If you’re thinking about approaching your spouse to talk about divorce, follow these tips for the smoothest possible conversation.
Prepare Yourself and What You Want to Say
Don’t bring up this discussion in a fit of stress, anxiety, or anger. It won’t be a productive conversation and it will only bring more stress on both of you. Consider what you want to say before you say it. Going into individual or even couples therapy to help process everything might give you some clarity and guidance. Think on things until you’ve made up your mind and feel at peace with your wants and what you will say to your spouse.
Avoid The ‘Money Talk’
When you’re first discussing the idea of divorce, avoid bringing money into it. This is especially true if financial stress is a factor in your marital stress. Unfortunately, divorce is expensive. In the U.S., the average cost of divorce can be anywhere from $15,000 to $42,000, but expenses can be left up for discussion during the divorce mediation process. It’s best to avoid discussing dividing up assets and property and the like without professional help and recordings, too. You may agree to something you regret later.
Choose A Time and Place That is Appropriate
If there’s a major sickness or life-changing event going on, wait to bring up the ‘D’ word. Make sure any kids you have are safely away, at a relative’s or friend’s place for example. A private place where you can safely have a discussion is important, typically somewhere at home.
Stay Gentle and Non-aggressive
The best way to keep one-on-one divorce talk from going sour? Be gentle and understanding towards your spouse’s feelings. Maybe they saw this coming, or maybe they were sadly blissfully unaware. Either way, you want to acknowledge that divorce is full of mixed feelings. A helpful tip is to avoid “you” statements and stick to “I” statements. Using “you” statements in such a difficult conversation can lead to your spouse becoming angry, frustrated, and hurt thinking that you blame them. It’s possible that you do, and that is common. But divorce proceedings go far better when both parties stay away from blaming.
We understand that this is a difficult conversation for both of you to have. Keep your patience, be empathetic, and save the hard details for a divorce lawyer who can help you fairly iron everything out. If you’re in the Chicago area and would like mediation help, contact us at C.E.L. and Associates today.