Getting Divorced: How to Break the News to Your Parents
If divorce is the right choice for you, there may be a number of difficult conversations you will need to have. Most people immediately think of the dreaded talk with their children, but an often overlooked conversation is approaching this topic with parents.
Everyone will have a different approach: perhaps your parents have been happily married for years, they might be divorced and still carry bitter feelings, or maybe have an entirely different situation. Any way you look at it, the talk with your parents can be one of the most difficult and unpredictable conversation you have about your divorce.
Here are some ideas and tips to consider before breaking the news to parents.
Make sure you bring this up in the right place, at the right time, and that you give this conversation the time it deserves. Find the time to have this conversation in person and broach this sensitive issue. Try to not put too much blame on your spouse. Be prepared with responses to some predictable questions.
If you feel comfortable, give them additional information on why you have come to this decision. If they bombard you with questions that are too personal or you are not ready to answer, ask them to respect your privacy as this a sensitive matter and that you need time to process.
2. Next steps.
Let them know your plans and that you will keep them updated as things develop. Parents care about their children and they will want to know that you will be taken care of and that you have given thought to this decision and how it will affect your future. When you got married the stress of worrying about their child was relieved in many ways. They no longer had to take care of you and they may agonize over the prospect of taking on those burdens again.
3. Get ready for any kind of reaction.
It’s hard to guess how anyone will take this news. They may blame you for the marriage failure or put pressure on you to try to work it out. They may get overly emotional or go completely silent from shock.
Many individuals will turn this on themselves and will consider how this decision will affect their plans, relationships, and reputation. Parents will often grieve the loss of their son or daughter in law. They may feel guilt or blame themselves to some extent.
Try not to hold what they say against them. They are reacting on emotions such as fear, loss and anger which often lead people to respond irrationally. Allow time for them to cope, process and heal. This will be difficult for them too.
4. Hold true to yourself and beliefs.
Don’t let this difficult situation allow you to doubt your self-worth or decision. They haven’t seen the entire journey that led to this pivotal moment. Remember you are in a fragile emotional state. If an environment becomes too negative, it’s okay to excuse yourself. You know what is best for you and what will make your family happy long term. Divorce is difficult enough as it is without beating yourself up in self-loathing. Try to accept your feelings and gradually let them go.
5. Express your needs.
Let them know how they can help or support you. It’s important for you to keep control and guide the conversation. Do you need a babysitter or a listening ear? Give them specifics on what you want from them and any boundaries you want to set with sharing the news with other family and friends. Explain clearly and directly what role you want them to play and how they can help comfort you and your children.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce, Burton Law is ready and available to aid you in your time of need. Contact Burton Law firm today to set up an appointment. Our attorneys are experienced and have the necessary background to guide you through this life-altering decision, and ease the emotional burden.