Letting Him/Her Down Easy
Making the decision to divorce is a difficult one, particularly if you still care about your partner. You may be tempted to try to soften the blow of your decision by offering some hope of reconciliation. While it seems harmless, if such a possibility is not likely, it can actually cause more pain for your partner.
It is perfectly alright to share with your partner how painful this decision is and your continued care for him or her, but it is also vital that you are honest about your resolution to end the relationship. Offering to “try out” a separation when you know in your heart that you do not want to reconcile gives your partner the belief that there is something she or he can do to fix the problems in the relationship. Your partner deserves the dignity of responding to the reality of the situation and the opportunity to grieve.
If you really are ambivalent about whether or not the marriage is over, our mediators can help you and spouse have an honest conversation to discern what next steps you would like to take. If you need couples counseling, we can make a referral. If there are specific issues within the relationship you want to work on, relationship mediation may be an option. And if you do wish to go forward with a legal separation or divorce, mediation offers a dignified approach that allows you and your spouse to retain control of the decisions that will affect your family.