How to Tell Your Spouse That You Want a Divorce

Of course, going through a divorce is typically one of the furthest things from the minds of newlyweds. However, the reality is that all marriages do not have happy endings.
When problems between a married couple begin to pile up, and it starts to become clear that the relationship is not salvageable, getting a divorce might be the healthiest option for both spouses in the long run. While you may already know that your marriage is headed in the direction of divorce, that does not mean it will necessarily be an easy topic to discuss with your spouse.

1. Make Sure That This is the Right Decision
Before you have a serious conversation like this with your spouse, you should make sure that divorce is truly your desired outcome. If you are not fully committed to moving forward with a divorce, using it as a threat is often counter-productive.
However, if you are still in the early stages of considering divorce, having an honest and open conversation with your spouse is a good way to determine if you are on the same page. You might even find that your spouse is more open to other options (like therapy and marriage counseling) than you initially thought.
While therapy can be expensive, it could be worth it in the long run if you are able to salvage your marriage. Either way, it is generally going to be cheaper than a long, drawn-out divorce.

2. Consider Getting a Professional’s Point of View
Prior to discussing divorce with your spouse, it may be worth considering getting the point of view of a professional. For example, you may want to think about meeting with a therapist or a family law attorney before you initiate the conversation with your spouse.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to have an objective outsider give you advice on your situation. After speaking with a therapist or an attorney, you may gain some clarity on this major life decision. You might change your mind completely or walk away feeling like your decision is firmly validated, and that can give you the boost you need to take the next step forward.

3. Choose the Right Time to Discuss Getting a Divorce
If you are fully committed to obtaining a divorce and do not see any other options, the next step is to decide when to have a conversation about it with your spouse. The worst time to have a serious discussion like this is in the heat of the moment, so if you are in the middle of a fight with your spouse—it is best to wait until things have cooled off a bit before broaching this topic.
Additionally, it is a good idea to have this conversation during some downtime and when you will have some time alone together to dedicate your attention to the discussion. For example, it is usually best to avoid the chaotic time just after one or both of you arrive home from a long day at work, right before you are planning to attend an event together, or host company. Ideally, you will be able to have the conversation about getting a divorce at a time when both of you are calm and ready to dedicate the time and energy that a conversation like this requires.

4. Calmly Get Your Point Across During the Conversation About Divorce
In many cases, couples headed for a divorce will shut down emotionally and avoid addressing the deeper issues in their marriage that are contributing to the relationship problems. It is important to be clear about the issues that are bothering you and what precisely has caused you to reach the conclusion that getting a divorce is the best option for you at this time.
Be sure to discuss these topics calmly and avoid raising your voice and making accusations and threats. Maintaining a calm approach will help you get your points across and help you to avoid unnecessary drama.

5. Be Firm, But Compassionate
If you are the first one to bring up the topic of divorce between the two of you, you should be prepared for the fact that your spouse may not actually be on the same page as you are. You should keep in mind that while divorce may be something you have been considering for a long time, your spouse may feel shocked and blindsided by the conversation.
Your spouse may attempt to talk you out of it or try to convince you that a divorce is a bad idea. It is important to remain firm and explain the reasons for your decision. However, you should keep their feelings in mind, too, and try to remain respectful and compassionate in order to have the most productive conversation at this time.
Try not to yell, say things out of anger, or place all blame on your spouse. This is not the time to get into a big argument about everything each of you may have done wrong throughout the marriage. Rather, it is an opportunity to express your feelings and discuss the best path moving forward.

6. Don’t Rush to Spill the News on Social Media
It is also a good idea to avoid rushing to social media to spill the details of your impending divorce, even after you and your spouse have had a conversation and committed to ending the marriage. Most likely, it is a very emotional time for both of you, even if both you and your spouse are in total agreement about obtaining a divorce.
Keeping things private, or at the very least, not sharing intimate details with strangers will benefit both of you in the long run. Maintaining some boundaries and privacy with your spouse can help keep your interactions cordial throughout the divorce proceedings and make the entire process easier on both of you. Additionally, while the divorce is pending in court, it is generally a good idea to avoid commenting on it or discussing it on Facebook or other forms of social media that are visible to the public.
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