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(Harper Perennial), author Constance Ahrons identifies five stages in the divorce process.
"These three transitions are characterized by ambivalence, ambiguity, power struggle, soul searching, and stress." There's no question about it: the decision to divorce causes great upheaval.
Nissan suggests that you start with "whomever you're closest to, whether it's your brother or your bowling team." He explains that starting with the people who you think will be the most supportive will help you get through this difficult time.
Don't expect any particular response; there's no guarantee to how people will react.
Unless your ex-spouse was secretly abusing you during your marriage, try not to demand that your family sever all ties with him or her.
If you have children, make every effort to create a positive relationship with your ex-inlaws – and encourage your family's good relationship with your former spouse. Beth Joselow, who divorced in 1991 after a 20-year marriage, makes these three suggestions in "Divorce is a surprisingly public event," says Joselow.
Realize first, however, that there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow when you're breaking the news.