How to prevent divorce…..if someone had a switch that would automatically change someone’s mind and heart they would be rich beyond imagination. Divorces are ugly, nasty things – and that’s only if children are not involved. When you add kids to the mix they become downright scary most of the time.
If you are reading this article, then you are probably searching for a way to stop your own divorce. The good news is this: You can learn how to prevent divorce MOST of the time. It will take some work on your part and will go against what you believe to be true about relationships, but it will be well worth the effort. If you are headed for a divorce, then you have nothing to lose anyway, right?
Okay, the main concept you need to grasp here is “control”. If you are headed for a divorce that you definitely do not want, then you are obviously not in control of the situation – your partner is.
Right now you feel like your head (and your world) is spinning, right? Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t think straight, and interested in nothing? I have been there. I am happy to say that I have been happily remarried for almost 14 years now, but there was a time that I wouldn’t even get out of bed. That was BEFORE I earned my psychology degree and learned a little more about human nature. (Not to mention the fact that the first marriage was a bad one that didn’t need to go on…..) But I digress.
That brings up the next point. Please assess your marriage right now before you go any further and make sure you are in a healthy situation. If not, you need to leave the marriage or get some type of professional help for the dysfunctional parts.
So let’s assume you have examined your marriage and deemed it to be healthy and worth saving. There are some specific steps you need follow in order to get things going.
1. Make Yourself Busy and Interesting
This is easier than you probably think. Go out with friends, take up new hobbies, and learn to enjoy your own company. Take yourself to the movies…..it’s fun. All that time you have been spending trying to get your spouse can be spent improving yourself as a person. Here is where the psychology comes in. Your spouse wants a new person, right? Well, you can literally reinvent yourself.
Now, everyone wants what they can’t have, so you will become hard to get. While you are out having a good time, your spouse will be wondering where you are and what you are doing. (Not to mention who you are with.) Do not volunteer to tell them all the details either.
Do not call them, follow them, or ask people about them. Go on with your life and wait for them to come to you. Everyone knows stories about people who wanted out of a marriage until the other spouse went out and got a new life. That has a way of snapping people back to their senses when they see their significant other in a life that doesn’t include them. People rarely take into account how that will make them feel.
2. Be Unavailable
This plays in with Number 1 above. Don’t wait around for their call. You don’t want to grab the phone everytime they call. Call them back at your convenience. That means NOT within five minutes of their call to you. You will be so busy with your new life that this will be no problem. DO NOT call them unless it is to return their call. When you do talk to them, keep the conversation short. A few minutes is all you should give it, and always be the one to get off the phone.
3. Agree That the Divorce Might Be a Good Thing
You want them to think your life is much better without them. Now, this does not mean to find other people to rub in their face. That will backfire 99.9% of the time.
Instead, you want to tell them that after having time to think, you realize the divorce is the best thing after all. (They will get the “you don’t want ME?” mentality going on.) This is guaranteed to get them started thinking, and usually makes them wonder if they are making a mistake. That is the beginning of turning things back in your direction and giving you back some control.
“But we are not speaking” you say. That’s okay. Send a note. In some ways this is even better because it is so personal (and they can read it over and over). You want it to be short and simple. For example:
I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking things over and you were right. I can see now that a divorce will be the best for both of us. Now I can see all the opportunities out there for me. I wish you all the happiness in the world and hope you get everything you want in life.
Can you see their jaw dropping when they read this note? The disbelief will set in immediately.
4. Always Keep It Positive
You want to look like the good guy here, so always be positive. Refuse to argue with your spouse. Don’t say negative things about them to friends or family. Don’t do ANYTHING for spite. Remember, if you are in a bad situation they may up the ante on you and everything can really get ugly. This would completely defeat your purpose.
5. Keep Kids and Others Out of It
Don’t talk to your kids (if you have them) about your spouse in a negative way. Again, this also goes for friends and family. They may report everything you say back to your spouse, and even if they don’t it will make you miserable if you get reports on your spouse that you don’t want to hear.
Be sure not to use kids (or anyone else) as a weapon against your spouse. That hurts innocent people. I know many people who were used as pawns by their parents who really resent those parents now. Just don’t do it.
I know this a lot to take in when you are miserable and scared, but these things can be done in a way that will bring your spouse back to you. This will probably start them thinking and reassessing the direction they are going. Then they will most likely want to talk to you about the situation. After this, you will need to continue playing it cool and not immediately jump back into their arms. Let them date you and SLOWLY cultivate a new relationship. You want them to be invested in you again.
Now is when you want an exact plan to follow through until things are stable again. There are lots of websites out there about how to prevent divorce, but if you want the best plan out there check out The Magic of Making Up.
Also, here are two specialized resources (for either women or men) by renowned relationship expert Michael Webb (as seen on the Oprah Winfrey show and other media outlets).
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Remember, this is your marriage you are working on, and it is worth every minute of effort!
by Angela Christian Pope aka Angela Monahan @ ModernRelationship.org