Dropping the Bombshell: How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

So, you’ve done your soul searching, a lot of solid research in our extensive information library, and spoken with your Findling Law divorce attorney about your situation. You have concluded that divorce is right for you. Now, it’s time to think of how to tell your spouse you want a divorce.


Know what you want to say.

Every couple is different, and everyone has a different reason for wanting to end a marriage.  If you have gotten to this point, then you have given it a lot of thought already. Plan out what you’re going to say in advance.  Maybe just saying:   “I want a divorce” will suffice, but it may be better to give it some thought.  How? One way is to write it all out, on the computer or on paper.  It gives you a chance to think about what you need to say, and come back to any parts that don’t quite come across the way you want them to. The act of writing helps you to familiarize yourself with what you want to say while perfecting it at the same time. Don’t stop there.  Ask a close friend or family member to role play this with you, allowing you the chance to get it all out in a practice run.

What do you want to say anyway when you want a divorce?

If you and your spouse have already been separated for a while and a divorce has been an option, perhaps even discussed at some point, this might not be shocking news.  What would you you’re your spouse to say to you if the tables were turned? How much or how little would you want to hear at this point in your relationship? How is your spouse going to react to the news?

One source helped to break it down for us like this:

         Make sure you have your spouse’s attention, that children are not around and phones and other distractions are limited when discussing that you want a divorce.

         Focus on your point:  Such as, your marriage has been falling apart for some time, you have thought about this carefully, and you have made your decision.  You want a divorce.

         Stay calm throughout.

         Don’t try to defend against your spouse’s claims that it’s your fault, it’s not as bad as you make it out to be, or anything else.

         Listen to your spouse if they have a response to the news that you want a divorce.

         It’s okay to peaceably end this discussion right here. There will be opportunities to discuss later.

If your separation has been difficult – maybe because of abuse, anger issues, jealousy – then you might be in a different situation. We suggest you talk it over with us if you are in this case so that you are in the best and safest position you can be when you want a divorce.

Prepare yourself, so that fear doesn’t derail your plans.

One of the biggest problems we face when having to have a difficult conversation with someone is outright fear. It can literally paralyze you and prevent you from getting the job done and moving forward with your life. After all, uttering these words will begin a very major change in your life, as well as in your spouse’s life. There are many ways to wrangle your fear, but we particularly like these steps from Mark Tyrrell at uncommonhelp.me.

         Breathe. Purposely breathe out longer than you breathe in to force your body into calming down.

         Visualize yourself in the situation, face-to-face with your spouse, saying what you need to say, and allowing yourself to experience the event before it happens.

         Scale down your fear or anxiety by forcing yourself to give it a rating on a scale of 1 to 10. If you are feeling like your fear is at level 7, work to calm yourself to a level that is more acceptable to you, like maybe 2 or 3.

         Keep your imagination in check. Be realistic about how this might go and prepare for it, but at the same time don’t let it run out of control and increase your fear and anxiety.

Remember that you need to deliver a calm, clear message. You know your spouse well and you can gauge the best way to make this happen. And, as always, if you are unsure or fear for your safety, consult with your Findling Law lawyer for guidance. Choosing to divorce is a big step and brings out a lot of emotions in everyone involved. We are here to help you navigate life’s changes, just like this one, and bring you closer to finding your new happiness. Contact us anytime. 

About Findling Law:

I have been in practice for 20 years and practice exclusively in divorce and family law.  My practice includes several attorneys who share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their life, without compromising principles.  We have extensive experience in high socio-economic, high profile and high conflict cases which has nurtured a skill set applicable to all divorce and family law cases regardless of socio-economic status.  We recognize that it is the application of the law that is most important aspect of practice.  That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .



Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free:   (877-YOUR FIRM)

After hours emergency?:  +1 (707) 968-7347

Or email me at:   Daniel@Findlinglaw.com

By:  Daniel Findling

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