The time has come. You are ready to go for it. The divorce. It has been a long road to get to this decision but now you’re here.
Now – for telling your spouse the news – will it be a war? Will it devastate him or her?
Of course, the situation will be very dependent on your spouse and how volatile he or she is – how much they still want to be married – or not? And many other factors. But there are a few things you can definitely do to help make it go more smoothly.
1. Be Aware of Your Spouse’s Emotional State: Understanding where your spouse is emotionally can make a big difference in how you approach the topic of divorce. Is he or she blissfully ignorant? Or maybe your soon to be ex is just as unhappy as you have been? Have either of you ever mentioned divorce in the past – or will this be a complete and utter shock? Have you and your spouse been seeing a counselor? If so, perhaps your therapist or counselor can help you shed light on the best approach for this potential bombshell.
2. Choose an appropriate time and place. Along with the awareness of what’s going on with your spouse emotionally is being cognizant of picking a time and place to share your decision. You will want to be sure your spouse is ready to hear what you have to say. If you have children at home, making sure they aren’t in listening range will be best – and also making sure you’re not a noisy restaurant or a place where you will be interrupted. Also, if there is a big holiday or event coming up – perhaps waiting until that is over to drop the bomb will be more prudent.
3. Keep your own emotions in check – be compassionate but resolute. Share your decision with your spouse in a calm manner – free from blame and refrain from hurling insults. If you’ve already made your decision then rehashing old wars and throwing around blame is really a pointless exercise at this stage. Plus you want to settle your case in a fair and smooth manner so stirring the pot isn’t even in your own best interests at this point. It is better to use sentences that start with the word “I” rather than the word “you”. Stick to your decision, keep the emotion out of it, and keep the insults out of the conversation too.
4. Avoid discussing any potential settlements. This is definitely not the time to start negotiating your settlement. You both need to get educated about the process first.
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