Approaching the Topic of Divorce with Your Spouse

If you have been living in a difficult marriage, you may feel drained, exhausted and weary, and you may have decided that a divorce will be the best option for you and your partner. However, it is very important that you approach your spouse carefully about your decision because your initial conversation can affect how the divorce will proceed. Here are some tips that will help you broach the subject with your husband or wife.

talking divorce with your spouse

Carefully Choose a Time for Your Conversation

Before you tell your spouse that you want a divorce, you need to make some preparations. In most cases, your news will not be a surprise. Your partner will have noticed that tensions are mounting and that the two of you have drifted apart. However, you should still make sure that you carefully choose your words and the setting for your conversation. If you have children, you should schedule a time to talk when they are not in danger of overhearing the discussion, and you should bring up the topic of divorce at a time when you and your spouse are both calm and ready to listen to each other. If you broach the subject during a fight, then it could cause hurt feelings that could make the process even more difficult.

Choose Your Words Carefully

When you talk to your partner about divorce, carefully choose the words that you will use. Avoid placing blame on each other, and do not get defensive if your spouse tries to engage you in an argument. Make sure that your thoughts are clear and organized so that your partner understands that your decision is not one that you have made lightly or suddenly. You should also be prepared for the fact that your husband or wife may try to talk you out of getting a divorce, and your partner may express a great deal of anger and frustration with your decision. Your response will help lay the foundation for how smoothly the divorce will proceed.

Keep It Simple

Your initial conversation about divorce is not the best time for the two of you to determine who will have custody of the children or who will get the house. All of that will be worked out later down the line once both of you have had more time to think about what your lives will be like once the divorce is final. Your spouse may have a lot of questions for you, but you may need to schedule another meeting so that you are better prepared to answer those questions. As your conversation comes to a conclusion, assure your partner that you understand that this is difficult and that you want to work together to make sure that the divorce is fair and reasonable.

It won’t be easy to discuss divorce with your spouse, but you should try to remain as calm as possible. Your careful preparations for this first conversation may help ease some of the tension between the two of you, and your approach may help to keep the process as painless as possible.

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

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