Getting a divorce is many times a painful and traumatic experience. Your plans for the rest of your life have been crushed or dramatically altered. The person you once thought would be your partner for life is now going their own way, without you. No matter how amicable and agreeable you and your spouse were concerning the divorce, there are bound to be some feelings of abandonment and even feelings of betrayal by both you and your spouse. These feelings are often perceived by, and transferred to, your children.
Children feel the tension, anger and sadness being experienced by their parents as the marriage crumbles and eventually dissolves. The difference is that often times the children are to young and emotionally inexperienced to understand these feelings and process them in a healthy way. They have usually spent their entire lives viewing you and your spouse as a single entity, something that was a cornerstone of their mental landscape and a reference point for their perception of everyone and everything they encounter. All of that changes in their fragile little minds when their parents get a divorce, and the emotional scars incurred from this huge trauma so early in life can often have a detrimental effect on the children throughout their development and on into their adult lives.
It is very important that parents involved in a divorce maintain their awareness of the children’s feelings and fears, and then act and speak in a manner that will make the amount of trauma experienced by the children as minimal as possible.