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How to tell your spouse you want a divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Divorce |

You know that your relationship with your spouse has deteriorated beyond repair and that divorce is the only option. However, your spouse may not be aware of that fact yet. You have a responsibility to inform your spouse of your intention to divorce.

This is a difficult discussion that you must approach carefully. The initial divorce discussion can set the tone for the entire process.

Keep the conversation private

If you and your spouse have children, choose a time for the conversation when they are not at home. That way, there is no chance of them overhearing it and finding out about the divorce before you and your spouse are ready to tell them about it.

Plan what to say

Thinking about what you will say ahead of time helps you to stay calm and focused during the conversation, even if you receive an emotional reaction from your spouse. Never bring up the subject of divorce as part of a heated argument, and do not use it as leverage to get what you want from your spouse. Not only is this manipulative, but it also hurts your credibility when you decide to divorce in earnest.

Avoid blaming

Do not place the blame on your spouse when you inform him or her of your intention to divorce. Psychology Today suggests using I-messages, such as, “I am unhappy in this situation,” instead of blaming statements such as, “you make me miserable.”

These suggestions assume that you are not in a dangerous situation. If your spouse is abusive, or you believe he or she may become violent in response to the divorce conversation, you need to prioritize your own safety.