Deciding to get a divorce is a giant step for anyone. Even if you’ve emotionally come to grips with the fact that your marriage is over, and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you’re about to do is the right call, taking those first steps is overwhelming regardless. This is especially true if your spouse isn’t aware yet.
That’s right — not every divorce is a mutual decision. Many times, only one spouse wants the divorce and must now break the news to their significant other. And that begs the question: how do I tell my spouse that I want a divorce?
There are ways to have the divorce conversation without making the situation worse on either of you.
Practice in advance
When it comes to telling your spouse that you want a divorce, there’s nothing wrong with practicing ahead of time. Write your thoughts or key points down on paper, and practice in front of a mirror. Focus on keeping your breathing under control and your voice at a reasonable volume. This will help you stay confident, organized, and mentally in control. It will also help you avoid forgetting what you really want to say.
If you delay telling your spouse that you want a divorce (out of spite, fear of hurting their feelings, or nervousness over the conversation itself), you run the risk of them finding out by other means. For example, they could hear through the grapevine or a Sheriff serving them with a summons. This is a surefire way to make an already stressful situation a thousand times worse. Anger and feelings of betrayal will dominate any conversation moving forward, and the divorce process itself will likely be more contentious than it would have been had you just told them yourself.
Tell them in person
You may be wondering, can I just tell my spouse that I want a divorce by text, email, or a phone call? You certainly can, but ask yourself, if the shoe was on the other foot, would I want to receive devastating news like that by text? The odds are that you wouldn’t. If you have decided that divorce is the answer, tell your spouse in person. It’s the respectful thing to do. Sit with them one-on-one and accept the fact that it’s a difficult but necessary conversation.
Take your time
To piggyback off item No. 2, give this conversation the time it deserves. In other words, don’t plan to tell your spouse that you want a divorce right before they are about to leave for work or in any other situation where you are limited on time. Difficult conversations take time. They will have questions that won’t be easily answered, and they will likely want to talk about everything. Meanwhile, you will need time to share your feelings effectively.
Don’t point fingers
Regardless of who is to blame for the destruction of your marriage, be kind, honest, and sensitive. Don’t play the blame game or use anger and resentment to get your point across. Difficult conversations like these do not need to end in a fight. Granted, your spouse may get angry or storm off, and that’s fine. But don’t fuel the fire by letting your emotions take the wheel.
Stick to your guns
At Nelson Law Group, PC, we believe that every marriage is worth fighting for. Plenty of married couples whose relationships are on the rocks end up choosing to reconcile. And who knows, maybe you will, too. But if you believe divorce is really the answer, and there is no hope for reconciliation, then make that clear to your spouse.
Keep the kids out of it
The decision to get a divorce can often consume spouses when they finally face reality together. To save your children from the potentially toxic effects of a divorce, make sure you act cordially with your spouse and keep the children out of it. Children can sense a change, and as parents, you need to do everything in your power to make sure they feel as safe and secure as possible. They need to know their parents love them, and that this is not their fault.
Call Nelson Law Group Today!!
My hope is for you and your spouse to realize that the difficulties you face in marriage are also an opportunity to grow. It may be painful right now, but see it through. If you can’t, and you truly feel that divorce is the answer, please call us. When it comes to any legal dispute, it is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue.
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