Sometimes, no matter how much both partners try to save their marriage, divorce seems like the best option in the end.
Now, the real question is how to separate from your partner in the most painless way possible.
To be honest, there is no painless way to do it. Marital separation is a very difficult emotional event for both spouses.
There are so many reasons why married couples get a divorce. One partner may stop loving the other or the passion may have left the marriage; the reason is irrelevant.
One partner will always be hurt in the end and that’s why you have to be very careful and gentle when you decide to tell them that you want a divorce.
Maybe you don’t love your spouse anymore but you did once for sure because otherwise you wouldn’t have married them in the first place.
You probably still care about their feelings and you should. If they still have some feelings for you, if they still love you the same, you must be patient and help them with handling the divorce.
9 Tips On How To Separate From Your Spouse
If you want to know how to separate in a healthy way or to make your separation go as smoothly as possible, continue reading below for some efficient advice.
Accept the situation
First of all, you must accept things how they are. Unfortunately, some things are out of our control in life and we just have to make peace with it, accept it and move on.
One of those things is your divorce. If you’ve really tried hard to save your marriage and it didn’t work, you must just accept that a separation is inevitable and try to deal with it the best way you can.
I don’t want to lie to you, it’s not going to be easy. It’ll hurt, it’ll emotionally drain you and it’ll hurt other people you care about too.
Still, you have to come to terms with the fact that your marriage is over because the sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll heal and move on with your life.
So, sit down and have an honest talk with yourself. Clear your thoughts. Think about your marriage as a vehicle that drove you through a beautiful journey that unfortunately came to end.
Now you have to step out of that vehicle and continue your journey without the passenger, your spouse.
Being confident is important
Okay, you made the decision and now you have to stick to it. There is no going back. You must show that you’re confident and that you really think that divorce is the best option for everyone involved.
Your spouse will probably be hurt by your decision but not even that should make you change it. I know it’s difficult to see the person you once loved suffering but you must stand behind your decisions.
You also must look at yourself and your own feelings.
If you haven’t been happy for a long time in that marriage, then moving on in different directions is probably the best decision because you also deserve to find your own happiness.
Don’t allow other people to affect your decision
This is how you’ll also show that you’re confident and that you really mean that you’ll stick to your decision until the end.
Your family, your friends, your spouse and their family will probably try to make you change your decision but allowing them to do that would be a big mistake.
Yes, that’s how you would probably make a lot of people happy but in the end, you would still stay miserable.
You can’t share your life with someone just because you don’t want to hurt them or some other people that mean something to you.
The only reason to get married and stay married to someone MUST be love. A healthy marriage is one based on love only.
Be honest with your spouse
Before you seek advice from a family law specialist or a divorce attorney, you must first talk to your spouse. They probably already know what you decided but still, they deserve to hear it from you.
It’s going to be difficult to tell them that you want to divorce but it’s really inevitable. If you made that decision, you probably had some good reasons and now you just have to stick to it.
Ask them to sit down and listen to you. Tell them how much they still mean to you and how much you cherish them and everything you accomplished together in your marriage.
Tell them how much you have thought about this and that you really think that divorce is the best option for both of you.
Remind them of all the effort you both put into saving your marriage but it just didn’t work because some things can’t be repaired after all.
Listen carefully to what they have to say
After you have finished talking, give them an opportunity to share their opinions about your decision.
If you have had problems for some time in your marriage and couldn’t solve them, they will probably agree with a divorce.
However, they also might not handle it too well so be prepared for that too. Maybe they still love you the same and they thought it was just a crisis and how you’d handle it together and save your marriage.
If you have kids, your partner might be worried about how they’ll take your divorce and they may ask you to try once more to fix your marriage for the sake of your children.
Then you’ll have to explain how the divorce would also be best for your kids because listening to your fights every day is way worse for them than knowing that you’re getting a divorce.
In the end, make sure your partner knows that you’ll always be there for them as a friend and that you’ll stay a devoted parent to your kids too.
Wait until the mandatory separation period is over
If you live in a state that requires all couples to go through a separation or waiting period before they file for divorce, you’ll have to respect that because it’s the law.
This waiting period is sometimes good for couples but sometimes it does more harm than good.
For some, it’s a chance to reconcile and save their marriage because after they live alone for that particular time, without their spouse, they realize that thinking about divorce was a mistake and they get back together and actually save their marriage.
However, for others, it just delays the divorce and things get even more complicated for them. It creates new issues between them and makes it all even worse.
Of course, you won’t have to wait and go through this mandatory separation period if the motive for your divorce is domestic violence or something even more serious.
In those cases, you’ll be able to file for divorce immediately.
Seek legal advice
Even if you do agree about everything, you’ll still need some advice from a family law professional. They’ll have to draft the final agreement.
If you can’t agree over the property or custody, or even who’ll pay the divorce fee or some other costs, you’ll definitely need to hire an attorney and ask them to give you legal advice to help you.
Sometimes one spouse wants a divorce while the other one disagrees with it and that’s when you’ll definitely need to hire an attorney because you’ll probably have to go to the family court and finalize your divorce there.
A good divorce attorney will give you advice about dividing your marital assets and your finances; for example, whether you should have new bank accounts and credit cards or not and how to finalize the custody agreement.
Try to reach a separation agreement with your spouse
Try to make an agreement with your spouse because trust me, it’s in everyone’s best interest. There is no time for anger now.
You must think about your kids and the other people close to you. Snap out of it, sit down with your partner and talk to them about what to do next.
Give your partner some time to accept the situation and when things cool down, ask them to talk.
A marital separation agreement covers it all, from material stuff and finances to child care and alimony. That’s why it’s important to finalize it as soon as possible.
Don’t run away from your responsibilities
You lived with your partner for a period of your life and you’ve probably created so many beautiful memories and made a good life together.
You owe them a fair divorce. Respect the final court order. If your partner doesn’t work or you’re financially more stable, you have to agree on spousal support.
If you have kids, you’ll have to agree with your partner about a parenting plan.
If you agree on joint custody, which is often the best option for your kids, you’ll have to pay alimony or child support if you’re the parent with a higher income.
When it comes to sharing assets and earnings accumulated during the marriage, you have to divide them fairly with your spouse. They deserve half of everything you made and acquired while you were together.
See also: My Wife Wants A Divorce: Here’s What To Do (And 8 Things To Avoid)
6 things to consider before you decide to separate
It would be very wrong of me to say that you should think through your decision because I know you already have, way too many times.
And it’s still the same; your marriage has come to an end and you just have to go your separate ways and live separate lives.
However, I honestly advise you to think once more about the several things below before you file for divorce.
Are you completely sure you want to divorce your spouse?
Is there any hope of trying to work things out with your spouse? Is divorce really the best option for both of you?
Maybe you have just a marital crisis and there is a way to fix it and save your marriage. Think about it seriously. Don’t make such a huge decision too fast.
There is no going back after the divorce. That is a very serious matter and you really have to be 100% sure that you want it.
Think about a legal separation instead of divorce
Your family law professional will probably offer you this option too. It’s very similar to divorce but you actually remain in the marriage.
So, even though you’re living separate lives, you’re still legally married and the child care remains the same as it was while you were actually living together.
Legal separation has its pros and cons, of course. Before you make any decision, you should consult your attorney and find out more about it.
Is there any hope of saving your marriage?
If there is really any hope that you may work things out, you shouldn’t give up on your marriage yet.
Maybe you’re just going through some rough patches and you may later regret giving up without fighting because strong people don’t ever do that.
Think about your kids and do what you think is best for them
Your kids are the most important factor in this situation. They’re the ones who are suffering the most, so try to keep things simple and don’t allow them to see that there are some problems between their parents.
Think about them and what would be best for them. No matter whether you stay married or not, your kids must always be your top priority and you must stay in friendly relations because of them.
You won’t only lose your lover, you’ll also lose your best friend
If you’ve been married for some time, then you can’t look at your partner just as your spouse, they are also your best friend. You shared your life with them so they’re definitely the person who knows you best.
Your life will change
This is a fact and you must accept it. So many things in your life will change. The divorce can affect your personal life, your self-esteem and your social life.
But don’t fall into despair. It doesn’t mean that the divorce is a mistake. That whole range of emotions you’ll be feeling will pass after some time and you’ll be able to move on.
See also: My Husband Wants A Divorce But I Still Love Him – 16 Dos & Don’ts
How To Ease The Pain Of Separation
As I’ve already said, there is no painless way to end a marriage or a relationship. Sometimes a divorce can be so devastating for one spouse and it may take them years to fully recover and heal.
However, here are some ways to ease the pain after separation.
Take some time for yourself
It’s normal that the divorce process emotionally drains you. You’ll even feel overwhelmed at moments. So, the first thing you have to do is take some time for yourself.
You need to be alone so you can process everything that happened. You need to find a way to deal with your emotions in a healthy way. That’s why you need peace, you need to be alone with your thoughts and emotions.
Don’t jump into a new relationship
You shouldn’t shut off from the rest of the world. Go out and hang out with your friends, it’s really not the end of the world. You should even meet some new people.
However, even if you meet someone new and if you feel some kind of chemistry between you, you shouldn’t start dating that person immediately.
You have to give yourself some time to process everything that happened and to cope with all of your overwhelming emotions.
If you jump into a new relationship too soon, it’s probably not going to work.
That relationship won’t be successful because you didn’t give yourself time to heal from the emotional baggage that was left after your divorce.
Divorce is painful, exhausting, emotionally overwhelming… but you must know that you aren’t the only person who is going through all of that.
There are many people who already went through such a difficult period of their life and they healed and moved on.
You’ll do the same. Your divorce will stay in the past but you’ll always have some beautiful memories with your ex-spouse to cherish forever.
Think about all the good things you’ve done in your marriage. Think about all of the achievements you earned because you had support from your ex-partner.
Remember only the good things and think positively. Now is not the time to regret the past, it’s time for the future.
Make some plans for your future and enjoy being single again.
Get help from a professional
The thing is that you shouldn’t go through all of it alone. If you don’t have a good friend or someone who’s a good listener and who knows to keep secrets, you can seek a professional’s help.
It’s not uncommon after a breakup, especially after a divorce, for someone to start visiting a psychiatrist or therapist.
We need someone who’ll help us get through that tough period.
You’ll feel a range of emotions and it’s very difficult to cope with all of it alone. A professional will help you cope with it in a healthy way so you can leave it all behind as soon as possible.
To wrap up
If things haven’t been going well between you and your spouse for a while, don’t immediately start thinking about divorce. If there is any chance for it, try to save your marriage.
Even if you decide to divorce, you have to be very careful about how to separate. You don’t want to hurt the feelings of the person who once meant so much to you and with whom you spent so much time, right?
Before you seek legal advice on divorce, you must talk to your spouse about it because they deserve to find out first. You owe them at least that much.
The marriage separation process can last a very long time if the partners can’t make an agreement by themselves about the kids, child support or spousal support.
It can really drain you and it can greatly affect the kids because they will feel that the atmosphere between their parents is very intense.
You don’t need it, nor do your kids. You must show understanding for each other now more than ever and reach an agreement together.
No, there is no painless way to go through a divorce but you should try to make it as painless as possible. Reach an agreement for your kids and stay friends after the separation so you can still raise them together.
There is no point in overthinking and regretting any things that you can’t change.
Get yourself together, cherish the memories you created with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, find a lesson in these difficult moments of your life and move on.