Snoring is the third leading cause of divorce in the United States and Great Britain. It can wreck the sleep of one spouse or the other – or both until the breakdown of their sleep leads to tension, irritation and aggravation. When things get to the point that they can no longer take it, the inevitable split happens. It’s really unfortunate for the family, especially when small children are still at home. Even if they are away in college or on their own, the break-up of their home base does more damage than has been previously thought. If your child is showing signs of depression or low self-esteem as the result of the loss of a stable home environment, there are immediate steps you can take to help them.
First of all, listen to them and make sure they know you love them, and will continue to communicate with them. You don’t have to answer everything in detail, but involve them in the changes, like packing and moving out as appropriate. Doing ordinary things like shopping for storage containers at the Container Store, especially when shopping there has been a normal part of your routine, can become a neutral place to honestly discuss what the next steps will be. Even something as mundane as shopping Groupon for deals on things you’ll need after one of you moves out can help create new bonds and memories. Let them help you organize your new environment. When they help you make smart moves like saving money with Groupon, they feel like they are an important part of the recovery. Just make sure they don’t try to parent you. Let them make up a system to keep things organized, and encourage them to open up about how they feel. One mother was surprised to learn that her daughter’s friends felt as bad about the divorce as her daughter did because hers was the last stable family in that group of friends. One of her daughter’s friends remarked, “none of us have Daddies at home now.”
It’s important to refrain from putting children in the middle of a divorce. Don’t ask them intimate questions, don’t ask them to pry or spy. Refrain from making negative comments about the absent parent and don’t tell them who’s guilty. Many times, by the time the offending spouse seeks help with their sleep condition, the bonds of trust and intimacy have been so broken there’s no way back. Parents should seek counseling for the whole family when possible, and specifically for the children who may harbor a sense of guilt and shame.