I Think I Want a Divorce, He Doesn’t

I want a divorce he doesn't

By Lisa Kaplin, Divorced Girl Smiling Contributor, Psy. D., CPC, Certified Life and Executive Coach and psychologist

A Divorced Girl Smiling Facebook Group member posted this to the group: I’ve told my husband I want a divorce, he doesn’t. I told him I want to separate, but then he acts like nothing happened and we never talk about it.

So you’ve told your husband that you want a divorce and to separate, but you’ve actually done nothing about it. Whether he responds to you or not, it’s up to you to make something happen. Are you going to wait until he actually responds to start the process? If so, I feel confident in saying that you will never separate or divorce. I’m also pretty confident that a big part of your relationship problems stem from the lack of communication and action between the two of you.


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First off, what do you actually want? Do you really want a divorce?  To separate? A response from your husband? If you want a response, ask for one. You might say, “I’m not happy with our relationship and I’d like us to separate. How would you like to proceed?”


If he again acts like nothing has happened, you might want to say, “I’m going to begin the separation and divorce process and you can either participate in that and make it easier and less expensive for both of us, or I will start it on my own and you can participate when you are forced to by the law. I would prefer the former.”


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Underlying your issue of “I want a divorce, he doesn’t,” is also a bigger issue about you and how you might want to move forward with your life and that is, why are you waiting for someone else to make your life happen?
You are responsible for your own life, your own happiness, your own separation, and ultimately your own divorce. What is keeping you from taking action? Are you afraid of your husband’s response? Afraid of taking full responsibility for your future and your own happiness? I urge you to dig deep and answer these questions, or talk to a professional–therapist or coach to address these issues.


If you do choose to separate and get divorced, your life is yours. What will you do with it? Will you wait passively for something to happen or will you take complete and total ownership of being at the cause of your own destiny? I’m sure I sound a bit harsh here and maybe that is my intention. Life is short, it’s fragile, and if you don’t own your own destiny, your life and your relationships will be limited.

So here’s a kick in the pants for “I want a divorce, he doesn’t.”


Figure out EXACTLY what you want and go do it. If you want to separate from your husband, do it now. If you want a conversation with your husband, ask for it and if you don’t get it, leave. If you do get it, tell him exactly what you want from your marriage. If he doesn’t want that, leave. If you want to have an amicable conversation about separating, ask for it. If you don’t get it, leave. Are you seeing a pattern here? I hope so. Take action now. It’s your life and only you can do that. I wish you all the best.


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Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today.  You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com


Like this article? Check out “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”


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