Divorce is a life-changing event, and the decision to end a relationship rarely comes easily. It can shake up your entire world and shift your life in an entirely new direction. However, some people find that the hardest part isn’t actually the divorce itself; rather, they struggle with communicating their divorce to other important people in their life. You may not know the best way to tell your friends and family that your marriage is ending.

Talking to Your Parents

This can be tough, as parents are often a big part of any marriage. These are the people who congratulated you at your engagement, who cheered and cried for you at your wedding, and who have grown used to you as a married couple. It may come as a shock to them that you’re heading into a divorce. So, when sharing the news with your parents, be prepared for an emotional conversation, especially if your parents have formed a positive relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You may feel like you owe them some explanation about what happened, but don’t feel obligated to spill the secrets of your personal relationship.

When you’re breaking the news to your parents, try to keep calm and not cast blame on anyone. Assurances that you think that this is the right thing to do and a positive step in your life can go a long way toward helping everyone feel more comfortable. Things may get tough and change can be frightening, but in the end, let them know you’ll be free of a bad relationship and ready to move forward into a better life.

Talking to Siblings or Other Family Members

You may also want to inform other family members such as siblings or cousins, even though they may not be as involved in your married life as your parents. You can tell them as much or as little as you please, but it’s not a bad idea to drop them a line early on, so they don’t hear about it second-hand. If you don’t really want to get into the specifics, it’s fine to tell your family members that you’re not ready to talk about the details just now.

Letting Your Friends Know

Having a conversation about your divorce with your friends can be just as emotional as talking with family members, but you may find it helpful to bend the ear of someone who is close to you. You can choose what you feel comfortable sharing, and if some of your friends also have a good relationship with your soon-to-be ex, you may want to try and keep the conversation neutral, so that you don’t place these friends in the awkward position of having to “pick a side.”

Your Divorce Belongs to You

Remember that your divorce is exactly that: your divorce. This is your life, not anybody else’s, and you’re not obligated to share all the details. That being said, giving the people closest to you a heads-up can help assure them that you’ll get through this. It can also prevent awkward questions from being asked that you may not want to answer.

One place where it may be in your best interest to remain silent is on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Even with privacy controls on those sites, assume anything you post is visible to the public. Evidence from social media may become relevant in custody cases or during the asset division phase of your divorce. Consider temporarily locking or deleting your accounts until the divorce is finalized.

If you have questions about your divorce case and would like to speak to a family law attorney with decades of experience, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny is here to help you. To arrange a private consultation in our Bellevue office, please give us a call.


Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington