Tips on how to Inform Your Partner the Marriage Is not Working Anymore

Graphic of family photo torn in two, mom and son on one side, dad and daughter on the other; graphic by Tumisu, via

Even if you are unhappy and think this is the only way out, it’s worth your while to have some time on your own and think things through.

A good marriage resembles a large puzzle in which all the pieces seem to fit in perfect harmony and balance. When the pieces start to come apart or when some of them no longer seem to fit, this may be a sign that something is wrong. Maybe the life project of one of the parties doesn’t fit with what the other one envisions for life, or it may just be a big accumulation of many pieces that can no longer rest one against the other. If you have noticed these changes and have concluded that your marriage is not working anymore, it may be time for you to discuss the subject with your partner. Although this seems like a daunting task, it may bring about a resolution to a situation that clearly doesn’t work for you. Here are some ideas on how to get started broaching the subject:

Take Time to Be Sure

Once the subject of divorce comes up, it’s impossible to pretend the word was not spoken, since it will provoke anger and sadness. Even if you are unhappy and think this is the only way out, it’s worth your while to have some time on your own and think things through. Only then should you talk about it with your spouse.

Don’t Plan an Ambush

Even if both of you know something is wrong with the relationship, you can’t assume that your spouse is thinking along the same lines. Although you may feel awkward doing so, tell them you wish to make an appointment to discuss something serious and important.

Choose a Quiet Time and Place

Orange tabby cat sitting between standing man and woman inside room; image by Hutomo Abrianto, via

You do not want to be distracted when you are talking about this important matter. Put both phones down and close the door. Try to bring up the subject in a calm and reasonable way.

Be Prepared for a Reaction

There’s no way someone who has shared your life for some time, will take the news of an impending divorce without expressing anger, denial, blame, disappointment, arguments, sadness, and many more strong emotions. Give yourself enough time because this is not a subject that can be rushed.

Don’t Improvise

Be clear about the message you want to convey and think carefully about how you want to share it. Make sure your spouse understands how serious you think the situation has become and explain clearly the reasons why you wish to end the relationship. Be sure your spouse has enough time and all of your attention when they respond.

Don’t Point Fingers

This is not the moment to allocate blame. Use neutral language and let them know that you understand they may have different feelings from yours. Explain why you think this is an irrevocable decision to a situation that will not be helped by therapy or counseling.

No Time for Comfort

After delivering such bad news, you may feel the need to comfort your spouse. Understand that by doing so you will be sending mixed messages. Give your spouse some time and space to digest the news.

If you are sure you are ready to start divorce proceedings, family lawyers offer expert advice on how to proceed. Working with an experienced divorce attorney in Salt Lake City will ensure you get the results you seek.