Finding The Right Words: How To Tell Your Husband You Want A Divorce When He Doesn’t

By: Robert Porter

Updated July 30, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

Sometimes relationships don't work out, and you start to feel like you need to move on. Unfortunately, this can be a lot more complicated than usual when you're married. Whether you've fallen out of love with your husband or if you have irreconcilable differences, it's still going to be tough to tell him that you want out. So how do you find the right words to tell your husband that you want a divorce when he doesn't? It's going to be tricky, but there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Search Your Feelings

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Searching your feelings is imperative when you want to make sure that you're making the right choice. Before asking for a divorce, you're going to want to be sure that this is truly what you want. If you love your husband and are simply upset at his recent actions, then there might be a possibility that you can work things out. Many couples have managed to fix their marriages by going through couples counseling.

Be honest with yourself about what you're feeling and try to examine the situation objectively. Determine whether or not you still love your husband and then think about whether you're happy being married. If you aren't happy, then you might want to move on. Your options are either to fix the marriage or get a divorce. If you don't think that things can truly change, then divorce is probably something you should look into.

Taking a bit of time to make sure that you're making the right decision is important. People can be very impulsive when emotions are running high. For example, you might have recently gotten into a big argument with your husband. Let yourself cool down before searching for your feelings, and then decide how you want to proceed.

Consider Your Options

Think about your options before you move forward. Once you tell your husband that you want a divorce, what are you going to do? Is he going to leave your marital home, or are you? Where will you turn, and will you need to get a lawyer? Are there children involved in this situation?

Truthfully, divorce is a very complex topic that can be tough to prepare for. Getting divorced is something that can throw your life into turmoil, but it can also be the right decision to make. If you feel as if you're stuck in a loveless marriage, then you shouldn't have to stay in it just for the sake of your kids or because your husband doesn't want to get divorced. It's simply important to think things through so that you can come up with a proper plan.

It might actually be helpful to discuss your concerns with someone else beforehand. For instance, you could confide in your family members about your desire to divorce your husband. They might be able to provide you with the necessary support to make getting a divorced a bit easier. Some women might need a place to stay, and others might even need financial assistance. Having someone to talk to about this serious topic is smart.

Just be sure to pick the people that you're confiding in carefully. You don't want to tell someone that you ultimately cannot trust. They might wind up telling others, and then word could get back to your husband prematurely. On the other hand, you want to tell your husband on your own terms, so picking the right people to trust will be crucial.

Sit Down for a Calm Conversation

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Now that you know what you want to tell your husband that you want a divorce, it's going to be time to go through with it. The best thing that you can do is to try to initiate this conversation calmly. Sit down across from him and look him in the eyes. Tell him that you need to have a serious conversation about your relationship and the future. You're going to want to explain the problems present in your marriage while telling him that you can't go on.

Finding the right words might not be easy, and most people will get a bit emotional during such a serious conversation. Just do your best to remain calm and explain your feelings as best you can. Don't attack your husband if you can help it. It isn't going to be helpful to point fingers or to make derogatory remarks. A calm approach that lays out the problems is going to make things very clear.

Your husband might get defensive at some point, and he might ask many questions. He also might try to see if you want to work on fixing things. It's up to you to decide whether this is the end or if you want to keep trying. If your marriage is beyond the point where you think it can be fixed, then you should probably try to move forward with the divorce. Some people can overcome substantial differences to repair a marriage, but you should get out if that is what you truly want. Being in a marriage should not feel like a prison sentence, and you have the right to get a divorce if you feel that is for the best.

Be Strong

Being strong is so important when you're telling your husband that you want a divorce. He might beg you not to leave him, and you could crack due to your love for him. This might not be the right move if you know in your heart that the marriage isn't working out. It can be a very emotionally charged situation, and you might feel like you can't even think straight. If you want to get out of this marriage, then you have to keep your wits about you even when it's hard to do so.

Please spend some time with your husband and talk to him about your decision. Be firm but fair when speaking to him about the reasons why you want to leave. He might not understand, and there is even a possibility that he might get angry. However, you can't let fear or sadness sway you when you know that divorce is the right option. That is why you searched your feelings earlier to determine if this was the best course of action.

Eventually, your husband will either accept that you want a divorce, or he will not. Either way, you're going to have to move on. Once you have told him the news, you should probably find someplace else to stay unless he plans to leave himself. Remove yourself from the situation when you can get it so that you can decompress. You might also need to turn to trusted friends or family members to get some emotional support after the conversation has finished.

Remember That You Can Ask for Help

Remember that you can ask for help if you need it as well. There are situations where wives feel as if they cannot ask for a divorce because they are afraid of their husbands. This is unacceptable, and no man should make a woman feel like she is trapped in a marriage that she does not want to be in. If your husband is abusive in any way, then you might need to reach out for assistance rather than trying to talk to him yourself.

Some men are emotionally or physically abusive, and any form of abuse is not okay. However, there are resources that you can take advantage of to get out of this situation. You can call a domestic violence hotline if you need help, and you can also contact the authorities if you're worried about your husband getting violent. Don't feel like you have no way out of this situation. Some people care about your well-being, and you can get help.

Even if your husband is not abusive, you might feel overwhelmed by the situation. Some women seek help from family members due to not feeling strong enough to have this conversation alone. Having a trusted family member present might make you feel more secure during this trying time. You need to be honest with your husband, and he will have to accept your decision to seek a divorce. If you aren't willing to work on fixing things, he will have to accept the reality of the situation.

Consider Online Couples Counseling

Therapy Can Help You Navigate Tough Conversations

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If you think that there might be a chance to save your marriage, then you might want to consider online couples counseling. This is a method that has been able to help many couples to save their marriages. You might feel like you want a divorce now, but you might want to think things through first. If you love your husband and think that there is a chance that you can come together on certain issues, then working with a couples' counselor online makes sense.

These dedicated relationship counselors understand how to help people fix marriage problems. It can take time to fix the things harming your bond with your husband completely, but you can make progress. Give this a shot if you feel like your marriage has a chance. If you'd rather move forward with the divorce, these online therapists can also help you move on after getting divorced. Just know that help is available, whatever your decision might be.

“Christina was very helpful when I told her I left my spouse. I wasn't sure what I wanted, a divorce or reconciliation. She helped me start processing where I was, to where do I see myself, to what do I want, to how do I see myself getting obtaining these goals. She did not influence any of my decisions, but guided me with thought provoking questions. Throughout our short sessions, she continued to reassure me that she or someone else, would always be there for me. Thank you Christina for your professionalism, your guidance and your compassion to help others. I look forward to continuing my therapy sessions with you, as my goals are not yet met.”

“Dr. Anstadt is amazing. I appreciate him always reaching out to make sure things are going smoothly in between our sessions. He follows up and genuinely cares about my situation. I would recommend Dr. Anstadt to anyone who is seeking insight on coparenting and new relationships after divorce. Thank you for everything!”


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