Just as when telling your children, it’s best for you and your spouse to talk to your families and friends together. Having these conversations within a short time frame prevents the information circulating as gossip and shows respect as everyone hears it firsthand.

If you would like to talk to your respective family members and friends separately (this might be the case if one of you isn’t close to the other’s friends and family), this works best if there is agreement beforehand regarding what is said. If the relationship is a shared one, such as the in-laws, a follow-up conversation with the other partner can reassure everyone that a relationship can continue.

The level of detail you share will be determined by the closeness of the relationship. However, minimal detail is best to start with. As with the other conversations, think about the potential questions in advance and have a plan to manage them.

What you say may vary depending on the relationship, but the key with all these conversations is to treat your spouse with respect and reassure close friends and family members that your established routines will continue as much as possible. For the wider family members, the interests of the children are paramount so that their idea of family can continue.

Grandparents are often not considered in separation, and all the support and love they both offer and receive from your children should be preserved for everyone in your family.

This excerpt is from ‘Breaking Up Without Breaking Down’ – Dr Tina Sinclair, Tricia Peters and Marguerite Picard which can be purchased via Amazon – https://www.amazon.com.au/Breaking-Up-Without-Down-Preserving/dp/0992317665

Please contact MELCA – https://melca.com.au/ for more information and to book a free 15-minute information session.