How to Tell Him You Want a Divorce
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How to Tell Him You Want a Divorce

Deciding you want a divorce can be painful, regardless of how much arguing or unhappiness has brought you to the decision. When you realize that for you the marriage is over, it is time to tell him, but even though you don’t want to be married to him any more doesn’t mean you want to hurt him. It will still be painful, but you can break the news to your spouse that the time has come to say goodbye.

Determine Why

Determine the central reason you are going to seek a divorce. Being able to define your reasons clearly for wanting to stop the marriage can help you explain it to him. If there are several reasons, choose the main one or two, and write them down. Practice detailing the reasons without focusing on blame or insults.

Do Not Waiver

Resolve not to waiver in your decision to divorce. In many cases, once a spouse hears that you are going to file, he may promise to change, beg, cry or make threats of financial punishment. You need to be prepared to stand strong in your resolve and not be swayed by your spouse’s reactions.

Do it in Public

Choose a public space to tell him. He will be less likely to react loudly or overly emotional if you tell him in public. You can choose a quiet area in a public place to have the divorce discussion. A table in a corner of a restaurant, a crowded beach or a library are all public areas in which a quiet area can be found to have the talk.

Don’t Place Blame

Resist the urge to blame or insult. Simply telling him that you have decided you no longer wish to continue the marriage is better than going over every fight, flaw and mistake your spouse made that led to your decision. Briefly stating the one or two central issues that caused your decision are fine as long as you don’t allow the discussion to escalate to an argument. An example would be, “John, when you cheated on me last year and I said I forgave you, I really thought I had. But I find that I just can’t get past it. This isn’t healthy for either of us. I am filing for divorce.”

Give Him Assurance

Assure your spouse that you wish the best for him and you hope he goes on to find happiness. According to the Simple Free Law Advice website, you need to be prepared to take blame. Your spouse is going to be angry and, in that anger, may lash out and place the blame for the failed marriage on you, regardless of your reasons for filing. He is hurt, and you are making a decision that he may not agree with. It is OK to let him blame you. Don’t defend yourself. Stick to your intentions. Give him a short-and-to-the-point explanation, and then end the conversation.


  • If he reacts violently, do not hesitate to file for an order of protection. Keeping yourself and your children safe should be your first priority. You can file for the order at your county courthouse.
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