How to Break Off a Marriage Nicely

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Though your marriage once brought you happiness, you no longer feel romantic toward your spouse. The end of a marriage can entail a painful process for everyone involved. Though you cannot guarantee a painless discussion about divorce, there are several strategies to reduce your spouse's pain when you talk about ending the marriage.

The Conversation

Choose a calm, quiet time to have the conversation, ensuring that you have privacy. No matter how upset or angry you are, you should not end your marriage by phone, email or text message. You should be firm in your decision -- your husband should come away from the conversation knowing that the marriage is definitely over, according to Though you can be honest in explaining your reasons, avoid blaming your husband for the demise of your marriage or insulting him.

Sample Phrasing

When having the conversation, you might say something such as "John, I have something difficult to tell you. I have tried working on the problems in our marriage, but with all that we have been through, I feel divorcing is best. We have been struggling for a long time, and I know that this will not be easy for either of us. I believe with time that we can both handle this in a reasonable manner." Phrasing such as this can set you up for an amicable divorce, according to mediator Sam Margulies, Ph.D., in the "Psychology Today" article "Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce."

Additional Considerations

You may have desired to end your marriage for years, but you should avoid discussing it with family members or friends. These people may tip your husband off before you get the chance to brief him yourself, according to Confiding in someone not connected to your husband, such as a therapist or counselor, may be ideal if you need help processing your emotions or practice breaking the news.

After the Conversation

The end of your marriage can leave you with feelings ranging from relief to anger over how your husband may have treated you. No matter how you feel, you should avoid saying anything negative about your ex to family members and friends, according to "The Breakup Etiquette Guide" from Word may get around to your ex, causing hurt feelings. The same can also be true if you hear that your spouse has something negative to say about you. Disengaging and not responding may be in your best interest if you plan for an amicable divorce.