It can be challenging to approach the topic of divorce with your partner, especially if you are the one who is bringing it up for the first time. You may feel like you are betraying your partner by even thinking about leaving, or you may be worried about how they will react. However, it can be equally challenging to keep your feelings bottled up inside or advance in a marriage when you are unhappy. So here are a few professional tips on how to broach the topic with your partner in a way that is respectful and considerate of their feelings:

  1. Take some time to think about what you want to communicate before you bring it up with your partner. Consider writing down your thoughts or talking to a trusted friend or therapist first to help you organize your thoughts. Some items to consider beforehand include:
    • What are the specific reasons you are considering divorce?
    • Do you still love your partner? If so, what are the things that you still love about them?
    • What are your biggest fears or concerns about getting divorced?
    • What kind of future do you envision for yourself after divorce?
  2. When you are ready to talk, be honest about your genuine feelings and explain why you are considering divorce. It is important to allow them to express their own thoughts and feelings on the matter. Then, allow the conversation to flow naturally without interruption. Some things you may want to consider saying include:
    • “I have been thinking about divorce because _______.”
    • “I still love you, but I’m not sure if I’m in love with you.”
    • “I’m not happy in this marriage, and I’ve been considering divorce as a way to find happiness again.”
    • “I’m afraid that if we stay married, we will only end up hurting each other more.”
  3. Try to avoid attacking or blaming your partner for your feelings. This will only make them defensive and less likely to actively listen to what you have to say. Instead, focus on explaining how you feel and why you think divorce may be the best solution. Some of the best ways to do this include:
    • “I know this is hard to hear, but I need to be honest with you about how I’m feeling.”
    • “I know that this isn’t what either of us wanted, but I think it may be the best thing for us.”
    • “I don’t want to hurt you, but I need to do what is best for me.”
  4. Be prepared for a range of reactions from your partner. They may be hurt, angry, or even relieved that you brought up the topic. They may also want to try to talk you out of getting a divorce or may be open to the idea. Regardless of their reaction, try to remain calm and respectful, and give them the same space to express their thoughts and feelings that you hoped for during the conversation.
  5. Be prepared to listen to your partner’s perspective and respond in a way that shows you are considering their feelings. This can be a difficult and charged conversation, but it is important to remember that you are both on the same team and working toward the same goal: finding a solution that is best for both of you. Some things to keep in mind during this conversation include the following:
    • “I know this is hard for you to hear, and I’m sorry. Can you tell me more about how you’re feeling?”
    • “I understand that you’re upset, and I want to find a way to make this work for both of us. Are you open to talking about some possible solutions?”
    • “I can see that this is difficult for you. Can we take a break for a little while and come back to this conversation later?”

If you are having difficulties communicating with your partner about this sensitive topic, it may be helpful to seek out the assistance of a legal professional or alternative dispute specialist who can help facilitate the conversation.


Q: When Is the Best Time to Talk to My Partner About My Feelings About Divorce?

A: The best time to talk to your partner about wanting a divorce is when you feel ready and cannot imagine delaying the conversation any longer. It is important to remember there is no perfect time to have this conversation and that waiting for a “perfect” moment may only prolong and intensify your feelings. The most important thing is to be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling and to allow them the opportunity to respond openly and honestly as well.

Q: How Can I Start the Conversation?

A: You might find it helpful to begin the conversation by acknowledging that you know things have been difficult recently and that you’re feeling overwhelmed. This can help set the tone for an honest and open conversation. You might also want to share why you’re feeling like this, whether it’s due to specific events or a general sense of dissatisfaction. It’s important to be as clear and concise as possible, so that your partner can understand your perspective.

Q: What if My Partner Doesn’t Want to Talk About It?

A: If your partner doesn’t want to talk about the possibility of divorce, it’s important to respect their wishes. However, you might suggest revisiting the conversation later or checking in periodically to see if they’ve changed their mind. It’s also important to remember that you have a right to express your feelings, even if your partner isn’t ready to talk about them.

Q: What if We Can’t Come to an Agreement?

A: If you and your partner cannot agree on whether to divorce, you might want to consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide impartial assistance and guidance and help you explore your options. If you decide to proceed with a divorce, they can also help you navigate the process and deal with any challenges that may arise. An attorney will also be able to provide you with information about the legal process and help you protect your rights.

If you are considering divorce and need additional assistance on how to talk to your partner or the legalities of divorce, contact an experienced Chicago divorce attorney today.