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“I want a divorce” – how to tell your partner it’s over

Tags: divorce, separation, communication, conversation
Content Types: Tips and Advice
Categories: Separating

Do you want a divorce? Are you worried about telling your partner that it’s over? If you’re sure you want to end the relationship, these tips will help you make the first conversation less stressful and give you the confidence to say, “I want a divorce”. If you’re ready to take the first step, here’s how.

1. Prepare yourself

Prepare yourself for the idea that your partner is going to have a reaction. They might be aware that your relationship has been on the rocks but your decision to end it may still come as a shock, and the more shocked they are, the more volatile they are likely to be. Accept that there are going to be some unknown elements involved.

2. Choose the right moment

Once you’ve made the decision that the relationship is over and prepared yourself, you may want to get the conversation out of the way, but it’s important not to rush. There isn’t a ‘good time’ to tell your partner but there are certainly bad times. Don’t do it just before an event, or out in public, over the phone, or via text. This is an important personal conversation that should happen when you’re alone and in a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted.

3. Keep the conversation short

Remember that this is likely to come as a shock to your partner. While you’ve had time to think about the separation and what needs to be arranged, it’s likely that it hasn’t even crossed their mind. So, aim to convey a single message:

“Our relationship is over. I’m sorry this is so hurtful, but I’m decided and I won’t change my mind. I want a divorce”.

You can adopt the ‘broken record’ technique which is basically repeating the same message several times to help the news sink in. Don’t get into the detail at this point. Be clear that you want to talk about things in more detail but that now is not the time.

4. Be patient

Having this tricky conversation will test your self-control. In the heat of the moment, your ex may say rash things and throw criticisms at you. Be patient, and know that you’ll need to be patient throughout the whole separation process. Allowing things to settle will lead to better outcomes for you, your partner and your children. 

Your marriage may be over but you will always be parents to your children. So, getting this conversation right will set the tone for your future relationship together. Drop your shoulders, take a deep breath and remember the points above.

For more support on telling your partner you want a divorce, get in touch with amicable

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