Most, if not all, people find it difficult to accept that their marriage is headed for a divorce. Heartbreak is not a fad of the times. It is an emotion that is experienced by the once faithfully in love; it hurts…real bad.
And, to make matters worse, breaking the news to “traditional” or “old school” family and friends can make the situation feel overwhelming.
Hence, it is not just the heartbreak that makes the reality of the divorce difficult to digest. The heartache is accompanied by the anxiety of having to announce the news to family and friends. (Announcing it to your children is an entirely separate matter that you may want to consult with a professional for advice).
Your nerves may be the result of your knowing – knowing the opinions and attitudes of others and knowing what they will say.
Tip: You are living your own unique life. You are traveling your own unique path. You do not owe anyone an explanation.
Worse yet, a friend may take this opportunity to tell you that she never liked your former partner since the day she met him or her or she never felt your former partner was an appropriate counterpart for you. OUCH! These comments will only make you feel worse, as if you have disappointed this person by not choosing the “right” spouse (that your divorce was inevitable) or it will make you feel stupid for not seeing what everyone else allegedly did see.
Truth: The take away here is that it is an odd phenomena that occurs when your loved ones feel the obligation to trash your spouse during your sadness in the hopes of making you feel better.
Now, if you wish to engage in a trashing session then it may make sense, but be weary! What you say in anger translates to the listener as bible and they will obey it like scripture. This creates confusion to those around you when you are finally in an emotionally good place with your ex-spouse, which should be the ultimate goal. After all, how do you envision your relationship with your ex-spouse when all of the anger has subsided?
Here are a few suggestions about what to say:
“I have news to tell you and I do not want you to pass judgment right now.”
“I am doing my best to be positive right now and I need your support.”
“My life is going to change soon but I don’t want you to change toward me or toward my spouse.”
The strategy is to be direct. Tell your loved ones what you are experiencing but also tell them what you need from them. If you do not, then it is not far-fetched that your loved ones will resort to bashing your spouse.
Why should you care?
Because your anger will pass and your spouse will very likely remain in your life for co-parenting, support, or division of assets.
You need kindness, for you and for your former partner, and you need relatives and friends that will foster your new relationship together. When you have children with your ex, your relationship never ends; it only transforms into a new type of relationship and for those spouses that work together, the end result is friendship.