How to tell my wife I want a divorce?

How to tell my wife I want a divorce?

The decision to end a marriage is probably the most difficult one. It’s difficult to accept that your marriage is over, but telling your partner you want a divorce is even more harrowing. 

If you are in this position, getting prepared to tell your wife you want a divorce can make it less stressful. In this article, I will share expert suggestions to prepare you to tell your wife you want a divorce. 

These tips will minimize the distress and can cause both parties to encourage both partners to continue the divorce process decently. 

Firstly, set your intentions for divorce.

Before starting a divorce conversation with your partner, you must be clear about the situation. Be specific with the things you want before talking with your spouse. Every word and decision will impact your children’s life, economics, marital status, and lifestyle. 

You must have the answers to all the following questions before asking for a divorce. 

  • Ask yourself what your available options are and what are the positive and negative of each option. 
  • Take logistics into consideration. Where will you live? How will you manage the expenses? How will you take the kids?
  • You must think of divorce from an emotional point of view as well. What are the main reasons for the divorce? How can it impact the unity of the family? What do you want?

Observe how much your spouse knows of your unhappiness

Your wife may realize you are unhappy with your marriage, but your divorce request can take them in shock. The more you take them by surprise, the harder it will be for them to accept the situation. Don’t be shocked when she asks you to talk out of it.

Don’t hold it to yourself if you are unsure of your marriage. Talk to your partner about the problems first; they can’t just know what you want or need. 

Steps to tell your wife you want a divorce

Steps to tell your wife you want a divorce

Select a quiet time to take and have a deep conversation. While planning for the time, ensure you both don’t have to run an errand; if you have kids, ensure they are not home. 

In short, select a time when you both are at home and can openly discuss things without distractions. 

1. Understand that you will emotionally be in a different state than your wife.

You must understand that you are making a decision that will affect your spouse’s and ‘children’s lives. You may have already given a thought before taking things to this level. You are the decision-maker of your life, and your opinions may have already made you move through the marriage emotionally. 

You must have thought of your life without your spouse. But the case is entirely different for your wife. Try to be understanding when you open up about divorce to your partner as they will be catching up to the decision made up of their life. 

2. Use your words carefully.

There is a clear difference in the position of “the leaver” and “the left.” The leaver is psychologically strong as they have enough time to understand what they want. 

While the left person is wounded and shocked by the sudden announcement. The more harsh your words, the more hurt the other person will be. The worst behavior from your side can only trigger their wounded behavior. 

Think carefully about the time and place you want to end the relationship. During the conversation, try not to trigger their anger button. 

3. Don’t Ambush her

Even when she knows you are unhappy with the marriage, there is no guarantee that she isn’t in denial about the marriage. If she doesn’t have any idea, it can shock them. Before discussing divorce, let your partner know there is something serious you want to talk about. 

4. Prepare for all sorts of liability to be laid on you

When you tell your wife you want a divorce, there are maximum chances that she will put all the guilt on you by calling you a bad husband or a bad father. You will probably get tags like cruel and selfish with some verbal abuse. Be prepared for their response. 

Calmly present your side without elevating her anger.

5. There will be an emotional response.

Due to the sudden stress, her emotions can transfer into emotional distress, withdrawal, and depression. It’s best to recognize their response and try their best to avoid any more issues.

6. Don’t play the blame game.

When discussing divorce, try not to dig into the past and criticize her for what’s happening. Be sympathetic to her response, use “I” statements, and tell her your true feelings. 

You can start with, “Hey, I know it’s hard to accept, but our marriage already finished long ago, so let’s get a divorce. I don’t think marital counseling is our possible solution, so let’s see an individual therapist.” 

7. Respect your spouse’s feelings.

Keep yourself calm when you are having a divorce discussion. You already know what you will talk about, but she doesn’t. It’s acceptable that she will be shocked and upset. 

Allow her to express her anger. Give her the time and space she needs to accept this. You have given her a sudden shock that she was not welcoming. She needs time to get it and give her space before deciding.

8. Let your wife talk.

Don’t continue the conversation yourself. Give her the space to express her feelings. When she is talking, don’t interrupt her. Make sure you let her speak freely and end the conversation well. 

Sometimes, it’s essential to understand her side and reflect on the situation.

Tell her you understand that she is unhappy too and maybe it’s the right thing to end for good. 

Related post: How long does a divorce take if one party doesn’t agree

9. Be reasonable

Before continuing with the divorce, tell her you will be fair with the upcoming proceedings. Before filing the divorce petition, let her know you want to respect her needs and feelings. It will benefit in setting a good tone for the divorce proceedings. 

Tell her beforehand that you don’t want any drama to haunt both of us after the divorce. Express to her that you want to be fair and reasonable for both of us and expect the same from her.

10. Engage a collaborative attorney.

Interview at least two collaborative divorce attorneys, engage with the one that makes you feel comfortable, and then file for divorce. Make a draft of the marital history after collecting all the financial information. You will need a post-divorce budget before visiting the attorney. 


How to tell my spouse I want a divorce?

When you tell your spouse, make sure to use your words wisely. You have thought about it for a long time, but it’s also a life-changing decision about their life. Understand their anger, and don’t make sudden attacks on your spouse. Instead of playing the blame game, tell them how it’s better for both of you.

What is the polite way to ask for a divorce?

Every relationship situation is different. You can ask for a divorce politely by telling your partner that for a long time, you have been considering the state of the relationship and think it’s better to have a peaceful divorce. Tell them you are happy to answer their questions and want to make this process as calm as possible. 

Is an unhappy marriage better than a divorce?

According to a 2002 study, about two-thirds of the adults who stayed together even after an unhappy marriage were happy five years later. At the same time, those who got divorced were mostly unsatisfied with their lives. But it’s not for all people. Some find their true happiness after their divorce. So it’s up to you to make the best decision according to your current relationship situation. 

When to go for divorce?

If there is oppression, drugs or alcoholism, abuse, and infidelity, go for a divorce instead of living in hell. Through trial, separation is an option, but it’s better to completely back off when a relationship takes a toll on your mental or physical health. We got a divorce and lived a better, more peaceful life that we all deserve. 


Once you have made a firm decision about divorce, set a plan on “How to tell my wife I want a divorce?” Divorce discussion can be challenging, but think before doing it correctly. 

Make your spouse aware that you want to discuss something serious with them. Pick a quiet place, know what you want to say, and tell them about your feelings. 

Expect a solid and furious reaction from their side. Make it clear beforehand that you don’t want to go through the trial separation but want a divorce.

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