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Divorce

Hi Sam,

I am in desperate need of advice, my mum & step dad have been fighting on & off for a year now but over the last few months it has been really bad, mums always cranky and I can't do anything right I am constantly getting into trouble for nothing & everyone in the house is really unhappy. Last night they had a really big fight its always after dad goes out for the night he does cause the fighting by doing stupid stuff but mum just retaliates and makes everything worse. Mum wants dad to move out & I don't know wether it's serious this time & if I should do/say anything to them. I have a 7 year old half sister who gets extreme upset when they fight and I am worried how she will cope if they do break up. Also what should happen with me seeing my stepdad if they do break up?

Please help me I can't deal anymore

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Sam

Hi there,

It sounds like it’s really hard for you to be in the middle of these arguments and you’ve done well to speak out about what’s happening. I can hear that your mum and stepdad’s fights have been having a big effect on your life. It doesn’t seem as though home feels good for anybody right now and you sound like you’re trying to protect your half-sister as well as trying to cope with your own feelings about this. That’s a lot to cope with and you deserve support. 

It seems like you’re feeling responsible for trying to make things okay for your half-sister and I sense that this is a big weight on your mind. It’s not your fault that your mum and stepdad are fighting, and it wouldn’t be your responsibility to try and mend things if they decided to break up.

I’m not sure whether the fights you mentioned are physical but if they are, you can get help by calling 999 if you or somebody else is in immediate danger. You said that the fights normally happen after your stepdad has been on a night out and it sounds like you feel he causes the fights. I’m concerned that you and your sister are being caught up in the middle of these fights and it seems as though it’s very upsetting for you both. It could be a good idea to let somebody else in your life know about this, like a teacher or another adult you trust. 

All children and young people have the right to be heard and it’s important that your feelings are respected. You seem to be wondering whether you’d keep in contact with your stepdad if your mum wasn’t in a relationship with him anymore. You have the right to let your family know whether you want to carry on seeing him. Perhaps you could tell them how you’re feeling so they know how this is affecting you. If you feel as though you want to do that, remember that you choose how to let them know. If speaking face-to-face feels too difficult, you could send a text, write a letter, send an email or express yourself in a picture. Whatever feels best for you.  You have the right to feel safe and happy at home.

ChildLine can be there for you and it could help to talk things through with one of our counsellors. They can be there to listen and to help you think about what you’d like to do. They can be there for your half-sister too. At the moment, your needs seem as though they’re getting lost in all the fights. You don’t have to go through this on your own. 

Thank you for telling me what you’re going through and well done for writing to me about it. I hope that you get the support you need so that you can feel happier at home.

Take care,
Sam

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