Divorce is hard enough, but telling your friends and family that you're getting a divorce can increase the pain. Below are some tips for breaking the news to your loved ones.
An Important Note
It's important to understand that no matter how you tell someone about the divorce, they may take sides. People have preferences about almost everything, and unfortunately, others' relationships are one of those things. It's not right to pick one spouse over the other but be encouraged that your true friends and those who love you will not hold the divorce against you.
Edit your explanation for those in your life that you may not be as close with or worry about them choosing a side. Everyone doesn't have to know everything, and it may be prudent to keep the details to a minimum. If you think the news could ruin the relationship, avoid going too in-depth on the details.
It's also important to understand that you don't have to tell everyone either. In many cases, it may be inappropriate to tell certain people about personal matters. Your supervisor probably doesn't need to know the details unless the divorce proceedings affect your job. For those you choose to be open with, below are some tips to help make the conversation a little easier.
Preplan the Explanation
Some people have strong opinions about divorce and may feel the need to interject with advice or recommendations. By planning out the news, you can think of ways to deflect these well meaning individuals and focus the conversation on the essential information. Practice makes perfect, and it can help deliver the divorce news easier.
Consider writing down the announcement and reading it aloud to yourself. This helps you get some of the emotion out of the conversation so you aren't speaking from anger or resentment. Instead, you can focus on the important facts and read them aloud to test the tone of your announcement.
Have the Important Conversations First
One of the most painful parts of a divorce is telling your children. While it may be incredibly difficult to tell them about the separation and what comes next, these are some of the most important people in your life, and they need to know. Prioritize these conversations before breaking the news to friends and coworkers.
When telling your children about the divorce, it's crucial to understand that most children may have many questions. They want to know what happens next and where they will live. Put yourself in their shoes and consider the things they may be worried about. Children need to know that things will be alright – you can't guarantee that things will be normal, but you can be honest with them.
Be the Opener and Closer
It's difficult enough to tell someone about the divorce, and it can be equally hard to answer follow-up questions. The best way to handle the issue is by opening and closing the conversation yourself. When the topic of your divorce comes up, address it. It is never a good idea to wait for someone else to create the narrative.
Think of a newscaster: the news anchor will direct the audience to the meteorologist when it's time for the weather segment. Use your preplanning to your advantage and offer up your prepared announcement. Close the topic and redirect the conversation when you're finished saying what you need to say. When you are finished explaining 6the circumstances, consider a segway into a new conversation like, "Thank you for understanding. How are you doing?" This opens up a new topic and closes the topic of your divorce.
A Crucial Conversation
One of the most important conversations is with your attorney. If you are considering a divorce, talk to a lawyer about your options, and they can guide you through the process and provide support every step of the way.
Contact Arnold Law Group, APC, for compassionate legal counsel backed by experience and a successful track record.