How to Tell Others You’re Getting a DivorceThe decision to marry is rooted in the desire to build a happy, strong, and intact family. However, marriages sometimes fail, prompting one of the partners to file for dissolution of the marital bond. In the United States, roughly one million marriages end in divorce each year.

Divorce is a major life metamorphosis that entails huge amounts of ambivalence and stress. Just deciding to divorce can cause extreme emotional turmoil. However, divorce is both a personal and social issue. It does not solely affect you and your partner. Rather, it ripples to the individuals who play a part in your everyday living. Thus, once your decision is definite, properly announcing the divorce to others is as crucial as the decision-making itself. It is important to break the news to your children, family, and friends in a manner that yields respect to build a strong support system.

Family and Friends. Your family and close friends form the social circle from where you can draw support. However, there is no a guarantee that they will readily understand your decision. It may help to begin discussing the issue with those who have previously been supportive. Starting with these individuals will give you the opportunity to practice what you want to say in a nonthreatening environment.

Children. The situation is more complicated when you have children because the experience may be emotionally traumatic for them. Joan Sinclair, a Toronto-based social worker and counselor, offers helpful tips on how to break the news to your children:

  • Prepare and agree about the extent of information to tell your children, taking into consideration their age and developmental stage. Generally, keep the information minimal. Children will be most concerned about practical issues, such as where they will live, where they will go to school, and when they will see you both. Try to have answers for these questions before you speak with them.
  • Deliver the news “with grace” together. No matter how hard it may seem, it is important to contain your animosity when you talk with your children. Discussing the impending divorce together conveys assurance to them that although life may be different moving forward, your love and care for them will not change.

Coworkers. You are not obliged to tell everyone about your divorce, especially coworkers with whom you have not established a strong bond. Talking about the issue with your direct supervisor or human resource personnel may be helpful, as divorce may affect your performance at work, as well as your attendance.

Many people are reluctant to break the news of their divorce due to the anticipation of unsolicited negative feedback. It is unavoidable that some people may ask for intimate details. In cases like this, you can either choose to or not to explain. Be sincere and direct in responding. If going through the details creates discomfort, you may simply say that the concern is greatly appreciated but that you would “rather not talk about it.” Some people find it helpful to have a script, particularly when dealing with people with whom they are not close.

As you embrace a great change in life brought about by divorce, responsibly telling your family and friends about it is one vital step toward the road of recovery.

The decision of whether to file for a legal separation or dissolution of marriage is difficult, particularly if the relationship is toxic. Consulting with an experienced New Mexico family lawyer can help clarify issues, allowing you to move forward. The Lightning Legal Group attorneys treat all clients with the respect and empathy that they deserve. Send us an email or call (505) 247-2390 for more information.


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