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Let's talk divorce: 1 thing to remember when having 'the talk'

If there's one thing we avoid the most as human beings in our interpersonal relationships, it's the truth. Many spouses avoid the elephant in the room -- the fact that their marriage needs to end -- for years before they finally muster up the courage to have ''the divorce talk.'' Obviously, the sooner you can have this talk, the sooner you can move on to the next stage of your happier life, but when you do finally decide to break the news with your spouse, there's one vital thing you need to remember.

What is this miraculous thing? Don't try to defend yourself or your decisions. In other words, don't get into a long, drawn-out discussion about it no matter how hard your spouse tries to goad you into an argument or a debate. By remembering this one thing, you may make your divorce proceedings infinitely easier and more respectful and less stressful and costly.

Your spouse might be angry or sad when you break the news to him or her. But most importantly, your spouse could be hurt. This might prompt an ugly reaction where you're accused, criticized or blamed and the things that come out of your spouse's mouth could be awful and vengeful. Don't take the bait! Just listen respectfully to what your spouse has to say and let him or her vent the frustrations.

Your spouse will soon calm down and, over time, come to terms with your decision. Most importantly, though, you won't say anything that could end up turning your divorce into an all-out battleground. It takes two to have a fight, and when you refuse to engage, you'll be doing yourself and the rest of your family a very big service.

There are many options available to New York spouses who want to divorce peacefully and respectfully. Learn as much as you can about out-of-court divorce settlements, divorce mediation and other strategies that could assist you in this regard.

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