HOW DO I TELL MY SPOUSE I WANT A DIVORCE?

30th October 2020

You have made up your mind your marriage is over and you want a divorce, but how do you tell your spouse this?

The best way is on your own and face to face but only if it is safe to do so.  

If it's not safe and you are worried about violent repercussions then get out first, taking with you key documents and vital possessions 

Next plan what to say. Planning gives you clarity and confidence and allows you to communicate your wishes clearly to your spouse.

Lack of planning can lead to heated discussions and the conversation going round in circles

I suggest three points need to be made 

1. You no longer want to be married and you want a divorce

2. Why this is so

3. What you want to happen next

Once you have written down what you want to say - practice this in front of the mirror or with a tested friend

You need to sound confident so that your spouse listens and believes you

Explaining why you want a divorce will help your spouse listen, understand and accept more quickly

The next step is to plan your answers to possible objections your spouse may make

Always acknowledge their feelings. If you brush them aside you are invalidating their feelings and this can escalate emotions and reactions. Even though you are no longer in love with them if you want a peaceful and smooth divorce you should respect them and respect their feelings, even if you disagree with them

Accept that your spouse is at the start of the grief cycle initially feeling denial and then anger whereas you are way ahead and heading towards acceptance. This is because you have had time to get used to the idea of divorce and a different future

 Get your timing right. There is never a truly right time to tell someone you want a divorce but there are better and worse times to do so

Pick a calm quiet time...preferably not just before bed. Maybe in a neutral place such as a cafe etc. 

When you tell your spouse remember to use "I feel" and " for me" and not statements such as the marriage isn't working. No one can argue with how you feel but a statement can be debated 

The final stage in the conversation is what you want to happen next. 

It helps you both focus and move on. It brings an end to the issue of whose fault it is - and believe me it is rarely one person's fault. 

I recommend speaking with a family law specialist, such as myself, to understand the options open to you and the advantages and disadvantages of the different options. 

Don't ask for and expect the impossible at this very early stage. Your spouse needs to process what you have told him and come to terms with the fact things are going to change whether they want them to or not

 Whatever you want to happen make sure you are able to explain your reasoning to your spouse and again this is something I can help you with

Most importantly - don't send your spouse mixed messages. If you are adamant you want a divorce don't start talking about reconciliation 

Be clear about your message, your reasons, your needs and your expectations. This will be your anchor going forward 

If you would like to chat and learn about your options then send me a message now 

Sarah 

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