When one spouse knows that a divorce is the right thing for their marriage, approaching the other spouse can be dreadful. It is true that the feelings are largely dependent upon the reason for the divorce, but in many cases, those feelings are uneasy and stressful regardless of the reason why.
To help prevent chaos when one is communicating the need for a divorce to their spouse, they must take into consideration their spouse’s feelings and needs. Doing this can help the communication between the spouses and can ultimately help the divorce process. If you are approaching a divorce, below are some tips for bringing up the topic of divorce with your spouse:
- Show Empathy & Listen – Showing empathy and understanding can help your spouse feel less rejected and can ease his or her negative feelings. One can express that they care for their spouse while also explaining why they feel a divorce is necessary. This can help the couple rationally think through the process and next steps together. In addition, listening is key. While one may not agree with what their spouse is saying, giving him or her the opportunity to express how they are feeling can be helpful.
- Consider the Right Place and Time – If a spouse’s goal is to bring up the topic of divorce in a peaceful, calm environment, then considering where and when this conversation happens is important. For example, we advise against having this conversation in a place where children may overhear what is being said or in a place where something or someone might interrupt the discussion. Another situation to avoid is if the other spouse recently received negative news about another aspect of their life. While there is not a perfect time to announce a divorce, there are better times than others, including during counseling if the couple is in counseling.
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- Be Direct – If one is positive that they want a divorce from their spouse, then they need to be direct with their spouse to ensure they are taken seriously and to eliminate room for uncertainty. Being direct is important, but not in a negative way. Considering the other spouse’s situation and mindset on divorce can help when having this conversation. Perhaps they have the same feelings or maybe the topic of divorce will completely catch them off guard. Either way, one should ensure their spouse understands what they are saying.
- Consider Next Steps – If the conversation about divorce has one thinking twice about whether this is the right decision, perhaps they should consider counseling. This can be a healthy next step in the process so they can feel more confident in their decision – whether it is to continue pursuing a divorce or to give their marriage another try. If the spouse is certain divorce is what they want, then they should consider the next steps which may be consulting with an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can provide information on the different divorce processes, such as divorce litigation, collaborative divorce, or divorce mediation.
Bringing up the topic of divorce is never easy. If a spouse is unhappy and wants a divorce, they should consider next steps with starting the process so they can work toward creating a happier, healthier lifestyle.
For information about what our experienced attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby can do to help you in your divorce, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 412-261-4040.
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