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How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce & keep it peaceful: step 1 of 5

Feb 07, 2021

How to tell your spouse you want a divorce is critically important if you want the process to be peaceful and if you want to focus on your children and on creating financially fair results. If these things are not important to you, then do what most people do and hire a lawyer to protect your rights.

If you are interested in peace and in saving money during divorce, you need to follow five steps in telling your spouse you want a divorce. The five steps are:

  1. Take Responsibility
  2. Create a Goal
  3. Educate Yourself
  4. Plan
  5. Focus on What is Best for Your Children

In this blog post, the focus is on Step 1: Take Responsibility.

It doesn’t matter if your spouse is a narcissist, manipulative or abusive.

If you see yourself as a victim, you will act like a victim. You may want to prove your spouse is wrong and focus on how they have hurt you. You might want to fight back: to show them they cannot control you. This is dangerous territory when you are telling your spouse you want a divorce.

If you don’t take responsibility for the state of your relationship, to your spouse it might sound like you are accusing or attacking your spouse. If this happens, your spouse will be defensive. This will reinforce your pattern of interactions which in turn will reinforce your negative perception of your spouse. Your negative reactions to each other will be like a tornado or hurricane, gathering speed. The amount of conflict will increase.  Your children will be collateral damage in your fight to prove each other responsible. It will keep you stuck in your marriage, or lead to a high conflict divorce.

If you want a different result (a peaceful divorce), you will have to change the pattern of blaming your spouse. You have to become responsible for you and for what happened.

Follow the advice of the experts. Jack Canfield (The Success Principles), Gay Hendricks (The Big Leap), and Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) have a consistent message: take 100% responsibility for whatever is happening in your life.

When you are thinking about how to tell your spouse you want a divorce, ask yourself, “how am I responsible for what is happening in my relationship?” If this makes you uncomfortable, grab a pen and paper and brainstorm possible answers. It might be you married your spouse when you wanted to run from the wedding ceremony. Perhaps you  never stood up for you. Or your best friend warned you and you did not listen.

Once you answer this question, you have something to tell your spouse that won’t make them defensive. You will be saying the issue in the relationship is with you. You are responsible.

By taking responsibility, your spouse is more likely to listen when you say you want a divorce. Authentic conversation, focused on solutions instead of hurt, can follow. From here, your divorce can be peaceful.

If you have trouble seeing how you are responsible, know I can help. It doesn’t matter where you live; this steps works wherever you live, with every type of conflict. Reach out to me at [email protected] for a 45 minute “Tune Up”.

Choose Peace.

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