Okay, you're thinking about getting a divorce. By now you've shed enough tears and you're ready to take on the toughest challenge of all — telling your folks!
Why is it so difficult to go public? Because going public means dropping the façade. No more equivocating. Now you're serious. Once you've turned that corner, you will have to defend your decision and listen to a lot of bad advice about how to fix what you believe is beyond repair.
Going public also means dealing with the paparazzi — friends, family, neighbors and others who seem to come out of the woodwork and peer into your life. Unless you can keep cool under fire, you may find yourself short on patience when Mom lists all the reasons why you are making the mistake of your life and insists on sending you to that marriage guru who gave Cousin Sybil the love potion that saved her marriage.
Be strong. Here are some suggestions to help you make that dreaded announcement and emerge psychologically and physically unscathed.
Make a plan. Once you conclude that the "Big D" is on the horizon, script your news so that only the details you want are aired around the globe. Also, you stand a better chance of being heard if you are focused, self-assured and positive about the future.
Consider the dynamics. The way you and your parents relate to one another as adults will obviously have a lot to do with how your parents respond. Even if you are close and have always enjoyed good communication, tread lightly.
Establish boundaries from the get-go. Listen to their advice, but make it clear that you have the final word. Assure your parents that you want to be independent as soon as possible. It's okay to enlist their support because they will want to be there for you. They just don't know what to expect, what to do. (Hint: give them my book "Your Child's Divorce: What to Expect, What You Can Do" Impact Publishers, Inc.)
Be sensitive to your parents' feelings. Acknowledge their concerns. Remember they are also hurting. Divorce affects everyone. Parents are worried about your welfare, their access to their grandchildren, and their future role in your life. This is especially true if you ask for financial assistance or a temporary safe haven and they have to open the sofa bed.
Find a buffer. At times, you may need to communicate through a go-between — a sibling or close family friend. Just make sure the ally is on the same page when you are too overwrought to deal with the phone calls. And, by the way, limit yours. Parents complain about being awakened at midnight to listen to tirades.
By keeping everything on track you will avoid a family train wreck.Click the following to return to the Divorce Resource Directory.