I want to do the right thing for my children and wife. She will be totally caught off guard by my request. What should I do to prepare for the day I tell her this?
I don’t know if you have been in therapy at all, but telling your wife how you feel in a therapeutic setting with the proper support for her may be one way to deal with the range of emotions that she will have. You may suggest marital counseling. After discussing your relationship you may want to consider divorce mediation as a way to work through the issues that need to be addressed such as a parenting plan, financial support and how to divide your assets. Mediation is a non-adversarial and collaborative approach that helps divorcing couples work through the difficult decisions while maintaining a high degree of cooperation. The mediator is a trained neutral experienced in conflict resolution. Mediated agreements are often less costly than adversarial divorces and help couples to maintain their relationship as parents. It is so important that you do what you can to prevent the conflict from escalating while figuring out the decisions inherent in a divorce. Most parents want to protect their children from the ramifications of divorce, and the best way to do that is to decrease the conflict between the parents. Adversarial divorces will often increase the conflict between the divorcing parents. Clarifying to your wife that you want the outcome to be a fair and equitable on for her and the children will help to set the tone.