You and your spouse waited for your children to grow up and leave the nest before getting divorced. Now that you have begun the process, you have to find a way to gently break the news to them.
Whether younger or older, your children will always look at their parents as a unit. When that unit falls apart, it will be difficult for them to process and accept. Adult children may revert back to feeling like little kids when they hear that their parents are breaking up. Keep these things in mind when you share the news with them.
Explaining the situation to your adult children
Make sure that you meet as a family when you tell your children that you’re divorcing. You can meet in person or via Skype, but make sure you can see each other. Your children will need to see you as you reassure them that, despite your breakup, everything will be alright in the end. Then, consider the following:
- Your children may be angry. They will ask you hard questions about the reasons behind the divorce. Answer them as honestly as you can without throwing your spouse under the bus.
- Your children may react immaturely as they grapple with accepting this news. Give them time and be patient with them.
- Don’t play the blame game, even if you have good reason to say your spouse is at fault. Casting blame could put your children in the awkward position of having to choose sides between their parents, whom they love.
- Do not put your children in the middle. Think twice before you call your adult daughter to complain about your spouse. Regardless of their age, they don’t want to hear the sordid details.