The initial discussion when you tell your spouse that you want a divorce is probably going to be tense. You should prepare yourself for some stress as you go through this. Thinking carefully about how you are going to handle this situation can help you to reduce the difficulty of it, but even the most preparation isn’t going to make this fully easy.

One of the most important things you need to do is to determine when and where you are going to have this discussion. Ideally, you will take care of it when you and your spouse can talk without interruptions. You might consider having the children go to spend time with a family member or friend when you are going to talk about this.

Make sure that you are ready for some pushback. Sometimes, the other person won’t be prepared to accept that they can’t fix it. You have to be firm about your decision but remain gentle when discussing these matters. Try not to play the blame game. Just state your reasons without casting blame.

You might be tempted to discuss some of the finer points of the end of the marriage, but don’t give into that. Instead, talk about what’s important right now. This includes who is going to live where and who is going to provide the primary care for the children.

The time to handle things like property division and permanent child custody will come during the divorce process. By waiting until that point, you have time to consider your options so that you can do what you feel is in your best interests.