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How to Tell Your Wife You Want a Divorce

If your marriage has been a guise for a long time, and you are more concerned about keeping up appearances than about the happiness of your wife, then here is an article that will help you out a little. Telling your wife you want a divorce can never be a pleasant thing, nor can it be sugar-coated. Here are a few things to keep in mind before and while breaking the news to your wife.
MenWit Staff
Divorce can devastate or divorce can free, depending on the type of marriage that you have. If you are trapped in a loveless marriage where both you and your wife are pretty much aware of the situation, but are still in it for the sake of the kids or something else, it can really stretch your patience and the ability to be civil to each other. On the other hand, it may be the case that you are in love with your wife, but she is not, or the other way round. Or that you both still, really love each other, but the years of fighting have put layer upon hurtful layers on your love, till you've forgotten that it is even there. How did you arrive at the decision of wanting a divorce? Are you too tired of fighting and not being able to resolve the issues? Are you too lazy to try to work the magic back into your marriage? Or have you reached a point where you are indifferent towards your wife or maybe cannot even stand her? Knowing whether divorce is the right decision is crucial, since you are going to spend the rest of your life either thanking or blaming yourself for making this decision. Before you decide to throw in the towel, reflect on the reasons why you got together in the first place. What you loved about her, why being with her made you so happy that you exchanged vows and pledged to spend the rest of your lives together, whether the reason for wanting a divorce is bigger than these feelings and memories, and the life that you have shared so far? Have you tried everything possible to bring the love back into your relationship, and give it another go? If after honestly and calmly introspecting on these questions you still feel that divorce is the only option left for you, if you think that being in this relationship is only making you unhappy, which in turn makes you grumpy and vent on your wife, then I guess it is in the best interest for the both of you to separate. In which case, while...

Telling Your Wife You Want a Divorce

You need to remember that at some point in your life, you have loved the person you are now consciously making a decision to walk away from and live without. It would be easier if love was a choice that you could make, right? If you have kids, then it means you have spent a considerable amount of time together. This itself merits that you treat your wife with respect and consideration when you tell her that you want to file for a divorce. Your marriage has been through ups and downs, obviously more downs than ups, which is why you are here, so respect the fact that you both have gone through serious stuff together and give it the due respect that it deserves. When you talk to your wife, you have to keep in mind her reactions to the news, her level of surprise, and her subsequent emotional upheaval. Do not in any way show impatience, disrespect, and annoyance at her questions. Sure you have made the decision all by yourself, but she at least has the right to know why you made the decision. Tell her what she needs to know, and talk amicably. Divorce means a lot of change, but it doesn't necessarily have to be synonymous with ugly. Start with...

...Maintaining a Neutral Tone of Voice
It may be true that you have been nice to her till now, and the reason you have finally taken this decision is because you cannot keep up the pretense anymore and continue being nice to her. BUT screaming and accusatory tones never help, and do not count on your case turning out to be the exception to the rule, because that may not be the case. If you make it ugly, that's how it's going to remain. Irrespective of her tone of voice, maintain your neutral tone. If it gets difficult, remember that this is probably one of the last few actual conversations you are going to have with her. That should help you in maintaining basic civility. But no matter what she says, once you've made your choice...

...Be Firm
When you tell your wife you want a divorce, you can expect any or all, of - tantrums, accusations, begging, pleading, tears, emotional blackmail, threats, cold shoulders, non acceptance, guilt trips, demands of "talks", and so on, and if you are lucky, then relief, because maybe she's as unhappy as you and wants the same thing. Even though you may have these things hurled at you, try to understand where she is coming from. You made the decision, so it was definitely easier for you than it is going to be for her, and if she still loves you and wants to give it another shot, and is simply not ready to give up, then you are going to have to be very firm to withstand the high voltage emotional episodes. Do not give in to any of these, and keep dragging the farce for another few years, only to come back to the same place again. Tell her that you have made your decision, and that no amount of talking from her side is going to make you sway from that decision. At the same time...

...Do not Defend, or Turn and Run Away
And by this I mean in and from the 'talk'. I've been told I get defensive sometimes, but I do not consciously try to do that. You may think that you are sounding neutral, when maybe to her you are sounding defensive. Every person's point of view is different, and you cannot make her see your point of view if she doesn't want to. To reduce the chances of that happening, try talking in front of the mirror first and give reasons based on what questions you think she will fire at you. If you think that you are sounding defensive, alter your speech. At the same time, do not run from the conversation because you don't want to sound defensive. You have to know that after delivering news like that, there is not much chance that you will be let off the hook so easily. Which means, that you will have to...

...Be Patient and Explain
You will have to answer the questions, so be honest and tell her your reasons. DO NOT BE SARCASTIC! After hearing this news, even if you both are plenty aware that your marriage was suffering for a long time and was beyond repair, the very obvious first questions will be, Why? and Are you serious? Refrain from giving answers oozing with sarcasm like, For kicks, or Nah, got bored in office today, so thought I'll pull a prank on you. Yes, there have been cases when the husband gave in to the urge and spouted answers like that, which is why I had to mention this! Explain to her why you want the divorce. Maybe you think she knows, but she may not be on the same page as you are. Give her time to catch up with you, and let the news sink in. Impatience will only irk her further, and if you give in to anger or sarcasm, it will give her a lever to pull you into more talks, saying that you were emotionally wrung when you made the decision. So, be calm and patient if you want to avoid further talks. To convince her further, tell her that you have thought about the...

...Practicalities of the Situation
Your wife has had you around for the entire duration of your marriage. Whether you actually did anything or not, your mere presence would have been enough moral support for her. Your being around gave her a sense of security. With the divorce, she is suddenly thinking about the future without you. Your mere physical presence would have been a source of strength for her. Since this will no longer be the case, it is going to scare her. Along with strength, the emotional and financial support is going to be cut off as well. Her life as a single individual/ single mother will flash before her eyes, and if she is a house maker, then she is going to panic. You need to assure her that you are not taking every last penny and bailing on her. That you will provide support till she finds a job, or till she is independent enough to provide for herself and the children, if any. Be reasonable though, and do not be a push over and offer her everything, or be a jerk and leave with everything. Work out a reasonable arrangement, because you know your wife's situation the best. Make sure you...

...Talk about Your Kids
Kids are the innocent bystanders of a divorce and often burden themselves with guilt if you have been fighting in front of them frequently. Before making the decision, you have to understand how divorce affects children. In the case of a divorce, if you do not have kids, you are relatively better off, which means that you do not have to decide the custody rights, alimony, splitting of school fees and medical costs. But if you do, then you will have to work out all these details. The first time is not when you should ask her to discuss this, since the reality of the divorce will need some time to sink in. Just mention this though, to let her know that you are willing to provide support and have seriously considered this decision thoroughly. Do not be drawn into arguments. Do not go digging into the past to rake up the same incidents over and over again, and at all costs...

...Avoid the Blame Game
Blaming each other for the same things over and over again, is in no way going to speed up the process, so avoid doing that. Do not rake up unresolved past issues and start blaming each other again. Do not wash your dirty laundry in public or even ask your friends to come along and stand up for you when the blaming starts. And no matter what you do, if you fail to accept your past mistakes, at least do not push them onto her. If she wants to indulge in that, do not help her by joining in. Do not call her names, or respond in anger when she does so. What she really needs, is for you to...

...Listen to Her
She is going to be hurt, and hurt bad, so as a reflex action, she may try to hurt you by bringing up all your past failures and mistakes. Let her vent it out. Do not be drawn into an argument, about who is to be blamed for what. It will almost never happen, that a couple will agree about what happened in the past. Both of you are likely to stick to your side of the story, reaching no conclusion, only ending up spitting hateful words at each other. She needs to express her anger and fear, insecurities and disappointments. Let her do that. Hear her out. Do not only carry on with your long speeches. Let her express her point of view, even though you are not going to do anything about it.

This is going to be an emotionally turbulent time for both of you. Right now, you may be so preoccupied with the thought of getting out of her life, or having her get out of yours, that you may not have given a thought to whether you will actually be able to live without her. Things that have build up to gigantic proportions will reduce to pea sized trivial things when she goes out of your life, leaving you unexpectedly regretting your decision. If you think that there is the slightest chance of that happening, if the thought has even entered your mind, then before deciding to divorce and directly telling her that you want a divorce, it may be better to talk to her and tell her that you are seriously considering it. If you'll still love each other, then whatever shell she has built around herself will come crumbling right down with her tears and you will have the woman you loved before you. If she still tugs at your heart, then give it another chance before making the final decision. Who knows, maybe the talk of considering a divorce may turn a new leaf in your marriage. In case it doesn't, I hope you have an amicable divorce. Try parting with good wishes for each other instead of hateful words, to make the process as less painful as possible.