When it’s Time to Say “I Want a Divorce”

Julie Hupp, CDFA®, CFP®

March 9, 2018

Half of the people going through a divorce will be on the receiving end of this message, but the other half are the bearers of this incredibly bad news. Let’s start with what NOT to do! Many people really blow it. If you’re not sure of how your spouse will react, especially if infidelity is involved, that fear can cause you to make very bad decisions. Thinking that being in a public place might lead to less hysterics could be one of these bad decisions.

The reality is that your spouse would have to sit in a public place while their world crashes down. This discussion will uncover emotions that many don’t even know they have. Let alone having to sort them out in public.

So, what’s the best way to do this? There probably isn’t one. This will be one of the most difficult conversations you ever have. However, here are my best tips.

1. Make Sure the Kids are Somewhere Else

It’s a great time for sleepovers with friends or a night with grandparents. You both need space to work through this.

2. Allow Your Spouse Time to Process

My best advice is say it simply and directly and then let them know you don’t want or need to discuss anything right now. Maybe even make arrangements to leave and spend the night somewhere else. You’ll both be better off for it.

3. Do it in Person

Whatever you do, do not do it in writing, an email, or God forbid a text message! Have the courage to say it to their face.

“This is going to be a challenging time in your life. Ultimately, you will be stronger, happier, and ok.”

4. Speak Only About Yourself

Do not attack! No “you” statements. It should go something like this; “I have made a decision for myself that I need to tell you about. At this point, I can no longer stay in this marriage and I believe it will be best for both of us to start the divorce process. All of the reasons aren’t important anymore. I just know that I need things to change. I also know this is a lot to absorb and it’s not really a good idea to talk about anything now. I’ve made arrangements to stay somewhere else tonight, so you can have some time to yourself. I’m really sorry.” And quietly walk out.

Now it may not go that smoothly but that’s a good intention to start with.

5. Make Sure You’re Safe

If there is any possibility that you might be met with anger or violence, be sure that someone is with you. Have them stand by the front door while you speak to your spouse in private and then immediately leave.

This is going to be a challenging time in your life. Ultimately, you will be stronger, happier, and ok – as long as you choose to be. Use the resources available to you to make good decisions for yourself. Today truly is the first day of the rest of your life.

I know this can be scary, but your life can’t move forward until you do. Good luck!

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Aspire Divorce Solutions

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