As a divorce attorney and mediator for over 35 years, I have helped thousands
of spouses initiate discussions with their spouses about divorce. It is
never an easy conversation, but when necessary, having the right approach
Teddy and Michelle have been married for 13 years. They have a 9-year-old son.
Teddy is a financial analyst, and Michelle works part-time in the wine industry.
For the past four years, Teddy has been concerned that his wife has been
distant from him, spending lots of evenings on the computer, not engaging
much with their son, and just not very interested in the family at all.
Teddy has repeatedly asked her what is wrong and has even suggested that
they make changes so they can spend more family time together. She says,
“yes” but then goes right back to her old behaviors.
He has begged his wife to pay more attention to their son’s needs
and to show some interest in being a wife and mom.
Teddy decided during the recent pandemic that he had to make some really
hard decisions in order to save himself and his child from this very sad
After much deliberation, Teddy decided to get a divorce to be in a stronger
position to fix the family. The problem? He was having a really difficult
time telling his wife, and he called me to get some advice.
These days, this type of phone call to me is unfortunately the norm. With
so many unhappy couples spending so much time together, in close proximity,
spouses are reaching out for divorce advice and options.
The most frequent question I receive is “How do I talk to my spouse
about divorce? I can’t do this anymore but I’m afraid to bring
this up. What can I do?”
Here are a few suggestions I make to those seeking help that seems to work:
- Suggest therapy to your spouse and bring up your dissatisfaction with the
relationship in a therapy session.
- Tell your spouse that since spending so much time together over the last
two years, you realize there are some serious issues that need to be addressed.
- Tell your partner that you seem to be on different paths, and suggest that
you spend some time separately with your children.
- Tell your spouse you think your relationship has been deteriorating, and
ask his/her opinion.
- Discuss divorce in the context of mediation which will permit the family
to work with a third party who will facilitate healthy, progressive discussions
in a compassionate, non-threatening environment.
When you approach your spouse, no matter what, try to avoid an argument.
Try not blaming them but take responsibility for the situation. I know
it’s difficult. It is important to try to just listen and acknowledge
that you hear your spouse. Don't push the discussion into details,
and don’t start bringing up issues from the past. This takes a lot
of finesse and self-control, but you can do it!
And if you need some tips, call me to coach you through the process.
As a highly experienced, psychologically trained, divorce attorney and
mediator with more than 35 years of experience, I can guide you on several
ways to approach the subject of divorce with your spouse. Don’t
hesitate to call me.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conducted virtually to reduce risk.
We still have some appointments available for this week.
I look forward to helping you.
Stay healthy and safe!
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner now to book your Free 1 Hour