How to break the news about your divorce to family and friends

The decision to get divorced is hard. You may already feel overwhelmed with your own emotions to deal with your friends’ and family members’ inquiries. However, you will have to tell them about it eventually. It may be nerve-wracking to think about how they will react to the news, but you can take control of the situation by knowing what and how to say it. That way, you can ensure you’ll communicate what you want to, without leaving room for conflict or invasive questioning.

Put your ideas on paper

Things are always easier to say if we think about them before. If you don’t prepare what you want to say, you may end up saying more than you need to. Because of this, it would be a good idea for you to write down the basics of your decision. You can prevent getting caught off guard by anticipating what others will want to know, such as:

  • When did you decide to get divorced?
  • What happened?
  • Who made the decision?
  • How do your kids feel about it?
  • What will you do next?

Think about a short, simple answer to those questions. Maybe you won’t want to give explanations to everyone, but knowing what to say in case someone asks is crucial to avoid oversharing or getting nervous.

Tailor the message to your audience

Now that you have a clear idea about what to say, you’ll need to modify the message according to whom you’ll speak with. You won’t say the same thing to your kids, boss or friends. Think about what you want to share with each person and choose the right words according to their age and the relationship they have with you.

When talking to others about your divorce, you must avoid at all costs talking badly about your ex. You should never do this in front of anyone if you don’t want to have problems later in the divorce proceedings. Besides, criticizing your ex will only make your family members and friends feel pressure because they’ll think they’ll have to take sides when they do not.

Don’t take responses personally

You’ll find that some people you talk with will have something to say about your divorce. Everyone has different mindsets and ideas, so you should not be surprised if someone disapproves or looks down on your decision. This is something normal, and getting angry can only make things worse. Instead, shift the conversation towards them or politely tell them you don’t want to talk about your divorce anymore. Don’t let their comments affect you. You did not do anything wrong.

You must know that you should not break the news about your divorce on social media if you don’t want to face confrontation. It is easier for people on social media to comment without thinking, and you may feel overwhelmed if you get hundreds of messages asking you what happened. Instead, consider talking to each of your loved ones individually and in person.

Handling your divorce

Remember that you don’t have to let anyone but your kids know about your divorce right after making the decision. Wait until you feel ready to do so, and don’t feel pressured to tell everyone you know about your divorce at once. Tell those closest to you first and then gradually move on to coworkers and other people. Your wellbeing must be your priority, and you have to take care of yourself first.