I know not everyone will agree with me about not choosing sides when your parents get divorced, but let me share how well it worked for me. If you’re a teenager and have some grasp on what’s happening, I think not choosing sides is the best thing. Was it tough? Yes, it was. Did my mom not like me too much after not picking her side? She didn’t like me for a while. Am I glad I handled things the way I did? I honestly am, and wouldn’t change a thing if I had the chance. My younger sister, unfortunately, also went through it all, and she did choose sides. But I just couldn’t choose between them; I love both my parents equally, and I didn’t want to be without either of them. I realize not choosing sides when your parents get divorced may not always be possible, but hopefully I can give you a little insight on why not choosing will make things easier for you.
1. You Love Your Parents
It’s never easy when your parents get divorced. If you had no clue anything was going on until you witnessed the first argument, or until one of your parents sat down with you to talk, up to that moment you loved both of your parents, right? Why should that change? You can be angry at one or both, but don’t choose sides. If you are honest with both of them about your feelings and ask questions, you will gain the insight you need to understand what they are going through.
2. It Makes the Pain Fade Quicker
There’s nothing as painful as seeing your parents’ relationship fall apart. Let me tell you, NOT choosing sides is going to make it easier on everyone. Make this your choice, stand your ground, and you’ll come to grips with everything much quicker. Be there for both parents, but keep telling yourself it will get easier for everyone.
3. There Will Be Fewer Arguments between You and Your Parents
Honestly, it’s true. Make it known to both your parents that this is your decision, and it will cut down on arguments between you and them. My mom never liked seeing me head out to visit my dad. But she finally came to understand that I was not going to choose between them.
4. You’ll Help Younger Siblings Cope More Easily
If you happen to be the oldest child, you can serve as a role model for your younger siblings by letting them know they don’t have to choose between mommy and daddy. You’ll show them they can still have both in their lives.
5. You Can Be the Mature One
Sometimes our parents can be more childlike than we are. If you don’t choose sides, it will help them to see they need to face things like adults for you and your siblings. Hopefully, they’ll realize that if you can be so mature about the divorce, then they need to be the same way.
6. It Will Help Your Grandparents
My dad’s mom was shocked by what my dad did and for a while, she wasn’t sure who to speak to about things. Eventually, she heard both sides of the story. I think one thing that made it easier for her, was knowing that I was trying to stay neutral. It enabled her to feel comfortable talking to my mom and still have a relationship with her son.
7. Do It for Your Peace of Mind
Everyone makes mistakes in life, even our parents. There will be times when you wish you could figure it out, wish you could get them to reunite, and wish you didn’t care so much. We do care and while our neutrality will help our parents, do it for you. Do it so that you can still have both parents in your life. Do it so you can be glad down the road that you kept both relationships open and honest. You won’t be left wondering "what if."
Again, I know lots may not agree here, but it can work. What’s most important in all this is your ability to handle things without coming apart. Your parents will make it through the bad times, and you want to do so as well. Take that deep breath or many deep breaths, and remember that you aren’t only doing this for them; you’re doing it for you, for your siblings, and your children when you have them. I think you will be so glad you did. Do you have any experience in staying neutral through your parents' divorce? How did it help you?