Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

How to Ask Your Spouse for a Divorce

Houston might have the #4 spot in Forbes’ luckiest cities for love in 2011, but according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 10% of all Houston marriages wind up in divorce. Divorce is an exceedingly painful action to contemplate, and is an even harder subject to broach with your spouse.

Most couples will try everything to make a marriage work. Yet many couples find despite the talking, the counseling, and the wholehearted attempt to make the relationship better, a divorce is the only solution. Although the decision has been made, many people don’t know how to raise the subject of splitting up.

If you have decided to ask your spouse for a divorce, it’s important to remember the old golden rule about “doing to others…” When dealing with such an agonizing situation, it’s best to take the high road. Take a step back, collect yourself, be courteous, direct, and above all, be honest.

Marriage counselors, mediators, social workers, and even divorce lawyers recommend that you follow several principles of etiquette when you ask your spouse for a divorce. These “rules” are designed to minimize confrontation and increase the chance that your divorce will be amicable.

  1. Tell your spouse first in person. If you tell family and friends, most likely your spouse will hear that you are planning to ask for a divorce from someone else. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Would you want to hear that your spouse wants a divorce from someone else? Most likely you would be resentful. Expect your spouse to feel the same.
  2. Be respectful. The epitome of incivility is to leave send an electric message via text, email, or voicemail curtly stating, “I don’t love you anymore and I want a divorce”.
  3. Ask your spouse for a divorce in a private setting. No one wants to be told, “Honey, I want a divorce” in a public place such as a restaurant, at a movie, or while attending a social event. Breaking this rule can instigate a potentially embarrassing situation.
  4. Avoid bringing up divorce during an argument. Remember that most times spiteful words occur when you are angry. It is important to choose a stress-free time to ask for a divorce.
  5. Don’t bring up divorce during the holidays, birthday, or other time that should be happy.
  6. Don’t be spiteful. Don’t throw every fault you think your spouse has into his or her face. It’s hard for people to forget, much less forgive, hurtful, cruel things that someone has said to them.

Be aware that your spouse may be blindsided when you ask for a divorce. The unexpected pain will make them to want to lash out. Many times hurtful words will be exchanged, but it’s important for you to remain calm. By all means, share your feelings, but be respectful of your spouse’s sensibilities. If you do, you might be paving the way to a less stressful divorce.

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C.
Houston Divorce Attorneys

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