How to Tell Your Husband You Want a Divorce? - Zukerman Law

How to Tell Your Husband You Want a Divorce?

Delivering bad news, especially when it’s unexpected, can be challenging, as reactions can range from anger to shock and despair. Telling your spouse you want a divorce can be one of the hardest things you’ll likely do in your life, especially if your spouse is not expecting it.
Zukerman Law Group’s clients have reported a range of responses from their spouses when introducing the topic of divorce, with some being surprised or unaware of any issues in the marriage. Some couples may find the request not unexpected, as they have already noticed signs of trouble or this has been a prior conversation.
However, it’s important to handle the situation with care and sensitivity. Based on the experiences of past clients and our team, we have compiled a collection of tips to help navigate this difficult conversation and provide guidance and support during this challenging time.

How to Start a Conversation about Divorce?

How to Start a Conversation about Divorce?

Pick Your Words Carefully

There is a clear delineation in most divorces of “the leaver” and “the left.” The leaver is typically in a more robust psychological position and has come to terms with their desires. The left person feels hurt and shocked, and the harder the “leave-taking” statement, the worse the wound. To avoid triggering “wounded-animal” behaviors, consider how, when, and where to tell your partner the relationship is over.

Get Ready for All Sorts of Guilt to Be Laid on You

When expressing a desire for a divorce, you may face verbal abuse from your spouse, including being criticized as a bad wife, mother, cruel, or selfish. Be prepared to respond calmly.

Prepare for an Emotional Response

Stress can lead to emotional distress, withdrawal, and depression, which can be channeled into anger. It’s crucial to recognize and avoid elevating these responses. When discussing a divorce, it’s essential to choose the appropriate timing and consider having someone else nearby in case of violence.

Be Confident

Maintain eye-level physicality, speak calmly, and drain anger before and during conversations. Feel sorrow but not anger. Engage in conversation with a calm demeanor, ensuring your body is at eye level.

Consider the Children

If you have children, assure your partner that they are still the father/mother to the children and that this is important to you. Strengthen their esteem and assure them that their relationship with the children will not change. Discuss how to tell the children calmly and ideally together.

Tips for Peacefully Asking Your Spouse for Divorce

Tips for Peacefully Asking Your Spouse for Divorce

Get to the Point

The success of your divorce conversation depends on how you present your decision. To communicate clearly and concisely, it’s essential to prepare the main points of the discussion and memorize them. This will help avoid sounding insecure and ensure the conversation is focused. To prepare, list all the reasons you want to address.
Start with a brief explanation like “I’m not happy in this marriage and think we need to consider the possibility of divorce.” Add more detailed reasons, which your spouse will likely need, as they will likely need more explanation. Remember to be prepared for the conversation to avoid appearing insecure.

Remain Calm

When discussing a divorce, it’s crucial to remain calm and composed. Your spouse may feel the weight of the decision, so it’s best to put aside personal anger.
During the conversation, take deep breaths and practice mindful listening to understand your spouse’s perspective. This will help you better handle their reaction. It’s also important to avoid causing emotional distress, as they may feel the brunt of the decision.

Use “I” and “We” When Explaining Your Decision

To avoid defensiveness in a divorce, avoid using “you” in explanations, such as “You’re never at home, so I’ve been feeling lonely.” Instead, use “lately, I’ve been feeling lonely. I guess it’s because we drifted apart and didn’t have as many common interests as we once did.”
Avoid blaming your spouse, even if they caused the divorce, and instead, express your feelings in your marriage without specifics. Honesty but not brutal honesty is essential for a peaceful ending and avoiding adding fuel to marital conflict.

Avoid Criticizing Your Husband for His Past Misbehavior

Criticizing your spouse for past misbehavior in a divorce conversation is not beneficial as it will not lead to a positive outcome and increase tension. If your spouse starts blaming you, end the discussion and return to it when everyone calms down.

Choose Your Timing

Breaking the news about divorce is not an easy task, but some moments are better than others. It’s important to avoid starting the discussion out of the blue or with children around. Instead, wait for an appropriate situation and choose an ideal moment.
For example, ensure you and your spouse have ample time to talk without any significant plans, have the discussion at home, choose a time when your children are away, have nothing urgent to attend to, and both of you are calm and not irritated by certain events. This will help you avoid impulses and ensure a productive and respectful conversation.

Listen to Your Husband’s Arguments

When discussing a divorce, your spouse may be surprised and baffled by the news. However, after the shock wears off, they may express their opinions, ask questions, or assume reasons like an affair. Listening intently and not interrupting them will allow them to feel heard and respected.
Address all points made and remain calm and resolute. Respond by expressing understanding that they may feel frustrated but believe divorce is the right decision for both of you.

You might feel inclined to discuss the legalities and major issues right after bringing up a divorce with your spouse. However, this isn’t the best time, as your partner likely won’t be emotionally prepared to make decisions.
Additionally, you’ll need some time to rest and collect your thoughts after such a tense conversation. Later, you can address important topics such as:

  • Housing arrangements
  • Plans for any children you have
  • Division of assets
  • Financial support and property ownership
How Can We Help?

How Can We Help?

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Zukerman Law Group, we specialize in providing compassionate and professional legal support tailored to your unique situation. Here’s how we can assist you:
Professional Legal Advice: Our experienced team will guide you through the legal process, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
Personalized Support: We offer individualized attention to address your specific needs and concerns, from child custody arrangements to asset division.
Efficient Resolution: Our goal is to help you achieve a fair and amicable resolution as efficiently as possible, minimizing stress and conflict.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how our professional team can help you navigate this difficult time with confidence and care.


Telling your husband you want a divorce is a significant and emotional step. By preparing carefully, communicating with empathy, and seeking professional guidance from professionals like Zukerman Law Group, you can navigate this difficult time with greater confidence and clarity. Remember, the way you handle this conversation can set the tone for the entire divorce process, so take the time to approach it thoughtfully and considerately.


  • 1- How do I prepare myself emotionally before telling my husband I want a divorce?1
    • Understand your feelings and reasons for wanting a divorce.
    • Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist.
    • Plan your conversation carefully.
  • 2- What is the best way to approach the topic of divorce with my husband?1
    • Choose a calm, private setting.
    • Be honest and direct while remaining compassionate.
    • Avoid blaming and use “I” statements to express your feelings.
  • 3- What should I do before I tell my husband I want a divorce?1

    Before deciding to divorce your spouse, ensure you are prepared for the process and allow yourself to heal. Organize your finances, discuss the divorce process, hire an attorney, evaluate joint finance accounts, keep family and friends close, gather personal information, proof of income, and organize your legal documents.

There were no results that matched your search.

Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.