Talking to your Spouse about Divorce
By Mary Ann Pekara
Once you've decided that you're ready for divorce, you face the obstacle of talking to your spouse about divorce. According to experts who have appeared on the NBC-TV "Today" program, working toward a healthy divorce is as important as working toward a healthy marriage.
So what does that mean?
You can't predict how your spouse will react to your suggestion of divorce - anger, resentment, sadness, resistance, agreement - any combination of emotions can be evoked by the word. What you can do is approach the discussion in such a way that the two of you come out of it with as little emotional damage as possible. Here are some pointers.
Suggestions for Talking about Divorce
- Acknowledge your Mistakes: Laying blame on your spouse will likely put him or her on the defensive. Admit that you've made mistakes too and you're both at fault.
- Listen: Make sure you're communicating your feelings clearly by listening to your spouse's reaction. If it seems you haven't gotten the message across because your spouse thinks he or she can succeed at talking you out of divorce, reinforce your stance.
- Consider your Spouse's Feelings: Acknowledge your spouse's reactions with respect but continue to maintain your thoughts and feelings on the situation.
- Think like a Businessperson: Go into this discussion with a workplace mentality. Eliminating negative energy will help minimize the divorce fallout for you and your family.
- Do your Homework: You have to think about who's going to move out, where the kids will live, what you'll do with your bank accounts and more.
- Consult with a Divorce Lawyer: You likely aren't aware of all the divorce laws in your state. Learning the basics from a divorce lawyer allows you to go into the conversation with a better idea of where you and your family are headed. You can focus the discussion on planning a divorce timeline and arranging the living situation.
- Protect Yourself: If your marriage has a history of domestic violence or aggression, have this conversation in public to protect yourself from any potential outbreaks.
Divorce Differences in Men & Women
A study from Denver University found that men tend to focus more on day-to-day negativity when considering a divorce, whereas women tend to focus more on the overall quality of the marital bond. This could mean that one partner feels that the marriage is on fairly solid footing, while the other believes it's ready to end. Recognize that you and your spouse may differ in your viewpoints, and be ready to listen and discuss.
Total Divorce can help you connect with a local divorce lawyer to discuss your pending divorce. Get advice on how to handle different aspects of the divorce process by setting up a preliminary consultation with a divorce attorney near you today. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out our divorce case review form.