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To Sam

Mum and dad split up and everything has changed

Just a year ago my parents split up and they thought i was fine but i wasn't everything has gone down hill from here.

My mum met this man and i don't really like him, he ruined everything it feels like my mum and i are from different families now.

They moved in together but we moved to where he lives and i had to move schools!

My dad has also met somebody and i don't like her either!!

I know it's horrible but i guess i dont want them to be happy.

Ask Sam



Thanks for your letter. I can hear that there have been a lot of really big changes for you in this last year. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings by yourself for a long time. I’m so glad that you decided to write to me about this.

Sometimes young people can feel really out of control when families separate and things change. It can be really hard to get used to changes, especially when they all come at once. Not only have you had to get used to your parents splitting up, you’ve also had to deal with moving in with your mum’s new partner and starting a new school. It sounds like your dad meeting someone else has also bought up more difficult feelings. 

I can hear that you’re worried about the way you feel, because you think it means that you don’t want your parents to be happy. You’ve had a huge amount of change to cope with in a short space of time. It’s understandable that you have some negative feelings towards the new relationships that your mum and dad have. That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about your parents or don't want the best for them. It sounds like getting comfortable with your parents’ new partners might take some time, and that’s okay. It’s really normal to need some time to get used to being part of a new family arrangement.

You might want to consider being honest with your mum and your dad about how all of this is making you feel. It can be hard sometimes for parents to recognise how much their children have been affected by something, unless everyone is open about how they feel. Your feelings are important and deserve to be taken seriously. Even if telling your family about how you feel doesn’t change the situation, having things out in the open could make you feel a lot better.

There’s a lot going on for you right now and I’m hoping that you feel able to come and talk to a ChildLine counsellor if you ever want to. ChildLine is a safe place to get your feelings out and to start to thinking about whether there are any options you might like to explore.

You might want to have a look at our stepfamilies page for more information and advice. We also have a home and family message board - here you can share your experiences and thoughts with other young people going through similar things.

You can talk to a counsellor anytime by calling free (even from a mobile) on 0800 1111 or by logging in for a1-2-1 chat (it works a bit like instant messenger).

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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