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How to bring up the subject of divorce

For many in Maryland, the decision to divorce has already been made. The next step lies in talking to one's spouse about that decision and moving into the earliest stages of the divorce process. Broaching the subject can be difficult, and many spouses struggle with how to begin. When preparing for this important series of discussions, it can be helpful to have a mental outline of how things might go.

To begin, it is essential that the discussion take place when both spouses have the time and energy to devote. Kids should be sent to a sleepover, family visit or playdate. It can also be helpful to turn off cell phones and actually sit down with no distractions.

The approach that the initiating spouse takes is also very important and can set the tone for the rest of the discussion. It is a good idea to avoid listing one's grievances and complaints against the other party, instead focusing on how and why the decision has been made to move toward divorce. This is a conversation in which "I" statements can be much more effective than "you" statements.

For some Maryland couples, the best place to have the initial discussion about a divorce is in a therapist's office. That setting provides a safe space in which to talk about the reasons behind divorce, as well as expectations for the rest of the process. Having a neutral third party present can give both spouses the support needed to process the information and to begin moving toward a new future.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How To Ask Your Spouse For A Divorce, According To Experts", Brittany Wong, Nov. 25, 2015

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