Crossing the Line – “I Want a Divorce.”

For most people, one of the biggest hurdles in a divorce is the moment when one spouse tells the other “I want a divorce.” That four-word sentence animates a thought that may have been percolating in the mind and heart of one partner for months and even years, but saying it, somehow makes the divorce seem real.

Rarely in divorce do both partners decide to call it quits at the same time, so when one spouse tells the other it’s over, the other spouse often feels blindsided. Yes, in most cases, there is a leaver and a person left, and the person left never sees it coming.

All states now have no-fault divorce, which means that no one can force another person to remain married. So anyone now can end a marriage because he or she wants to end the marriage. It’s that simple. Fault is no longer an issue.

No one knows a magic formula about breaking the news, nor can anyone predict the reaction of the other spouse. If there are children, it’s best for both partners to tell them together and reassure the children of their love.

“I want a divorce” is the switch that sets in motion what is called “the divorce process,” which usually takes a few months. During this time, both spouses, the leaver and the left, will probably sail rough seas at times, and no one should ever use the threat of a divorce to manipulate his or her partner.

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