How to communicate a breakup to your family and environment

We talked to a psychologist to find out how to deal with it and how to tell about it

When a couple relationship is cut off , it is often a double trance that must be passed through. The first, of course, is the end of that union, which has its own process and phases . But other times the second drama that you may have had to face is that of telling your family and friends , often even exposing yourself to criticism or opinions that you know at that moment may be the last thing you need to hear. Although it is necessary to say that you are not alone, and according to the latest statistics, worldwide one of every two marriages will end in divorce , on average, in less than 15 years. So imagine the breakups that occur simply from courtships.

For this reason, psychologists and therapists have focused their efforts on how to tell family and friends about the separation, and it is precisely to one of them that we wanted to ask how to communicate this rupture to our environment, and especially when there are children. Manuel Menassa has a degree in psychology and is specialized in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy . It was he who has shed a lot of light on this difficult process:

“Breakups, even by mutual agreement, are extremely complex. Normally, when love disappears, it happens only to one member of the relationship. In breakups, most of the time, one of the members no longer loves and the other still loves. If they have had a conflictive relationship, they will most likely have a contentious breakup. The biggest obstacle to face the separation of the couple, is given when there are children in the relationship. It is usually more complicated, but it is not impossible and beyond the traumatic event itself, namely the separation of the parents, if it is done well, we will only have to deal with the short-term changes that occur in the family. We have to be clear about what we are going to divorce, since many couples, after a while, as the crisis progresses, decide to give themselves another chance. For this reason it has to be a decision considered over time.

Another of the great challenges is how we tell our children . In general, both parents must be present. Language must be adapted to each age and a well-defined common discourse must be defined. All this is in vain if there is no mature and adult management of emotions on the part of the parents. They may need to know exactly how that affects their routines, so we’ll need to carefully explain to them how their lives are going to be from now on, what changes and what stays the same.

In general, it is important to think about the time that elapses between the notification of the divorce and the beginning of the changes, it cannot be the day after the notification of the separation, nor allow an excessive time to pass between the communication and the change. It is better that the change be gradual, especially at an early age. In short, parents must have a common discourse adapted to the child’s age and in all cases, all the child’s doubts must be resolved, as far as possible. Still, we would have to talk about how to tell the family of origin and the in-laws about the separation. As a general rule, each of the parents should talk with her family of origin and with the close friends that she considers can help her emotionally.When it comes to telling family members, it is better not to go into details and rather talk about the new logistics or what needs we have so that they can lend us a hand. It is better not to expose our relatives to the intimate reasons for the breakup, because many times this generates a certain stigmatization of our ex-partner.

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