The initial discussion of divorce with your spouse will probably be the most difficult conversation you will ever have in your life. How you choose to bring up the topic and what you say can set the tone for how the divorce proceeds. If you are wondering how to have the divorce discussion with your spouse in the best possible way, here are a few things you have to keep in mind.
Don’t talk about divorce until you are 100% sure
Do not bring up divorce until you have fully thought through your decision. Are you sure you are not just going through a rough patch in your marriage? Do you think you can work things out with your spouse? Have you thought about your next steps of action?
Divorce is not something that you throw about lightly or use to get your way in an argument. Perhaps, a heart-to-heart talk about your relationship or counseling may be all that you need to get your relationship back on track. However, if you have done everything possible to make your marriage work and nothing has changed, then it may be time for the spousal divorce discussion.
Choose your words with care
When you start discussing divorce with your spouse, make sure not to bring up past mistakes and arguments. Now is not the time to express anger, hurl insults or exact revenge. Be firm in stating your intentions, but don’t be unkind. Experts advise against using “You” statements that place blame on the spouse for the divorce.
Choose the time and place wisely
Timing is everything when it comes to your first divorce discussion with spouse. Don’t bring it up when either of you are sick, stressed, drunk, tired or angry. The first discussion of divorce is bound to be intense and emotional, so choose a place where you can have a lengthy, private and comfortable conversation without getting interrupted. If you have kids, you may want to have them go over to a friend’s house for a while.
At the same time, if you think your spouse may react violently when you bring up the discussion of divorce, you may want to choose a safe public place.
Give them time to process the news
You’ve been thinking about the divorce for a long time, but it is possible that your spouse was completely unaware that your marriage was in trouble. Do not just bring up divorce with your spouse and expect them to react agreeably. They might try to talk you out of it or even get angry with you for even considering it. These are all normal reactions. Do not retaliate in kind. Listen to what they have to stay, even if it goes against what you know and what you feel. Then step back and give them enough time to process the information. You don’t have to discuss all the terms and conditions of the divorce during your first discussion. If your spouse expresses anxiety about the future, assure them that the two of you can work on a fair and reasonable divorce agreement when they are ready.
A Quick Wrap-Up on the Best Ways to Initiate the Discussion of Divorce with Your Spouse
The decision to end a marriage is not one that can be taken lightly. If you have decided that divorce is the only way forward, then you owe it to your spouse to have the discussion of divorce in the best way possible. Though skipping the divorce discussion and serving the papers directly may seem like an easy way out at first, it will only serve to kick-start a bitter and acrimonious war between two people who were once deeply in love with each other. Don’t do it.