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Telling Other People: Tips for Breaking the News about Your Divorce
by Kim Hess

You have made the life changing decision that it is time for your marriage to end. One of the next steps is to tell those you care about and interact with, that you and your spouse are getting divorced.  The following tips will help you and others involved handle the news in the best way possible.

Practice

It's a good idea to know what you're going to say and how you're going to say it.  Remember when telling others your decision to divorce do it in a calm and respectful manner.  This is not the time for accusations and fault finding.  Don't make it a long rambling speech. Get to the point.  This will help relieve the anxiety for all involved.  Be sure to tell the people you are closest with first.

Together or Apart?

If you can't stand to be in the same room with your soon to be ex, then it's not a good idea to tell people together. A fight is likely to occur, which will make everyone uncomfortable or upset.  If you two are still amicable, then it may be better if you both could sit down and tell friends and family together. Festive gathering are not the
time to break the news. If you do so at a festive gathering, you might end up ruining a good time for you and those you tell.

Details

Decide how much information is appropriate.  You may want to express to your mother that infidelity or an addiction played a significant part in the decision to divorce.  This may not be the best thing to tell your  co-workers or your child's school teacher.  If you want to
reveal no details, that is your choice and you should not be pushed into providing additional information.

Reactions

Expect reactions to vary depending on the relationship the people you are telling have with your spouse.  If you tell your loved ones who never liked him or her in the first place, you can probably expect joy. If they have a great relationship with your spouse, expect surprise and disappointment.  In time, most people will offer you
support once the initial shock has worn off.

Telling friends and family will be awkward and sometimes painful. Once the news is disclosed, it is time to concentrate on getting through the divorce in a way that is the most productive and healthy for you.

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