I’m sorry to tell you that there is no short cut here, no emoji that succinctly says – You knew me as married and now I am getting a divorce. Well, there is that pile of poop emoji, but that could be interpreted many ways.
We’ve all handled this in a variety of different ways and it can be a long drawn out multi-year process depending on how large your social and acquaintance circle is to something quick and over in a flash (think Bragelina TMZ style). Sometimes your Ex handles this poorly and maybe all kinds of people knew you were getting a divorce before you did, but if that’s not the case and you get to be in front of the announcement, here are a couple of options:
- Rip the band-aid off. Think back to when you got engaged, when you had a baby or similar type news. This was usually accompanied with a big social media post, pictures, cards, flowers, balloons. OK, fair, this is a different kind of announcement but it can be handled in a tasteful way. Actually similar along the lines of announcing the death of a loved one – it is the death of a marriage. We are moving on to something better in the long run, but it’s o.k. to mourn the loss of the marriage.
A tasteful facebook post is just fine, “we (or I) would like to announce that we have decided to divorce. Thank you for your support when we were a couple and now that we are moving on as individuals . . .” something like that.
- Let’s ease into the thing. Start with a phone call or in person coffee/lunch with those closest to you – family, best friends. This is really not the kind of thing you text. Then moving on to work colleagues. The conversations you have with those closest to you are more personal and intimate and shouldn’t be the same as with co-workers or those who are in your kids carpool group. A simple, “I just wanted you to know that me and (former spouse) have decided to get a divorce.” OR “I just wanted you to know that I’m going through a divorce right now, and I just wanted you to hear it from me . . .” They will most likely respond with “Oh I’m sorry . . . and then maybe a bunch of questions . . .” You can choose to answer or not but don’t feel like you owe anyone an explanation or more information than you are willing to share.
When it comes to those in your kids life, other parents or teachers, it does help that you let them know as it takes the burden off of your child to explain and that’s uncomfortable for a kid to handle. The other parents and teachers will want to help and it will be a welcome comfort to have them understand the family situation.
Then that’s it. As time goes on other friends, acquaintances will hear or get the drift from social media posts. Even years after I was divorced I heard from friends I wasn’t close to, “oh wow, I just heard . . .” and that’s perfectly fine. You don’t owe an announcement nor explanation to anyone on any kind of time table.