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Saving a Marriage When One Person Wants a Divorce

When one person wants to end a marriage, but the other does not, the situation can be heartbreaking. A spouse who wants to remain in the marriage may find himself or herself wondering if there is anything they can do to save the marriage, even though the other spouse wants a divorce.

Things You May Want to Do to Save Your Marriage But Should Avoid

When your spouse wants a divorce, it might be tempting to do whatever it takes to keep them in the marriage. You might be tempted to say ‘yes’ to whatever they’d like, to cook elaborate meals, or to change your physical appearance. Sometimes spouses are even tempted to appeal to the other spouse’s family members or to start thinking about adding another baby to the family. 

These things can seem like they’d help, but they’re not a real fix. If you want your partner to stay in the marriage, you have to look more deeply—taking effective action and getting real support.

3 Actions To Take When a Spouse Wants Divorce

Instead of trying to placate your spouse or change your appearance, try to take certain actions instead:

  1. Get your spouse to participate in therapy with you: Often, when one spouse has decided on divorce, they decide to stop working on the relationship altogether. If that’s the case, there’s not much that can be done. But, if your spouse agrees to work with you to address major challenges in your relationship, you may still be able to work things out and stay together. A licensed therapist can help.
  2. Make meaningful changes in your life: Sometimes, a spouse’s wish to leave the relationship has to do with serious issues. If your spouse has given you an ultimatum because of obstacles in your life—things like your drinking, drug use, temper or unhealthy lifestyle choices—you can take this opportunity to change things for the better. Look up local support groups and attend meetings. Get a therapist or a sponsor. Do the work on yourself and save your marriage. And even if you and your spouse do not end up staying together, you will still benefit because you will be taking care of your own mental, spiritual and physical health.
  3. Rely on your support system: If you and your spouse have your faith in common, turning to your faith can help get your marriage back on track. Sometimes, marriages just go through rocky periods. If you can return to your church, pray together or seek help from a spiritual leader, you both may begin to feel better about the relationship. And if you are not religious, turning to your support network of loved ones can also be powerful. Marriages take work to be successful, but sometimes they take a community, too.

Are You Facing a Divorce? Contact an Attorney.

Deciding to divorce can be a difficult step, especially when both spouses do not agree. Call the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 or send us a message to talk with us about your unique situation.