Divorce is hard, and many times when parents get divorced the last thing they want to do is talk to the other spouse. When there are kids involved though, that isn’t an option. Even so, sometimes the anger and the hurt and the emotions are so overwhelming that even parents refuse to talk to one another. Maybe every conversation turns into a fight, or maybe they just can’t stand to be in the room with the other person. Whatever the reason, when parents refuse to talk it is generally the kids who get hurt the most. So, what can you do if your parents refuse to even talk to one another?
What you SHOULDN’T do if your parents aren’t talking
One of the most important things you should do is know those thing you shouldn’t have to do if your parents aren’t speaking:
- Don’t be their messenger. You are their child not a delivery service and not a messenger service. If your parents refuse to talk to one another and ask you to deliver messages, politely and respectfully explain that you would rather not do that because it makes you uncomfortable, and ask them to find some other way to communicate with one another (see suggestions below).
- Don’t take sides. Your parents won’t always make the best choices, and when they are angry or fighting, they may be tempted to try to sway you to “take their side” against the other parent. The fact of the matter is, you are free to love both of your parents, and they should respect that decision.
- Don’t try to play counselor. If your parents need to find someone to help them get along better, they need to find an adult who is removed from the situation. That’s not your job, nor should you try to fill that role.
- Don’t use it to your advantage. You may be tempted to use the fact that your parents aren’t talking to get your own way or to get one parent to agree to things the other has already said no too. This isn’t fair to your parents, and it will likely come back to haunt you.
- Don’t take it personally. Even if your parents are fighting about things related to you (visitation, child support, etc.), it is not your fault that they are fighting. Don’t feel guilty about it.