Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
It's too common. Parents raise good kids. They all seem to get along. Then, the family disintegrates and divorce ensues. One parent uses the children as confidants, betraying the other back with all the dirty details, making sure the children learn bitterness, anger, and revenge. The children secretly love both parents and want to be good to the parent who now is labeled the enemy. However, they feel protective of the brainwashing parent and guilty if nice to the other parent, so they act out and/or become depressed and anxious, maybe even develop psychosomatic or compulsive symptoms, like overeating or cutting. It's a nightmare!
Please, parents, get over it! Learn to confront each other peacefully and honestly, tell the children the truth about your own failings and don't focus on the other parent, help them love and respect both of their parents. Help them relax, focus on themselves and grow in pursuits outside the home, so their identity encompasses more than that of divorced child in turmoil. Please!