Posted by Imran Khodabocus on 14th June 2016
Last updated 12th February 2021
How to cope with Father’s Day as a separated parent

For many separated people, Father’s Day can be quite a lonely time. Some may be thinking about their children who they are not able to see, whilst for others it sparks memories of the spouse or partner they are no longer with.

I hope this article will give people who find themselves in this position some tips on coping through such emotions. Of course, these feelings are not just limited to Father’s Day, they can happen at any time following a break up or separation.

Understand your emotions

Often, such occasions cause a roller-coaster of emotions, such as anger, grief and sadness. However, even amongst such feelings, there should usually be some happy memories to hold on to. The first thing to remember is that it is normal to feel this way. Emotions can be extremely intense, particularly when you have been in a relationship for a long time or if there are children involved. Moving on is not always easy, and some people will struggle to move on more than others. Again, this is normal.

Healing process

The most important thing is that you start this ‘healing process.’ So, how can you do this?

  • Focusing on yourself positively is really important as this will help to negate any feelings of low esteem.
  • Go on easy on yourself. You may not feel up to working as hard as you usually do, but that’s okay.
  • Talk about how you are feeling. Maybe this could be to a friend, or family member. Sharing what you are going through with others will ease the pain. You’ll be surprised how many people have felt the same way as you before.
  • If there is no one you feel you can turn to, you could try counselling. Your local GP can put you in touch with local agencies. Otherwise organisations like Relate may be able to help.
  • It’s important to look after yourself. Try to avoid alcohol or unhealthy food, these only provide short term fixes and won’t make you feel better in the long run. Some people turn to exercise or keeping fit. Sometimes feeling physically better can lead to feeling emotionally better.

The future

Above all, remember that you do have a future. This will help you see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may take time, but feelings of emptiness and futility do go away. This is part of the ‘moving on’ process.

It might help to think whether there was anything different that you could have done and whether you could have acted differently. Although we can’t change the past, this type of personal reflection is a good opportunity to understand why and where things went wrong, and in the long run it will help you make better choices in the future.

There may be legal implications of your separation that you need to consider, such as arrangements regarding your children. Providing that you qualify financially, you can still get Legal Aid if you have suffered domestic violence. Even if you don’t qualify, your initial appointment is always free.

If you need further information or advice on a seperation dispute or any other family matter, please call me at The Family Law Company on 01392 284 851.

Need some advice? Get in touch today

Imran Khodabocus is an award-winning Solicitor and Director at The Family Law Company. He specialises in children and domestic abuse matters which are complex and sensitive including honour based abuse. He is fluent in French, German and Spanish.

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