Is there a right or wrong way to tell your family you want to get divorced? To answer that question you need to remember that your divorce will also impact those closest to you. Your family members also have a relationship with your spouse. If you have children together, your family members also share grandchildren. Therefore, even though you may not want to deal with the discomfort of breaking the news to them, you do owe it to your family to tell them what happened. You also should be careful about how and when you share this news with them too. Today, we go over tips on how to tell your family you are getting a divorce.
What to Avoid When Telling Your Family About Your Divorce
Sometimes it is easier to focus on what you should avoid when you are about to do something. Here are some things you should steer clear of:
Badmouthing your spouse
Remember your spouse is related to your family members or has a close bond with them. While it may be tempting to speak badly of your spouse, especially if he/she deserves it, this does not mean you should do so. Doing so makes everyone feel uncomfortable and will make family gettogethers and holidays a nightmare in the future, so play nice. Additionally, you do not want your spouse to hear that you were speaking badly about them right before heading into a divorce. You could get yourself into a situation where your spouse agreed to an amicable divorce only to pivot to a litigated one.
You do not need to say that the divorce was anyone's fault. You can keep as much information private as you would like to, even if your family pushes you. Remember this is your relationship, so you get to create its boundaries. You may even want to discuss what information you are both willing to share with family members to ensure one person is not divulging secrets without knowing he/she should not be.
What to Remember When Sharing Divorce Details with Your Family
When it comes time to tell your family about your divorce, keep these tips in mind:
Be respectful but set boundaries
Be kind to your family when sharing the news about your divorce, but also be firm with your boundaries. If there are certain questions you do not feel comfortable answering, then let them know.
Practice sharing the news with a close friend at first
See if one of your close friends is willing to listen to your "divorce share" that you will give your family members. Your friend also knows your family members well, so he/she can give you advice and suggestions.
Take the initative to share your needs
After sharing the news with your family, chances are they are going to want to be helpful in any way they can. Take the initative to express what you need. Do you want them to babysit the kids more? Do you want them to cook meals for you on nights when you are with your lawyer? Do you need help with housework? Maybe you want them to give you space while you process what is going on. Whatever it is that you need, take the time to process and let your family members know.