How to approach the subject of divorce with your friends

If you and your spouse have just decided to divorce, here's a warning: telling your friends could cause you a lot of pain. However, once you know that the divorce is definitely going ahead, you should make that news public, LoveToKnow advises. Here are some steps that you can benefit from taking in order to minimise inadvertent struggles or shocks as the news breaks.

When should you tell your friends?

The first people that you talk to about the impending divorce should be your children. Then, it would be wise to inform your parents, before turning to siblings and then other family members. Telling your friends could be the step after that.

It's possible that some of your friends are also very friendly with your spouse - in which case, telling them about the divorce could be especially painful. Therefore, it's worth thinking meticulously about what you will say before you even get in touch with your friends to say it. Stay as diplomatic as you can; this will reduce the chances of your friends automatically feeling a need to choose sides.

The approach to take with close friends

Of course, you will be closer to some friends than others. You should reveal a little more to those friends who are closest to you. We would advise starting by emphasising how much you value their friendship and warning that you have to tell them about something vital happening in your life.

You could then reveal the plans that you and your spouse have to divorce and explain: "I'm sure you already have an insight into why we are divorcing, as I have often confided in you. So, you will understand if I'm reluctant to go into detail at the moment. Once I've gotten used to what's happening, I'll try to tell you more."

What to do with casual friends

If you delay with informing casual friends, there is the chance that they could, at some point, ask about your spouse, leaving you having to awkwardly explain that the two of you are divorcing.

Therefore, it can be a good idea to tell them ahead of this situation possibly occurring. However, you shouldn't feel the need to launch into abundant detail. Your explanation should be upfront but also to-the-point. It could be along the lines of: "I'd just like to tell you that we are going through a divorce. I invite you to stay friends with us both, but hope that you respect our privacy."

A few more words of advice

Hinting that you would like privacy during the divorce process could prevent some friends asking many questions about your failed relationship. However, it remains inevitable that you will be faced with questions, possibly including uncomfortable ones, sooner or later.

In words quoted by Divorce Magazine, Larry Nissan, director of the Toronto-based Psychotherapy Institute, says that, with questions you are uncomfortable answering, you should be "explicitly unwilling to answer". Here at Pinder Reaux, we can help people, including you, to achieve effective divorce settlements.