Telling your adult children that you have decided to end your marriage can be difficult. After hearing the news, they might react in a very childlike manner, regardless of their age. They could display a lot of emotions such as tears or anger and they might ask you some specific questions that are tough to answer.
You and your spouse need to be honest with your children without going into too much detail. You may want to explain that the two of you have been unhappy for a long time, but you decided to stay together until your children became adults. Now that they are, you are filing for divorce. Address them with compassion and empathy while also making sure they understand that the divorce has nothing to do with them.
Addressing the situation
When you talk to your older children about your divorce, it’s important to recognize that they may find it difficult to accept what you are trying to tell them. They may be upset to learn that their parents are separating, but you can help your kids by assuring them that you and your spouse will always love and support them.
It’s important that you don’t blame your spouse, regardless of how you feel. You don’t want to make your children feel like they have to choose sides. Try to stay out of any arguments with your spouse during these discussions. As your children try to understand what you’re saying, you may need to repeat yourself when answering their questions. Be patient with them and acknowledge that your children will feel a range of emotions.
Divorce is a big life change. You’ll need some guidance to help you and your kids navigate through the process.