How to Talk to Your Family About the Upcoming Divorce

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted November 14, 2019

Deciding to divorce is a tough choice for anyone, but a choice you make with confidence when it’s the right decision for you. Divorces are full of emotional difficulty but often the hardest thing to deal with is actually telling your family and friends that the marriage they were once familiar with is now over. Parents often have almost as extreme a response as their child who is getting divorce. Anyone who spent a lot of time with you as a couple and may have been invested in your relations may have an emotional reaction and need to process through the idea of you being separate once again.

If you’re agonizing over how to tell your nearest and dearest about your upcoming Denver divorce mediation, it’s okay to take it slow. Start by approaching the people in your life who will most likely help you break the news to everyone else and help you get through your own emotions during this trying time.

Tell Your Most Supportive Family Members First

When breaking the news of your family, it’s best to start with those who are most supportive of what is best for you. Whether this is your mother, a sibling, a favorite cousin, talk to the person who will care about your journey and support your decision instead of getting caught up in what your divorce means to them. This person, or perhaps small group of relatives, will become your partner in breaking the news to everyone else. They will support you through this trying time and will help influence those who have their own extreme reactions and those who may try to pressure you against the Denver divorce mediation process for their own reasons.

The first people you tell will help to shape how the rest of the family responds to the news. And they will support you in case anyone else reacts badly.

Sit Down with Close Family Members Who May be Upset by the News

Next, schedule several hours to sit down and tell the members of your family members that need to know but might take the news hard. Your parents, a sibling who was invested in you as part of a couple, or an aunt or uncle who were a big part of your wedding. Anyone might react badly, give them time to process their reaction in the course of your conversation. Tell them gently and make it clear that you are making an important decision in the best interest of both you and your spouse. Kindly frame the situation and the kind of relationship you expect to have with your spouse after the divorce.

If they say they need time to think about it, give them space to process. Everyone who was invested in your marriage will have their own reaction. Parents often can’t help but feel they have failed in some way. If this seems to be the case, assure your parents that they have been wonderful, but your life has changed as an adult and you and your spouse are just no longer right for each other.

Draft a Minimal Email for Distant Friends and Family

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For the people in your life who need to know but who don’t see or speak to you often, a simple message is enough. There’s no need to go into the whole details tory ore even put much emotion into the message. Aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings you don’t talk to often, and anyone else you only see around family holidays will understand if you send them a brief email. Because they are not an emotional part of your life, this message is really just a courtesy to avoid awkward questions and encounters at the next family holiday when your spouse does not come with you.

Talk to Your Best Friends About Telling the Friend Group

Then there’s your friend group to tackle. If you and your spouse shared friends, as many couples do, then expect this news to rock your group to the foundation. Or for everything to continue as-is without one of you or the other. Every friend group is unique, and loyalties sometimes don’t always lie where you expect. It’s also possible that the group’s cohesion itself won’t survive the Denver divorce mediation as well. Be prepared for anything.

Again, the best approach is to start with your most loyal ally. Talk to your best friend first and get their help approaching everyone else. The way to talk to each friend is different from your family, because their association to you is more varied. Tackle the situation with your best friend if possible and they’ll help influence reactions away from drama.

Gently Explain the Situation to Your Children

Finally, if you have children, then telling them about the upcoming divorce is something that should be done gently, carefully, and with absolute honesty. This doesn’t mean revealing all the unpleasant details of how the relationship broke up. But don’t tell your children anything false about the situation. Be kind and honest about your feelings and what your children can expect in the next few years.

It is very important to reassure your children that the Denver divorce mediation is entirely something between you and your spouse, and not anything they have done or could have influenced. Reassure them that both parents still love them and will be there for them.

Then ask your children about their feelings and let them talk out the situation. It’s normal for children to be upset and to need time to process through the situation. Give them space and loving support. Younger children will need plenty of hugs and constant reassurance while older children and teens will need space and whatever support they ask for while they process through the situation.

Telling your family about a divorce is not always easy. But with the right approach, you can build a foundation of support from those who can prioritize your feelings and experiences, then give time to those who need to process through the profound change in family structure your divorce may have cause. Contact Split Simple today with help planning your Denver divorce mediation with the best interest of everyone involved, even your family. 

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