Even if you’re fed up with your marriage and 100% sure that you want a divorce, bringing your true thoughts to light is easier said than done. While there’s no way of knowing how your spouse will react, there are steps you can take to ease the tension and hopefully kick off the process on the right foot.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Stick to the truth: Now’s not the time to bend the truth or tell lies to spare your spouse’s feelings. Get to the point and stick to the truth throughout your conversation. Honesty is always the best policy.
  • Protect yourself: You know your spouse inside and out, so you should have a general idea of how they’ll react to you asking for a divorce. If you have any concerns that they could become angry or even violent, you must take steps to protect yourself. This typically means asking for a divorce over the phone or in a public place.
  • Don’t turn back now: While you’re sure that you want to divorce, your spouse may beg you to reconsider. However, if you’ve thought things through and know that divorce is the best thing for you at this time, you don’t want to turn back now. Doing so will only complicate matters, as you’ll always have divorce on your mind.
  • Ignore the details, for now: You’ll have time during your divorce case to discuss details such as property division, debt division, alimony, child support and child custody. If you focus on these too soon, such as immediately after telling your spouse you want a divorce, high tension is likely to boil over and cause an argument.

If you feel that a divorce is the only way to improve your life, carefully plan how you’ll share your feelings with your spouse. You can’t prepare for everything, but there’s no harm in trying.

Once you have your feelings out in the open, you can prepare for the actual divorce process and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. You’re not at the end of the road just yet, but you’re getting closer.