Bringing up the idea of divorce to a spouse can be a rather nerve-wracking experience. Most people aren’t receptive to the idea that their marriage will end in divorce rather than death. People tend to have intense emotional reactions even if the logical side of their brain recognizes that divorce might be the best choice for the family.
Unfortunately, some people make the situation worse than it needs to be because they make missteps when talking to their spouse about the idea of a divorce. These are some of the most common errors people make when broaching the topic of marital dissolution initially, and how people can avoid them.
1. They start out with an adversarial approach
People often choose to file for divorce specifically because of something that their spouse did, like cheating. When they bring up the topic of divorce, they make accusatory statements and approach the topic with a lot of demands.
This kind of aggressive approach will inevitably provoke an aggressive response and can lead to not just a blowout confrontation but also a very acrimonious approach to the divorce process. People can avoid this mistake by staying as calm as possible and not placing blame.
2. They bring it up before they have prepared themselves
Some people tell their spouse the first time they seriously consider getting divorced, not realizing that they might actually push their marriage closer to dissolution by doing so. It is common for people to panic when they hear someone mention divorce and begin aggressively planning their own strategies.
Someone who is only concerned that the marriage might fail could soon find themselves not only facing a filing initiated by their spouse but also struggling to get the records they need, like income paperwork. Most people considering divorce will benefit from gathering the information they need and having a strategy in place before they ever discuss the issue with their spouse.
3. They leave no room for compromise
Another common issue with one spouse bringing up divorce to the other is that they may start the conversation primarily to impose their expectations on their spouse. They explain the custody terms and property concessions they want and are completely closed off to the possibility of compromise. To avoid this mistake, people often want to wait to discuss their expectations in detail until their spouse has had a chance to process. They may also need to learn state law to set realistic expectations.
Avoiding the most common mistakes that people make when discussing divorce with their spouses can help to protect the interests of those who believe their marriage may soon end.