Category Archives: Relationship Advice

Talking to your partner about divorce

Talking to Your Partner About Divorce – 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Initiating a conversation with your partner about divorce is one of the most important conversations you will ever have. Not only is this typically an emotionally charged time, but the way in which you navigate this conversation often sets the tone for the rest of the divorce process. Given the significance of this moment, here are 5 mistakes you don’t want to make when talking to your partner about divorce:


Talking to your partner about divorceDon’t spring the news on your partner in the middle of a heated argument.
While it makes sense that one person may reach the breaking point during an argument, holding your tongue and waiting until things have cooled down to raise the topic of divorce can help prevent a snowball effect of anger and emotionally driven reactive behaviors.

Don’t hope or expect that your partner will make the process easy. Many people hold off having the conversation about divorce much too long because they are waiting for their reluctant partner to come around and see how parting will really be better for both of them. The truth is that if one person does not what the relationship to end (for whatever reason), they are not going to give permission or make things easy. Stepping forward with a clear, concise and definitive message is the most compassionate way to share the news.

Do not try to be the one to comfort your partner when you talk about divorce. No one likes to hurt someone else’s feelings, but if you have just shared with your partner that you want a divorce, you cannot be the one to then try and comfort them. Leaning in to try and help your partner feel better is very confusing and this is a role best served by a friend, family member, coach or counselor.

Don’t plan to share the news in a public space. While it may feel easier for you to share the news in a public place where your partner is likely to not express their genuine response, this can make for a very uncomfortable situation all around. Your partner needs a safe space to have their reaction and placing them in a public situation can be humiliating and unnecessarily challenging. (Note: this applies as long as you are not at a threat for physical abuse.)

Do not tell friends and family members before you tell your spouse.  Receiving the news that your spouse wants a divorce is difficult enough, you do not want to run the risk that they may hear it from someone else before they hear it from you. A spouse who feels like they are ‘the last to know’ is much more likely to become contentious and adversarial in the divorce process.

The way in which you conduct yourself while talking to your partner about divorce will communicate a lot about who you are and will have a significant impact on how each of the next steps will unfold.

For additional support in planning this conversation, please check out the Divorce Companion: A Step by Step Guide to Your Healthy  Divorce.

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Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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Reason Why Many Couples Divorce

The #1 Reason Why Many Couples Divorce

20343940_mBy the time any couple arrives at a conversation about divorce, there has typically been a long period of feeling badly or disconnected. Perhaps this period of disconnection included verbal or physical abuse. Perhaps it included an emotional or physical affair. Perhaps it included addictive behaviors, and usually it has included secrecy and mistrust. There are as many “divorce stories” as there are divorced couples. Nonetheless, when we look a bit deeper, it becomes clear that the #1 reason why many couples divorce is communication.

 

As human beings, we are social creatures and we spend our lives interacting with others. Given all this experience, it would seem logical that we should be experts at interpersonal communication, but the truth is that there is no more difficult skill to master.

 

Let’s think about this for a moment… two people who were raised with a completely separate set of experiences, familial backgrounds, values and DNA fall in love and decide to get married and spend their lives together. During the period of falling in love, we focus on our similarities and we are intrigued by our differences. However, once the initial state of being enamored wears away, and for many, we get through the early years of raising children, we are left staring at someone who is vastly different from ourselves who we hardly know.

 

Very quickly, communication begins to break down. We don’t feel seen or understood. We don’t feel cared for in the way we want to be cared for. Our partner doesn’t share things the way we want them to. We can’t figure out what to talk about. We encounter hardships and do not know how to make each other feel better.  Eventually, life becomes a never-ending ‘to do list’ with nothing sustaining and meaningful being exchanged. Communication deteriorates steadily over time and being with each other drains joy and energy rather than adding to it.

 

The truth is that when a relationship reaches this point, it is time to do something. Either a couple can develop new patterns for communication and re-engagement or they can decide that this relationship has completed its path and take steps toward building a different future.

 

How do you know the right next step for you?

My experience tells me this… The only way to know what is truly right for you and your partner when you reach this impasse is to step clearly in one direction or another. I have worked with couples who have taken steps clearly toward separation or divorce and ended up back together, and I have worked with couples who have taken steps to truly invest in their relationship and have ended up divorcing. Taking a step does not limit the possibilities. Rather, it helps bring forth information that makes the Truth clearer. 

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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