5 Mistakes You Can Make When Your Brother or Sister Gets a Divorce That Will Hurt Them and Their Kids

Let’s face it; divorce happens and it happens all too often.

When your sibling goes through a divorce and there are children involved, it’s usually not a good idea to pit one parent against the other by using their children. How is this helping? How is this being loving and supportive?

Children of Divorce

Teens whose parents are separated have their world turned upside down. They no longer have two parents living under the same roof, and they may find themselves being separated from their sibling(s) if their brother and or sister choose to live with mom and or dad.

Separation and divorce aren’t something that children expect, but it happens far too often these days.

The last thing children need is an aunt or uncle messaging them on Facebook and blasting them about not calling and or spending time with their mom and or dad. Unless you live with your nieces and nephews, you don’t know the whole story of what lead to their parents’ separation/divorce.

Divorce Hurts Everyone

Separation and divorce isn’t something that most married couples expect to happen. For the most part they believe they’ll have a ‘happily ever after,’ but that can turn sour once you’ve realized you married someone you have no desire to be married to anymore.

When you realize that it’s time to get out of your marriage, you don’t need interference from family members who don’t know the entire story.

“Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary bypass.” ~ Mary Kay Blakely

Aunts and uncles who stick their noses where it doesn’t belong don’t have their niece and nephew’s best interest at heart. If they did, they would offer to take them to the movies, on vacation, or just to have a chat. They would make it known to their niece and nephew that they are there for them no matter what instead of coming at them with ‘guns blazing’ through Facebook or some other social media website.

Don’t Play the Victim for Your Sibling 

If your sibling’s separation/divorce is painful then he or she could speak up about it. They could seek help from a psychologist and or life coach. Plus, if they truly cared about their spouse and children, they would do everything in their power to get them back instead of sitting on the sidelines and feeling sorry for themselves.

Sometimes, a spouse will act more like a child than an adult when they experience a separation or divorce. They lash out and throw temper tantrums. They whine and pout. And they try to get someone else to fight their battles. This doesn’t help your sibling — it only hurts them.

Anyone who’s had a sibling experience and separation, divorce, and or dissolution understands that it’s not an easy process. It’s mentally, emotionally, and financially draining. There are no winners in a divorce. The losers are usually the children because some parents expect them to take sides. This isn’t fair to kids.

So what could siblings do when their brother and or sister goes through a divorce, separation or dissolution?

5 Mistakes You Can Make When Your Brother or Sister Gets a Divorce That Will Hurt Them and Their Kids

Don’t message your niece and nephew through Facebook. Don’t send your niece and nephew a rude text message or IM them. If you really cared about them, you would pick up the phone and call them to see how they’re doing. You would offer to take them to the movies and out to dinner. You’d offer them the opportunity to go with you on vacation. If you haven’t given your niece and nephew the time of day, why would they care what you have to say?

Don’t mud sling. If you start throwing mud at your soon-to-be ex sister-in-law and or brother-in-law and their parents and siblings, you’ll only make them look good, especially in the eyes of the court. Bullying and harassing through Facebook is a ‘hot topic’ right now, and you could find yourself in deep doo-doo if you start slandering or defaming a person’s character. You may find yourself in a lot of trouble if you make false accusations and assumptions.

Don’t assume. In case you don’t know what assume means it means…”Don’t make an ‘ass out of you and me.” Unless you lived with your brother/sister and their kids, you have absolutely no idea what went on in their home. You weren’t there 24/7 — you don’t have all of the facts. Don’t assume that your niece and nephew lived in a wonderful and loving environment. Don’t assume that the home your niece and nephew lived in was neat and clean and not filled with the stench of cigarette smoke or animal urine. Don’t assume that your sibling was an attentive parent. Get the facts before you assume.

Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. Unless you have something positive to add to your sibling’s divorce, stay out of it. It has nothing to do with you. Only in extreme cases is it a good idea to get involved. But if it’s a matter of two people who’ve grown a part, allow them to handle it. You’re denying both parties the opportunity to learn life lessons if you try to ‘fix’ the situation.

Don’t tell your niece and nephew how they ‘should’ feel. You have no business ‘shoulding’ all over your niece and nephew. They have every right to feel angry, confused, pissed off, sad, etc. Give them a break; their lives have been turned upside down thanks to their parents splitting up. Allow kids to process their feelings in a healthy manner. Telling them how to act or how they should feel will backfire on you.

So…Will you stop being an ass of an aunt and or uncle for the sake of your niece and nephew? Will you let them experience their feelings? Will you allow them the decency to express themselves, the good, bad, and ugly?

If you don’t back off now, you’ll push your niece and nephew out of your life for a little while or for good. You probably didn’t think about that consequence. Remember the law of cause and effect states that for every cause there’s an effect, for every action there’s a reaction.

You can either be a loving and supportive aunt or uncle or you can be an overbearing bully. The choice is yours.

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Comments

  1. Ms Jones says:

    My parents went through a horrible divorce when I was 13 years old. Thank goodness for my aunts, uncles and grandparents. They were the only ones who seemed to be in my corner. All my parents did was fight and put me in the middle of their battles. Truly disgusting, and I appreciate the support of my extended family, who did not ask me to take sides. My parents stressed me out more than enough.

  2. Amandah Blackwell says:

    Sadly, most parents are wrapped up in their own dramas and egos to see the damage they’re doing their child or children. I’m glad your extended family supported you during your parents divorce. Kids need support because it’s a stressful time, especially if you don’t know where you’re going to live.

    Thanks for stopping by MisticCafe! Be well…

  3. The tone you’ve used in this article sounds like you believe everyone who wants to help their sibling and nieces and nephews during a divorce is an asshole, you failed to say anything about helping infant who don’t understand what’s going on just that they didn’t see their daddy/mommy all day, and you’ve said nothng about what if your sibling’s soon to be ex is also considered a loved one in your family.

  4. Amandah Blackwell says:

    Thanks for your comment.

    The article is written based on my experience; my niece and nephew were teens not babies. But I understand your point because some who get divorced have infants. And yes, people need understanding and compassion. But sometimes that doesn’t occur straightaway because of how one feels in the moment.

    Unfortunately, when kids have an absentee mom or dad, it affects the family. For example, grandparents may now be responsible for providing for their grandchildren because the mom or dad or even the “former” in-laws [other grandparents] don’t help because they’re mad that their former daughter-in-law or son-in-law gets sole custody or if the kids [teens] choose to follow mom or dad] — this may be taken into consideration by a judge. All of this strains the family, from finances to relationships.

    Divorce may affect children in more ways than one, from low self-esteem to drug and alcohol abuse [if they’re older], and more. Teens especially can do without interference from aunts and uncles. Keep in mind that unless you lived in the home, you don’t know what really happened.

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