Years ago, you and your partner discussed getting divorced, but you both agreed to wait until the kids were older. Even though your children are grown up now, it might still be difficult to tell them that you and your partner are divorcing. The best way to handle this situation is for the two of you to break the news to them together.
Treat the conversation with the same consideration and tact that you would show small children. Even though your adult children are adults, they will likely feel a great deal of emotion upon hearing the news of your divorce.
Breaking the news
It is important to be sensitive to your children’s feelings and provide them with the information they need about your divorce. Reassure them by acknowledging their feelings and letting them know they are loved and supported. Let them know the following:
- They are not at fault. Make sure they understand that this decision was made solely based on your marriage to your spouse. Tell them you both love them and that their behavior had no influence on the divorce. Then, do your best not to put them in the middle.
- You will always love them, and nothing will ever change that. They will need to hear that more than anything else right now.
- Allow them to ask questions and answer them honestly. For example, they may ask how upcoming events will be celebrated, such as dividing holidays between the two of you. Accept their questions as they are presented to you and be truthful in your responses.
Remember that even though they’re grown, adult children can feel like their world is falling apart when their parents get divorced. Allow them the space and time they need to come to terms with the changes in the family dynamic, just as you will need the same.