, communicate with him. He’s going to be so lost and so confused. Make sure that he never doubts how much you love him. It’s going to take a lot of effort on your part to reach out to him when you’re in so much pain, it will take sacrificial love, but that’s what we do for our kids. We’re the grown-ups. Don’t make him be the adult here, he’s just a kid. Let him be a kid who has two parents who love him, two parents who are willing to do the really, really hard work to make sure he has what he needs.

    Your needs are important too, you’re going to need to get some help. But don’t push your son away because it feels like it would be easier now. Don’t assume that you can walk out of his life today and walk back into it years from now. Make the decision now to keep him in your life. Be his Dad. It’s who you are and you’re the only Dad he’s got.

  • munk says:

    my wife is divorcing me and has my little 8 year old boy, but i ant handle the pain so i am walking away from the city we live in and have decided that i will cut all my ties to her and my son for my own sake and sanity. i know this will hurt my son as he loves me very much although i can’t take the pain anymore and feel that this will help me sort out myself to become a better person. am not in a good palce right now.

  • a1wire says:

    thanks for having this page, my wife lives her life here lately as if she is single i just found out she has been cheating with a coworker since march of 2012. it hurts to stay quite while she goes out and enjoys herself. I have to take care of the kids cause she is backing away from the family. She plans to move out of the family home in two months saying she needs time to decide what she wants to do. now while she goes out and dates another guy she wants me to wait for her to know if she wants to be with him or her family. She want me to tell our kids that she has to move because her job is requireing her to travel and she need to be out of the home. I just want to tell them the truth mom and dad are having some relationship problem and mom is moving out while we work on our issues. She said i was to involed in my job and neglected her my family did not respect her and i did not speak up enough for her and a slew of smaller issues she stated funny thing is i never kept a tab of her issuses so i had no comeback. Just felt defeated as a husband.

  • Tee says:

    Hi I am going through a separation with my partner whom I have 2 kids with. She mentioned that she is pregnant after we this huge fight in front of our 2 year old boy. Through out our relationships she has been having affairs with her work colleagues. She would change jobs at different companies, but after 3 months or so she would get involved again. I am very hurt and most of all, I am worried about my kids, they don’t deserve this, but I pray to god keep them safe.

  • Andrew Andrew says:

    @Tee divorce is a very difficult decision to make and the only person who can make it is you as often people mistakenly believe they must do what is best for the children. We often forget to ask Christ what is it that he wishes for us to do as he wants us to be free in him however that freedom only comes from fully surrendering to Christ will. Then having the courage to proceed with what that will is. Our greatest growth occurs often through our greatest trials however this does not mean you have to stay in your present situation as only Christ knows what his life plan is for you. God Bless I suggest you reach out and contact one of the online mentors to walk beside you so you don’t carry the load alone. God Bless

  • Tee says:

    @Andrew, thanks . I love what you said. I have been going through a lot in my marriage…..being cheated on , lied to. My husband lives life like he is single but as a Christian I have tried to stay in it but tonight I had just concluded that I was done with it all when I came across this website. Thanks for your insight. I will pray and hope God solves this issue. I feel used and abused and it has started to spill into my attitude with my children and other people. I had control over my emotions for a while but being around him now just aggrevates me . If I was not a christian I would have left him a long time ago. I will commit my decisions to Christ because I have to think about my children so I don’t make decision that I can’t reverse the effects.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Dear God I pray for Chris’ family. You know the brokenness that is there and all of the hurt and anger. I pray that You Spirit would bring healing and wholeness to them all. I pray for the children that they would be protected from the trauma of a broken marriage. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Chris says:

    im having alot of problems coping.Even though i know we are better off without each other,I cant help but think i cant live without her.Its even harder cause we have two kids together,and I have two from aether back tog past relationship,but all they knew as for me being with is her…When we pray before we eat my two kids from the past relationship like to add in”I pray for my Dad and Denise to get back together.It just tears me up in side.My heart still hearts from the separation,though i feel it was god that took me out of it. I did everything i could to make her happy but all she wanted to do was yell,put me down and try to controll me.we started going to church and i feel we took 2 diffrent paths. I chose god and she chose anger and unhappieness.Please pray for my Children,my ex expecially so she can find her peace,and myself to be able to get through this as easily as possible

  • Eric Reynolds Eric Reynolds says:

    Don,
    We will pray for the Coles Family, that you can reunite and see as God sees. I sense your love for your wife and want to let you know we’re praying for you. Keep us posted, and persevere my brother.

  • Don Coles (Brisbane Aus) says:

    Please pray for my wife Ama and our 3 children, she broke up our home to start a Zumba business and all her single mum freinds /students encouraged this, zumba fitness has been responsible for many family break ups because it puts so much pressure on girls to change who they are, they listen to music they don’t understand, wear strange clothing and are exposed to a lot of satanic sexualised culture from Zumba.

    Zumba does everything to promote promiscuity with highly sexualized dance and music.

    I love Ama and we been married over 10 years. I don’t mind her doing Zumba if sje enjoys it , but wish she would remember her husband and kids should come first. I love her , never been unfaithful, made her coffee every morning and did anything she ask without ever complaint.

    Its just this Zumba is like a false teaching and has a spell on her. In 1 yr she made 3500 Facebook friends!! She so social she hasn’t time for family or a husband. I’m heart broken and shattered and know this is not Gods work, Zumba is not from heaven!

    Please pray for the Coles Family, that we can re unite and get over our difficulties, i love her so much and our children want us to work it through, i will never know but God will know u prayed for us. Please anybody who reads this and has a ear or sight pray for us in Jesus Name.

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Our daughter and her husband of 3 children are separated! That hurts, but we are adapting, as are our grand children. Our son-in-law told me that God has made it clear to him that his marriage is dead, and there’s no point in continuing to try to revive it. Sometimes one just has to accept that.
    I have to think of 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” NKJV
    God is allowing us to go through difficulties, which lead to blessings because they draw us closer to Him. All of us experience hardships, and God knows what and how much is fitting for us. We know that WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT to lead us at all times! Then it can be true, as David here said: “Work hand in hand with God and everything will work out in your kids’ favor”.

  • David says:

    It is imperative that the needs of your children come first in a divorce. It is true that one has to balance their own needs vis a vis your spouse. You and your spouse will continue to work together to raise your kids in the future so keep that in mind and work out the arrangements and keep your kids’ best interest at heart.

    Work hand in hand with God and everything will work out in your kids’ favor.

  • B. Miller Brenda says:

    Melly, I am so sorry to hear about the pain you and your family have been experiencing through the multiple deployments of your now ex-husband, cancer, and now separation and divorce. I believe you are right when you say that not all marriages can be saved. Both partners have to give their all in a marriage, and when one is not willing or able, then that can definitely spell the end.

    I have walked the path of divorce, Melly, and I understand the pain you are undergoing, as well as why you say you miss married life but not the painful aspects that accompanied it. Thankfully, it sounds like you have successfully manoeuvred through the trials and conflicts that were leading your children to suffer so deeply and have created for your family a contented and safe environment in which much love, peace, and joy is shared. Your story is one that, while sad, speaks to the power of love in one person’s heart to heal the wounds in others’, as you are so obviously doing in the hearts of your children. May God richly bless you and your children in all areas of life, Melly. I am praying for you and your family.

  • melly says:

    I have to say not all marriages can be saved. The children are the innocent victims in all of this. I have 2 young children and their father and i divorced over PTSD. He was deployed way too many times in our 8 year marriage. It was hard for us to go from being a single parent and a single soldier to being a married couple with children. He was deployed 6 times in 8 years. I am grateful for his service but his service ended our marriage because we couldnt stop fighting over me doing what i have always done surviving. When i found out i had cancer that was the straw that broke the camels back. I dont know if it was because he couldnt fix my cancer or because he felt responsible but he found what i couldnt provide in the arms of another woman. They are now married and have chosen not to have a relationship with my children which is very sad but it is what it is. My daughter have had alot of issues due to our divorce in the past 3 1/2 years. They are finally able to go to friends and family members houses for a sleep over with out crying or needing to come home to momma. I miss being married but i dont miss that bad parts of that marriage or always being alone. Now i have a small loving family. We spend alot of family time together so that they can see how to be independant and still know how to take care of life.

  • Bernard Bernard says:

    I pray with you Anne that this will not turn out and that the children will be free from chaos and guilt. I pray for Peace in this family and that they will be able to reconcile. Thank you Lord for your love. Amen

  • Anne says:

    I am divorced due to stubborness and pride I am now paying the price of a single life. Through prayer and asking for forgiveness I have faith and hope because I made my peace wiht God and my ex-husband. I can not help thinking sometimes what a terrible mistake I made, had I known the truth of DIVORCE.
    It has struk again, my daughter and her husband are seeing lawyers but nothing concreate has happened, they have sold their house and living apart. Mu daughter has the kids and it is very sad to see her two daughters, their anxiety, arguing about rules and aggressive behaviou toward their mother and each ohter.
    I pray this does not work out and they are able to see what harm this is doing to their girls. Root cause in this situation is money,infidelity and no knowledge on parenting they are both stubborn and did not like advice.

  • Andrew Andrew says:

    I believe that all marriages can be saved however the only way that this can occur is by allowing the Holy Spirit to heal the hurts. Divorce is never the answer however many times in life people do not see what is happening in the home. When divorce does occur if there are children involved then it is important that God’s love still come through the spouse who did not wish to get divorced.

    In John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. If you are married and having difficulties ask Christ through the Holy Spirit to show you the truth. When you know the truth then you can deal with the issue and be set free. It is only God who can let a person know if they should get divorced as there are many issues that others are unaware of. If a husband or wife is addicted to porn then as Jesus said when someone looks lustfully at another mans wife he has already committed adultery. If every night porn is being watched then adultery is being committed according to Christ. Tragedies do occur it is how we deal with the tragedy that matters as children from broken homes still can be taught Christian values and God’s love.

    God takes a tragedy and makes something beautiful out of the tragedy as he knows we are sinners. David committed adultery,lied, and killed he suffered for it but without his suffering we would not have the Psalms which many people are comforted. The book of Proverbs would not be in the Bible as King Solomon was Bethseba’s son that was born form King David. Many times in our lives we do not want to cause pain to the ones we love however tragic divorce is no matter how hard we try to prevent it in our lives it does occur. This gives us an opportunity to show God’s love to the children and others around us.

  • Ernest says:

    I deeply do understand that people will separate no matter what…..I just know what he bible says about marriage and the ONLY way you can divorce, “abuse or adultery.” I wish people would do what the bible teaches and nothing more but then again that would be like telling sinners to straighten up. I really love my wife but she wants out and my hands are tied. We have three beautiful loving children and they dont want to leave their dad. We’ve been married 13 yrs, been through alot and lost everything from the recession but we can do it….

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Earnest – I completely disagree. Sometimes, in spite of the very best efforts of one partner, a marriage fails. To suggest that people just need to work harder to save their marriage is cruel. If one spouse decides that they do not want to be in the relationship, the marriage will end. If the relationship is abusive, it needs to end. Suggesting that offering no support to those whose families have been ripped apart will somehow contribute to saving marriages is simply untrue.

    Yes it is in everyone’s best interest to keep a family together whenever it is safe to do so. Yes, it would be lovely if all marriages could be healed, if no family ever broke up. But we’re grown-ups, we know it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes marriages fail and when that happens children go through enormous stress along with the parents. It’s important to help parents know what they can do to help their children through this awful time.

  • Earnest says:

    First of all we shouldnt be teaching ways to cope w/separation but only ways to keep the marriage together. I’m looking for ways to show the worst case scenarios of what happens to children through separation and everyone explains how to have children cope…….we should be teaching a way to keep families together and cope w/the troubles or problems that the family faces.

  • Janet says:

    I found your website helpful but said. It is such ashame that children should even have to be put threw any pain or problems. I am a christian and am seeking ways to help my 8 year old niece cope with her parents. Thank God they have not yet separated but my sister is leaning towards doing that. She and my brother-in-law have both been saved and baptised, my sister about 3 years ago and him almost a year ago. The devil has such a whole on her heart and is draining the life out of that family so fast. They also have two older children age 26, a son and daughter 20 saved about 2 years ago. They all have fallen out of church. The grandmother a wonderful christian lady keeps the little girl afterschool and they are very close am are we. We both lover her so….. much and fear the pain she will be put threw because her mother is not living right and wants to move out to pursue a new life with her male friend. I love my sister but do not like her right now and we have always been so close. The devil has taken her over and at this point seems to be winning. Please pray for us all!!!

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