How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Separation
Written by Craig Cherney

How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Separation

Are you considering telling your spouse it’s over but scared you will break their heart?

If you want your divorce to proceed as peacefully as possible, consider collaborative divorce. To learn more about how to bring up the topic of divorce, contact a communication specialist at Best Legal Choices today.

There’s no easy way to end a relationship but following these suggestions may make it a little easier to break the news.

  1. Select the Right Time and Place

The best place to tell your spouse you want to end the marriage is in-person and in a private setting. It is also best to tell them when you both have time to talk without being interrupted. If you have children, don’t have the conversation in front of them.

  1. Get to the Point

Once you have made your decision, don’t spend time beating around the bush. Be firm, but calm, and make sure you have an explanation ready because your partner is surely going to ask why you are ending the relationship. Don’t keep them guessing or leave without making your reasons known. This decision will most likely have an emotional impact on them so be respectful and at least give them proper closure.

  1. Don’t Argue

There will surely be an emotional response from your partner, but you don’t have to engage in an argument with them. Do you best to stay calm and composed when conversations get heated. List your reasons for ending the relationship but don’t fight to prove your point.

  1. Tell the Truth

Don’t lie about why you are ending the marriage. Be honest about your decisions as lying will only make things more complicated in the future. Some people are worried about telling the truth because they think it will hurt their partner. However, telling the truth is better than telling a lie. Knowing what behaviors or actions caused the split can help them prevent those actions or behaviors in the future. Be honest but don’t be rude, otherwise you are just fanning the flames.

  1. Stick with It

Now that you have made your decision it is time to stick with it. Don’t play with your ex spouse’s emotions by teasing them or giving them false hope being too mushy because this could cause you partner to believe that you two are still together in some way.

Separation can be painful but for most people, it’s not as painful as staying in an unhappy relationship.

Seek Professional Counseling

If you’re still having problems getting up the courage to tell your spouse you want a divorce or if you’re feeling overly emotional over the decision, consider seeking professional guidance from a licensed counselor or psychologist who can help you develop the coping skills you need to manage your emotions and the communication skills to break the news.


  1. “Tell Your Spouse That It’s Over.” VisiHow,
  2. “I Want a Divorce! Tips for Telling Your Spouse That It Is Over (Recommended).” Divorce and Your Money, 26 June 2018,

See Also:

Collaborative Divorce Is a Peaceful Divorce Option

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. The legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.


The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact a professional at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.