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Hey Bestie: How do I tell my wife it’s over and there’s no coming back?

Updated: Mar 15

Hey Bestie,


I’ve finally decided to leave my wife after being married for 15 years. She knows we’re struggling. How do I tell her it’s over?


Hey Bestie: How do I tell my wife it’s over and there’s no coming back?

Thank you for reaching out. Firstly, I’m sorry to hear that it’s come to this point and that you haven’t been able to resolve the underlying issues. I genuinely believe that as a society, we set couples up for failure as we are never truly taught how to have a relationship. There are great marriage educators out in the world, and I wish they were used more regularly for this reason.


The short and simple answer to your question is that there’s no great way to tell someone that their relationship is over. Statistically, people stay in relationships up to 24 months beyond when they really wanted to leave.


Sometimes people use this extra time to seek counselling or try to rectify the situation themselves (by reading books, listening to podcasts or the like). If you’re stating that the writing was on the wall and she is aware that the relationship has been struggling for quite some time, what steps have been taken to improve the situation? If during this time nothing is actioned, then it’s likely to result in the end of the relationship.


Often when a partner has made up their mind that they are officially leaving the relationship, the conversation can be a difficult one, especially if your partner believes that everything about the relationship is on track. You’ve mentioned that your wife is aware of the struggles and therefore the conversation might not be as difficult.


There are stages of what is called ‘relationship fallout’. When it gets to the point that somebody has emotionally or physically checked out of the relationship, it’s very difficult to repair the relationship from that point forward. Don’t get me wrong…it can be done; it does however require a lot of work and often people are not willing to put in the work that is needed.


Some things to be mindful of when having this conversation with your partner is the following:

  • Make sure that you both have the time available for the conversation and that it isn’t rushed.

  • Make sure that you have this conversation in a private location in which other people are not listening in.

  • Be honest – let your partner know that this is not an easy conversation and that the decision has been difficult to make.

  • Finally, be prepared to answer the question: “What now…” which might mean: Are we sleeping in separate beds, is someone moving out, how are we moving forward, etc…


Divorce in Australia requires that you are separated for a period of 12 months. You can use the help of a mediator for financial and child management details however if you aren’t able to see eye-to-eye, a lawyer might need to be involved.


Have the conversation with your partner sooner rather than later and be aware that she might be completely sideswiped by this information even though she’s aware that the two of you are struggling and have been for some time. After all, everyone deserves to know what the status of their relationship is so that they can go on to have the best possible relationship for them.


Your bestie,

Amanda xx


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