Mum, Dad – I’m getting a divorce!
Telling your family and friends you are separating can be excruciatingly difficult, but telling your parents can be the hardest. I felt like I had to explain, I’m not a failure, I know your marriage wasn’t easy either and you worked at it but…
Maybe you just have to say it quickly, get it off your chest fast and face all the questions you have no idea how to answer! Just like pulling off the proverbial band-aid!
Mum, Dad we are separating – we have been miserable for ages, yes Dad I know life isn’t always easy, yes mum I know you don’t agree with divorce, yes dad I know it will be hard for the kids, yes dad It is a big step, No I don’t really know how it will work, Yes you can tell the family, no I haven’t told my brother yet…..
When the questions start to dwindle and you can get a word in – here is the list. Tell them you love them and hand it to them!
- Don’t become personally involved in my divorce!
- Don’t ask your friend, the lawyer, to represent me.
- Don’t say bad or derogatory things about my ex in front of me or any of your grandchildren.
- Control your protective instincts. I know you love me, but don’t get caught up in the nastiness of the “he said—she said” side of divorce. Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster – I need you to be calm!
- Listen to me when I confide in you. Do not be negative, do not say things that will fuel my hurt, anger, distrust, anxiety, loneliness or hopelessness. They are all natural feelings of people going through divorce.
- Never break confidence – don’t tell any of your friends or the family of private discussions!
- Don’t tell me how to manage the asset split, giving my ex the big TV, the larger car.. may not look fair to you, but I had to prioritise, and they were the easiest things to part with!
- Please give my kids extra love, hugs and kisses. They may have a rough time and need extra attention, you are both great at that!
- Things are going to be upside down for a while – please don’t judge me! Our schedule is about to change drastically, I will be sharing my children, returning to work, dealing with accountants, selling the house… If you notice I missed something – please offer to do it for me, rather than criticising.
- Mum, Dad I may need your help. I am not sure how yet. When I ask, if you can help just say so, if you can’t that’s fine. Just be honest with me!
- When I am ready to go out again or date, please remember I am not fifteen. Don’t ask me if I think it is too soon, or whether I should be dating etc – remember I am an adult!
Remember to empathise with your parents. They are probably hurting for you, worrying about your future and possibly feeling an element of shame in having to admit your separation to family and their friends. Poor things!
Written by Ann Wine