I Don’t Want a Divorce
Your wife is talking about divorce, threatening divorce or has filed for divorce, but you do not want your marriage to end. “I don’t know how this happened” is a phrase we hear often. What do you do? There is legally no way to prevent your spouse from taking action to divorce you. It’s hard to believe that someone would walk away while the other person is trying to save their marriage but unfortunately it happens all the time.
You are Not Alone
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married, this can happen to anyone. If, even when a divorce is the last thing you want, you still find yourself facing this situation, you are not alone. At ADAM we meet with clients every day who are facing a divorce they didn’t want and sometimes didn’t expect. We offer more than just advice about the divorce case; we can also sometimes counsel and offer suggestions about what might help save your marriage if that’s a realistic possibility.
The first thing you have to do when your spouse says she wants a divorce is to ask her if there is any chance of saving your marriage.
Did your spouse threaten divorce in the middle of a heated argument? Has your wife filed but you have every reason to believe she will not go through with it? People often say things in anger that they don’t really mean. If so, let your divorce attorney know this. We can’t help you unless we know the whole story and what your thoughts are about the situation.
If your spouse has already moved out of the house and has had you served with divorce papers, you can safely assume she is serious about divorce. It may be that you can still save your marriage, but two very major decisions have just been made. Number one, she filed for divorce, and that’s not something to be taken lightly. Number two, she moved out, also a major step in this decision-making process.
Maybe your wife does not know what she wants or how to proceed, which can be very frustrating. It can also mean there is some hope in saving your marriage.
This can also lead to your wife giving you mixed messages. One day she says loves you, and the next day she wants a divorce. One day she is threatening to move out, and the next day she is going with you to your child’s soccer game acting like nothing ever happened.
Meanwhile, you are riding a roller coaster of emotions. You are not exactly sure what is going on, or what you should do. We can help. We have helped men just like you during all stages of relationships gone bad. We have also had plenty of clients save their marriage and reconcile with their wife
How to Figure it Out
The easiest way to figure out whether your spouse is serious about divorce is, quite simply, to ask.
You want to know not only what your wife is thinking, but what she is feeling. Is she seeing someone else? Is something else going on that will make it impossible to work on your relationship? You need a sense of what her short term and long term plans may be.
You also need to know whether your spouse is willing to give your marriage a second chance. There are some definite indicators about that; things that can tell us whether there is hope, or no hope of saving this marriage.
If your wife won’t talk to you about your marriage, or if she is just as confused as you are and can’t figure out what she wants, you both need help. Your marriage is definitely in trouble. You need to talk to each other, or seek help from a counselor. No one talks about divorce when a marriage is solid, stable and happy. The very fact that the word “divorce” comes up means you have issues that need to be resolved.
You can address the problem(s) yourselves and you can try marital counseling. The key is to address them immediately. Ignoring the problems will not make them go away.
Saving Your Marriage
There are countless ways to work on your marriage if you and your wife are both willing to do so.
You can go to couple’s counseling or you can each go to therapy individually. If you are religious, you can meet with a church leader in your faith. You can go on couple’s retreats or vacation together. You can read a self-help book, or other books on relationships.
However, you should be very skeptical if your wife wants a trial separation. If she suggests a “trial separation” because it’s an easy way to get you used to the idea of a divorce, that does not count as “working on your marriage.” Living separately at the beginning stages of a divorce can create all sorts of problems, so you will not want that unless you are absolutely sure of where things are going.
The one thing you cannot do is try to save your marriage by yourself.
But I Don’t Want to Get Divorced!
Again, you may say, “I don’t want to get divorced. I don’t believe in divorce. Divorce will destroy my family and mess up my kids! Divorce is wrong!” The somewhat harsh reality is that this may not be about you at all. Divorce is often one person’s choice, and not a joint decision. Denial will only make things worse.
It doesn’t matter what you think is “right” or “wrong”, and it doesn’t matter if you are willing to forgive and forget for the sake of staying married. If your wife truly wants a divorce and has taken steps in that direction, you need to start preparing and protecting your rights.
If divorce is being discussed, it is time to get legal advice and know your rights before any further decisions are made.