Relationship Status Update: Divorce in the Digital Age

“Forget Brad and Angelina, have you noticed Diane and Matt’s Facebook pages?!” We update our status with our courtship, marriage, pregnancy, 1st born … Then GULP. What do I do now that my personal life’s gone to the crapper? What does that status update look like?

There is no manual. But there are lots of options. #thanksfacebook

relationship status update

But while you’re divorcing, my advice is to control one of the few things you can during this tumultuous time … what you post on social media. Like many, when I got engaged and then married, I was oh so excited to update my status. But once you start having kids, you forget about your relationship status for the most part.

Relationship Status Update

Then one day, maybe a few months into your separation, it dawns you … I need to deal with this “relationship status update” thing.

And that’s just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

You have albums serving as detailed documentation of a life that, in many ways, you are transitioning out of. You may feel the need to handle old pictures that inevitably will come up when you are reminded in TimeHop.

Let’s not forget about your posts. We send a message with every status update, article shared, and picture posted. Take a moment (or a week or three) to think about what the message you want to be sending. You need to be intentional about your messaging.

If you are used to sharing all of your feelings on social media, your divorce is the perfect time to impose a strong self-filter.

Are you sharing maybe a few too many “Who Needs Men When You Have Wine & Girlfriends” type memes? Will you obscurely vent and complain? Will you do what I strongly suggest you don’t do (yes, even if the other is not playing nice), fight fire with fire and give it right back?

Divorce is long. It’s up and down. It’s your business.

I recently saw someone’s status update, “Pam and I are getting a divorce…” I’m sure it was well intended to seek support or to maintain honesty with “friends.” However, social media platforms don’t allow for the nuances of communication necessary to convey such a complex topic, riddled with vastly varying opinions / assumptions, as divorce. This can invite questions you don’t want to be asked or opinions and advice that has no place to be in your environment right now. When in this major life transition, you need to protect yourself from the barrage of input from folks who, as well intended as they may be, do not need to be in your inner circle.

If you are feeling compelled to make a sweeping announcement or radical change in your social media, reach out and solicit feedback from someone you admire for their integrity. Don’t ask your girlfriend who posts screenshots of text fights with her boyfriend.

For me, I kept my posts about work, kids, events, holidays and I never once made any sort of announcement. One night I simply deleted relationship status altogether. In time, you won’t need to think about managing your message as much. You will organically evolve into your new settled, post-divorce life. And rest assured, I will be blogging about that soon!

Julie Couret
Nola Native, Julie Couret is Mom of Emma Mae (12) & Helen (10) and partner to her long term boyfriend Tom. She co-parents with her ex-husband & is known for candid posts on her life behind the scenes. Julie is self-employed an Executive Coach who works with business owners leading strategic planning sessions, management training, leadership development, and change management. She loves road trips with her kids, playing tourist in her own city, and riding in her parade Krewe Cleopatra!


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