Common Questions of The Person Who Wants To Divorce?

couples having hard discussion

By Jeannine Lee

The experiences for those experiencing divorce are different depending on which side of the decision to divorce they find themselves. Do you want the divorce? Dealing with guilt may be a big part of your journey. Friends and family are often unkind to/lack understanding of the one who leaves first. Are you on the receiving end of this divorce decision? You may be plagued by a horrible sense of rejection. The Heartbreaker and the Heartbroken respond differently to the challenges of divorce.

Below I offer some common questions asked by the parent who wants to divorce. These are the most common questions but there are many more. If you don’t have children, many of the questions will still apply.

The parent who initiates has likely been thinking about divorcing for quite some time and has had time to at least imagine a new future, including these questions.

  • How will this affect the kids? How can we protect them?
  • Where will they live? Can they still go to the same school?
  • Do we have to sell the house? Will one or both of us have to move?
  • How will we divide the money? Who takes the debt?
  • Will we both now have to work more and not have as much time with the kids?

And a question you may both ask is, “We don’t communicate now, how can we possibly get through this without fighting?”

Grief for the one who wants to divorce is like a loss after a long term illness. She/he has had some time to think things through and make plans, to imagine that new future. But for the one who is on the receiving end of the decision to divorce (and I’ve never seen two people come to the choice at exactly the same time) divorce is like being hit by a bus. It’s sudden, sometimes traumatic, and all the processing has to be on the fast track, often while in the midst of the physical/tangible parts of the divorce.

Each of you will have different experiences. It’s just the nature of divorce. To get through this in the most gentle/least damaging way I hope you will honor each other’s experiences. The Heartbroken will need to proceed slowly in order to process all that is happening both inside and outside. The Heartbreaker has reasons for choosing to divorce. Try to understand. If you can be generous with each other, things will go better for you.

For more on the questions of the parent who is on the receiving end, please see this article. [Question of the Person/Parent on the Receiving End of Divorce]