our everyday life

How Can I Comfort My Boyfriend Whose Parents Are Separating?

by Alysia D. Roehrig

If you are confused about how help your boyfriend during his parent’s separation, you are not alone. Separation can be a difficult topic to deal with and it can be awkward trying to figure out what to say to him. Your boyfriend may not want to talk about it and can even push you away during this time. However, the support you give him during this period can make all the difference. You can take several steps to let your boyfriend know he has a friend in you.

Listen

It can be difficult for your boyfriend to describe what he feels about the separation, but knowing that he has someone he can trust with his feelings can help him vent, according to Nightingale Center, a group of licensed professionals offering health services in Orange County. Be there when he wants to talk and be reachable by phone when you can’t be available physically. While it can be tempting to share your thoughts about the situation, you risk that your boyfriend will misunderstand and think you are diminishing the pain your boyfriend is going through. Remember that your presence is what matters most.

Give Him Space

Depending on the parent’s separation terms, your boyfriend might need to move homes if he was living with his parents, and he also will need to spend time with his parents separately. Understand that the results can be less time for both of you, and give him space. For instance, he might need to cancel a movie date with you to go help his dad settle in a new house, or be there for a grieving sibling. Also, your boyfriend might be going through overwhelming and confusing feelings and needs time to figure things out.

Find Help

When someone’s parents are separating, no matter the age, it is likely that they will have a strong reaction to it, according to Psychology Today. Your boyfriend might go through a season of mixed feelings such a sense of abandonment and even taking his parent's decision personally. Introducing him to a support group allows him to share his feelings and concerns with people who have gone through a similar situation, and it can help him get through the turbulent period. In addition, a counselor who has dealt with similar cases before can help him vent, or he can recommend other options for emotional help. The University of Illinois Urbana advises that support is essential during such a period.

Love Him Unconditionally

Parental separation can affect your boyfriend’s emotional and psychosocial state significantly. According to University of Illinois Urbana, people can get stuck in emotions such as anger, hostility and depression when their parents part ways. If your boyfriend is going through such a phase or is experiencing such feelings, attacking or rejecting him can make things more difficult for him. Instead, being patient with him and letting him know you understand makes it easy for him to trust you with his feelings.

About the Author

Alysia Roehrig began writing in 1997. Her work has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and educator with experience teaching first grade and special education. Roehrig holds a Ph.D and an Master of Arts in psychology from University of Notre Dame.