Information Centre

When parents break up

Family Young People

When your parents split up, it can be really difficult. Sometimes parents break up after long periods of fighting or it can be sudden. 

Understanding parental separation

It’s not uncommon to feel angry with your parents. Or it could feel like a relief if there was lots of fighting before. You may even feel like you’re alone. Changes in family relationships may cause parents to become distracted.It can be especially difficult if you have to hear parents complain about each other.

Family break up

Often when parents break up, this means moving back and forth between your parents.Having to spread your time, friends, clothes and other things between two places may be hard.

It’s not your fault

You may feel it’s your fault that your parents are breaking up. Remember, the reasons for your parent’s break up are always about problems between them. It has nothing to do with you.

It’s OK to be upset

If you’re upset about your parents separating, it’s OK! Sometimes parents may try to make you take sides, and you feel split because you love both of them.You have every right to be mad and upset. Just remember, no feeling you experience is ever wrong.

Keep doing the same things you did before

Sometimes during a separation, parents may be so caught up in their own changes it can feel like your own life is on hold.You might feel like you need to cheer up your parents, or that you have to get them back together. This is not your job, your job is to mind yourself. When all of these changes at home are happening, keep things, such as activities and friends, the same.

Check out Tips on how to deal with parent separation for more

If you would like professional support with anything you are going through turn2me provides free, confidential online supports for young people and adults in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Peer support – A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
  • Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
  • Counselling – Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.