If you are considering divorce, you have probably already had several preliminary conversations with one or two select friends or family members.
Once you have decided, you need to tell several people, and you need to be aware that some of these conversations will be difficult. Here are the two most important ones:
The ease of this will depend in part on whether you have touched the theme before. “Darling, let’s forget about all these plans we discussed last week. I’ve decided I want a divorce, instead” will always come as a shock.
Consider how your spouse might react. You need to avoid endangering yourself or them. If they can be violent, consider announcing your plans by phone once you are in a safe place. If that is not an issue, just make sure you do not do it when they are driving, halfway up a rock climb or anything like that.
You generally need to tell your spouse before you tell your kids. (Violent partners may be the only exception.) Ideally, you and your spouse can put some rough plans in place, so you have some concrete details to give your kids. For instance, maybe you will all stay in the same town so the kids do not need to change school and can still spend a lot of time with each parent.
Remember, your kids may react badly, too, even if they keep their reactions hidden from you. If you think this may be the case, consider asking a teacher or friend to keep an eye on them if they are out of the house.
You will also need to tell other family members, but your spouse and kids are the two most important people to tell. Getting help to understand more about divorce can help you prepare for these challenging conversations.