People looking for a divorce often hold off on initiating the process for fear of beginning the conversation with their spouse. Sometimes, people choose not to have the conversation beforehand, instead opting to simply serve their spouse with divorce papers. Although this saves them the initial awkwardness of the first talk about the divorce, the surprise and formality of being served can start the proceedings off in the wrong way, and may lead to more complications further along.
While there is no way to avoid the uncomfortable nature of the conversation, the pain and discomfort can be minimized through careful planning of the discussion’s circumstances and content. The first part of the planning relates to choosing where and when to tell your spouse. Then, you should consider how to open the conversation. Finally, you should consider your spouse’s possible reactions and how best to respond to them.
Where and When to Tell Your Spouse
Planning the where and when of the initial divorce discussion can have a large impact on how it will go. Choose a quiet, private place, so that the two of you can have an honest talk. If you have children, make sure they are fully occupied or out of the house. Some experts also recommend turning off your phones during the talk to make sure that you are not interrupted.
As for the when, the length of these sorts of conversations can vary, but it makes sense to block out a large piece of time in case of a long discussion. Weekends are probably a good option, but evenings can work as well, though people may be tired and stressed after a day at work.
How to Tell Your Spouse
As far as initiating a divorce conversation goes, calm, direct, and respectful are all elements to focus on. It may be painful to say, but your spouse will find it easier to hear directly than if you spend time leading up to it indirectly. Simply let them know that the marriage is no longer working and that you would like to end it.
Furthermore, it may be tempting to start blaming the other spouse for problems in the marriage, but this will probably not be a productive track. It will only serve to make them defensive.
Reactions to the Conversation
Once you open the conversation, your spouse could have many different reactions. Often, the news will not catch them by surprise. They have been privy to the same parts of the relationship as you, so they may realize this is coming before the conversation starts. However, every person will react to the news differently. The most important thing to remember is to listen to their feelings and have an open discussion.
If you are thinking about starting the divorce process, but are nervous about taking the first step, reach out to a DuPage County divorce lawyer. They can help explain how divorces work, and provide you with more information so that you can confidently begin to put things in motion.