After trying time and time again to make your marriage work, you may have come to the conclusion that you will need to divorce your spouse. Everyone has their reasons for doing so. Perhaps you and your spouse have begun acknowledging this truth; still, even if both of you are on the same page, it is an entirely different ordeal. The objective is to prevent the hurt and angry feelings, and reduce the potential conflict.
Although breaking the news could mean conflict for the both of you. The key to resolving any dispute is communication. You do not want to blindside your spouse or surprise him or her with information that they didn’t already know. Below, our Des Moines divorce lawyers offer some tips that may be helpful as you navigate through this tricky conversation.
Be upfront with your spouse—don’t blindside them.
Nothing can be worse than feeling cornered, ambushed, or simply surprised by the life-changing news. Learning the news that you will be divorcing is a major life shift that will take some time to prepare. Even if you and your spouse have been participating in marital counseling or therapy, and you have shared many discussions about the status of your marriage, announcing the end of your marriage feels like the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. Be frank with your spouse about your feelings and ease into the conversation. This way, the news doesn’t feel as much of a surprise.
Say “I feel” statements.
The last thing you want is to have the conversation feel combative. Be careful in your choice of words. You don’t want to start out a sentence with, “you.” Try, “I feel” so that the conversation is more about your particular feelings, rather than trying to play a blame game.
Be caring and compassionate.
You may find that your spouse's feelings are completely opposite of yours, especially if you are the one delivering the news. If your spouse is the one who did not want the divorce in the first place, they may feel as though they have lost some control or are helpless. They may begin wondering what went wrong and what they could have done to rectify the situation. Give your spouse reassurance. Whatever contributed to the breakdown of the marriage should not be used as points of contention. Rather, be an emotional support system and be understanding as you and your family undertake this transition.