It was all good in the beginning. But then it all started to go downhill, and you turned a blind eye towards the hints, reaching the point where you are considering divorce. But, how to stop a divorce?
A relationship is a combination of good and bad. So you cannot expect it to be all roses and rainbows all the time. There will be times under dark clouds, and you need to make sure that you address those issues instead of just sliding them under the carpet. Divorce may occur as a culmination point of constantly avoiding addressing any issues in the relationship.
Thankfully, all is not lost, and you may still save your marriage by taking the right steps to avoid a divorce. Read on for a few pointers on how you can keep your marriage alive and bring the spark back in it.
11 Ways To Stop A Divorce
Here are a few things you can do to prevent getting to the point of legal separation or divorce.
1. Stop blaming each other
A relationship works or fails because of both the partners and not just one of them. If you want the marriage to work, refrain from saying things like “you always/never do x, y, or z” or “ this is all your fault,” or “you are fortunate that I came back for you.” This will only make your spouse more distant. Instead, try to talk about what you feel and what is bothering you about their actions at the moment, rather than making the discussion an attack on your partner’s historical behavior.
Avoid bringing up old arguments. Try to also make it about both of you, what you both need, and what you both can do to be better, not just one of you so that you can be part of the solution together.
Before trying to convince your partner to reconsider their decision, you need to introspect. Take a look at yourself and your behavior within the marriage to understand what you want and why you want them in your life? Where did things go wrong, and what can you do to make it better? When you know the answers to these questions, you’ll have clarity about what to tell your partner and expect from the relationship.
3. Be careful of what you say
Your partner has heard and said enough before arriving at this decision. For them to even reconsider changing their stance, they’ll need to hear something optimistic and practical. So be extremely careful about what you tell them. If you blame or play the victim, or ask them to stay because you need them, then chances are they’d want a divorce even more.
Instead, accept your flaws, if any, and subtly point out how their behavior has affected you and the relationship. Look at both sides and talk about the good things you’ll both be missing if you get divorced. Choose words that convey your acceptance, love, and understanding.
4. Accept their side of things
You might be a perfect son, friend, and colleague, but when your partner says you have done something that has hurt them, then you probably did. Even if you disagree, don’t immediately defend yourself and try to shift blame. Arguments that are about finding faults keep going in a loop. As hard as it may be, admit your mistakes and empathize with your spouse. Apologize if it is your mistake. This will help them reconnect and think for reconciliation.
That said, do not take the blame for your spouse’s mistakes. If they blame you for things you are not responsible for, then tell them gently that the accusations hurt you.
5. Be open to change
If you want your marriage to work, you need to accept your mistakes and be willing to change. You need not change your life altogether, but a few behavioral changes could keep the peace in the marriage and make your spouse happy. For example, if you have an addiction, working on it can help you save your marriage. If you have uncontrollable anger, then practicing meditation and yoga can help you keep your temper in check.
However, unreasonable demands on you to give up your career or dreams, not spend time with friends, and not have a life outside of marriage cannot be entertained. Any other minor changes that can save your marriage should be considered.
6. Maintain a connection
If your spouse has decided to move out of the relationship, but you are not ready to let go, try to maintain a connection with them. Whether it is discussing the kids, a common friend, or your home in general, keep talking to them whenever possible.
Every time you make an effort to reach out and include them in your life, they may realize that you are still trying to stay connected and save the marriage. Lose the connection, and in no time, the distance increases, turning you into strangers who were once an important part of each other’s lives.
7. Hush your brain
Our brain uses the fight or flight response to protect us from getting hurt. So, when your relationship is hurting, you might want to stay away from that person. You may get angry and make impulsive decisions in a rush to save yourself from whatever is hurting you.
When you’re angry and hurt, avoid responding immediately. Take time to think and process what happened to respond maturely, without being nasty or dragging the past issues into the present.
8. Go for counseling
Seeking professional advice will help you both work on the things that are bothering you. Couples on the verge of divorce tend to get stuck in a vicious cycle of arguing and blaming, which will lead to more hatred and bitterness. An objective third-party mediator or therapist may help you bring in a fresh perspective. So, convince your partner and go for it.
9. Have a plan in place
Reviving a broken marriage needs a lot of work. Both the partners must agree to a plan and take it forward. They must be committed not to repeat any of the past mistakes. Also, both partners must accept certain aspects within each other.
For example, even though your spouse is a bit harsh when they tell you something for your own good, do not get offended by their ways; instead, look at their positive motives. Accept that no one is perfect, and your partner has their own way of doing certain things.
10. Healing takes time
Whatever has led to the idea of divorce is not just some regular marital spat. The fact that one partner has given up on the relationship speaks volumes about how much they are hurt.
They may have further built a wall around them to protect themselves. Healing, in such cases, will take time. If your partner doesn’t respond to your initial efforts, then do not get discouraged or blame them for not trying. Understand how difficult it can be for them to open up again and risk getting hurt. So be patient while doing what you must do, and give them their space to think.
11. Weave your own love story (again)
Here comes the good stuff! Once you both have worked on the issues and healed old wounds, it is time to create some good memories to replace the bitter ones. Once your partner has turned around, you should not sit back and relax. This is where the real healing starts; this is the time to show that you don’t just talk but also act. Make it a habit to:
- Spend time with each other
- Treat each other with compassion and kindness
- Address issues instead of sweeping them under the rug
- Take care of each other’s needs
- Listen to each other and help each other out
You might have had the best love story in the past, but now you can build an even better one.
Know When To Stop
You might want to give the relationship a second chance, but sometimes, things go so out of hand, that no matter how much you try, the relationship cannot be repaired. Just because you are ready to get back, doesn’t mean that your partner should also feel the same.
That said, marriage cannot work if you’re the only willing participant to make changes. But do your part sincerely and wait for your partner’s response. Observe your partner’s reaction to your efforts and see if there’s any improvement in the equation.
When marital issues don’t get resolved even after all your efforts and professional counseling, the solution to how to stop a divorce becomes vague. In such situations, it is best to let things be and respect your partner’s decision. But make sure that you are not compromising your happiness to save a relationship. When you begin to accept all your partner’s demands, it may temporarily make them happy but leave you distressed. It can lead to more fights and arguments. Therefore, both the partners must be willing to work to stop a divorce and save their marriage.
- Pointing fingers at each other’s mistakes is not the best way to deal with problems.
- Think twice before speaking up and make a point that seems to favor both.
- Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and be open to certain changes.