My Husband Has Filed For Divorce But I Don’t Want To End Our Marriage
From all of the comments that I get on my blog, the ones from wives whose husbands have just filed for divorce are often the most panicked. There’s no question that being served with or being given divorce papers can cause panic, and the perception that the clock is now ticking. Most of my readers want to save their marriages despite the fact that their husbands have made it clear that they want out. However, once a divorce is initiated, the process of saving your marriage is a bit more tricky because you can’t know or predict the outcome, and your marriage has now become part of the legal system.
I must tell you upfront that I’m not a lawyer and I can not offer you any legal advice. I write about, and my experience lies, with preventing divorces by strengthening and rescuing your marriage, so this article will focus on that aspect, rather than on legal matters about which I have no experience. I was in this situation myself a few years ago and I was able to turn it around. The divorce never happened, so I will share with you ways that I was able to avoid it.
Are The Issues Causing The Divorce Able To Be Worked Out?: First, I want to make sure that the issues in the marriage are ones that can be overcome. Most are, but issues that involve abuse, cruelty, and disrespect are typically not issues that can be fixed without serious professional intervention and even then, it’s difficult.
However, the issues that most people think of as “serious” can often be worked through. Stress, money issues, sexual incompatibility, lack of chemistry, “falling out of love,” infidelity, and “not being able to get along,” are all things that stem from martial neglect or external issues that are often a symptom of distance and a lack of intimacy rather than a deal breaking problem. Many couples just don’t realize this. They think that if these things begin to crop up and don’t fix themselves almost immediately, that the marriage is inherently flawed and must end. In my experience and from my research, this is just not the case. Often, fixing issues of neglect and communication will render dramatic results in a very short time.
The Biggest Problem You Face Right Now: So, even if you’ve identified your marriage as one that can be saved, the problem that you are likely facing right now is that your husband isn’t receptive to positive changes, fixing your problems, or working things out. His filing for divorce is a pretty good indication that he thinks this is the end of the road and he’s probably not going to be willing to work with you or hear you out.
I know this is frustrating and scary, but resist the urge to pull out all of the emotional stops and engage in behaviors that are not only beneath you, but will push him further away anyway. I’m talking about begging, arguing, threatening, debating, using the kids, etc. Husbands see right through these things and they only cause more negative feelings and distance. Try to stop yourself when you are tempted to act without thinking first. Because in the end, all these things do is cause your husband to want the divorce to happen as quickly as possible to stop his exposure to this behavior.
Your Best Bet To Turn Things Around And Stop The Divorce: So, with our backs against the wall and time against us, and knowing we can’t act in a way that is going to push our husbands further away, this is what, time and again, has shown itself to be the best plan. The only way to get your husband to be receptive to you is to disarm him. He has to know that allowing you the time and access to him is not going to result in your trying to change his mind or negative feelings and behaviors. And, the wall he has erected needs to come down. You disarm him by waving the white flag or surrender – or at least making him think that you are.
Calmly tell him that although you’d very much like to make the marriage work and still love him very much, you can’t deny that he has chosen to end it. Tell him that you both deserve to be happy and that you will not act in such a way that is counter to this. Tell him that he is too important to you to end things on bad terms or with ill feelings between you. Resolve that, on your end, you’re going to do everything you can to improve the interactions between you.
Now, take a deep breath. I know this sounds scary, but think about it. It’s the only way to get you both on the same side and to get him receptive to you. It’s your “in” or your first move in this martial chess game. And, this is going to get that wall down and help to lessen the tension and awkwardness.
The Second Step To Saving Your Marriage When You’re Faced With Divorce: Admittedly, at first your husband may not believe your declarations of being “on board,” but your actions are going to show him that you are very serious about this. You’re going to do exactly what you promised. And, I highly recommend that you get out and see friends and participate in activities that you enjoy. You want to show your husband that you respect yourself and that you’re the same fun, vibrant, alive woman that he first fell in love with.
Many women ask me if they should date or see other men to make their husband’s jealous. The answer (in my opinion) is no. Because, even now, you should be communicating that you are still a woman who wants to save her marriage and who loves her husband, but you’re just dealing with the cards you’ve been dealt. Dating again is not in line with this idea. However, there’s noting wrong with letting your going out with friends and having fun “leak back” to your husband, who may just wonder what you are up to.
Because the whole idea here is to disarm your husband and show him / reintroduce him to the woman he first fell in love with. Because right now, he thinks she’s long gone. Your job is to show him that she is not, and that, if you both play your cards right, he can have her back.
When my husband filed for divorce, I made many of mistakes I describe in this article. I stalked, begged, threatened, tried to overcompensate, and acted very badly. These things back fired. Thankfully, I finally realized I was doing more harm than good and was able to change course using the tactics discussed here to save the marriage. You can read my very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/
Leslie Cane’s blog is at http://isavedmymarriage.com. She enjoys sharing the story of how she saved her own marriage to help others.
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