man and woman talking about divorce
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There was an old song that said “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” This is especially the case if you are talking about divorce. If you’re like most folks, then you are worried about telling your spouse about divorce. Chances are you are already having communication issues in your relationship. This could be part of the reason why you want a divorce. Still, you are going to need to know how to tell your spouse you want a divorce. Here are some helpful hints that can assist you in approaching this difficult subject with your husband or wife.

Don’t Go in Cold

You are not ripping off a Band-Aid. This is a very serious matter that involves a crucial part of both of your lives.  It is vital to have a plan laid out ahead of time. Write some talking points that you want to discuss, explaining why you want a divorce. Also, think about any questions or objections your partner may have to getting divorced. Be ready for anything they may say with possible counterarguments.

Choose the Best Opening Line for You and Your Spouse

There is no ideal opening line when asking for a divorce. Instead, a great deal depends on who you and your spouse are, as well as the type of relationship you have. Think about phrases like, “I think we need to talk about the future of our marriage” or “I’ve been unhappy in our marriage for a long time, and I think we should consider a divorce.” Try out a number of different ones as part of your preparation until you’ve chosen the one that you think will keep your spouse calm, and willing to listen to you.

Choose the Right Time and Place to Have the Discussion

There is a very good chance that you and your spouse lead a very busy life. This is especially true if you have young children. You need to discuss this with your husband or wife at a time when you won’t be interrupted and in a place that is away from any and all distractions. A private place is a much better idea than in public where your spouse may feel like he or she is being ambushed.

If you do have children, the last thing you want is for one of your children to walk in on a very emotional scene between you and your spouse. This is why you may want to have the talk while your kids are away, such as when they are staying with friends or relatives.

Stay Calm and Focused

There is no way around the fact that asking for a divorce is a very stressful situation. This is especially the case when you are the one who is being asked. Keep this in mind when you have the conversation. You have spent time pondering and preparing for this conversation. Your spouse hasn’t been and may be shocked or unpleasantly surprised when you broach the subject. That is why it is incumbent upon you to keep your cool, even if your partner loses theirs. Your spouse may cry, scream, yell, or try to avoid the subject altogether. Be prepared for any possible emotional response. Stay firm and focused, and also be patient. 

Avoid the Blame Game

It is tempting for people in an argument to start pointing fingers. This will ultimately prove counterproductive in your situation. Your goal is to bring your partner around to accepting that you want a divorce, even if he or she doesn’t agree with ending your marriage. A big way to do this is to avoid blaming him or her for what went wrong in your relationship. Doing this will only make the talk even more difficult, increasing the chances that this will devolve into a shouting match. Instead, stick to explaining why you want a divorce, and why you think it will be the right thing for the two of you.


There is an old saying that we have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth. Keep that in mind throughout the talk. You may have had major communication issues in your marriage, but now is the time to do more listening than talking. Once you’ve finished going through your points, you need to stay calm and listen to everything your spouse has to say. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get angry if he or she does play the blame game. Be prepared for your spouse to use guilt on you. Listen, stay calm, and when your spouse has finished, respond to each point clearly, carefully, and thoughtfully. Whatever you do, avoid getting defensive.

Try to Avoid Getting into Legal and Logistical Arrangements

Divorces involve such issues as living arrangements, division of marital assets, spousal maintenance or support, health insurance concerns, child custody and visitation, and child support. There will be ample time to discuss these matters, preferably with your respective lawyers present. So, unless your spouse absolutely insists on it, you should avoid discussing these matters during this first discussion. Do not agree to anything without discussing it first with a trusted and experienced matrimonial attorney. 

If You Are Preparing to File for Divorce, Better Call Saul

Divorce is not an easy matter, which is why the lawyers at the Saul Law Firm, LLP, are ready to fight for your rights. Our experienced matrimonial attorney will walk you through all of the steps of your divorce, providing you with attention to detail that is second to none, and compassionate support that you just won’t receive from a big firm.