Divorce for anyone can be a challenging period of time. But how do you tell your spouse you want a divorce in the first place? Will it involve conflict, hurt their feelings or be a mutual understanding? Marriages that have ended due to pressures involving lockdown, unfaithfulness or personal differences have increased and this life-changing discussion is better when you plan ahead.
Here’s how to approach talking to your spouse:
Prepare what you want to say
When you plan what you are going to say you are going to feel calmer, clearer and communicate better. Make notes of the important points you wish to bring up and if necessary, have the notes with you when you have the conversation. This will prevent you from being misunderstood or feeling rushed and ensure the conversation stays as calm as possible so your spouse can understand what you are saying.
It could be likely that divorce will come as a shock to them. Give them the time and space to let them process the information, and if there’s anything they are not clear on, you can answer those queries. Keep in mind it is unlikely you will know everything and if you do not have to have all the answers yet, this will be the first of many conversations as you both navigate the next steps.
Pick the right time and location
Although there might not ever be the ‘right time’, you will want to break the news in a private, safe and quiet space. This will help you both to feel as comfortable as possible and be able to speak openly about your feelings. Where possible, arrange to have the conversation where you or your spouse will not feel distracted or tired.
Be ready for an emotional response
It is important to recognise the response may not go the way you would hope. If you are concerned that anger may arise, you need to choose carefully how and when to discuss your divorce and you should have someone close to hand in case your spouse becomes physically aggressive. The emotional reaction from a breakdown of a relationship can often mimic those of grief which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Not everyone will experience each of these stages and perhaps not in this order.
Answer the questions honestly
If you have been trying to keep a lid on your feelings for some time, now is the time to be honest. It is essential to be respectful of your spouse and be clear with them even if this may upset them, however, it is better for them to know the truth to support their divorce journey. You need to allow them space to ask questions as they will want to know what has led to this decision for you.
How can we help with your divorce?
A divorce can be a very turbulent time, so if you are looking for legal advice and clarity in your divorce, Beyond Legal offer a free consultation. If your relationship has mutually come to an end, let us talk you through the new no-fault divorce law. We have offices in Newton Abbot and Tiverton in Devon to support you locally. We are here to help you.