Coming to the decision to end your marriage is emotionally taxing. When you and your spouse have finally committed to the decision to do so, there’s a good chance that the last thing you want to think about is having to rehash the issue with others. Yet those conversations are ahead of you.  Use the outline below as a blueprint of what to expect.

Note:  This article does not include discussing divorce with your children. That topic has too many variables and deserves its own focus. 

Friends and Coworkers

Let’s begin with the people you chat with on a daily basis. For the most part, this is where individuals in the beginning stages of divorces begin confiding their news. This makes plenty of sense because friends are always on your side and are typically the least judgmental people in your life, which is why you keep them around.

  • Close Friends

By close friends, I mean your “team”. The thick and thin, long-term friends who will be there long after your ex is in the background. In some ways, good friends know you even better than family. This makes them the safest place to start, as you can be completely candid without receiving any unfair judgment.  Your best friends likely helped you plan your wedding and they will help you plan this process as well.

  • Coworkers

Sometimes work buddies are a good place to “test the water” when it comes to discussing something as big as divorce. You grab some quick empathy, but more importantly, it’s just good practice at talking out loud about something that’s been weighing down your mind.

  • Mutual Friends

When a couple shares mutual friends it can be tough. You don’t want to force them to choose sides but eventually, things do tend to shake out in one direction or the other. Whatever happens, don’t share the news with them together. It’s just awkward for everyone.

Family

Sharing the news of divorce with your family can be painful.  Very few things in life carry more finality. With family, there is no question of “sides” but these conversations do carry more weight.

  • Parents and siblings

Your family is your most loyal lifeline. They will be with you come whatever and will help you get your life on a new track. If you find someone new, your family will welcome the new relationship due to their love for you. If a family member was particularly fond of your spouse, however, keep in mind that although your divorce is absolutely about you, this conversation is a little bit about them too. You are in essence informing them of the end of a relationship that they have valued for years and probably expected to have around for the rest of their life.  If their initial reaction isn’t as immediately supportive as your friend’s, don’t hold it against them. They’ll come around.