No one likes to deliver bad news. Even if we don’t necessarily consider it to be bad news, we know when it’s news that the person we’re telling will not appreciate hearing. This can cause us to procrastinate, even if we know it’s inevitable that the truth will come out, just because we don’t want to have to be the one to let them know. However, the older we get, the higher the chances are that we’re going to have to deliver bad news to someone at some point. For many of us, that moment often arrives in the form of revealing to our spouse that we want a divorce.
Tips for Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce
How do you tell someone that you once promised to spend the rest of your life with that you no longer feel that way and that, in fact, you feel the exact opposite? Telling your partner that you want to end your marriage, go your separate ways, and start anew is no simple task. While you may no longer want to be married to them, you probably still care about them, and as angry as they might’ve made you at times, you probably don’t want to hurt them. However, staying in a marriage out of obligation instead of desire is never going to work and will end up hurting you both more in the long term.
So, how do you tell your significant other that you want a divorce? Here are a few tips:
- Pick a time and place to deliver the news where you both will feel comfortable and safe. You need to know that you will have time to discuss the situation with your spouse after you tell them you want a divorce. They will obviously have questions, may argue against it, could try to change your mind, and could respond in anger. You need to be ready for a wide variety of responses. Make sure you are somewhere where you two can feel comfortable talking about such a sensitive subject. However, be sure it is also a place where you both feel safe (especially if you are afraid your spouse could respond with anger). Also, if you have kids, make sure they are not with you at the time and being taken care of by people you both trust.
- Do not retaliate if your spouse responds with accusations and hurtful remarks. Your spouse may respond by going on the attack. They could make all sorts of accusations you know aren’t true, including accusing you of having an affair, saying you never loved them, threatening to take your children away from you, promising to ruin your reputation, and other things. You will feel the urge to defend yourself (and rightfully so). However, if you can help it, don’t. You will only make things worse. There’s nothing good that will come from both of you losing your heads. It could cause an already emotionally charged situation to spin out of control. Instead of responding in anger, simply stand your ground and reiterate that you are not changing your mind and that you will not discuss fault. You also need to explain to them as calmly, clearly, and kindly as possible that want to have a civil divorce where both your and your spouse’s needs are fairly addressed.
- Do not get baited into discussing issues you are not ready to talk about. While it’s important to establish that you are not changing your mind about getting a divorce, it’s not a good idea to dive too deep into the details of your divorce during this initial conversation. Those types of discussions are best left for your attorneys to have, or for you and your spouse to talk about during divorce mediation. Bottom line, you don’t want to make promises that you can’t keep or agree to things that you will later regret.
In some cases, there are legal ramifications you need to consider before telling your spouse you want a divorce. To make sure that you are telling your spouse you want a divorce in the right way and at the right time, you should discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney before telling your partner anything.
Thinking About Divorce? Discuss Your Options with Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers
The family law attorneys at Leavitt Law Firm have been helping clients through the divorce process since 1989. Whether you want a divorce or a legal separation, we can help you. Our divorce lawyers are experienced, skilled, and compassionate. We understand what it takes to protect you and your rights during a divorce or legal separation, including avoiding legal pitfalls and taking full advantage of your options.
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To speak with an experienced family law attorney about your situation, call us at (702) 996-6052 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.