Divorce Armor: A Free, Powerful Tool You Don’t Want to Overlook

by | Apr 28, 2024

Have you ever wished you could walk through the world like a 12th century knight – protected from hearing and seeing the things you don’t feel ready to handle? Armor on and shield out so everything unpleasant and unwanted stays far away? Now that would be amazing.

 Unfortunately, walking through the streets in 2024 dressed as a knight might backfire, and would certainly embarrass your kids… but there is another effective way to empower yourself, and I call it your Divorce Armor.

What is it? 

It’s the protective bubble you create for yourself with words: intentional messaging to help restore your confidence and sense of control. After spending more than 25 years in marketing and branding, I have come to appreciate thoughtful communication as one of the best tools available to us – it’s free, and totally in our control! As the saying goes, “You can control your message, or someone else will.”

There’s a reason I include the word “thoughtful” above. Finding the right messages for the situations and people in your life can be challenging, especially during a crisis when we’re stressed and emotionally drained. Here’s how I recommend creating messages that will give you confidence.

Recognize that you probably want different messages for the different people in your life. These are the three easiest groups I like to start with when it comes to divorce:

  • Closest friends & family
  • People you want to inform, perhaps not individually
  • Connections & acquaintances (i.e. people you run into at an event or the grocery store)

Start by creating a sentence or two for each group that answers two questions:

What do you want them to know, and what are you asking for?

For example, you want them to know the following:

My spouse and I are separating, but we will always be connected by our children. We are committed to helping them through this with love and consistency. We won’t badmouth the other parent.

What are you asking for?

We are both sad and overwhelmed. Please support us by treating (name of ex) with compassion, too.

You may want to add information about kids as well, such as:

Please interact with the kids in a “business as usual” approach – talk to them about sports, friends, etc., and feel free to give a hug when you see them.

Add or take out anything that feels right for the different groups and remember that you can ask a close friend or family member to share information for you. This is a great way to give yourself some space and to allow someone who wants to help the chance to do it.

When you create messages, start by anticipating some predictable questions:

  • What happened?
  • Are you ok?
  • Is there anything I can do for you?
  • You always seemed so happy?

You might also consider how you want your ex to talk about you when asked. Hopefully this will help both of you to take the high road. If possible, create some messages together so you’re on the same page.

Finally, I’m often asked how much information is appropriate to share. This is an important question that I wish more people would consider. It might feel good to vent but I’ve seen more situations than I can count where that feeling of release is quickly replaced with regret when cooler heads prevail, and you wish your details could remain private.

To make sure Divorce Armor serves as one of your best tools throughout divorce, take time to prepare and write down your messages so you have them ready and you reduce the chances of being caught unprepared. Then, refer to them often, and keep them with you and revise as needed.

Remember, you are writing a new story for yourself. Your messages are a great way to help you create the ending you want.