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How should I tell my spouse I want a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Divorce

There may come a time in your marriage that you know it is time to divorce, but do not want to tell your spouse. This is understandable, because telling your spouse you want a divorce is not easy.

Even when we know a choice is the right one, we can fear making that choice if it is going to hurt someone or cause them to become angry.

When you are ready to break the news to your spouse, there are some ways to do it that can make the interaction less stressful for both of you.

Timing is everything

Tell your spouse at an appropriate time. For example, if it is your spouse’s busy season at work and they are working longer hours than usual, you might want to wait until their schedule is back to normal. They are likely to be tired and stressed, and you may receive a much more unfavorable reaction than you otherwise would.

Additionally, do not tell them on a special day, such as a holiday or a birthday. There is a chance they may not take you seriously since everyone’s emotions are usually heightened on special days. Once they realize you are serious, they will probably always have bad memories on that day, which may not be what you intend.

Do not be angry or aggressive when telling them and do not tell them during an argument. Make sure there is no other conflict or argument going on when you have the conversation.

Be nice but firm

Be polite, even kind, when telling them, but make clear that your decision is final. Your kindness could be mistaken for uncertainty about the decision.

If you have children, do not do it when they are around. Consider doing it in a neutral setting, such as a public place, especially in cases of domestic violence.

Have realistic expectations about your spouse’s reaction. They may react with anger, sadness or disbelief. These emotions are common when being told this type of news, so do not downplay it.

Divorce is an emotionally complex process. A divorce attorney can give you the advice and guidance you need during this time.