You’ve decided you want a divorce–now what?
By nature, most human beings seek to avoid conflict. It can be extremely anxiety-producing, therefore, when an individual is forced to face what’s sure to be a difficult situation head on. For a spouse who wants a divorce, relaying this news to a husband or wife can be one of the most painful and important talks that he or she may ever have.
The truth is, there’s never going to be a good time to tell a spouse that you want a divorce. There will always be another birthday, holiday or celebratory event just around the corner and drawing out the inevitable is only likely to ultimately cause both you and your spouse more angst and pain. While there may never be a perfect moment to tell a spouse that your marriage is over, there are definitely steps that you can take to lessen the blow and reduce the likelihood that an impending divorce will erupt into World War III.
First, for all involved parties, it’s best to be up front and tell a spouse that you want a divorce as soon as possible. Drawing things out or providing a spouse with the false hope that a reconciliation is possible is unfair to you both and are likely to cause or increase an ex’s feelings of hurt, betrayal and resentment. It’s important to note, however that, while it’s important to be up front with a spouse about your plans to file for divorce, it’s a good idea to take steps to get your financial and personal affairs in order prior to doing so as it may be more difficult to obtain important financial documents after the fact.
When telling a spouse that you want a divorce, what you say and how you say it matter. For example, you should avoid using a tone or words that may be perceived as accusatory in nature. Even if you believe it to be the case, phrasing things in a way that pins blame on a soon-to-be ex is sure to put him or her on the defensive and can cause things to quickly escalate. It’s best, therefore, to express your own regret and sadness that a marriage isn’t working while also remaining resolved and confident in your decision to end a marriage.
Source: The Huffington Post, “How To Tell Your Spouse That You Want A Divorce,” Susan Pease Gadoua, Aug. 4, 2014