How Divorce Affects your Teenager’s Life and Leaves Lasting Scars

Breaking up of a family is traumatic for parents but more for kids. Children of all ages suffer from long term effects of their parent’s divorce. Since it’s the parent’s duty to provide their children with a safe home, they are accountable for failing this responsibility. However, that is not to say that parents shouldn’t get divorce, some separations are better and healthier for all individuals involved in the long run. 

An experienced Galveston legal separation lawyer might be able to make the divorce process smooth and amicable, however, the negative impact of it on teen life is still evident. The following are the ways your teenager might suffer from divorce.

Behavioural Problems

Adolescence is already an age of sudden change. Kids transition from childhood to early adulthood, seemingly overnight. Some drastic changes in their behaviour are to be expected, however, when parents are arguing continuously, talking of divorce and fighting furiously over financial burden, this change takes a turn for the worse. Teenagers might start looking for safety and comfort outside of the house. Coming home late, mixing in with the wrong crowd, participating in dangerous activities, rebellion, reckless behaviour, defiance and mocking authority are just to name a few.

Poor Academic Performance (Drop Out)

Good grades and academic success is going to be the last thing your teen worries about when their family is breaking apart. Consequently, children of divorced parents generally do poorly in school. There is also greater chances of them dropping out of school. And in a society where academic achievement is the only scale to measure one’s success in life, it can make teenagers feel like a failure. This contributes to their sense of worthlessness and poor self-confidence and self-respect, which can stay for a lifetime.

Drugs, Alcohol and Sex Abuse

Like I said, children of divorced parents look for comfort and safety their parents couldn’t provide. Naturally, drugs and alcohol come into scene. Teenagers are already at a risk of abusing substance because of curiosity and depression, but the divorce of their parents simply gives them a legitimate excuse for self-destruction. They can get addicted to alcohol or drugs and blame it all on their parents. Teens of divorced parents also indulge in early as well as risky sexual activities.

Emotional Detachment

Teenagers become emotionally detached if they’ve seen their parents through an ugly divorce. When they realize that both of their parents are not available for emotional support, your teen isolates themselves. This isolation could be emotional as well as physical. They might stop making friends and become a loner at school, pushing everyone away who approaches them with an offer of help. However, they might learn to hide this detachment at some point in their adulthood, but it doesn’t leave them entirely.

Disbelief in Love

The major and most prominent effect of divorced parents in teenagers is their disbelief in love. Because love, warmth and safety were supposed to be the foundation of their family and since it couldn’t live up to its concept, it doesn’t exist. Such teens never commit themselves to relationships seriously because in their minds it’s all temporary. They don’t put effort in their relationships and date irresponsibly. Teenagers with divorced parents also have a high rate of getting divorce themselves. 

Inability to Keep Stable Relationships

This applies to both, their romantic as well as platonic relationships. Like I mentioned earlier, teenagers with divorced parents put minimum effort to build their personal relationships. They are likely to give up easily when problems arise. Instead of working through issues and maintaining stable relationships with people, they move on to the next person. Friends, colleagues, acquaintances, are all the same. They end up in self-imposed loneliness and, as we all know, loneliness is lethal. Suicidal tendencies can also result from this.

Becoming Obsessive or Clingy to their partners

If some teenagers cut off people from their lives completely, others cling to them. This is also another form of emotional havoc that the divorce of their parents wrecks on them. Since they don’t believe in the permanency of love, they become afraid that their partner will leave them. This causes them to behave in an overly solicitous manner and constantly ask for reassurance, which becomes suffocating for their partners.

In conclusion, divorce of parents impacts a teenager’s life drastically. It creates numerous emotional, physical and social problems that follows them well into adulthood. Parents need to pay special attention to their kids when proceeding with divorce. Preferably, they should consult a professional therapist as teenagers might find them more comfortable to talk and open up to.

Image Credit:

2 thoughts on “How Divorce Affects your Teenager’s Life and Leaves Lasting Scars”

  1. The topics discussed here to be true. I was the child, now 25 and still trying to figure things out. My father has issues with alcohol and made some other mistakes along the way and my mother generally set an image that my father should be distanced and alienated but listening to this video made me think if that was the right thing to do on her part, even if my father was how he was. Currently I am confused about the negative thoughts towards my father, are they really mine or just programmed onto me? My father has and still is trying to build and revive relationships with me and I am confused weather I want things to stay drifted apart as they were or to give it a chance? A lot to consider with either path.


Leave a Comment