How To Considerately Ask For a Divorce

You’ve been contemplating it for months and you have finally come to the conclusion that life can not continue as it is. You want a divorce. Now how in the world are you going to confront your spouse? In all honesty, there is no easy way to tell the person you promised to spend your life with that you can no longer stand by that promise. This is going to be one of hardest things you will ever do! No matter how over the marriage you may feel, it still hurts immensely to break someone’s heart. The more quickly you are able to pull the band-aid off, the faster you will both be able to begin the recovery process and start your new life.

Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

Go In With a Plan

If you approach your spouse and don’t think through what you need to say, chances are that they will be able to talk you out of the decision you just took months deciding, leaving you to postpone this conversation and rehash it at a later date. Even if this isn’t the case, coming to this discussion unprepared will cause you to forget important points and will leave your spouse confused and feeling that there is no closure. Prepare for this conversation, like you are going into a business meeting. Write down the major points that you want to discuss and stand firm in your decision. The more reasons you give to explain why you want a divorce, the less your spouse will question why this is happening.

It’s All About Timing

Choosing when to approach your spouse can be extremely overwhelming. You’ll start thinking that you don’t want to ruin his birthday or that special holiday that is approaching. You don’t want to ruin the weekend or make it difficult to get through a workday. Well My Dear, this leaves you with no suitable day for the rest of your lives.

I remember contemplating this topic as I tried to evaluate the best moment to ask my Ex for a divorce. To be blunt, there is no perfect day to turn someone’s world upside down. It’s going to suck no matter which day you choose to do it! Although I would suggest avoiding birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays for this conversation for obvious reasons, it isn’t going to make a huge difference which day of the week you break the news.

In my experience, I have found that it is best to ask for a divorce at a time when things feel at peace. This advice may sound odd, but you want your spouse to understand that this is happening because of rational thinking, not because you were just in a heated argument and in an emotional haze. I also believe that it is better to have the divorce conversation when you both have some time off of work approaching, so maybe at the start of the weekend. In doing this, you both have a few days to collect your emotions before having to go back into the office. No matter when you have this conversation, it is going to take time for both of you to grieve the end of your relationship and feel normal again, but in order to avoid making a bad situation worse, it is wise to choose an appropriate time.

Photo by Tucker Tangeman on Unsplash

Stand By Your Decision

I don’t encourage you to quickly come to the decision to divorce. This is a monumental decision and should only be approached after you have worked hard to repair the relationship first (Unless you are being abused in any way. In that case, leave immediately). If you aren’t sure that you have put in an adequate amount of work to fix your marriage, read my post: Why Are We So Quick To Divorce? Once you feel that you have tried everything and are making the right decision, then stand firm in that decision!

I know firsthand how easy it can feel to back down and retract wanting a divorce, when your spouse tries to talk you out of it or begins to cry. You know what is best for you and shouldn’t allow your spouse to influence that. When I first mentioned that I wanted a divorce to my second husband he had an emotional meltdown, began crying hysterically and begged me to reconsider. I did not expect that kind of response. The sheer agony I felt watching this person I cared about in so much pain caused me to temporarily change my mind. He made a lot of promises about changing, but as the weeks dragged on I began to realize that the major things that I needed to change were never going to change. We had reached a point where this was no longer about changing for each other, but about changing our lives on our own. I couldn’t force myself to be in love with someone who my heart couldn’t love in that way, so instead of having the divorce conversation once I was forced to do it multiple times. Stick to your plan and go in knowing that it is going to hurt like a bitch hurting your spouse, but delaying it only makes it worse.

Be Kind

Divorce can spark a lot of emotions, one being anger. Instead of approaching your spouse out of anger and pointing fingers, try stating facts and focus on your feelings, rather than dragging your spouse through the mud. It is not beneficial to tell your spouse what a loser they are. Instead of screaming that your spouse is a cheating sack of shit, state that you can’t stay with someone who cheats and need to have respect for yourself. Rather than explaining all of the reasons why he has disappointed you, express how this relationship has caused you to become someone you are no longer happy with. If you can have a respectful conversation and explain honestly why you are leaving, then you may be able to have an amicable divorce.

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

Leaving your marriage is not going to be easy, no matter how you ask your spouse for a divorce. It is one of the most devastating experiences you will ever endure. Asking for a divorce is grueling, but it is best to get it over with so that you both have an opportunity to begin the mourning process and are able to move on with your lives separately. I wish you the best of luck as you begin this huge life change!

Love Always, Alex Prince – Creator & Editor-In-Chief of Damsel Divorcée

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