How-to: Bring Up Divorce with Your Spouse

If you’ve tried everything and your marriage just isn’t working, you might be considering divorce. This is an impossible decision to make, but sometimes it’s the right thing for a couple. If you’re trying to bring up divorce with your spouse, prepare ahead of time. Choose the right time and setting to have a calm discussion. Be firm with your wants and needs. And finally, don’t discuss details, but instead, make a plan to get professional help. Although the process of divorce is difficult, it might mean that you and your ex are happier in the long run.

How-to: Bring up Divorce with Your Spouse: Set the Right Tone

Prepare Ahead of Time

If you want to bring up a divorce with your spouse, prepare ahead of time. Research the process of divorce in your area so you know what to expect. In some places, you’ll need to separate for a while before the divorce. Figure out how long the divorce can take, and make a plan for what you’d like to get out of it. If you have children, consider how you want their lives to look post-divorce. Try and pinpoint where your partner stands in your relationship. Do they think things are going well and will be blindsided by the conversation? Or are you both on the same page? Try to mentally prepare for their reaction.

Choose the Right Time and Place

Never bring up divorce with your spouse in the middle of an argument. Instead, pick a time when you’ll both be uninterrupted. Arrange for children to be with somebody else so they won’t be a distraction. Avoid bringing up divorce in already overly stressful situations. For example, after the death of a family member or a layoff. Make sure that you have plenty of time set aside. Your conversation could take hours, so make sure you can devote the proper focus to it.

Be Calm and Firm

When you bring up a divorce with your spouse, try to stay calm. If you approach them in anger, they’ll be more likely to respond in a negative way. However, if you bring it up in a calm manner, you will probably get further. Be firm with what you want out of the divorce and why you’re asking for it. That way they’ll know that you’re serious and not just bringing it up because you’re temporarily hurt or angry.

Don’t Discuss Details

There will be a myriad of details to sort out after you bring up a divorce with your spouse. However, try not to discuss minor decisions at this time. Don’t discuss dividing up property or belongings. And try not to discuss custody arrangements. You should have a professional assisting you with these discussions. Instead, decide on how to proceed in general terms. Figure out when you’ll reach out to a divorce attorney. Also, figure out what you’d like your timeline to be.

There are so many things to consider when trying to bring up a divorce with your spouse. Try and set the stage for a positive discussion by preparing ahead of time. Make sure you choose the right time and place and stay calm and firm so they know you’re serious. Finally, wait to figure out the details until you have proper help from a professional. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you might wish a marriage could work out, sometimes it just isn’t right. But moving forward with divorce means that you’re one step closer to being happier.