Dorothy Johnson

Explaining Your Breakup to Family

Dorothy Johnson
Explaining Your Breakup to Family

After a breakup, especially of a long term relationship, explaining everything to the family can be difficult. Especially if your ex built a bomb ass relationship with your family. I know that when my last relationship ended, there were so many issues that I had to experience when it came to family and my ex.


How Do I Explain My Breakup to Extended Family?

Typically your immediate family is in the know of the breakup, however during the holidays your extended family will probably get together and ask you all the common questions … “hows life?!” “How’s the boyfriend?” “You still living in xyz?” “When is marriage and the babies happening?”.


You know this is coming, so very simple answer, plan for it.


Make a list of responses you’ll have for all the questions you anticipate having, practice them by recording your response on your phone, and choose the ones you best like.


  • For those family members that continue to pry, come up with fun witty responses!


REMEMBER, all of this comes down to your thoughts, what are you afraid they might say or think? What’s the big deal that you’re not with your ex anymore? What is triggering you? Find out what thought is driving the uncertain or anxious filled emotion and work the model.


What If My Family Still Stays In Contact With My Ex?

Now, this is something that happened to me, and I made THE BIGGEST DEAL out of it. Like so ridiculous as I think back to it. My family loved my ex. They still do. It was so hard for me to hear about my family members hanging out with him.


Trick question, why was it hard for me to hear about my family hanging out with my ex?


MY THOUGHTS. My thoughts were causing all these painful emotions when I thought about my family spending time with him after we broke up.


I had thoughts like:

  • My family loves him more.

  • My family doesn’t respect me.

  • How could they hang out with someone who treated me like he did?

  • They are going to like his new girlfriend better than me.

  • They get to see Lucy (our dog) and I don’t.

  • How is this fair?

  • And so so many more.


These thoughts, clearly, did not serve me as it created a plethora of negative emotions that led to negative actions and results in my life. I was creating this shitty experience for myself. As soon as I took responsibility for my emotions and understood I was creating this for myself, I decided, it was no longer worth it.


Now when I hear about my family either hanging out with him or using his services, I don’t make it mean something. I’m happy that I was able to help create that relationship for them. If it weren’t for me they may not even know each other.


I remember, at one point my family member told me, “it’s none of your business who they hang out with” and at the time I made that comment mean all kinds of negative things, and now i’m like you know what, you’re right. It isn’t any of my business. Why would I spend all this time thinking about my ex spending time with my family when I can be thinking about all the time I spend with my family and how much I enjoy their company and am so grateful for them. Those two different thoughts create two very different experiences.


Remember, you get to decide for yourself, what experience you want.


Having a hard time seeing this for your circumstance? Schedule a free 30 minute break through session and we can work through it together.


How Should I Interact With My Ex’s Family?

This is muddy waters. I think the best thing to do is give your ex and their family space. The family may be going through a mini grieving process of their own. You could always write a letter just explaining how grateful you are for their relationship with you however I tread lightly around this as it’s very much about where you’re thoughts are when doing this activity.


Become aware of your thoughts, around the situation, and their family specifically. Are you having very negative thoughts and feelings about the situation? Have you grieved yet? Have you processed everything? It may be worthwhile waiting until the dust has settled and you can go at it with a clear mind.


Overall, when explaining your breakup to anyone be sure to always do your thought work before and after the situation. How do you want to show up? What thought is going to create the feeling needed to get the end result you want? Then after the conversation, what is creating your feeling? If you feel shitty about the conversation, why? What thought is generating this?


It is all about emotional maturity. Take responsibility for the way you’re feeling. Other people's opinions and feelings are because of their own thoughts. Take responsibility for your own happiness and let others take responsibility for theirs.


Merry Christmas beautiful!