How do you tell the world your news?
Some women prefer to be discreet, only sharing their separation with a few friends and family members. Others choose to be a little more…public.
We live in a world of announcements - birth, graduation, wedding, etc. Is it really a surprise we’ve added divorce to that list? Some would say no. Zazzle, in fact, has an entire section devoted to “divorce invitations and announcements.” (The invitation is to a divorce party, not to the divorce proceedings.)
Of course, it doesn’t require a printed announcement to share the news publicly. The number of couples, both famous and not, who announce their split online keeps growing. Gwyneth and Chris disclosed their conscious uncoupling on Goop’s website. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos chose Twitter. Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler went with Instagram.
From a simple status change (like “married” to “single”) to a full blown press release, if you choose to be public, we suggest you proceed with caution. Here are a few things to keep in mind before sharing your news:
1. Be respectful. Of yourself, your ex, and your family. A good rule of thumb: ask yourself if you would share the same message if you knew your children would see it (one day).
2. Wait until it’s over. Or at least until your settlement agreement has been signed. Anything you say can show up in court. You don’t want your judge seeing your “free at last, free at last” divorce announcement card. Just trust me on this one.
3. Take the high road. How you feel today - whether celebratory or vindictive - is not necessarily how you’ll feel 10 years from now. You'll never regret showing good behavior during this time.
4. Consider discussing your messaging with your ex first. Imagine how you’d feel if your ex announced your separation on Facebook without telling you. Before you hit send, think about sending a draft and asking if he/she’s ok with it, and maybe wants to send it jointly.
5. The more public the forum, the less information you may want to give. What you share online is permanent. Anyone can screen shot and share anything. Assume whatever you say may be read by your family, neighbors, and future employer. Don’t share details that you truly wouldn’t want known by the world. Save them for your therapist.
6. Prepare for what you’ll say next. If you post on social, for example, how do you plan to respond to comments and questions? Think long and hard about whether this is really a conversation you want to have publicly. If yes, then have your words ready. It’s one thing to update your Facebook status, but you should prepare then and there for what you say and do next.
7. Do what makes you feel comfortable. If you’re not ready to blast it to the universe, don’t. If you just want to tell a friend, there’s always the phone. And if you're ready for a big announcement, consider these suggestions and have at it.
Whatever you choose, remember that it’s your news. How you share it and who you share it with is up to you.