How to Save Your Marriage When Your Partner Mentions Divorce

There are numerous reasons why a once committed relationship would degenerate to one partner asking for a divorce. It could have been:

– an affair
– having been separated by a long distance for lengths of time
– conflict
– behavioral issues or psychological problems of one spouse
– even unmanaged addictions.

Whatever of these problems may be what is seen on the surface, the bottom line is that usually, barring any abuse or psychological problems that are best handled by a professional, a couple find themselves in danger of divorce when there is a loss of:

– communication,
– love
– and intimacy

in the marital relationship.

Conflict or anger itself does not have to cause an irreparable rift between partners. With good communication skills and a shared commitment to a marriage, even these are surmountable. However, at that point where one partner is at the brink of abandoning the relationship, how can the remaining partner save their marriage? If you are at the point where your spouse has asked for a divorce, what can you do?

You must realize first that, YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE. Often, when confronted by a crisis, we find ourselves backed into a corner thinking we have no choice in the matter. How can we change the situation when it involves another person’s feelings or decisions? While we cannot, MUST NOT and IN NO WAY manipulate, blackmail or threaten our partner into changing their mind, we can actually control how we react to the situation. If anything, you must realize that you still have control over yourself. You have the opportunity to look inward and take responsibility for your own feelings and actions and even have the chance to take personal inventory of what your partner is trying to tell you. Are there points in your marriage that must be changed? If so, respond appropriately and proactively.

Here’s the thing. You can choose to wallow in pain and anger or you can choose to become even more positive and loving towards your spouse. You can choose to blame and shame your partner or you can choose to take stock, be accountable for where your marriage is and move on towards a more fulfilling, happy you. Yes, you heard me. You can choose to be fulfilled and happy in the midst of crisis.

Even if your spouse is stubborn and unresponsive, you can still change yourself and become as engaging, positive and proactive as you were when you first fell in love. Usually, at the struggling stage of a relationship, one or both couples would look back and miss the good old days where it was easy to be together. You can capture those days again ‘ and even add to them with your own current maturity and growth. After all, you did not spend those years after the wedding for nothing. You and your spouse have made a huge investment into this partnership and your intention to stay in the marriage through positive loving actions, through open communication and strengthened commitment can help your spouse refocus his view on what you once committed to.

Become a loving person again by caring for your spouse in the little everyday things. Be there for him or her when before you may have been too much of a workaholic. Set aside intimate time just for your partner alone whereas previously, you may have let the kids take up too much of your time.

Then, when the time comes that you are able to open communication with your spouse and actually sit down and discuss the crisis you’re in ‘ask him or her if he or she realizes just how much effort a divorce could entail? Does your spouse actually realize that a divorce has emotional, financial, logistical and physical consequences? A divorce brings CHANGE and it is definitely not to be taken lightly. If your spouse wants a divorce, is he or she prepared to embrace this change?

Finally, you also have the option to involve a third party or mediator to help you and your spouse through this situation. If the situation is truly serious then by all means, get help. This is not the time to let your pride get in the way. A professional counselor, trusted elder or neutral friend can help in putting things into perspective between you and your partner and may even help unlock deep seated concerns or issues. For all you know, it may be as simple as your partner wanting more attention or more ways to open up to you.

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