When Your Wife Says, “I Want a Divorce”

January 8, 2024by Adam Sacks

Is your wife wanting a divorce? Here is some information and guidance.


What to Do If Your Wife Says “I Want a Divorce”

If your wife wants a divorce, it’s important to approach the situation with understanding and empathy. Here are some steps you can take:

Communication: Have an open and honest conversation with your wife to understand her reasons for wanting a divorce. Listen to her perspective without interruption or defensiveness.

Counseling: Consider seeking couples counseling to work through any underlying issues in the relationship and potentially find a resolution. Individual therapy can also provide support at this time. [1]

Legal advice: Consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and options regarding the divorce process, including asset division, child custody, and support agreements.

Self-care: Take care of your emotional well-being by finding support from friends, family, or a support group. Engage in activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, therapy, or hobbies.

Respect her decision: Ultimately, if your wife is insistent on getting a divorce, it’s important to respect her decision and focus on a constructive and respectful separation process.

What to Do If Your Wife Wants a Divorce


What Not to Do If Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

When your wife wants a divorce, it is important to avoid certain actions that could exacerbate the situation. Here are some things to avoid doing:

Reacting with anger or hostility: It’s natural to feel hurt and upset, but reacting with anger or hostility can escalate the situation and make it harder to resolve issues amicably.

Retaliating or seeking revenge: Attempting to retaliate and hurt her emotionally or financially will only prolong the process and create more pain for both of you.

Badmouthing your wife: Avoid speaking negatively about your wife to friends, family, or children. It’s important to maintain respect and dignity, especially if there are children involved.

Ignoring legal advice: If your wife has initiated divorce proceedings, seek legal advice and understand your rights and obligations.

Neglecting self-care: It’s essential to take care of your emotional well-being during this challenging time. Avoid neglecting your physical and mental health.


Don’t Overreact

Overreacting may exacerbate the situation and lead to unnecessary conflict. Take some time to process the information and approach the situation with calmness and understanding.

Communicate openly and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to navigate this challenging time. Keeping a level head and addressing the situation with composure can lead to a more constructive resolution.

Don’t Overreact


Explore Alternatives

When a spouse expresses a desire for divorce, it’s important to explore potential alternatives to divorce before proceeding. Here are some potential alternative options to consider:

Counseling or therapy: Consider seeking couples counseling or therapy to address the underlying issues in the marriage. This can provide an opportunity to work through relationship challenges and potentially find a resolution.

Trial separation: A trial separation can provide both spouses with time and space to evaluate their feelings and the viability of the relationship without immediately filing for divorce.

Mediation: If both spouses are open to it, mediation can be a way to negotiate the terms of the divorce, such as asset division and child custody, with the help of a neutral third party. It can also be a forum for discussing potential reconciliation.

Legal separation: In some jurisdictions, legal separation can provide a middle ground between marriage and divorce. It allows spouses to live separately but remain married, providing time for them to decide on the next step.

Reconciliation efforts: Both spouses can consider making a concerted effort to work on the marriage, potentially seeking support from family, friends, or religious advisors if they are open to reconciliation.


Pick Your Words Carefully

When your wife wants a divorce, it’s crucial to pick your words carefully when communicating with her. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Listen actively: Pay attention to what your wife is saying and make an effort to understand her perspective. Avoid interrupting or becoming defensive as this can escalate the situation. [2]

Express empathy: Acknowledge your wife’s feelings and show empathy towards her emotions. This can help create a more supportive and understanding dialogue.

Avoid blame: Refrain from placing blame or criticizing each other. Focus on discussing the situation with a constructive approach.

Use “I” statements: When expressing your thoughts and feelings, use “I” statements to communicate how you are personally impacted by the situation, rather than placing blame on your spouse.

Stay calm: Taking a few moments to collect your thoughts before responding can be beneficial.

By choosing your words carefully and communicating with empathy and understanding, you can create a more respectful and amicable environment.

Pick Your Words Carefully


Contact us today at Sacks & Sacks and let us help you through this challenging time. We are here for you every step of the way.



[1] Lmft, M. F. L. (2023, November 16). Help! My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce (and I Don't Want One). Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/help-spouse-asked-for-a-divorce-4047516

[2] Kass, A. (2023, November 26). Your Wife Wants a Divorce — 5 Tips To Get Her Back Before it is Too Late – Marriage Counseling Self-help. Marriage Counseling Self-help. https://marriagecounselingself-help.com/how-to-save-my-marriage-when-my-wife-wants-a-divorce/


by Adam Sacks

Adam Sacks is lead Family Law Attorney at Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a BA in Psychology from 1994, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1999 from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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