3 Tips for Announcing Your Divorce
There is nothing quite like the excitement of announcing your engagement. You take hundreds of pictures of your sparkling new ring on your perfectly manicured hand, your smiling faces pressed up against each other. The “Congratulations” and Facebook “likes” rush in as the news spreads. Everyone knows and everyone is happy.
Announcing a divorce is something entirely different. You hardly want to shout it from the rooftops if you even want to speak of it at all. Beyond the stress of hiring a divorce lawyer or searching for child custody lawyers, splitting up your assets, and starting a new life, you will also have to deal with the opinions, reactions, and feelings of so many other people involved.
Like any normal human being, you have at least a few important people in your life, and these people are bound to find out about your big life change sooner or later. There’s no question: it’s better for you to break the news yourself than for them to find out through a distant mutual friend on social media.
Whether you want it or not, you are going to need the support of your closest friends and family. It’s not easy to talk about, so here are some tips on how to break the news.
- Start with your girlfriends: Talking to your closest girlfriends is probably the easiest, and if you are as close as you say, they’ve probably seen it coming for a while. Of course, each situation is different, but generally speaking, these ladies will probably scramble to show their love and support.
- Be gentle with your family: Telling your family may prove to be the most difficult because chances are they invested quite a bit into the relationship (emotionally and maybe even financially). Decide ahead of time how much you are comfortable with telling them. Be honest, but keep in mind which details are appropriate and which are simply unnecessary. There is a risk in divulging too much information about fights and infidelities: it can leave your family feeling awkward, angry, and depressed. Also, if you eventually reconcile with your spouse, all those details may come back to haunt you later.
- Share sparingly on social media: Whether or not you choose to share the details of your personal life on social media at all is up to you. If you do feel compelled to announce your divorce online, be prudent with what you divulge and to what extent you express your true feelings. Remember, the Internet is forever and it is for everyone. Sure, you can adjust your privacy settings and take down posts later, but you can never be too careful when it comes to your web presence.
Relationships are the fourth most common cause of stress in the U.S., and ending a relationship is likely to top your list as you go through the divorce process, hiring divorce lawyers and signing divorce papers. Dealing with other people’s reactions won’t make the whole thing any easier, but hopefully, your friends and family will be supportive and help you through it.
The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is nine years. If you've made it this long, your friends and family might be totally surprised by the news. Don't let their shock and knee-jerk reactions impact your decision.
In the United States, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. You are not alone. If you have any more tips for announcing a divorce or any questions about divorce law, feel free to post in the comments section below.