As you may have discovered, arriving at the decision to divorce is a difficult, painful and conflicted journey. Having decided, however, doesn’t necessarily mean the hard part is over.
If you share children—especially younger children—with your spouse, speaking to them about your decision may be the most distasteful aspect of getting a divorce. It’s important to remember, however, that children are quite resilient. Additionally, there are some principles that can help when the time comes for the talk.
The first step is planning things out
Sometimes parents speak to their children about the possibility of a separation or divorce as if they are testing the waters. This is probably not the best choice for the children because it leaves them walking on eggshells, full of uncertainty. A more appropriate way to proceed may be to make firm plans and then inform your children.
There are steps that can ease the transition
While nothing can absolutely take away the pain and sadness everyone will experience, there are a few things that can make the journey a little easier:
- Do it together. If possible, both parents and all children should be present for the discussion.
- Cut to the chase. Don’t begin with a lengthy explanation. Begin by saying in the gentlest way possible that the separation is going to happen.
- Be willing to discuss it. Try your best to answer all questions without blaming anyone.
For your sake as well as for the sake of the members of your family it’s important to remember that divorce is actually a time for new hope and a new beginning.