We've seen people in your shoes—a spouse announces a divorce—make a bunch of mistakes when it comes to talking with others.
One mistake is to not tell anyone, often out of shame or to avoid recognizing the threat as real. The result is isolation and stewing in one’s juices.
A second mistake is to tell the world. You’ve seen it: everyone at work, church, and the book club get told. The spouse is furious for being made to be the bad guy for a marriage crisis. And people start taking sides. A third mistake is talking to a few wrong people.
Top on the list is your children—young or out of the house. Let some dust settle before bringing them in and churning them up. Make sure your emotions have stabilized first, or else you will be inviting them to take care of you, and maybe side with you. Wait a bit to see if your spouse wavers on the divorce idea.
And don’t talk to your spouse’s relatives and friends—that will feel like backstabbing.
Ideally just one or a couple of very trusted friends or family members. Here are some criteria to use in choosing confidants.
So here’s our input: open up, don’t go through this crisis alone, but choose your confidants wisely.
Tell them what you need—caring, support, constructive challenge, and friend for you and your marriage.