The Collaborative Divorce Center

8 Tips for Divorcing Differently

1) Be clear. Make sure you are clear that you want to end the marriage. If you have not tried to go to counseling, let your spouse know that you are not interested in pursuing continued therapy. If you want to try one more time, be specific about what you will or will not do.

2) Set boundaries. Try to maintain a “light and polite” relationship, avoid personal discussions where sharing feelings may trigger arguments.

3) Make amends. Tell your spouse that you are sorry for hurting them, not speaking up sooner, leading them on, or whatever it is that you have contributed to the current situation. .

4) Be empathatic. Try to relate to how your spouse is feeling—even if they are the ones who initiated the divoce!  Take responsibility for your part in the marriage ending in this way.

5) Admit Ambivalence but Remain Clear. Make it clear to your spouse that, although you may have regrets and even second thoughts at times, you have decided to end the relationship and are not going to change your mind.   The decision to divorce is rarely linear and without doubts.

6) Thank them. If you feel it, thank your spouse for all that they have shared with you. Appreciate what you have gotten from the marriage from one another. Don’t let a divorce lead you to rewrite the whole history of your years together. There were many good parts along the way.

7) Share priorities. Let your spouse know that you are working on an intentional divorce and that your relationship with your children is your priority. This will let your spouse know that you are not setting out to devastate them legally, emotionally or financially. 8) Be patient. Your spouse may still be catching up. You are way ahead. Let them have their feelings; you may have already had these same emotions and gotten past them and even healed long ago.

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