Finally, watch for sagging self-confidence. It is only natural for your self-image to take a few blows in the midst of your parent’s divorce. You may have even suffered a serious depression at one time because of it. And even as an adult, the residue of pain from the break-up still remains. You know it wasn’t your fault-that a parent leaves a marriage because of unhappiness with a spouse, not with a child-but you will have times when you feel stigmatized, defective, or even worthless because your family is not together. You can count on it. So be on the watch. Don’t allow irrational thinking to creep back into your head and discount your worth.

The past does not have to dictate the present or the future. Studies affirm that those who grew up with divorce can build healthy, happy, and strong relationships of their own. No doubt about it. And coming to terms with the aftermath of your suffering, as well as being on the lookout for issues of anger management, conflict-avoidance, and a sagging self-confidence, are like an insurance policy against repeating the patterns you fear the most.

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