Whether your spouse shockingly sprung the “d” word on you, or you’ve known for years that they were unhappy in the marriage, discussing divorce is tough for everyone involved. If you’re not ready to throw the towel in and call it quits, then now is the time to take action.
Stopping a divorce in it’s tracks isn’t always easy, and it takes hard work and dedication. If you’re determined to save your marriage and convince your spouse not to leave you, then step up to the plate and follow the steps I’m going to outline below…
Listen to Your Spouse
When your spouse spills the news that they want a divorce it can be tough not to overreact. After all, your world has just been shaken up with a big reality changer. However, as hard as it may be to bite your tongue it’s important that you refrain from letting your emotions (or mouth) run wild. Instead, choose to genuinely listen to what your spouse has to say.
Finding out why your spouse wants to leave you is the ammo you need to prevent the divorce from happening. No matter how hard it may be to hear it, find out why your spouse is unhappy, what’s driving them away, or what it is that they’re not getting from the marriage. Knowing their reasons is crucial to making changes and stopping the divorce.
Make a Game Plan For Stopping The Divorce
After learning the reasons behind why your spouse wants a divorce, push aside any feelings of anguish or pain and focus solely on the changes you need to make in your life. Perhaps you don’t spend enough time with your partner and kids, or you’ve developed a short temper and unapproachable personality. Whatever the cause, you know what’s driving your spouse to this point so get yourself into gear and ready to combat it.
Make a list of the negative comments your spouse has made about you and try to get to the bottom of each of them. Ask yourself questions such as “Where did I pick up that trait” or “What’s caused me to be that way?” The more effectively you can identify the root of the problem, the more effectively you’ll be able to let go of the negative quality or habit. If you want to save your marriage it’s important that you focus only on how you contributed to the decline – now is no time for the blame game. Remember, you can only change yourself, but in doing so you will also change your relationship.
Be Mature About Your Marriage
As the days pass it can become harder and harder to come to terms with the idea of divorce. As tempting or genuine as it may be, playing the victim, crying and pleading for your spouse to give your marriage another chance will not change their mind. That’s because you spouse is already past the point of believing change is even possible.
Instead of being angry or wallowing in self pity, choose to keep on loving your spouse through this difficult time. Even if they decide to be stubborn or unresponsive, that’s okay. Focus on the positive qualities you can bring to the marriage, and figure out how to show them in full colours. Always remember to let your actions speak louder than your words. Take the high road and commit yourself to saving your marriage.
Work on Communication
Developing great communication skills can be a powerful tool for overcoming issues in your marriage and preventing a divorce. However, communicating can be particularly tough when your spouse is done with talking. No matter how hard it is to get your message through to your partner, remember that your words and actions are your greatest allies right now, so keep them in check and in control.
To help with your communication, try this quick exercise:
Begin by reminiscing about when you and your spouse first got together. Think about how you met, what you enjoyed doing together, and how you acted around one another. You probably kissed, cuddled, talked nights away and made love at every opportunity. You thought they were funny, smart, and interesting, but most of all you fell in love with them because they made you feel good. Next think about your wedding and how excited you both were in the days that followed. This may be a sore spot right now, but by recalling those memories and capturing those feelings you’ll be able to reset your focus on what is important in your marriage and find ways to communicate these messages to your spouse.
Over time, you and your spouse have built a pattern of habitual actions and reactions. Meaning how you act influences how they reacts and vice versa. By making a change in your behaviour, a change will also be made in your spouse’s behaviour. If your new actions are positive, the relationship and your spouse’s reactions can also take a turn for the best.
Focus on Appearance
It’s been said that beauty is skin deep, but a little tender love and care to your appearance can go a long way in this situation.
Take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself a few questions. Is there anything you’ve been meaning to change about yourself but never got around to? Has your spouse made comments or complaints about your appearance in the past? Do you need to lose some weight, rethink your hairstyle or make an effort to dress better? Set some goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them. Whether it’s hitting the gym or updating your wardrobe, now is the time to look your best.
Give Your Spouse Space
No matter how much you want to be around your spouse don’t make the mistake of suffocating them with affectionate texts, phone calls, or emails. If you do you’ll seem needy, and that’s not an attractive way to appear.
Instead, try showing your spouse that you care by being more considerate. For instance, when they talk to you actively listen to them, and practice this skill by paraphrasing what they say. Doing so will send the message that you hear them and you’re interested in their thoughts and opinions. Afterall, everyone likes to be heard.
Find An Outside Outlet
Dealing with divorce is tough and you’ll need an outlet. Instead of holding back your feelings or trying to discuss them with your spouse, take this time to lean on friends and family members. Having an outlet that is outside of your marriage will give you the support you need and someone to rant to, both of which will help you avoid directing any bottled up emotions towards your spouse.
Give Your Spouse Time
Give your spouse time to heal. If you have gotten to this point in your marriage where they feel the only option is out, then chances are it’s been rocky for some time now. Your spouse needs to see that you are determined to change and that the changes will be permanent.
Trying to fix things quickly will only postpone repairing your marriage. It will take time to convince your spouse that there’s hope for your relationship, but if you work hard and are committed to saving your marriage, it is possible. Patience is a virtue you need to discover.
Learn the Skills of a Good Spouse
Being a good spouse can be tough, and unfortunately the role didn’t come with training. Use this opportunity as a chance to learn the skills essential for a loving relationship. While some of these skills are obvious ones such as cooperative communication and emotional management, others may not be on your radar, such as joint decision-making and emanating positivity in a marriage.
Bringing these skills into your life will not only help your chances of stopping the divorce, but they’re also good life tools to have under your belt.
Believe in Yourself
“I think I can, I think I can…” Remember the Little Engine that Could? Be that engine.
Even if the news of the divorce hit you like a ton of bricks, keep your chin up and believe in yourself. No one ever got anywhere doubting their self, so keep thinking positive and tell yourself that you have the power to prevent this divorce. Remember, your marriage isn’t necessarily over yet, so work on yourself and become the best partner you can be. Change is in your hands.