When your children were little, you started to feel unhappy in your marriage but you stayed together for their sake. Now that they are grown and out of the house, you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce after being married for 20 years.
You might be surprised to learn that telling your adult children that you’re getting divorced can be just as hard as telling young children. They may be adults, but you are still mom and dad to them. No matter what their ages are, your divorce is bound to be painful for them.
Delivering the news
When it comes to breaking the news, it’s important that both you and your spouse are there. Discuss what you will say with your spouse beforehand and handle the discussion with the same care and sensitivity that you would with young children.
Your adult children may not react maturely to the news. They may be angry and feel that their world is crumbling down around them. Reassure them that:
- You will always love them. That will never change for either of you.
- They are not to blame for your divorce — nor are they to blame for your decision to stay together so long.
- Everything that they are feeling is valid. They will most likely experience a wide range of emotions. That’s normal when faced with something new and scary.
Be careful not to blame your spouse for the divorce. Even if it’s true, your children don’t need to know the details. Regardless of the reasons for the divorce, your children love both of you. Be careful not to make your children feel like they must choose sides. Remind them that both of you will always be there for them whenever they need you.
When you are ready to file for divorce seek assistance to help you navigate through the process.