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To Sam


Hi Sam.
My parents have been split up for seven years and up til now it hasn't really bothered me, the idea of having two houses was quite cool and fun, but we did a topic on love in RE at school about 6 months ago and it really made me think about it my parents and why they split up and it has really started to affect me some days I feel really down especially in RE for some reason even though we aren't even doing the love topic anymore.
My RE teacher is different this year but last year the old one picked up on the fact I was upset and we had a conversation but I found it really hard to talk about so I didn't really get much from it, this year my RE teacher is quite similar to my old one and she seems to have picked up on the fact i'm upset a bit aswell so I don't know whether to talk to her if she asks me because I dont want her to think badly of my family and my sister is in the school too so she might think badly about it and my sister would be really annoyed at me if I spoke to her about it because she doesn't understand and it doesnt affect her at all.
The main reason I'm getting upset is because my mum has got a boyfriend, the first one she has ever had since they split up and it is really weird for I dont know how to feel about it because I dont have to meet him or anything so I am definately not but my mum has changed since she has got him and she goes out a lot now whereas she NEVER used to go out and she acts so different and at the moment everything my mum does seems to annoy me and we keep on fighting. I just feel really upset some days and I dont know what to do. I can't talk to anyone about it like my mum dad or sister because we dont have that kind of relationship. i'm just confused... i'm 14 and my sister is 17.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me at what sounds like a really difficult time for you.

You’ve started your letter by explaining the impact that the RE lesson about love has had on you. I can hear that it’s changed how you feel about your parents separating seven years ago.

You mentioned how sad you feel about your mum spending so much time with her new boyfriend. From what you say your mum’s been really different since she met him and you’re finding it difficult to adjust to this “new” mum. It’s not unusual to feel confused and upset when there are big changes to the important relationships in our lives. It sounds especially hard for you because things had been the same at home for so many years. I can hear you say that you don’t feel able to talk to your mum, but I wonder if you’d consider writing her a letter to explain what’s on your mind? Your mum has been single for a long time and it may be that in the excitement of meeting someone new she hasn’t realised how you are feeling. She has the right to be in a relationship and to feel happy about that, but it’s important that she still has time and energy for you and your sister. Talking through what you want from your mum and hearing what it’s like for her at the moment might give you a chance to get your relationship back on track. You may also find that once everyone gets used to your mum’s new boyfriend being around, things starts to settle down again.

I can hear that you are very confused about how you feel and you have been really courageous writing it down in a letter to me. Talking to a teacher you trust could certainly help you work through some of those feelings. ChildLine counsellors are also available to talk to whenever you feel the need to chat and can be contacted by calling 0800 1111, or by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat. There is a lot of useful information around home and families in Explore that you might want to read.

There are other young people who’ve gone through similar situations and you can read about their experiences on the message boards. As well as reading their posts, you could post a message yourself and encourage other young people to share their thoughts on what’s happening.

Well done for contacting me and I hope this helps.

Take care,


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