Going through a divorce is difficult for you and your spouse. You may have had trouble adjusting to the idea of going through a divorce even though you might know it’s the best thing for you. That’s natural. However, one of the things that you might not think about is telling friends and family about your divorce.
Even though they might not be part of the marriage, they are still important parts of your life. They know you and your spouse as, well, you and your spouse. This change is going to affect them too, albeit differently.
It can be hard to figure out how to talk about your divorce with certain important people in your life. This is because the changing relationship you have with your spouse could end up affecting the relationship between you and these other people.
After all, friends that you have that were your spouse’s friends before marriage may no longer want to be your friend. Below, we will be looking at how you can talk with the people in your life about the divorce.
The Kids Need to Know
First, if you have kids, you can’t keep the divorce from them for very long. You’ll end up telling friends and family about your divorce eventually because they are going to realize that things are changing rather quickly. It’s better not to lie to them or make it seem as though everything is “normal” when it’s clearly not.
The kids should be some of the first people that know the divorce is happening. The amount of information they need and how detailed the information is will vary based on their age, of course. Even adult children don’t need to know everything, of course.
The longer you delay talking with your kids about this topic the harder it will be. Ideally, you and your spouse can talk with the kids together. Let them know it’s not their fault, and that even though things are changing, you will both be there for them.
The goal should always be to make the divorce as easy as possible for the children. They didn’t choose your marriage or your divorce. They are just part of it, so do what you can to make it less stressful for them.
Process the Divorce Yourself
Divorce is commonplace, but this doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Even when you know that getting a divorce is the best thing to do, it can still feel traumatic. Before you can talk with others about the divorce, you need to make sure that you have come to terms with it yourself.
If you haven’t fully processed it, then you are likely still quite angry or sad about the divorce. This could come across when you are talking to others, and it may affect the language you use. This might be fine when you are talking to certain people about the divorce, but it might not be appreciated by others.
Have a Basic Conversation Prepared
Before you talk with anyone about your divorce, it’s a good idea to have some basic talking points in order. You don’t have to go into any more detail than you want. Keep in mind that you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to.
Sometimes, if it’s a coworker you know casually, you might just give them the basics of things not working out and that you’re getting a divorce. You don’t have to get into it any more than that. Don’t worry about looping in coworkers and creating drama when telling friends and family about your divorce.
Other times, it might be your sister or brother who is asking. Because you may feel more comfortable talking with them, you can go into more detail. But you shouldn’t feel as though you have to. You can limit the information and only talk about it when it feels right for you.
Be Ready for All Sorts of Reactions
You never know how someone is going to react when they hear you are getting divorced, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for just about anything. Most people will try to be sympathetic—even though that might not be what you want.
Others might be shocked. Some could say they don’t believe it or could try to talk you into staying married. This may be the case with some family members or people who are religious and who have an antiquated way of thinking about marriage and divorce. Others could even be angry at you for getting divorced. There are all sorts of reactions.
Not only will you end up getting a lot of different types of reactions, but you are also likely to get a lot of advice that you didn’t ask for. People will give you advice on how to stay married and happy, how to come out ahead in a divorce, how to approach your case, etc.
When it comes to reactions and advice, don’t take any of it too seriously.
Who Needs to Know?
In addition to your children, you will likely want to tell your friends and family about the divorce, as well. You don’t want them to be suddenly shocked when the holidays roll around and you show up at your parent’s doorstep on your own.
You might also want to talk with your boss, just letting them know that you are getting divorced. This way, if you have to take a call, need a day off for court, etc., they will hopefully be more understanding.
Some others who may need to know include teachers, coaches, babysitters, daycare, etc. as it could affect your children’s performance, who is picking them up, etc.
Try Not to Badmouth the Ex
Your ex might be one of the worst people in the world. This might be an indisputable fact. However, you still need to be careful about what you say, as it could come back to haunt you. Even though you might entirely trust your sister-in-law, who has said terrible things about her brother herself, you don’t want to badmouth him to her. These sorts of things have a way of getting back to your ex, and you don’t want them somehow used against you.