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Tips: Telling the extended family about the divorce

It is difficult enough for spouses to decide that their marriage is over and that it is time to pursue a divorce. However, what about when spouses must tell their respective families about the divorce?

Extended families, including siblings, parents and even grandparents, can get extremely invested in the relationships of their loved ones. This can make telling these family members about the divorce stressful for both spouses.

So, here are some tips to help individuals approach this stressful situation.

Start by telling one person

Before telling others about the divorce, Kentucky spouses should:

Once the family determines they are ready to tell others about the divorce, they should choose one person to tell first.

Larry Nissan, the director of the Psychotherapy Institute in Toronto, states that it might be easier for individuals to tell one person first – the person they are closest to, whether that be a sibling or a friend. This can make the conversation easier. It also gives individuals an ally and support when they tell the rest of the family.

Stick to a narrative

Whether divorcing spouses decide to tell their families about the divorce separately or together, they should plan what to say in advance. For example, it might be helpful for spouses to consider:

  • How they wish to define their divorce; and
  • What they should and should not share.

Spouses should be prepared to answer questions, but they should also establish a boundary for questions they do not wish to answer.

Do not worry about what others think

Many people worry about telling their families about their divorce. They might feel uncomfortable – like they let family members down in some way.

Remember, this is not true. Deciding to end an unhappy or unhealthy marriage is only up to the spouses, and what they deem is in the best interests of their family and themselves.