While it’s tough, remember that just because they’re grown doesn’t make the pain of shifting family dynamics any less real.
Talking to Adult Children About Divorce
Psychologists often suggest that parents present a united front when they break the news about divorce to their young children, but it’s even important if they’re adults. By seeing the two of you working together as parents, your adult children may be better able to process what you’re telling them. At the same time, you’re reassuring them that you’re still parenting together—and every child, no matter how old, needs to know that nothing will affect the way you feel about them.
It’s not always possible to tell your children together. If you can’t, make sure that you and your soon-to-be ex have agreed on which one of you will break the news; at the same time, agree that you’ll each make yourselves available when the kids want to talk about it.
Answering Adult Kids’ Questions about Divorce
Telling your family that you’re getting a divorce is never easy. If you have a hard time figuring out what to say, ask your North York divorce lawyer if he or she can refer you to a local therapist; sometimes having the input of an impartial third party can help you gain perspective and sort through what’s most important to share with your children.
Fielding the Tough Questions
Despite the fact that your kids have reached adulthood, they’re still your children. They deserve to be protected from the grisly details and the “blame game” that many people are tempted to play. Since they’re grown, they’ll likely ask very specific questions about infidelity, finances and other adult topics. They may even want to know if you’re paying or receiving spousal support. Answer honestly, but without delving into specifics that will paint your ex in a bad light.
If You Stayed Together for the Kids
Even if it’s the truth, think twice before telling your adult children that you stayed in a loveless marriage for their benefit (particularly if you’ve been a victim of domestic violence or other types of abuse). Nobody wants to feel responsible for a parent’s unhappiness, but telling your kids that you were simply waiting for them to grow up might trigger that kind of guilt.
Honesty and Tact: The Best Policies
No matter how you decide to tell your adult kids about your divorce, remember that they deserve your honesty. At the same time, they deserve to be spared sordid details that could affect their relationships with your ex. With time, they’ll come to terms with your divorce—but check in with them from time to time and make sure they’re okay, just like you would if they were still young enough to live with you.