Do you know what most people regret most about their divorce? They waited too long to end the marriage, not how they left it. I understand the former, not the latter.
They cited these culprits as the reasons they stayed too long:
They were afraid of how they'd get by on their own.
They were fearful of the financial impact.
They were worried about their kid's reactions.
They were afraid of being lonely.
They were afraid to speak the truth.
Although they tried to solve problems, the dam broke, and without much regard, "they slipped out the back or dropped off the key. There's no need to be coy; just set yourself free".
They just left without any regard for the families they left behind.
And when they left this way, all their fears came home to roost in their partners. Their families were unprepared and shocked. As a result, the divorces were combative, costly, and protracted.
It takes work to leave a marriage, especially with less wreckage to the family. Divorce fears are universal. Everyone shares all or some part of the fears listed above.
So, think about how you'd want your spouse to leave you. What would you be worried about? What would you need to know to feel less afraid?
You can't address your partner's need for companionship. But you can address short-term finances and how to tell the kids.
Here are a few pointers.
Show respect for others in the way you leave.
Tell your spouse how to reach you and how you will reply.
Tell your spouse when you'll reconnect.
Reduce worries by telling your spouse how bills will be paid and for what period.
Tell your spouse you're examining divorce options so that you can divorce with the family's best interests in mind. Let your spouse know you will take action once you both can discuss. Acknowledge your spouse is free to do their research, too.
Remind your spouse you will become co-parents. The kids are both of your concerns and priorities. You will work together to tell them about a divorce.
Share the vision of how you hope you will both move forward.
Tell your spouse about how you feel about yourself. Because, after all, it is about you, not them.
There's never a good time to leave a marriage (unless there is abuse, and then there's no reason to stay). How you leave it can contribute to an easier transition for the entire family. Do the right thing.
If you need help sorting through how to go, or to stay, please connect with me through my site.