Once the decision has been made to end a Virginia marriage, the next step is to sit down and discuss the matter with one’s spouse. This can be a difficult prospect, especially in cases in which the other party is expected to be resistant to ending the marriage. Spouses who are able to take a compassionate approach can make the remainder of their divorce far easier to manage.

Keep in mind that divorce can feel like the ultimate form of rejection. The initiating spouse is essentially saying that the relationship is no longer valuable to them, and that moving forward alone is preferable to remaining married. This hurts, even in cases in which divorce is clearly the best option for all involved. Spouses should be compassionate when breaking this news, and should be prepared for a series of difficult discussions to follow.

This brings us to the next point: it is unfair to expect one’s partner to immediately accept that the marriage is over. It is unlikely that the initiating spouse reached the same conclusion in a short period of time, and it is important to give one’s partner a fair chance to adjust to this news and go through his or her own emotional reaction. By allowing the time and space needed to accept the idea of divorce, spouses can avoid a great deal of the anger and bitterness than can arise when an individual becomes defensive.

Treating one’s spouse with kindness is not only the right thing to do, it is also a smart move. Anything that lowers tension between spouses will help move the divorce process forward, which is the ultimate goal. For those in Virginia who are able to take a compassionate approach, the remainder of the process can be far easier to manage.