DIVORCE SCRIPTS FOR
Your divorce is a private matter but it’s a very social world. We’ve got diplomatic words for dealing with what others post online.
When your former spouse posts something inappropriate
He shares something that upsets you - whether it’s a photo with his new girlfriend you feel is too soon (or your kids can see) or comments about your private matters in a public forum.
THE DESIRED OUTCOME
For him to take the posting down.
To gain mutual agreement about what is/isn’t appropriate and prevent this from happening in the future.
You can’t control what he does in his post-separation life, but if something’s really bothering you, you can say something.
Avoid making this a purely emotional expression (How could you!?) or demanding an outright prohibition, which rarely works. Consider requesting your ex to hit pause on the posting for a while. And offer to make it mutual.
I wanted you to know that what you wrote yesterday on Facebook made me uncomfortable. Our separation is still new and we have many of the same Facebook friends. If you would consider my feelings in what you post, I’m willing to do the same. Not forever, but for now. I suggest trying this for 3 months.
Sarah’s mom called to tell me that Sarah saw your TikTok video with your girlfriend. It was really clear in the video that you two are a couple. The kids would be upset to know you’re posting things like that while we’re still going through a divorce - especially where their friends can see it. I’d like for you to take it down. Can we agree to hold off on these kinds of postings until the divorce is final, for the sake of the kids?
When a third party posts something that makes you uncomfortable
Someone else - a family member, friend, etc. - posts something about you, your ex, your separation, or divorce that makes you uncomfortable
THE DESIRED OUTCOME
For them to take it down and not do it again.
You can't control what someone else posts publicly, but if you have a decent relationship with them, you can certainly let them know how it makes you feel. Again, rather than making a demand, consider asking them to take it down for a period of time (like a cooling-off period after your divorce).
Seeing your Facebook post from Friday night was upsetting. I’m still processing my separation and it’s hard to see photos of my ex out having a good time. I know you’d never want to purposely hurt my feelings. So I'm asking as a friend if you'll avoid posting or sharing anything with him in it for the next 6 months. That will give me some time to heal and move on.
I saw the photos on Instagram of Darren and his girlfriend at the party on Saturday. I can’t stop you from posting them, but I did want you to ask to consider their impact. My children are friends with yours and could easily see the photos. They’re having a rough time with the divorce and I think seeing those photos would be very upsetting to them. If you’re willing I’d greatly appreciate you taking them down.