Many men feel blindsided when their wives tell them they want a divorce. After all, you promised to spend the rest of your lives together, for better or worse. Realizing that she does not take that commitment as seriously as you do can be a real shock.
Rather than letting denial run the show and continuing to do nothing, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself if the end of your marriage is potentially on the horizon.
Listen to what she has to say
Someone asking for divorce will usually give you an explanation as to why. Understanding the logic behind the decision can help you emotionally process this unexpected change. Rather than arguing with her about the idea, you may simply need to hear her out and then consider the issue.
Take time to process
Spontaneous reactions very rarely benefit people facing massive legal changes. Don’t just pack your stuff and leave the same night she brings up the topic. Give yourself time and space to think about things so that you can take the right steps to protect yourself.
Talk to a lawyer as soon as you can
Perhaps you still hope that you can fix the relationship if you and your spouse both make a commitment to improving things. Even so, you should talk to an attorney once your wife brings up divorce. A lawyer can give you a better idea of what might happen and what you can expect as far as your finances and the custody of any children that you share. A lawyer can also give you advice about small steps you can take now to protect yourself.
Avoid conflict, but respond to your wife
If, after careful consideration, you realize that you will not be able to prevent the divorce or repair the marital relationship, then you need to let your wife know that you agree with her. Trying to have a calm and reasonable conversation about what divorce might look like could set you on a path for an uncontested, low-conflict divorce. Keeping things calm and respectful now can set the tone for later proceedings and help the two of you avoid unnecessary expenses.
Protecting yourself, your financial future and the relationship with your children will likely be among your top priorities. Once you determine that divorce is necessary or inevitable, you can begin addressing the practical issues so that you can move on with your life. Responding appropriately when your wife asks for a divorce may make the process less challenging.