how to tell your spouse you want a divorce

Do you want to divorce, but you haven’t told your spouse yet? Maybe you’re just waiting for the perfect moment to present it to them to where it prevents any more damage to the relationship. Or perhaps you’re plotting the best way to throw it in their face because you feel fed up with their actions. You’re done with the relationship, and you’ve likely lost any faith in the marriage coming back together. However, you are not sure how to tell your spouse you want a divorce.

Even though you have children, perhaps who will miss their parents being in the same house, you honestly believe divorce is still the best decision. If you don’t have kids, you’re probably thinking of all of the freedoms you’ll get back after getting a divorce. And honestly, it may even sound too good to be true to you right now.

Well, before you decide to divorce, which is entirely your choice, I’d like to give you a few considerations as you’re crafting the perfect plan to present the divorce to your spouse.


Throw Your Plan Away And Try This Instead

I hope you have not taken the decision to file for divorce lightly. If you’re wondering how to tell your spouse you want a divorce, consider some fundamental questions that are more logistical, such as, where are you going to go? How are you going to support yourself? Will you owe alimony or child support? But the most critical question for you to ask yourself before filing for divorce is whether this decision will genuinely affect you and those you love for the rest of your life.

There’s a researcher at the University of Austin by the name of Dr. Regnerus. And He is quoted as saying, “Divorce is the gift that keeps on taking.” He says this because there are so many aftershock effects of divorce that people don’t consider when they initially make their decision.

At Marriage Helper, we have helped thousands of couples whose marriages have been affected by divorce. We’ve even helped individuals, not just couples, when they’re considering divorce or when their spouse has filed for divorce.

Divorce has even affected my life. When my parents divorced, and my dad left my mom, she became a working single mother. My dad thought that everything would be roses when he left my mom; he was the one that filed for divorce. But in reality, he ended up bankrupt, jobless, and living out of his car. So it’s not what you think it’s going to be.

On the other side, A woman said to me just last week, “If I had known all that I know now, I would have never divorced my first husband. Because the truth is, every marriage is hard. It’s just that you marry a different set of problems in the next marriage. So it’s best to make the first one work and work through it.” I loved that quote.


What Have You Tried So Far?

What have you tried to do to make the marriage work? Here are some common answers that I hear.


Why should I do anything to change myself when they are the problem?

People often try nothing. They say, “Things are the way they are. My spouse is going to keep being the way they are. So why should I try and do anything to make it work? But you see, the problem with these answers in this stance of doing nothing is that you’re not going to have a more uncomplicated relationship the next time.

As the woman said to me just a week ago, “You’re only going to enter into a relationship with a different set of problems.” And if you don’t get the skills now to try and work towards fixing things and making a relationship work, then divorcing isn’t going to change anything.

Doing nothing should not be the answer. And what we know from research is that when people wait six years before they do something to try and make their marriage work, it doesn’t get better in those six years.

Often, people don’t want to deal with the situation. They don’t want to go to counseling or talk to their spouse about it because they think time will make it better. But, in actuality, time will worsen the situation unless you do something to change.



“We tried counseling, and it didn’t work.”

Listen. I think that great counselors are great resources. In fact, I trained for two years in marriage and family therapy. I know that counseling is also tricky. It can be challenging to be one-on-one or one-on-two as the counselor with the couple in your room and work through complex issues. It can be easy for the spouse who wants out of the marriage to tune out during counseling.

And here is the crucial thing: if you don’t pick a pro-marriage counselor, then all it takes is a counselor saying one thing, either maybe you should divorce, or perhaps you should try a separation. And that’s all your spouse needs to hear. Or perhaps that’s all you need to hear to say, “You know what, even a professional doesn’t think we can make this work.” But guess what? You didn’t give it a good fighting chance.


We read a self-help book, and it didn’t work.

It takes way more than reading a book to fix a relationship. You may even say that you talked to your spouse, and they didn’t listen. Or maybe you want to say that you’ve honestly tried everything. But have you? What are you willing to do to try and save your marriage and make it work before filing for divorce? Lots of people will say anything. “If I really thought I could save this marriage, I would do anything.” But when it comes to humbling yourself, realizing that maybe there were things that you did that contributed to the downfall of your marriage, that isn’t easy.

You must learn the right things to do, change your behavior, and admit when you’re wrong. Unfortunately, many people are unwilling to do that. But guess what? Those steps will create a healthy relationship. So please do it now and save the heartache.

What Kind Of Person Is Your Spouse?

Is your spouse a good person who is doing some bad things? Or are they a bad person who is doing bad things? Most of the time, your spouse is a good person who’s currently doing some bad things, but they deserve rescue, and your marriage deserves saving. 

So all of this being said, Does that mean you should stay in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage? Absolutely not. We at Marriage Helper can help you. We can teach you what you need to know to fix your relationship and stop the divorce. You can put your marriage back on track to being better than ever before. What we teach you are research-based, time-tested, and experience-proven principles that have been around for over 20 years. In the work that we have been doing with thousands of couples worldwide, our results speak for themselves. 

Our turnaround workshop for marriages has over a 70% success rate at saving marriages. Even the relationships everyone else had given up on and were on the brink of divorce. So before you file for divorce, stop and honestly ask if you have done everything you could. 


At Marriage Helper, We Believe That There Is Hope

And we have a free resource for you as well. Our free mini-course explains how to fall back in love with your spouse and save your marriage. We teach you how to stop your divorce and bring your marriage together. You can go through the free videos and see if any material connects with you. It causes you to pause and re-think that decision of filing for divorce before doing everything you can to save your marriage.

If you want more information about our workshop with that incredible success rate, you can learn more about it here. If any part of you is honestly wishing that you could do something to make this marriage work, then do something to make this marriage work. For more information about our workshop, you can also call our number at 866-903-0990 or contact us here. We believe that there is hope for your marriage, no matter what has happened. We can help you find that hope.