Divorce Blog

Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

By Karen Stewart

Telling a Spouse You want a DivorceAfter careful thought and deliberation, there may come a time when you decide it is time to get a divorce. The first challenge here is telling your spouse you want a divorce.

No matter how you approach the situation, telling your spouse that you want a divorce is difficult. The fear of this kind of situation is enough to delay the inevitable. But talking to them about why you want a divorce is a must.

Be Honest and Authentic

Honesty is often the best policy, and you should approach the conversation with authenticity. Introducing the idea of divorce has to be done clearly and with a strong delivery. That word – divorce – is an emotional trigger for many of us. This is why you need to approach the situation a divorce with caution and care.

No matter what, informing your spouse that you want a divorce is a harsh reality but one that needs to be done. Be sure to speak in a caring tone, be clear, and leave no room for misinterpretation. Being wishy-washy about telling your spouse you want a divorce can only frustrate the situation.

The best way to approach talking to your spouse you want a divorce is with certainty. If you don’t, then there is the possibility of mixed messages and further pain and frustration. This is unfair to add to an already difficult process.

It is also best not to immediately bring up the words “divorce lawyer.”  This could send your spouse into an unnecessary state of fear and put them on the defence. Have the conversation about how the divorce process will go when you have both had time to process things.

Do’s and Don’ts when discussing a divorce:

  • Use only “I” statements not “you” (i.e., “I want a divorce,” “I think it’s time we separate”);
  • Do not bring up the past — there is no need as the time for counselling has passed;
  • Speak in short, concise sentences — be clear;
  • Men appreciate short and to the point — be clear and concise;
  • Women like a bit more detail — but do so using “I” language;
  • Do not talk about how to get divorced in the heat of the moment;
  • Do not ask for a divorce unless you are 90% sure (100% will never happen);
  • Be in a peaceful place before you have the conversation;
  • Do not have the conversation when the kids are around or asleep;
  • Do not at any cost get into lengthy dialogue — if you do find that you are reminiscing about the past negatively or positively, stop and continue the conversation another time;
  • People with certainty are forthright and confident about their intentions — use that as a road map.

Show Care in a Difficult Time

Approach the conversation with caution and carefully think about your position. This will help to avoid any potential blowups, arguments, or miscommunication. Follow the tips laid out above and make certain to go in with a plan so as to avoid uncomfortable arguments.

Most of all, have the conversation with love and respect regardless of what the other person says, but stand your ground. Please don’t feel guilty about those things; they are only speaking out of misguided anger.