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What To Do When Your Spouse Says, ‘I Want A Divorce’

They’re the words no spouse wants to hear. Four simple words that can blindside you and turn your whole world upside down. ”I want a divorce.” As an online divorce review site, we’ve seen many people not know how to respond to this demand, and it can lead to major issues if not handled correctly. While each situation is different, there are some general principles you should keep in mind if you’re on the receiving end of those words.

1. Realize it’s not your decision to make.

The decision to file is fueled by what your spouse is thinking and feeling and wanting. It’s not something that you can hack in to and reprogram. They’re the only ones who can do that and so thinking that you can somehow “make them stay” will only set you up for disaster. Avoid allowing your emotions to override your common sense in this area and instead try to listen to what your spouse is saying. If part of them still wants to be with you, they might suggest or agree to go to counseling. But typically when the words leave their mouth, it’s difficult to change their minds.

2. Commit to being your best.

While you cannot control how your spouse will act once they decide to file, you can control your own actions, which should include keeping a level head, taking care of yourself, attending marriage counseling if that is an option or regular counseling should you need some professional advice on how to deal with the fallout. What you don’t do is engage in erratic behavior in a desperate attempt to “win back” your spouse. No one ever crazy-ed their way into a happy ending.

3. Start building a support unit.

You may not be able to rely on your spouse anymore once they tell you they want a divorce, but you can find the people in your life who really matter to you. Draw close to them. Don’t let them go. They will see you through the hard times ahead and ensure that you end up in a better place when the dust clears.

Good luck as you enter this uncertain time.

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