What to Do When Your Partner Wants a Divorce


When your partner wants a divorce, it can feel like your world is falling apart. This situation demands careful handling as the steps you take can significantly impact your emotional well-being and future life.

It's essential to manage your initial reactions, maintain open communication with your spouse, seek legal advice, and prioritize self-care.

The importance of handling this situation correctly cannot be overstated, as it can ease the transition process, minimize potential conflicts, and ensure that you make informed decisions that are in your best interest.

Facing a divorce may be one of the most challenging experiences in life, but with the right approach, you can navigate this difficult time with resilience and strength.

Divorce Therapists in Colorado

Michele Stahle, LPC

Michele Stahle, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Dr. Alana Fenton Ph.D., PSYC

Dr. Alana Fenton Ph.D., PSYC

(719) 345-2424
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Initial Reactions

Staying calm:

When your partner first brings up the topic of divorce, it's natural to experience a wave of emotions such as shock, anger, or sadness.

However, it's crucial to try and stay calm during this time. Reacting impulsively or out of heightened emotion can lead to actions or words that you may later regret.

Avoiding impulsive reactions:

Take a deep breath and give yourself permission to process the information. You don't have to respond immediately.

It's okay to ask for some time to think about what your partner has said. This will allow you to gather your thoughts and approach the situation with a clear mind.

Taking time to process the information:

Initial reactions are just that – initial. They don't define the entire process or outcome. By staying calm and avoiding impulsive reactions, you set a more constructive tone for the discussions and decisions that lie ahead. 


Seeking clarification from your partner:

When faced with the prospect of divorce, it's important to fully understand your partner's perspective.

This involves seeking clarification about their feelings and their reasons for wanting a divorce. Ask open-ended questions and listen attentively to their responses.

Understanding their reasons:

As part of the communication process, strive to understand your partner's reasons for wanting a divorce.

These might be rooted in long-term issues, recent events, or a combination of factors.

Remember, understanding does not necessarily mean agreement, but it can help you navigate the situation more effectively.

Engaging in Open, honest, non-confrontational dialogue:

Maintaining an open, honest, and non-confrontational dialogue is crucial during this time.

It's important to express your feelings and concerns but do so in a way that respects your partner's feelings as well.

Avoid blame games or heated arguments. Instead, focus on constructive conversation that allows both of you to express your thoughts and feelings. 

Seeking Professional Help

In the midst of a potential divorce, consulting with a therapist or counselor can be of immense benefit.

A professional can provide an unbiased perspective and help you navigate your emotions during this challenging time.

They can guide you through the process of grieving the end of your relationship, while also helping you build resilience and coping strategies.

Therapists or counselors can also facilitate communication between you and your partner, ensuring that conversations remain productive and respectful.

Legal Consultation

It's important to understand your legal rights and obligations when facing a divorce. This is where hiring a lawyer specializing in family law becomes invaluable.

A skilled attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of divorce law, from property division to child custody and spousal support.

They can provide advice tailored to your unique situation, ensuring that you make informed decisions throughout the divorce process.

Moreover, having legal representation can provide a sense of security and confidence, knowing that your interests are being protected during this challenging time.


During a divorce, it's paramount to prioritize the well-being of any children involved.

This means avoiding heated arguments in their presence and maintaining as much stability and normalcy as possible.

Open communication is key: talk to them about what's happening in age-appropriate language, reassure them that both parents still love them unconditionally and that it's not their fault.

It's crucial to let them express their feelings and fears. By keeping their emotional health at the forefront, you can help mitigate the potential negative impacts of the divorce process on their lives. 

Planning for the Future

Considering financial implications:

This involves assessing how the divorce will impact your financial situation. It includes dividing marital assets, determining potential child or spousal support, and planning for single-income living.

Planning living arrangements:

Post-divorce, you'll need to decide where each person will live. If children are involved, their needs should be prioritized. This can involve deciding on custody arrangements and possibly relocating to a new home.

Handling shared responsibilities post-divorce:

Even after a divorce, there may be joint responsibilities, especially if there are children involved. This includes coordinating visitation schedules, making decisions about the children's education and healthcare, and maintaining open lines of communication. 

Building a Support Network

Friends and family can provide emotional support, lend an understanding ear, or even offer practical help when needed.

Their comfort and reassurance can be invaluable during this challenging time. Additionally, joining a support group can also be beneficial.

These groups provide a safe space to connect with others who are going through similar experiences, share your feelings, and learn from their insights and coping strategies.

Both these sources of support can help you navigate the complexities of divorce with resilience and strength.

 Patience and Positivity

Divorce proceedings often take time and can be emotionally draining. It's important to understand that this process is not a sprint, but a marathon.

There may be days when progress seems slow or non-existent, but patience becomes a crucial virtue during this time.

Additionally, it's essential to allow yourself to grieve the end of your marriage. This is a significant life change and grieving is a natural and necessary part of the healing process.

Maintaining a positive outlook amid a divorce might seem difficult, but it's critical for your emotional health.

Try to focus on the opportunities that this new chapter in your life can bring. It's a chance to rediscover your individuality, pursue interests or hobbies you may have put aside, and build a future that aligns with your current needs and desires.

Embracing positivity doesn't mean ignoring the pain, but rather choosing to believe in the potential for growth and happiness that lies ahead.


Divorce is a challenging journey that demands patience, understanding, and resilience.

Key points to remember include the importance of planning for the future, considering financial implications, managing shared responsibilities, and making suitable living arrangements.

It's crucial to allow yourself to grieve while also maintaining a positive outlook towards the new opportunities that await.

Building a robust support network can provide immense emotional help during this time. As you navigate this difficult period, remember to prioritize self-care and make decisions in your best interest.

Life may seem tough right now, but with time, patience, and self-compassion, you will navigate through this phase and emerge stronger.

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February 25th, 2024

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