You’re unhappy, and your spouse is unhappy. In fact, you’re outright miserable together. However, that still doesn’t mean that asking your spouse for a divorce is going to be easy.
How you handle this all-important conversation with your spouse can set the tone for the rest of your marriage, short though it may be. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you proceed.
Find some common ground
Marriage is about romance, love and passion, but divorce is all business. So approach this situation the same way you would a business deal where both sides are asking, “What’s in it for me?”
You say that you and your spouse haven’t had anything in common for years? Well, that’s exactly the starting point that you need. Acknowledge that your spouse isn’t any happier than you in your marriage and present divorce as a golden opportunity for you both to move on to happier lives.
If you have children, that’s another starting point for common ground. Whatever their ages (even adults), you both probably want to minimize the fallout from your divorce in their lives.
Avoid the blame game
Once you’ve made the decision to divorce, there’s no point re-hashing what’s wrong with your marriage. It’s over, so it’s time to deal with the practical aspects of your split.
If your spouse tries to draw you into old arguments, be polite but firm: You are clear that your marriage is flawed, and there’s no fixing it. It’s entirely possible that two very good people just aren’t good together, and that’s okay.
Don’t make demands
Eventually, you and your spouse will both need to come up with a list of wants and needs regarding things like the division of the marital assets and debts, custody of the children, the division of your household items and support — but that’s several discussions down the road.
Even if you already have a very clear idea of what you want to see happen, ask your spouse to table that conversation until you’ve both had time to process the changes you’re about to make.
Divorce is seldom an easy prospect, but it can be the best gift you ever give yourself — or your spouse. Learning more about your rights and obligations (and the divorce process itself) can make things clearer.