How To Overcome Grief Due To A Breakup In A Family With Children?

How to overcome grief due to a breakup in a family with children?

Ending a relationship is always a challenge for each of the parties. AND, When there are children involved, the difficulty can be even greater.

However, there are tools that can be applied to make grieving during the separation process more bearable for everyone.

An increasingly common family experience

There are many couples, married or not, who decide to stay together for the sake of their children, even though there are dozens of reasons that separate them. But there are also many who decide to end the relationship, searching for their own path.

By 2020, Spain was among one of the 10 countries with the most divorces per year. However, we know that beyond the statistics, each story is different and carries with it its own challenges, which is why we want to share some tools to make the breakup process easier in a family with children.

How to explain the breakup to your children

The decision has already been made: they are going to separate. The time has come to share this information with your children. For this, three keys are important:

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1. Adapt the message according to age

It doesn’t matter if your children are 15 or 5 years old. Whatever the case, they should know that the family dynamic as they know it at this moment will come to an end. Try to adjust the message according to the comprehension ability of each child.. It is a difficult time for everyone, so empathy is key in the grieving process.

2. Be honest in your communication

Tell them the truth, in the most compassionate way possible. Generating false expectations regarding the future of the relationship just to save them pain in the end will have consequences that, believe me!, you will prefer to avoid.

3. They don’t have to say everything

It is one thing to be honest and another thing to be excessively explicit. At this point, it is important that the conversation is focused on the children’s feelings, resolving their doubts and calming their concerns. It is recommended that fights and very explicit problems about the differences between the couple remain between you.especially if your children are still children.

Keys to managing grief due to parental breakup

After the breakup, there are several important decisions to make. These steps can help make the grieving process more bearable for everyone.

1. Take one step at a time

Divorce and separation involve different things. In the first case, the bond is dissolved and the people involved will be able to remarry. Secondly, it is an interruption of the marital relationship without dissolving the legal bond.

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However, to overcome grief in a healthier way for everyone, it is advisable not to get involved with a new partner immediately. This It is a time to focus on emotions, learn from past experience, and then make way for new relationships when the time is right..

2. Avoid negative comments about your ex-partner in front of your children

We know it is a difficult time. There are probably one or more open wounds, so many emotions will be on the surface. However, it is important to prioritize rationality and respect, rather than impulsivity.

Prevent children from getting involved in their personal affairs and ensure that they can process their emotions without adding fuel to the fire. They are experiencing their own grief over the separation.

3. Accept that the dynamics will change

The natural thing, many times, is to want nothing to change. However, change will be inevitable and accepting this is vital in the grieving process. It is important that, as parents, you understand that it will not be possible to prevent your life from undergoing a major change in its routine, especially when one of you decides to move.

However, it is in your hands to create new realities, dynamics and even rituals so that the transformation that separation entails is more enjoyable. Here Issues related to moving, custody, frequency of sharing time, etc. must be put on the table.

4. Focus on the well-being of your children…And also yours

Overcoming grief due to a breakup in a family with children is not easy: both parents and children experience pain for what was and will no longer be. Therefore, although it is super important to be attentive to children’s feelings, provide security and look after their needs, it is also important not to forget about yourself: what they want from now on, what you feel, taking care of physical and mental health, taking the necessary breaks and reserving time to reconnect from individuality.

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5. Validate your children’s emotions

It is very likely that the news will take them by surprise, so it will not be strange for them to experience a mix of conflicting emotions. As parents who deal with their own emotions, you should try to help your children process what they feel, without repressing it.

Even, Even if it seems that “they are doing well” or that “nothing has changed”, within them there will be complex emotions to assimilate. and that require the same attention. How about, for example, if you read a story to better identify your emotions? Accompany them in the process until the tide calms and they integrate the information.

6. Rediscover yourself!

Once such an important bond comes to an end, a key in the grieving process is to give yourself the opportunity to return to the origin, to remind yourself of what you liked to do before you were together, before you got married and had children. Making space for this will help make the grieving process more bearable.

In this difficult time, love, prudence, patience and, of course, assertive communication are needed to make the process kinder for everyone at home.