If you’re thinking of divorcing your partner, you’re far from alone. It’s estimated that anywhere from 40%-50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.
Divorce may be common, but discovering that you want a divorce can be jarring. On top of grappling with a lot of complicated feelings, you’re also thinking about how you’re going to bring it up to your spouse.
If you’re thinking of divorce but don’t know how to bring it up, we’re here to help. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know to handle your divorce conversation the right way.
What to Do If You Want A Divorce
If you’re looking for an article that can tell you a way to bring up divorce without hurting feelings or causing stress, you won’t find it here, or anywhere, because it doesn’t exist.
Divorce is going to be a difficult topic to talk about. Even people in marriages that have been troubled for years will have strong feelings about legally ending things.
We can’t tell you a way to have a pain free divorce, but we can help you approach the subject in a thoughtful and meaningful way.
When you’re planning on having “the talk” with your spouse, please make sure to keep these tips in mind.
Be Sure You Want a Divorce
The topic of divorce isn’t one that should be mentioned lightly. Before you even broach the topic of divorce, make sure that you actually want one.
Are you thinking about divorce because you feel angry or frustrated? Do you want to bring it up because you think that it’ll force your spouse to address issues in your marriage? Are you bringing it up for more power and control in the relationship?
You never want to say something you can’t take back. Just simply mentioning divorce can trigger a lot of changes in a relationship, and some of them are rarely positive.
Divorce should always be a last resort. If you’ve been to therapy, have made earnest attempts to work on your relationship, and truly feel you’ve done everything you can to save the marriage, it’s time to go to the divorce option.
Gauge Their Awareness
When divorce is mentioned in some relationships, one party may see it coming from a mile away. Others may be relieved that you brought it up first so that they didn’t have to.
Despite this, it isn’t uncommon for some partners to be completely blindsided by it. Some may be in denial about the state of their marriage, and others may simply be unaware that things have gotten to this point.
Regardless of how your spouse feels, you need to figure out their true feelings. Knowing how they feel about the state of the relationship can help you determine the best way to broach the subject.
Choose the Right Time and Place
There’s a right time and a place for everything. When you’re going to talk about divorce with your spouse, be mindful of when you choose to do it.
One of the most important pieces of divorce advice you can hear is to never bring it up during a fight.
Emotions can run high during an argument and it’s easy to say something you don’t mean. The stress and the emotion associated with the talk can also make your spouse think that you were being emotional and didn’t mean what you said.
Adults lead busy lives. Work, family, and social obligations can take up a lot of free time and add a lot of stress to your life. Despite your busy schedule, find time in both of your days to talk.
Find time where the two of you can talk uninterrupted. Try to eliminate distractions from televisions, phones, or computers. You need to create an environment where you can have a serious and uninterrupted conversation.
If you have kids, consider sending them to their grandparents for the night or setting up a playdate so that they can’t distract you when you’re trying to talk.
Get in the Right Headspace
Imagine trying to give an important work presentation when you’re the angriest or saddest you’ve ever felt. If that situation sounds stressful, apply the same thinking to speaking with a spouse about divorce.
Divorce is an emotional topic, but when you’re talking about it you need to be as calm as possible. If you’re talking to someone when you’re yelling or sobbing, you can’t expect them to respond calmly.
You may want to consider going for a walk or drive before you have your big talk so you can clear your head. Exercise can also be a great way to reduce stress and calm yourself naturally.
Try to establish a gentle but firm way of speaking with your spouse. Don’t feel the need to be cruel or bring up unnecessary things, but also be firm and let them know that this is what you want.
Prepare for Their Reaction and Next Steps
Being told that your marriage is ending isn’t a pleasant experience. Don’t be surprised if your spouse may get angry, sad, or express their emotions strongly.
Your spouse may need some time to process everything they just heard. Consider staying with a friend or family member for a night or getting a hotel room so that you can both have space.
Once they’ve had time to process the mention of divorce, it’s time to think about what you’ll do next.
Will either one of you move out during a trial separation? Do you feel that your family needs therapy to process everything?
All of these questions and more need to be answered. If you feel that your spouse is unhelpful with discussing next steps, consider speaking with a lawyer to help you figure out what’s right for you.
Now that you know how to discuss that you want a divorce, you may be thinking about what to do next.
Don’t go into a complicated legal situation like divorce without the right help. Contact us today so we can help talk about what your next steps should be.
While you’re waiting to hear from us, take some time to check out some of our helpful blog content.
You’re about to go through a divorce, and you need to be very careful about what you do and say. Read our post about 10 things you should never do during a divorce so you can avoid making costly mistakes.