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The way that it feels when your spouse asks for a divorce likely just depends on how you felt the marriage was going. If you thought it was going poorly and you were also considering a divorce, you may not feel surprised. You may even be happy that someone finally just said it. If you felt like the marriage was going well, though, you could feel shocked and even angry.

How you react matters. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you should be respectful. Your spouse is not your property, nor are you their’s. You are just two people who want different things in life. That’s your right. Be respectful of what they want, even if it is not what you want.

Instead of focusing on emotions, try to focus on what this means for the future. You may end up asking questions like:

  • Why do you want a divorce?
  • How long have you known?
  • What do you want to do with the children?
  • Should one of us move out before the divorce is finalized?
  • How are we going to divide assets?
  • Do you want to go to counseling first?

Once you ask these questions and get these conversations going, you can put your energy into planning for the divorce. Remember, you can’t deny it. If that’s what your spouse wants, they can file for divorce no matter what you say. In that light, the most positive strategy you can take is just to find out where you stand and carefully consider your legal options.