You’ve been dealing with constant bickering and fighting for longer than you care to admit. Or, perhaps priorities have changed and an emotional disconnect has developed. You and your spouse have simply grown apart. There may come a time when you realize you don’t want to be married anymore. But how do you tell your spouse you’re ready for divorce?
At Best Legal Choices, we understand how difficult it can be to tell your spouse that you’re ready for divorce. You want to approach your spouse without starting a nasty all-out war. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide on how to tell your spouse you’re ready for divorce and want to move on.
Be True to Yourself
We know that marriage will have its ups and downs. Before you break the news to your spouse, it’s important to be completely honest with yourself and be sure you are truly ready for divorce. Have you really thought your decision all the way through? Are you truly prepared to end the marriage?
If you still love your spouse and are not absolutely sure, consider your options. In some cases, individual or couples counseling can prove incredibly helpful for troubled marriages.
The Right Time and Place
One of the most important factors in approaching your spouse and telling them you’re ready for divorce is choosing the right time and place to have this serious discussion. When is just as important as how you approach this conversation with your spouse.
Telling your spouse you’re ready for divorce while another major event is occurring is generally ill-advised. For instance, if your spouse has recently lost their job or if there is an illness in the family, your spouse may not be as receptive and willing to communicate in a healthy manner.
When you’ve gathered your thoughts and really thought about what you plan on saying, it’s time to plan for your approach. Choose a quiet time when your spouse is likely to be calm, relaxed, and more receptive to what you have to say.
To avoid interruptions, schedule a sitter for the children (or arrange a time when they won’t be at home), and make sure there is plenty of time for the two of you to talk. You should consider turning off your cell phone and asking your spouse to do the same. Take the time to explain why you’re ready for divorce in a way that doesn’t make your spouse feel defensive or resentful.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
In most cases, both spouses are generally aware that there are issues within the marriage. However, if your spouse is unaware of these issues, telling them you’re ready for divorce can be a surprising and devastating conversation for them.
It’s important to take a moment and put yourself in their shoes and really consider how they may take this news. Be gentle but firm and direct with your spouse. As you begin this conversation, it’s important to convey that you’ve put a lot of thought into your decision.
It’s critical to approach your spouse devoid of anger, frustration, resentment, or blame, which can prove toxic to communication. As you explain to your spouse that you’re ready to divorce, be sure to focus on talking about the future and avoid re-hashing past arguments or assigning blame.
Once you’ve told your spouse, be sure to give them enough time to deal with the emotional impacts; then you can begin to move forward. Choosing to work with a trained professional can help you navigate this emotionally-charged and difficult process in a more peaceful way.
Whether you need help with the conversation or you’ve already had the talk and are ready to move on to the next chapter in your life, the professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you through every step of the process.
Heidi has been a family counselor for 16 years and has worked primarily with separating/divorcing and high conflict families for the past 4 years. Heidi’s goal is to help families reduce the need for future litigation, build resilience and healing, and help families focus on the best interests of the children and parents alike.