How to Tell Your Parents Your Marriage Isn’t Working Out
It’s a sad fact that divorce rates have been increasing in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000. No newly wedded husband thinks his marriage will become part of the grim statistics, but some inevitably do. This article looks at how to tell your parents the alliance isn’t working. It offers some helpful guidelines for men on ways to break the sad news.
Most married couples have ups and downs, and some even endure high peaks and low dips. Everyone wants the perfect marriage and everlasting love, but life doesn’t always deliver.
- Focus on the Family First
Sometimes, a marriage reaches the point of no return if it becomes unstable. Parents should hear about it first-hand and not from the whispers of other people. Consider how best to deliver the news, including what to say, the day, time, and place. Every parent is different, but emotions can run high as mums and dads start to ask lots of questions.
- Prepare the Announcement
There’s lots of advice around about how couples should announce the split with children. There’s less helpful advice on how to break the news to parents. How you approach this is a personal matter, but the 6 tips below can help you prepare.
- Become same page partners
- Choose who to tell first
- Explain the main reason for the split
- Keep the emphasis on the importance of family
- Take charge of the conversation
- Offer reassurance
It can be hard to focus during this challenging time, so a structured approach is critical.
#1 Become same page partners
This step might be difficult if the breakup is for reasons of infidelity or abuse. Bitter clashes don’t help either party. Try to put any differences between you to one side where possible. Being on the same page on what you tell others makes a painful process much less uncomfortable. A display of mutual agreement is especially important if there are children to consider.
#2 Choose who to tell first
No parent wants to hear news of your pending divorce through idle gossip. That doesn’t mean they need to be the first to know. You may choose to confide in a close friend or family member at the start. Loving support can help to put things into perspective and get you to think clearer. Having someone in your corner before you break the news to parents is a good thing.
#3 Explain the reasons for the split
The split is beyond repair once you decide to announce it. Parents and other family members may still try to talk you out of the decision. It’s a time to be firm, so prepare for any opposition. Explain the reasons for the breakup, but leave out sensitive details you’d sooner not share. Be strong, and don’t let parental pressure keep you in a dead relationship out of guilt.
#4 Emphasis on the family
Marital breakups can affect the entire family in Asian cultures specially. Ensure both sets of parents that family interaction will continue if you have kids. There should be minimal disruption to the quality time grandparents spend with their grandchildren. The same applies to all family interactions, i.e., cousins, friends, uncles, and aunties.
#5 Take charge of the conversation
It’s easy for a man to lose the conversational lead to his upset parents. That’s especially true when emotions run high. Prepare for this if you have a dominant mother or father. Let them know that your decision is final, and how you need their support during this difficult time. Prepare to walk out—not storm out—and resume talks at another time if things get too heated.
#6 Offer reassurance
Parents want kids to be happy whatever their age, so it saddens them to see you troubled. And no child likes to see mum and dad upset either. It’s your job to offer them post-breakup reassurance, even if you need to fake things a little. Outline your plans for after the divorce. Show them that you’ve thought everything through and are ready for a new start.
- When Parents Disapprove
Divorce is still taboo in some many cultures and carries a certain stigma and shame. But no man should feel pressured to stay in a loveless relationship, and even less an abusive one. Parents of young children need to give kids a loving home and protect their developing minds. Point this fact out to your folks if they disapprove of the breakup.
- Children First and Foremost
Fortunately, attitudes are changing, even in the most conservative communities. Couples with strict parents may need to disagree with their values and divorce anyway. Children and harmonious home life must always come above tradition in these cases. It’s wrong and potentially harmful to stay together for the kids when parents don’t get along.
- Closing Thoughts
Keep best friends and family close by during this troubling time. A failing marriage is rarely painless. And men can get as upset as women, but they’re better at hiding it. It’s always good to talk. Try not to express resentment or blame in what’s become an irreversible situation.