For some people, telling their spouse that they want a divorce is something that just happens. They come home, catch their spouse with someone else, and tell them the marriage is over in the ensuing chaos.
For most couples, though, nothing even remotely this drastic happens. They just slowly drift apart from their spouse until they decide it’s time to get divorced. If that’s the situation you’re in, how do you break the news to your spouse that you want to end your marriage?
Tips to make this all go smoothly
How you break the news to your spouse can impact how the rest of the divorce process goes. If you want it to go smoothly, here are a few important tips:
- Do it when you’re feeling calm and collected. Be direct. Be rational. Have a two-sided conversation. Try to avoid having an angry conversation where tempers may get in the way.
- Think about how your spouse feels before you begin. Do they know divorce may be coming or will this be a shock to them? Cater your approach accordingly.
- Choose a time and place where you can really talk. Don’t do it right before you have to leave or when you’re with friends and family and the conversation would feel awkward.
- Talk to your spouse before your children. The two of you should get on the same page, and then you can break the news to the kids.
- Make sure the conversation really goes both ways. Don’t just talk “at” your spouse — talk to them. Answer their questions and let them say what they want to say.
This can certainly help you make the divorce go smoothly, but splitting up is always complex. Make sure you are well aware of the options you have to protect your interests and how to move forward.