You’ve been married for more than 20 years. Your children have grown up and moved out of the house. As you enter this next stage in your life, you realize that you want to get a divorce.
You’re worried about what your spouse will say, however. They’ve never mentioned divorce to you. Yes, the relationship doesn’t feel the same, especially since the kids left, but does that mean it’s time to end it? Are they going to be angry and make the whole process into a confrontational, highly contested divorce that is more stressful than you ever wanted it to be?
This could go more smoothly than you expect
You may be surprised by what you find. In some cases, especially later on in life, both spouses actually agree that they want to get a divorce. It’s just that one spouse waits for the other to file.
For instance, your spouse may have religious reasons to oppose divorce in a general sense, even if they personally want to split up. What often happens in these situations is that the person who believes they shouldn’t ask for a divorce will have no problem ending the marriage if it appears to be the other person’s idea. They may be relieved if you say you want a divorce, as well, because it takes that outside pressure off of them.
Others simply want to take this path because of the stigma against divorce in their own social circles. They may be worried about what friends or family members will say if people find out that they brought up the topic first. They also know that people will react much differently if you are the one who started the process. You both get the same result, which you both want, but they do not have to worry about any negative reactions that are directed toward them.
Getting an amicable divorce
If your situation does work this way, you may find that the divorce is fairly amicable and far less stressful than you assumed. Make sure you both know what legal steps you can take to accomplish your goals.