You’ve made the decision to seek a divorce. Now you just have to tell your spouse.
While you suspect that your spouse may not find your marriage any more fulfilling than you do, you also believe that they still want to make things work. You don’t expect this conversation to be easy, but you want to set a tone for the future that will allow for an amicable parting.
Where do you even start? Here are some suggestions:
Time your conversation carefully
You know your spouse the best, so you know whether it’s better to talk to them about something serious early in the morning or in the evening, in a public place or in private. Just be sensitive to whatever else is going on in their lives.
For example, if your spouse is about to give a big presentation at work, this conversation can probably wait for a few days.
Be clear, honest and kind
This isn’t the time to rehash every small thing that went wrong in your marriage — or even the big ones. Instead, this is the time to dig deep for your essential truths: You just aren’t happy in the relationship. You don’t feel complete. You feel drained of some vital energy that you need to thrive.
By focusing more on your internal feelings, you can reduce the likelihood that your spouse will try to bargain their way out of the divorce with promises to change. You also avoid “the blame game.” The overall message is that you may both be good people, but you just aren’t good together.
Be respectful of their feelings
You can’t control your spouse’s reactions, and you can’t make them feel any better without compromising your own truth — so don’t try. Let your spouse have time to grieve and adjust to their new reality without trying to direct their reactions.
Divorce is a big step, but it can be far easier to handle when you understand the process — both legal and emotional — that it takes to get the journey off on the right foot.