Separation & Divorce
• Disbelief – finding it hard to accept what has happened
• Anger and resentment
• Sadness and hopelessness
• Anxiety, restlessness and irritability
• Feeling lost
• Feeling confused
• Feeling frightened
• Finding it hard to concentrate
• Thinking constantly about it
• Imagining how things would be if they got back together
• Having weird dreams or nightmares
“What does this mean for me?”
“Will things always be like this?”
“Who will I live with?”
“Do I have to choose who I live with?”
"Will I be safe?"
"How long does divorce take to be finalised?"
"Can my parents remarry?"
Remember Your Rights
It’s not okay to feel like you are stuck in the middle. Tell your parents you don’t like it when they ask you to give messages to one another or when they say mean things about each other to you.
You don’t have to choose/split loyalties – it's not okay to be pressured into choosing sides if you want to stay out of it.
It’s not okay if they rely on you to look after them – remember they are the parent, and you are the child.
How to Cope
Coping with new partners or step-family members
Letter to Your Parents
Talking to your parents can be pretty tricky, like knowing what to say and how to say it. If you're feeling a bit stuck, you could write a letter (even if you don't give it to them this is a good way to get your feelings out).
In your letter you could follow this kind of format...
I have chosen to write this letter because ____________. I hope this letter will ________. I feel angry when ______. I feel sad when _____________. I feel scared/worry that ___________________. I am happy that ____________. I like it when you__________ I don't like it when ________. My hope is that _________________.
Boyfriends & Girlfriends
Healthy relationships look like this:
Affection and kindness
How to talk to someone you like
Starting up a conversation with someone you like can feel really nerve-wracking! People may find it harder than commenting on someone’s photo on Facebook or chatting to them online.
You may stay up at night thinking of all the awkward things that could happen if you talked to them or just thinking about how hot they are and that you’re going to blush and stumble!
Your own mind can be very powerful tool in this situation. If you picture things going wrong, you will go into the conversation feeling awkward and nervous. However, if you picture things going well and you see yourself as confident, happy and relaxed, then you will go into the conversation feeling less nervous and more positive.
Think about the spaces where you and your crush are around each other. If you have mutual friends, this could be lunch times, or perhaps you walk the same route home or are on the same bus.
Maybe you have some classes together. Often a simple “Hey, what’s up?” Or “Hey - how are you?” is enough to get a conversation going. If the conversation falls flat after that you could ask about something you might have in common. Believe it or not but almost everyone (no matter how different they are) can find things in common with each other.
Some conversation starters could include asking about...
How to tell someone you like them
It’s never easy at any age to tell a crush that you like them, especially if you’re currently good friends. You have to consider whether it is worth risking your friendship because if you guys go out and then break up, it is not always easy for ex’s to stay friends. Also even if you remain friends, your friendship will not be the same as it was before.
If you think the risk is worth taking, try to get a sense from them about whether they might feel the same way. Hang out together and have fun. If you’re getting the feeling they like you back, and you want to take it to the next level, then the best way to tell them you like them is to just say it!
You can do this face-to-face, with a note, with a txt or in a phone call. It won’t be the last time you let someone know you like them, so it will be good practice, whatever the outcome. The thing is, if they tell you they are not keen – then make sure you respect that and don’t keep hassling them – that is more likely to push them further away than bring them closer.
How to break up with someone respectfully
Do it in person.
It ain’t cool to send a text or do it over Facebook. It may feel easier for you in the moment, but it’s the last time you’ll be face-to-face with this person in this way, so front up and see them face-to-face. They may also keep seeking face-to-face time with you to get some answers, so think about how long you want to drag this on for. The more closure you can give them, the less likely they are to keep contacting you afterwards.
Do it in a safe and private place.
Since you might both be upset, privacy is essential BUT in case they flip out (you never know) choose a place that’s safe. Somewhere in public and during the day, maybe like a park or the beach. Have an exit strategy if you need to – such as someone to come pick you up or an "appointment" you have to leave for at a certain time. Let a friend or family member know what you are up to and have them close by or let them know where you are going and when you should be done by, if necessary.
Before you talk to them, write down what you want to say so it's clear in your mind. Make sure you clearly say that you are breaking up with them. Don’t feel like you have to come up with reasons that sound good. Even if the only reason is that you just don’t want to be with them anymore, then say that. That is a good enough reason.
Your partner may desperately try to convince you that they will change... they will make it work...to give them another chance. It is important to stick to your guns and don’t just give in. Even if you believe what they are saying and you want to give them another chance, it’s probably best for you to go through with the break up and then think about whether you want to change your mind later. You don’t want to end up feeling trapped rather than relieved.
Pick a time when you are both calm, ready to talk and ready to listen, rather than bringing it up when you’re fighting. Use language that isn’t blaming, judging, attacking or really mean. This will put them on the defensive and could cause a fight rather than a talk. If you feel you’re getting worked up or angry during the conversation, take some deep breaths or a five minute break to calm down.
Don’t back down or change your mind, but also let them have their say about how they feel. Don’t interrupt. Don’t defend. Just listen and only when they are finished, share with them about what they have said. Remember, they are probably feeling shocked, angry, sad, and a whole lot more. Give them the space to share with you how they feel but if they get abusive or threatening feel free to say that they do not have the right to speak to you like that and if they continue, then leave the conversation.
Have good boundaries after the break up about how much contact you have with each other. It’s important to give each other time and space to heal. You might agree to not have any contact with each other for a certain time (like a month) to get used to being away from each other. Remember, to stick to it. This takes a lot of strength. If they text or call you when you agreed you wouldn’t talk to them, it means not replying. It also means not giving them false hope. No late night texting saying that you miss them – even if you do! Give yourself and them space and time!
Coping with a break-up
Give yourself space and time.
Give yourself a chunk of time each day to just chill on your own. You may want to go for a walk, be in nature, listen to music, read, have a cry, write or do something creative.
Stay in touch.
If you are someone who deals with stress and problems by withdrawing and wanting to just stay in bed, this tip is especially for you. It’s important to keep seeing your mates and hanging out. Even if you may not feel like it at first, chances are, after an hour of hanging out, you'll feel happy you did it.
Go back to basics.
Focus on getting a stable routine in place. Try get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and do some exercise. Getting up at the same time every day, having regular meal times, and planning some activities can really help when you feel lost!
Focus on yourself.
Try starting up an old hobby or sport again. You could also try something new – like a social sport, a dance class or join your local gym. You may want to set a goal to focus on, like doing ‘Round the Bays’ fun run or making two new friends in the next six months.
I want to break up
want to break up, but my partner is cutting themselves, feeling low or is suicidal
Who can I contact for help?
Remember, if your worried about their safety right now, contact 111
Whether you are recently single or have been for a while, there are lots of good and not so good things about being single!
For tips on dealing with loneliness, click here.
- It can sometimes feel like you’re the only one that doesn’t have someone, but that’s not true. There are lots of people out there who like being single!
- There is definitely nothing wrong with it. It can feel at times like nobody wants you or that you aren’t worthy of having a partner, but that is simply not true.
- Rather than stressing about not having anybody, the best thing to do when you’re single is to focus on yourself. Focus on building up your confidence and making new friends – because being single doesn’t have to feel isolating.
- Try meeting new people by focusing on your interests, perhaps starting a new hobby or sport, getting out and about with friends, saying yes to social invites, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Doing things you enjoy and hanging out with people will help to boost your confidence.
- Plus – being confident and comfortable in your own skin is super attractive!
For tips on dealing with loneliness, click here.