How to leave a relationship when you’re frightened.

Too often we have clients that say, “I want to get a Divorce but I’m too scared”. Divorce is stressful. You fear facing the unknown of how your spouse will react when you decide to take that step.

A part of you tells yourself that you should just “stick with it”, because the thought of going to court makes you anxious and stressed, and the thought of having to tell your spouse makes you feel sick to your stomach.

In our experience, a lot of our clients that that have feared getting a divorce have been subjected to family violence. They start to question, “how will my spouse react when I tell them I want a divorce”, or “how do I tell my spouse I want a Divorce”. Divorce is scary and life changing, and it is not something that anyone looks forward to doing.

For some people, staying married in an unhealthy violent relationship is easier and easier to justify. You are not alone.

However, no one tells you the cost to your health, money and well-being staying in a bad, abusive, or fruitless marriage. If you are married to someone who is physically abusive, the price you may pay can be with your life.

How to tell your abusive spouse or partner you want a Divorce?

Here are some useful tips to assist you when you want to get a Divorce but are too scared:

  • Make a plan and be prepared with what you want to say. You should think careful about how you want to share your feelings and be clear and concise with your message.
  • Enlist the help of trusted family, friends or colleagues.
  • If you fear how your spouse will react, choose a public place and have a support person with you for comfort.
  • Don’t play the blame game or criticize your spouse.
  • Stay calm and explain how you have been feeling and the impact the feeling has had on your marriage.

If you have been subjected by Family Violence and are too scared to get a divorce, our divorce lawyers are trained in how to respond to client’s concerns when they raise such sensitive issues.

What we do to make our frightened clients feel safe:

  • We don’t judge
  • We empathise and support them
  • We reassure our clients that this is not their fault
  • We advise our clients that domestic violence is a crime
  • We listen with care and attention/

The bottom line is that, if you stay in an unhappy abusive marriage, it will take a toll on you. The longer you stay, the bigger price you will pay with your happiness.

Fear in any shape or form will be your biggest enemy and it can paralyse you from moving forward in your life. If you allow that fear to paralyse you, you may risk living the rest of your life with regret.

Fighting your fears of getting a divorce will not be easy, however, it may be the best decision you will ever make. Ultimately, only you can decide what is best for you.

“Every moment of your life, including this one, is a fresh start.” B.J. Marshall


The information contained in this article is intended for general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice.

If you have any questions about whether you need a divorce

To speak to a family lawyer, contact us on 02 8999 1800 or