My first try sharing the news of my separation and pending big “D” with people over lunch at a trendy sushi restaurant was a disaster. “How are you?” went straight to “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE SEPARATING? YOU TWO ARE SO HAPPY!”, and I quickly realized that the entire lunch was now going to be about me taking care of them while they processed my news.
I was determined to find a better way to break the news to family and friends.
First, I thought maybe I should issue a press release. Yup, I did. In this day and age why not? "EX and I are going through the process of separating. While we continue to be friends and are committed to being the best co- parents, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Okay, okay maybe that would have been a bit much, but I knew I needed something to break the ice. The thing is friends and family need to have a moment to process the information, it’s a shock.
Putting people on the spot is a no-win situation for both parties.
A phone call, text, email, DM’s are all great ways to give someone the heads up about your bombshell. Advance warning allows the person to digest the information and actually be present next time they see you.
While I was convinced that my press release was a damn fine idea, I woke up to the fact that I had to let go of trying to control the narrative. You can't control what anyone thinks about you or your divorce.
Look, the truth is that people are going to process the news in their own way.
Here are a few examples of responses you might get to your news:
OH MY GOD! Will I catch it? This is a zombie apocalypse and you are patient zero. If this person talks to you about your situation it might cause them to divorce.
I’m SO SORRY. Oh my God you POOR THING! You are a lost, helpless lamb and powerless.
Can’t you make it work? AKA You are not allowed to do this!
He’s/She's so great! Why? What about your kids? They will throw every reason in the book at you, except the facts that actually lead to your tough choice.
I'm really sorry to hear that. I'm here for you. Thankfully more often this is what you'll get.
Divorce is hard. You don't have to go it alone.