Couples have no trouble sending out elaborate and well thought out wedding announcements, but when the marriage is over, most individuals are in a quandary over just how to announce to friends that they are divorcing. Divorce is never easy, but letting your friends know you are divorcing doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow a few simple rules.
Agree with your spouse that you will start telling friends about your divorce plans at the same time, so that each of your friends gets the news at about the same time. This way, no one will feel slighted or unexpectedly hear it from a third party who got the news weeks ago, a big cause for hurt feelings. It is also a smart idea to tell family members and children first before announcing it to friends.
Although most people have social networks on the Internet, it is not a good idea to post information that you are divorcing as a way to inform your friends. An announcement this sensitive deserves to be told to a valued friend on a one on one basis, not in a public forum. If you can’t meet personally to share the news over coffee, at least make a phone call to inform them about your divorce decision. Any public announcement about divorce plans is just plain tacky when it comes to informing friends whose feelings you care about.
Don’t feel pressured to go into tremendous detail when announcing to friends that you’re divorcing. You want your friends to be supportive and there for you, but going into too much detail may put too much pressure on your friend to either defend or object to your decision. You want your friend there for emotional support, but you don’t want to turn your friendship into marital therapy. Simply announce the news of your impending divorce to your friend, express your feelings and ask for their understanding and support during this difficult transition period. True friends won’t press you for more information than you are comfortable sharing, and they can be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend during the divorce process.
To inform people who are not close friends but whom you think might need to know of a change in address or name change, a simple note mailed that informs them that they can now reach you at your new address or phone number is enough. Anyone who needs more information will contact you.
As much as possible, don’t use your announcement to inform a friend about your divorce to spouse bash or rant and rave. In the heat of the moment, you may say things you’ll regret later and your friendship may eventually suffer. Personally informing your friends about your divorce decision will enable them to be there for you. Should you get a negative or critical reaction from certain friends, realize that they may be responding to their own hurts and relationship disappointments much more than they are judging the decision you’ve made to divorce.