You’ve tried everything to make your marriage work – compromising, enhancing communication or perhaps therapy. But you know when it’s time to say goodbye. Nobody deserves to stay in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage.

After realizing you want a divorce, the next step is very difficult – you have to tell your husband. And no matter how your marriage is ending, this is never easy.

You’re probably experiencing a lot of emotions, and are trying to figure out the best way to tell him. After all, the way you approach this topic can certainly set the standard for how your divorce will play out.

When should I tell him?

You should bring up the topic at a time when you can give your husband your full attention. Turn off your phone and wait until your kids are in bed or elsewhere. It’s typically best to have the conversation in a calm, private environment. However, if you’re concerned about your safety, you should tell him in public or with a third-party present.

If possible, you should deliver the news at a time when he’ll have time to process it. This could be at the beginning of a weekend or after work hours.

How should I tell him?

You should keep the conversation direct, sincere and to the point. It’s best to deliver the facts now and give him time to process them before having further conversation.

It may be hard to be sensitive about his feelings if the past few months – or years – have been filled with fights. Still, you should try your best to be thoughtful and sensitive when you tell him. Avoid placing all the blame on him.

What should I expect after?

There are many different ways that someone might react to the news of a divorce. They could be angry, confused or sad. They may ask a lot of questions or propose reconciliation.

You should think about your situation and how your husband might react. Will this news shock him? Is it likely that he’ll ask you not to divorce him? Or will he be relieved?

You should prepare for his reaction, as well as the big questions that might follow. These may include:

  • Who is moving out?
  • How will we tell the kids?
  • When will we tell our families?
  • What are our next steps?

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. But you should begin pondering these questions yourself.

Nobody deserves to be trapped in a bad marriage. As hard as divorce can be, it is oftentimes the best option. Through this turbulent time, remember to keep your eyes set on the positive future ahead.