When your partner is not listening to you, or you feel like he or she isn’t listening, it can be one of the most devastating and soul-crushing things that can happen. You probably told your partner a million times that you don’t like being teased in front of family or friends. Same goes for not appreciating the sight of dirty dishes lingering in the sink for more than a day. Heck, you probably even told your partner you hate finding underwear lying around on the floor, and it still happens.
When you feel that your partner is no longer listening to you, you feel disrespected, ignored, and even unloved. To make matters worse, your partner doesn’t even have an idea that he or she is making you feel unloved.
Then you slowly come to the realisation that your partner may be cheating on you. You confirm your suspicions one way or the other, and the most difficult time in your life rears its ugly head.
Because of your partner’s consistent inability to pay attention to you and your needs because of infidelity, you want a divorce. Deep down, however, you know that whatever you say, it will just fall on deaf ears, so why bother, right?
The conversation about divorce can be difficult, let alone having a partner who doesn’t pay attention to you or even listen to you.
So how do you break the news to your partner?
Make sure that it’s the right time
Sometimes we’re a little bit guilty of this. We often bring up difficult topics when our partner is doing something else.
Don’t do this. The topic of divorce needs to be paid with the utmost attention and you can’t have a very meaningful conversation when your partner’s head is not in it. Take your time to size up the moment before you even think about bringing up the topic. Start with small talk when your partner is in the middle of something. If he or she can barely respond with small talk, then it’s going to be fairly impossible to get something out of them when you’re talking about divorce.
Another question to follow up would be “Is it a good time to talk?”
Go directly to the point
There’s no point in starting your argument with a premise every five or ten minutes. You don’t need to narrate their disappointing actions and all the other times they caused you frustration. Don’t even think about talking about something else other than the topic at hand.
To solidify your stance, start with sentences like “Here’s why I’m upset” or “Here’s the bottom line”. You will be able to give your partner a chance to prepare themselves for the conversation.
Don’t accuse your partner of anything
Even though your partner has made you feel unloved, don’t make them to be the bad guys. Don’t point fingers with phrases like “you make me” and “you always”. These words always put people on the defensive and they will feel attacked. They might even reciprocate your actions and try to be on the offensive.
This will result in a full-blown argument with minimal productivity.
Try to give them a heads-up
People, like me, don’t enjoy having serious conversations sprung out of the blue. Imagine a nice night out with your spouse or partner and then suddenly they turn to face you and bring up a serious topic without any warning.
Talk about ruining the moment.
If you really want your partner to be prepared, try to warn them. A little heads-up like “we need to have a serious discussion tonight” can mean the difference between preparation and recklessness.
Another reason why you should give them fair warning is that they may have other plans that night. If they do, try to work around it by saying “I understand you need to do this and that, but try to spare at least 20 minutes for this serious talk later.”
Lead by example
When you want attention, you need to pay attention. This is called the law of reciprocity. You want to lead by example when it comes to having this serious discussion on divorce.
Instead of yelling, try to talk in a normal tone and try to control the situation. He or she will most likely do the same as you take the lead.
Dealing with the reactions and results
How to tell your cheating partner you want a divorce is one thing, but dealing with the aftermath is another. You just don’t leave your partner hanging after the talk. You need to be able to control them before, during, and after. This is important especially for those with histories of violence and aggression.
Of course, your cheating partner may have already anticipated this talk and is more likely to be passive about the news as they have waited for the opportune moment to get away from the relationship.
When they’re being passive or unresponsive, it’s still important to get your point across. You want a divorce because they cheated on you. It’s as simple as that.
What if they react nonchalantly?
Don’t take any offense if they take the news or conversation without care or worry. It’s their loss that the marriage has ended in a divorce. You did your best, you aired your side of the story, and it’s now going to be their move as to what they want to do about it.
What if they react with violence?
If your spouse has a mean streak or a temper, then you may want to try to stay calm throughout the entire thing. You should also try to pacify them by not responding with aggression. You should also have the conversation in a public place to make sure he or she doesn’t do something stupid in front of a lot of people.
What if they are emotional?
If you feel like your partner can become emotional, you can tone down this tendency by having the conversation in public – like a restaurant or coffee shop. As odd as it may be to bring up the topic of divorce in a public place, pacifying your partner’s emotional and possibly aggressive state is more important.
The bottom line:
What’s important throughout this process is that you try to lead the conversation to the direction you want it. it’s important to maintain control of your emotions and your partner’s as well.
The conversation can be difficult but it needs to be done.