Sharing too much about your divorce may feel good in the moment but, your loose lips will come back and haunt you later.
Everybody loves a good story since every good story has a fair share of drama. And let’s be honest, everybody loves a good drama, especially when it’s not playing out in their own personal lives. For those of us who have endured the painful reality of divorce, there are few areas of our lives that produce more drama than marriage and divorce. It makes for plentiful conversational fodder around the water cooler at work. It’s pure ear candy for just about any adult with an ear.
For these reasons, it’s easy to see why someone might want to share nitty-gritty details about their divorce with anyone willing to listen. Who doesn’t love to be the storyteller, especially when you have “one heck of a story?” But just because you have a juicy story to share and an eager audience willing to listen, does not mean you should divulge the personal details of your divorce.
There are several other factors that must be considered before sharing the personal details of your divorce with others.
While misery loves company, company does not always love misery.
Though you might have a good story to share, even one that’s true – it does not mean it needs to be repeated. Not everyone wants to hear about your train wreck. Not everyone wants to discover the darker side of humanity, especially if they happen to know the one on the dark side. View the dirt of your story as if it’s actual dirt. Does this innocent bystander really desire a pile of it in their ear – even if it’s in the form of words?
In divorce, there are generally three sides to every story: yours, theirs and the truth.
Just because you are on the right side of right doesn’t mean you are free of wrongdoing. No one is perfect, even if you happen to be more perfect than your ex. It also doesn’t mean every aspect of their version of events is wrong. No one will argue that you were wronged. But sharing the incriminating evidence or embarrassing stories about your ex doesn’t help make anything right.
It’s common knowledge that “hurting people hurt people.” It’s human nature to want to hurt those who hurt you. But until someone takes the time and energy to find healing, the hurt will continue. Be the person committed to healing and stop the endless cycle of hurt. Whereas hurting people hurt people – the opposite is also true: Healed people heal people. Be a healer, not a harmer.
Sharing details of your story doesn’t change the past.
While there are benefits to sharing your pain with a close friend or counselor, the benefits end when sharing them with the masses. It’s one thing to share something with healing and growth as your ultimate goal. It’s another when sharing is done in a spirit of revenge. Sharing details of your divorce with anyone willing to listen merely reveals your bitter heart and delays healing on your end by keeping the hurt in circulation. Consider WHO is hearing WHAT and WHY.
Following the Golden Rule can serve you well.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would you want this same information shared about you, especially if it’s true?
Everybody loves the high road but few want to take it.
Sharing the “dirt” of your divorce is not taking the high road. Though your story (or version) may be true and even 100% accurate, it doesn’t mean it’s worth repeating, especially with people who are not in a position to help you process, heal or grow. Sharing details with a therapist or counselor is one thing. Sharing it with the town gossip or local newspaper editor is another. Take the high road. It doesn’t feel as good in the moment but it’s worth the trip.
What you share could get back to the children.
Kids are the ultimate losers in any divorce. No one is as innocent or damaged in the process of divorce like a child. Sharing less than flattering “truths” about their Mom or Dad only perpetuates their underlying belief that they are “half bad” – especially since most divorces are caused by the “bad” actions of another. Consider the children in this equation. Would you want your kids to hear these things about you if the roles were reversed?
It can hurt you legally.
When you have been wronged, it’s easy to justify the wronging of others. But, as they say, “two wrongs don’t make a right” and you put yourself in a very vulnerable position legally if it comes out that you are sharing certain details you shouldn’t be. There are numerous cases where sharing certain information (especially on social media) can backfire and be used against you in court… sometimes costing you not just money but the very custody (or time) with your kids. It’s simply not worth it.
Ultimately, sharing doesn’t help you move on.
Healing and moving on should be your ultimate goal in divorce, not revenge or justice. Every second you pursue seeking revenge or attempting to feel justified in your anger only slows down the healing process. Find a close friend and share with them. Sit on the couch of a counselor and really get to the bottom of your pain. Avoid the trap of sharing with the masses as it is counterproductive and doesn’t do a thing to the person who caused your pain.
Many feel victimized in the divorce process; by their ex, by the courts, even by their friends and family. Dealing with that pain is going to take time. Don’t complicate it further or delay the healing longer by sharing excess amounts of your story with those who aren’t in a position to help you grow from the experience. Just because you have a front-page news story doesn’t mean it needs to be printed. Consider what you are sharing, with whom and your motive before you open your mouth.