Deciding that you want a divorce is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face. But sometimes, breaking the news to your spouse can be even more daunting. It may be painful and challenging to bring up the subject, but when you’ve come to the decision that your marriage is no longer sustainable, it’s time to take that leap.
Keep these steps in mind to help make the initial divorce talk less messy and hurtful.
First, ask yourself about the current status of your relationship. Should you choose to bring up the subject of divorce, there are several factors that may affect the outcome of the conversation:
These are important aspects to consider before broaching the subject of divorce. If you’ve discussed the prospect in the past, your spouse may not be surprised. However, if your spouse has no clue that you’re not satisfied with your relationship, they will probably be shocked and hurt.
Regardless of the circumstances, don’t deny your spouse their right to a two-way conversation about the subject.
The conversation you’ll have with your spouse about a divorce will be one of the most important discussions you’ll have in your life, so be sure to treat is as such.
Turn off your cell phones, pick a time where you both don’t have to work or fulfill any other obligations, and find somewhere you can talk privately. If you have kids, find a babysitter so that you can discuss the next steps in a separate conversation once the dust has settled.
Tell your spouse you’re firm in your conclusion that the marriage cannot continue, and that you need to talk about a divorce. Let them know you understand that this won’t be an easy process, but you would like to work towards a considerate, cooperative split.
Remember, you’ve thought about this conversation for a long time, and you’ve already dealt with the feelings of loss. Your spouse, however, may be faced with these emotions for the first time. Be prepared for their reaction, as they may be sad, angry or might try to change your mind.
Your spouse may begin criticizing you or blaming you for the situation. While your instincts might be to strike back and defend yourself, remember that they are dealing with a heavy load of pain and confusion. It’s best to just remain silent. Any insults or hurtful remarks you make will only worsen the situation. Simply listen to what they have to say, and respond in kind.
This will be likely be one of many conversations the two of you will have about the end of your relationship. Just remember to stick to your decision while letting your spouse know that you’d like to end the marriage in a collaborative, civil manner.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, we’re here to help. Contact Babbitt & Dahlberg today for a consultation.
Learn more about G. Jay Babbitt’s 30+ years of experience and how he can help you navigate your divorce.