Every couple is different, so you may want to talk to a family counselor for advice about handling about your specific situation, but here are some general guidelines:
- If you feel safe talking to your spouse about divorce, try to bring up the subject in a non-confrontational way at a time when both of you are calm.
- Do not make it about them (bringing up all the things you feel they have done wrong). Turning it into an attack will only make your spouse defensive, which will likely turn into just another fight.
- Make it about you. You can explain that you are unhappy in the marriage, that is has not worked out for you and you need to move on, etc.
This may still cause some anger, and if so, you may want to postpone further discussion until you both can come back to it calmly. On the other hand, you may find that your spouse also feels that the marriage has not been working for them but has not known how to bring the subject up.
Getting the discussion going in this way gives you a chance to keep the level of conflict down and pave the way for a more productive and cooperative process.
The two of you may find that you want to involve a family counselor to help you both manage the emotions as talks continue. If so, we can recommend some collaborative divorce coaches we work with.
To help with working out details about the divorce itself, you both may want to work with a divorce mediator, or a collaborative divorce team, depending on the level of assistance the two of you want in figuring out solutions to the many issues you will face.
However, if you feel that you cannot safely discuss divorce with your spouse, then you should talk to a lawyer about the steps needed to protect your personal safety before the subject of divorce is broached with them.