Think back to high school when you were dating the love of your life and walked around in a state of bliss. Then, inexplicably, you saw him/her making out with someone else under the bleachers after school. That's the moment you found out you were breaking up. Marriage is supposed to be different, better, more mature. However, after careful and extensive research, I've discovered that that's not always the case. Here are the three absolute worst ways to tell your spouse you want a divorce. Bleachers not included.
A Post-it. If you've ever seen this episode of Sex and The City, then you know it can happen. My friend once woke up to an empty apartment, her husband's ring on the counter and next to it was a Post-it that read, "I want a divorce. P.S. I fed the cat." Now, add to it that he emptied the cupboards of all the alcohol and you've got the third worst way to announce you want a divorce. This ranks third because technically, it's non-confrontational. No yelling or destruction of property takes place here. But in most cases, it's horrendous because the emotional wreckage is vast. The recipient of said Post-it is left, holding a 3X3 divorce decree wondering why he chose green as opposed to pink. If you must leave without a verbal adieu, then have the temerity to write a proper note giving reasons behind your decision... on something larger than three inches that isn't a neon color.
A survey. I kid you not, this happened to a friend of mine in college who actually sent a survey to her friends asking if she and her (then) husband should stay together or get a divorce. Sadly, none of the responses came back with a positive answer (unless you count those that abstained from answering.) Research geek that she was, she tallied the results on an Excel spreadsheet and presented him with the evidence one night -- complete with the comments from people they knew on why they shouldn't be together. Most of us applauded her thoroughness, though not her lack of tact. If you've got the inkling that you don't belong together, keep it between the two of you. Your marriage should not be an episode of The Voice. None of your friends should have a say in your marriage... or whether or not you can carry a tune.
And the number one worst way to tell your spouse you want a divorce is...
After nookie. Pretty much anything having to do with sex or the bedroom is a major no-no in this department, but I'm going to go all out here and say that announcing it at that moment ranks right up there with a root canal or a prostate exam. An acquaintance of mine announced to his wife (as they lie together in sort-of post coital bliss) that he didn't think they were "well-suited" for each other anymore. Now, keep in mind that his logic was sound (she was naked and had nothing close to her to throw at him) but he hadn't exactly though it all the way through -- certain delicate parts of him were sadly un-protected. The bedroom is where you're at your most vulnerable, your naked self (so to speak). The only things you should be saying as you lie next to your spouse are incoherent terms of endearment... or at least some dirty little nothings you whisper in each other's ears. I've heard every excuse in the book for this one: I wanted to have one last fling, this is how I wanted to remember him/her...the list of excuses goes on and on. What you're really doing is giving your soon-to-be significant other a serious intimacy issues to work through. When it comes to announcing this particular life-changing event, keep it OUT of the bedroom. It's safer for everyone involved.
If you're going to drop the "D-bomb" on your spouse -- whether or not you think they already know/expect it or otherwise -- find an appropriate time and place to do it. If you're wondering what that "appropriate time and place" looks like, it doesn't come in pastel or neon, have an Excel spreadsheet... or any other sheet attached to it.