Every year, more than 800,000 couples throughout the U.S. decide that they want to get a divorce.
Deciding to get a divorce is never easy, nor is it easy to tell your spouse that that’s what you want.
Have you been putting off having this conversation for weeks, months, or even years? It’s a hard conversation to have. The sooner you do it, though, the sooner you can move forward with your life.
If you’re ready to tell your spouse, “I want a divorce” but aren’t sure how to go about it, keep reading.
Listed below are some tips that can make the conversation a little easier.
Be Honest With Yourself
Before you sit down and tell your spouse that you want a divorce, it’s important to know that this is truly what you want.
Once you throw out the “D” word, your relationship to your spouse will change. Don’t say it unless you really mean it.
Knowing whether or not a divorce is right for you is tricky, to say the least.
Be brutally honest with yourself about your desire for a divorce. You may also need to enlist the help of a therapist or counselor to help you figure out whether you want to proceed or not.
Consider Your Spouse’s Current State
Think about your spouse and how they’re feeling at the moment.
Do they seem blissfully ignorant and unaware that you’re unhappy? Or, is it clear that they’re unhappy, too?
Knowing where your spouse stands can help you decide the best way to broach the subject of a divorce.
Choose The Right Time And Place
No matter what your spouse’s current state is, there is definitely such a thing as a good time and place to talk about your desire for a divorce.
Do not bring it up ten minutes before you have to leave for work or while you’re out grocery shopping. Plan ahead for the conversation.
It may seem impossible, but you should try to choose a time and place when your spouse will be most receptive to your comments.
At the very least, plan to discuss it when you both are least likely to be stressed and will have the time to talk things out.
Choose Your Words Carefully
There’s also a right and wrong way to tell your spouse that you want a divorce.
No matter how fed up you are with the marriage, there’s no need to be cruel. Remember, too, that the words you use will have an effect on the way they react.
If you choose the right words and avoid placing blame on them for your problems, you’re more likely to have a productive conversation. This isn’t always the case, of course, but choosing the right words can definitely help.
Work with a counselor if necessary to figure out what you’re going to say beforehand.
Be Firm Yet Gentle
It’s not just about the words you say. It’s also about the way you say them. Make sure that your tone is firm, yet gentle.
Be clear about what you want. Don’t hedge or try and sugarcoat things. At the same time, though, there’s no need to be overly blunt or aggressive.
You may want to practice expressing your desire for a divorce before you sit down and have the conversation. That way, you can make sure you’re using an appropriate tone.
Prepare For Their Reaction
In addition to preparing your remarks, you also need to prepare for your spouse’s reaction to those remarks.
Do you think they’ll take it well and agree with you and your concerns? Will they cry or get angry?
No one knows with total certainty how they’re going to handle those situations. It’s a good idea to consider several different possible reactions so you can be prepared no matter how your spouse responds.
Take Safety Precautions If Necessary
Is there a possibility your spouse will become violent when you tell them that you want a divorce? If so, it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself safe.
Consider having the discussion in a public place where your spouse is less likely to make a scene.
If you prefer to talk in private, at least make sure that someone knows where you are and when you’re going to have the conversation. That way, they can come and check on you or be waiting on standby just in case.
It might be a good idea to have your cell phone handy with 911 pre-dialed before you begin the conversation.
Don’t Discuss The Details Yet
Immediately after you announce that you want a divorce is not the proper time to go over custody issues or other details.
There will be plenty of time for that, and it’s best if you can have those discussions after you’ve officially filed for divorce and have a divorce lawyer or mediator present.
If you discuss details now, when emotions are running high, you’re more likely to act rashly and may say or do things that you regret later on.
Don’t Involve Your Kids
Finally, don’t get your kids involved.
They shouldn’t be present during the discussion and you should do your best to keep them out of the conversation. This is an issue between yourself and your spouse.
Your kids will have to know about the divorce eventually, but they don’t need to be present at this time.
This rule applies whether your kids are adults or are young and still living at home.
What To Do After Saying, “I Want A Divorce”
After you have the hard conversation and told your partner, “I want a divorce,” it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’re going to proceed.
It’s good to have already hired a lawyer, too.
If you live in or around the Bay Area, contact the Law Offices of Gerard a Falzone today.
We make it easy for you to set up a free phone consultation so we can learn more about your case and help you figure out the best course of action.