The day you walked down the aisle and said, “I do” was probably
one of the best days of your life. You never anticipated a time when you
would be asking your spouse for a divorce.
But time has passed, a lot of unhappiness has crept into your marriage
and you have decided to call it quits. So how are you going to tell your
spouse you want a divorce?
As a divorce attorney and mediator for over 35 years, I have heard this
question many times.
Here are a few of my successful suggestions:
1.) Be Serious.
Divorce is a very serious discussion, especially if you have children.
Don’t use the “D” word unless you mean business. Using
the “D” word can be cruel when you use it as an idle threat
whenever you feel like it. If you feel you have done everything to save
your marriage, then planning how and when to tell your spouse should be
your first step.
2.) Think Things Through.
Think about the conversation and what you want to say. It helps to jot
your thoughts down and plan what you want to say and how you are going
to say it. You may want to rehearse what you are going to say outloud
so you can hear yourself. Words matter and the delivery will make a difference
in the possible response.
You should tell your spouse when you realize you no longer want to stay
in the marriage. Avoid chaotic hours after a workday. Sometimes a weekend
works well when you are both relaxing and not working.
4.) State Why You Are Unhappy. Be Calm and Thoughtful.
How you approach your spouse is important. It sets the tone for the conversation.
Don’t just blurt it out during an argument. Give yourself and the
conversation the best possibility to be heard. This was someone you once
loved. Showing compassion will lead to a better outcome. Explain why you
are unhappy. Also Listen. Let them be heard.
5.) Be Safe.
If you are concerned for your safety, then tell your spouse in front of
a third party like a therapist. If you are in an abusive relationship
this is particularly important. You can’t control your spouse’s
response but you can hopefully reduce the anger and encourage understanding
with a support system.
When consulting with a spouse to discuss mediation, I answer many questions,
and often share ideas on how to approach their spouse about divorce and
As part of my mediation process, I offer to send a letter to the other
spouse inviting them to participate in a discussion about mediation. This
helps one spouse address the divorce discussion with the other spouse
using mediation as an amicable and peaceful approach.
This introductory letter is very effective and successfully opens the door
for the dreaded divorce dialogue for many couples.
If I can help open the door to the divorce dialogue you would like to have
with your spouse, please call me.
I will be happy to prepare you and pave the way for you and your spouse
to have a healthy divorce discussion.
Don’t hesitate to reach out. Call me today!
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic all our
FREE CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
I look forward to working with you.
Stay healthy and safe!
New York divorce attorney Lois Brenner still has some appointments available
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.
We can book a consultation for you immediately!