What to Do When Your Wife Wants a Divorce

Overview

When you first realize that your wife might want a divorce, you might feel numerous things such as sadness, anger, disappointment, hurt and deceived. You might be asking yourself if your marriage can be saved, what steps you should take or how you’re going to live alone. After thinking about things, you might decide that you want to try to repair the marriage or you might realize that divorce is the best answer for you and your wife.

Step 1

Attempt to stay calm. If you yell, scream, throw things or have a meltdown, it will only negatively impact the situation. Try to listen to your spouse and understand why she wants a divorce. Is she sick of fighting on a regular basis? Is she in love with someone else? Is she just unhappy and doesn’t know what else to do? Within this conversation, you might be able to tell if there is a chance at repairing the relationship.

Step 2

Ensure that your children are somewhere else when you have this discussion. If they’re at home, ask your spouse to wait until you can find another place for them to go, such as a relative’s or friend’s home.

Step 3

Take time for yourself to figure out what you want. In the heat of the moment, you might feel something completely different than after you think about it for a week. You could spend a weekend with friends or family members, go to a hotel for privacy or ask your wife to leave the house for a few days. Make a decision on how you want to proceed.

Step 4

Ask your wife to attend marriage counseling if you want to continue the relationship. See if she is open to the idea. If she’s already moved on and demands a divorce without trying to repair the relationship, you may need to consider moving on too.

Step 5

Talk to your children about what’s happening, because they will definitely be affected by the tension in the home. Explain the situation in an age-appropriate way, and deal with their emotions. If they have a hard time with the news, set up counseling sessions with a licensed mental health professional who can help them, especially if you’re too vulnerable to do it.

Step 6

Get support from your friends and family members. This is a time when you should rely on the healthy relationships that you have with others, even if you don’t feel like talking or going out. Invite a friend over for a football game, go to dinner with your brother or ask a friend to plan a golf weekend.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you decide that you want to get a divorce, you’ll want to consider contacting a lawyer, especially if you have children who will be affected by custody issues.