How you tell your spouse those four words can dictate the co-parenting relationship and the divorce process that follows. Here are five things you must consider.
Consider: Have I Tried Everything to Make the Marriage Work?
First, determine if you have tried everything to make your marriage work before deciding to divorce. Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW wrote that people fail in marriage by waiting for their partner to change. Gaspard asked that we shift our mindsets and take accountability for how we contributed to the conflict and unhappiness of the marriage. She also advised that we find productive ways to communicate with our partners about marital issues, without arguing and being confrontational. It may be helpful to find a marriage and family therapist or counselor to help you through this process.
However, if you are sure that you want a divorce here are three things to consider prior to informing your spouse of your decision.
Consider: Location, Location, Location
If you are concerned about your own and the children’s safety speak with a divorce lawyer before you tell your spouse that you want a divorce. You may have to have a safety plan in place prior to letting them know that you want out of the marriage.
Break the news to your partner when you both are calm and not in a stressful or emotional period of your lives.
Bring up the topic at such a time to mitigate the damaging effect it will have on your partner.
Consider: Taking Away the Fighting
A divorce need not be contentious and expensive. Prior to telling your spouse that you want a divorce, you should book an appointment with an attorney who is committed to mediation and is trained in conflict resolution to help guide you.
Credits: Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW, 2017 for The Gottman Institute, “Be The Change You Wish To See In Your Relationship”.