How to Talk About Your Divorce with Others
All to often we are the ones giving other people something to talk about. Learn from our expert guest blogger and therapist, Erika Myers, how you can work together with your spouse and agree how to discuss your divorce with others.
Something to Talk About?
When faced with a difficult relationship change, particularly a divorce, there are some important factors to consider when choosing what to share and with whom you are going to share it. If you are hoping to have an amicable (or at least civil) relationship with your ex post divorce, speaking to and about him respectfully is an important first step. If you have kids, you are likely going to have to continue dealing with each other for many more years, and doing so with decency can make it a much less painful process for everyone. You can set the tone for your future interactions with how you choose to talk about the divorce to others.
When talking to others, consider if they are connected with your ex and if they are likely to continue to have contact with him. If so, sharing general facts that both you and your ex agree upon can be a good way to go. For example, you might agree to say “we are going through some tough times, we don’t know what it will look like, but we appreciate your love and support as we figure it out.” By using the little word “we” you are indicating to the listeners that they don’t have to take sides, blame either partner, or feel conflicting loyalties.
With close friends and family, you can share more and get more emotional support, but be careful about engaging in negative talk or letting your friends speak negatively about your ex, particularly if you have kids. Instead, focus on your feelings and let them know how they can help you through this, without bashing your ex.
The best person to process your most negative feelings with is a therapist – someone who can hear the whole story and help you sort through how to handle all that you are feeling. By talking with someone who is not involved in your or your ex’s daily lives, you can be free to share anything you want without worrying about how your words will impact everyone else.