Think Before You Speak Before & After Divorce

It’s only natural to want to open your mouth or your keyboard and tell everyone all the juicy details of your divorce. What your ex did to cause the divorce. What your ex didn’t do that forced you to file the divorce. All the money that your ex hid or spent without you knowing. All the money your ex wasted on alcohol, drugs, and gambling. You are dying to just tell someone or everyone about these important details of your life.

You justify this need because you are so furious at your ex. The consequences of you telling someone or everyone don’t matter because you are so hurt by what your ex did to you. You are tired of keeping this information to yourself and feel as if you are isolated and alone. Your actions have been misunderstood by family, friends, and coworkers. You are sick of being talked about and viewed as the villain of this divorce story. You want it to be known that you are not the bad guy.

You don’t understand how your ex received all your mutual friends in the divorce and you simply received all the marital debts. You hate that your ex is viewed by your kids as the fun parent while you try to get them to do homework and chores. Your ex never supports you when you need to discipline the kids. You are still upset over the loss of your family while your ex has moved on like your marriage barely existed. Your ex’s lifestyle hasn’t changed while you are trying to figure out how to budget and pay your monthly bills.

All the wrongs your ex committed remain silent. No one has heard your side. You reach for your phone, so you let someone, anyone know…

Before you call or post, think twice. Then think a third time. Then think of your children.

If you’re still in the process of divorcing, consider that what you write and post will potentially be read anywhere, by anyone, for many years into the future.

If the divorce is over, consider the effect your words will have on your kids, your current employer, your potential future employer, your coworkers, your friends, your future dates, maybe even your mother and father. Do you really want to share those scandalous and ugly details that reflect badly on both of you? You will be able to tell everyone of the way you were treated by your ex.  You will also be judged by the ones who hear or read those words for the way you revealed the details of your marriage. 

It’s okay to share, but you need to think before you do so.

The advice set forth in this post is not to talk or share or post. Rather, the advice is that you think twice, edit twice, think a third time, edit one more time, then speak your mind and tell your story. I understand that such a process in a world of instant gratification is not easy.  It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s meant to help you not make a lasting mistake.

Ask yourself the following question –

Do you care about how others see you? Of course, you care. How others see you is important. It affects your job, your friendships, your social life, and the dynamic of your family relationships.

Think back to the last time a close friend, family member, coworker, or acquaintance talked to you about his or her marriage, divorce, and post-divorce life. How did that conversation make you feel? Were you uncomfortable just listening? Did you know how to respond to what was being said to you? Did you walk away from that conversation feeling awkward? Did you think what was being told to you was truth or fiction? Did you think some of the details of the story were intentionally vague and fuzzy? Did you feel what was disclosed was too much?  

Now consider if you were the one telling the story. Does the listener or reader feel uncomfortable? Did you overstep what you consider the bounds of propriety? Are you concerned about how your mother, father, siblings, or children will react if they read what you just wrote? Is it possible that one or more of them may interpret the story differently than you do? Are you ready for that response to happen? Consider that we all see situations through the veil of our fear, our anger, our personal demons, and our bitterness.  How will that appear to others that are not you?

Slow down before you post. Imagine reading what you just wrote if it was written by a friend, an acquaintance, your boss, your parent. Now how does it sound to you? Do you feel as though you’ve just been afforded any insight or are you mortified to read what has just been described?

Was it TMI?

We all have different viewpoints on this topic, and what is too much information for you may be just right for me. As you reflect, consider prior incidents or situations that you have spoken of that others in your situation would never mention. These are judgment calls, and our decisions about them will vary. The point of this post is that you need to consciously decide what to say or post.

We all know the Internet has reshaped our sensibilities, our values, our tolerances, and encouraged us to speak more freely. We all hope that speaking more freely will have a positive impact on those who may read our posts and learn from them. But you must be selective in the details that you share and the way you share them. Anger and hurt can distort what we consider to be acceptable. All the more reason to exercise great caution when sharing your divorce story on the Internet. Always keep in mind who may be reading. Always keep in mind they may be people who matter the most to you in life.

Should you need the advice of an experienced divorce attorney or have questions or concerns about your situation, know that we are here to help and ready to discuss those issues with you.

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