It’s Over: You Disagree: How To Stop A Divorce

Is an impending divorce wreaking havoc on your well-being? Were relationship “red flags” waving for quite some time, but you turned a blind eye to them?

From the outside or even from within the marriage, the relationship may not have seemed at rock-bottom yet.

For this reason, a divorce request catches many spouses off-guard. It becomes easy to fall into a rut of victimization at the shock.

However, it’s important to recognize that a divorce request isn’t a divorce itself.

If you accept this idea, you may find it worthwhile to learn the strategies on how to stop a divorce.

Should you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, consider the following plan of action on how to change your spouse’s mind and stop your divorce.

Develop a Strategy

Perhaps your spouse already filed for divorce or is still at the asking stage. Now is the time to closely examine the conflict between you. Furthermore, take stock of the issues your spouse has pointed out in the past.

Inevitably, this will not be comfortable. You are launching a campaign on how to stop a divorce, so begin with an open mind.

Be ready to take action. Whether it’s participating in counseling or adjusting your work schedule to better aid your family time – take the step.

Learn From the Past

Looking forward to a better future often requires a hard and honest look at the past.

Resist the urge to play the victim during this time. Most likely, there have been misunderstandings created by both parties. However, you need to self reflect right now.

Recall mistakes your spouse pointed out. Do they carry weight? If so, how can you change your actions in the future to improve the relationship?

In addition, try to identify the internal causes for those mistakes.

Have you been an angry person who has created tense feelings that your spouse can no longer tolerate? Have you been neglectful of your partner as you focus too much attention on work or others? Have you let your family of origin intrude on your life as a married couple, not establishing good boundaries for the two of you?

This accomplished, you can then determine a better approach.

Take Stock of Yourself

It may seem counter intuitive to focus so much on yourself with a divorce in the works. Yet you are the only one who can change you, so that’s where your focus should lie.

Pointing the finger at your spouse is counterproductive at this time. Successfully navigating this phase can later lead to a more honest evaluation of both you and your partner’s role.

How are your self-care, self-esteem, and self-image?

These can all affect the nature and outcome of a relationship, especially when mired in insecurity or resentment. Without taking proper care of yourself, genuinely reaching out to a disconnected or distant partner is going to be even more of a challenge.

Go Back To Basics

Return to the foundation of your relationship.

In other words, go back to the basics, Marriage 101, if you will. A “sudden” request for a divorce usually occurs because relationship fundamentals have been ignored for too long.

Learn or relearn the proper skills required for a successful marriage. These skills should include effective communication, positive conflict resolution maintaining the intimacy of  connection.

Resolve to make the changes necessary. It is often essential to get the help of a professional to guide you through this process. Don’t hesitate as you will need all the help you can get.

Address Your Past Hurts

Bitterness, whether it developed from your childhood experience or as a product of a dissatisfying adult experience, is detrimental to you and your current relationship.

One of the most rewarding undertakings can be addressing your past hurts.  The process is generally necessary because along the way you learn more about how you got to this point.

The challenge here is to understand more fully how the experiences of your past may have caused you to behave in ways that may have undermined your success in this relationship.

Your goal is not to be a perfect person or partner, but only to recognize how your participation has been shaped by your personal background .

Ask yourself, “What kind of partner do I aspire to be”?

How you aspire to be as a person and what you would like to change or do differently as a partner, gets driven by a deeper understanding of yourself.

Having an open mind and willingness to change is the key.

Open Up Open Communication

Open communication is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. It refers to transparent, honest, and non-judgmental conversation between partners. It cultivates trust and fosters intimacy.

You and your spouse may have avoided talking about important issues between you. You may have both given “lip service” to a subject and never really followed through.

There may be feelings you have had about something they did or did not do, feelings that have gone unexpressed and turned into resentments. As a result you, or they, may have developed a disconnect. This can show up in attitudes of indifference, criticism, nitpicking or aversion.

To get past this you need to be willing to listen without judging. You need to be ready to hear what you partner is saying, take it in and consider it while processing.

You both need to recognize that this is a watershed moment in your relationship and to successfully survive it together requires honesty, courage and perseverance.

Some additional articles of interest:

How To Fix A Relationship After A Huge Fight

How To Resolve Conflict And Create Great Relationships

Being Critical: Are You Helping Or Hurting?

Click here to learn more about how couples counseling can help prevent a divorce.

About the Author

Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with couples struggling with powerful issues such as divorce, infidelity, loss of trust and intimacy.  He often works with couples on the brink of divorce, helping them to gain clarity on what path they will ultimately choose.