Never Too Late To Stop a Divorce
If one of you has already spoken the words, “I want a divorce,” then you may think it’s too late to stop divorce – you’re already on a highway with no exits and only one destination. But if this is not want you want or you are having second thoughts, don’t despair.
Rushing into a divorce is just as wrong as rushing into a marriage, and it is never too late to try to stop a divorce. You and your spouse have worked together over the years to face life’s challenges and can work together to save your marriage. And your doubts and unhappiness about divorce are a strong sign that you should try.
If you are the one who said the dreaded “D” word first
You will need to go to your spouse and explain that you were talking without thinking. Now that you’ve had time to think about it, you know that in reality it’s not what you want. You may face some anger and resentment, but this is natural. Allow your spouse time to cool off and think about your change of heart. Alternatively, your spouse may be immediately relieved that you don’t really want to divorce and enthusiastically embrace the idea of doing all you can to avoid it.
Nobody really wants a divorce until a lot of bad things have happened and there is no avoiding the fact that a marriage is over. However, practically every marriage can stand one big mistake. Well all is said and done, one mistake really only requires one sincere apology that the other can trust and believe in. It is the multiple mistakes and multiple apologies that add up to an ultimate decision that the marriage is doomed.
With this in mind, it’s important to distinguish between “mistakes” and “problems”. Mistakes are things that people choose to do, and the more they do them the more impossible they are to forgive. Problems, on the other hand, are often thrust on a marriage. For example, the stresses and strains of interference by in-laws and financial worries. So, while multiple mistakes often spell disaster, multiple problems may be far less likely to result in divorce that you think.
If your spouse was the first to mention divorce
There is still a good chance that you can stop the divorce and save your marriage instead. This is not to say that it will be easy but the hardest part will be the first part – getting your spouse on board.
Your strongest tool in this respect will be your sincerity. Expressing your “sincerity” does not mean displaying your desperation, neediness and fear. It means sincerity of the “calm, considered and collected” variety more likely to win a sympathetic hearing.
Secondly, you need to be bale to present them with solid reasons why you believe your marriage deserves a second chance. For help with this, see Should I Save My Marriage? – Reasons Not to Divorce which contains a number of statements – each one that applies is a good reason you should try.
Of course first you will need to persuade your spouse to give you their time and a willing ear. Again, this will require you being calm and making certain up-front promises about the nature of the talk.
Working together to stop a divorce
Trying to stop a divorce and save a marriage instead is of course easier with a spouse who is as anxious as you are to prevent your marriage derailing. It gives you more options in terms of help and support available to prevent a divorce.
There are also ways that you can engage in some home-made marriage counseling. For example, relationship expert Michael Webb’s 1000 Questions for Couples is an excellent resource for rediscovering each other and gaining new insights too.
Working solo to stop a divorce
Even if you think there is no hope at all of stopping a divorce – your spouse is completely estranged and/or seems hell bent on ending your marriage – there is still hope.
The better “save my marriage” books, such as Amy Waterman’s Save my Marriage Today and Rachel Rider’s Relationship Recovery course, recognize this is a common problem. Step-by-step marriage-saving plans like these are designed to make a difference even when only one party is trying.
The bottom line
Many couples have been well along the path to divorce but managed to not only save their marriage but improve it. The shared effort and experience of surviving a close encounter with divorce brings a new confidence in the relationship, in how much you mean to each other and often, new insights that add a new dimension to a marriage. And in many of these cases, it was one person alone who made a decision to do what they could to stop the divorce. So, if you believe that there is any chance that your marriage can be saved, arm yourself with all the tools available and try.
The worst possible outcome is that your marriage will prove un-saveable. If so, then there is at least a silver lining that will sustain you through divorce – the knowledge that you gave your marriage your very best shot. Though never easy, divorce is definitely easier when it is not plagued by the nagging thought that perhaps it could have been saved. You will know for sure, that it couldn’t.
But for now… have every confidence in your ability to repair and renew your marriage because if the fundamentals of a good marriage are in place – if you can answer “yes’ to most of these statements – there is every chance that you can indeed stop a divorce.
An original article by Caroline Mackenzie, exclusive to this site and protected by copyright.
Filed under: Deciding to Divorce