Practical steps to prevent divorce and save your marriage
As long as two people coexist in marriage, there will always be some level of friction. People aren't bolts that once driven into their holes fit right in and stay put. It is possible for everything to be great at the beginning of the marriage, for many years afterwards, in fact, only for things to start breaking apart at some point. And divorce may be touted as the only solution, surprising friends and family who may be wondering, Why now after so many years together? In some cases, even the couples are surprised at the turn of events and are quite willing to learn how to prevent divorce and save a marriage. That willingness to fix things is always the first step preventing divorce and save a marriage.
However, sometimes circumstances place a huge strain on a marriage that leads to a kind of divorce where the couple can't wait to get away from each other. Other times, issues have been allowed to fester for so long until they come to a head, blowing up the marriage to irreparable bits in the process. That is why communication is a huge part of marriage or any relationship for that matter.
Your marriage may not be a happy one at the moment but it doesn't have to end in divorce if there's a willingness to work things out on both sides. Fortunately, below are a few things you can do together to prevent divorce and save your marriage.
- Accept each other's feelings
Whenever one party wants a divorce in marriage, it tends to trigger something like a survival instinct in the other party. The party might want to change the person's mind by all means. Maybe through begging, cajoling, pursuing. But this will only make the other party want to leave more. Accept that the other party wants out first. This might sound counterproductive but it is not. It provides you with a clear base from which you can communicate and get to the root of your issues. According to therapist John Grey, Ph.D., "In my marriage retreats, I frequently work with couples on the brink of divorce. One or both partners seem to have given up or arrive ambivalent about staying together. A surprising majority of times, when I help them get to the root of their issues, things turn around, they remember their love for each other, and they want to stay together."
- Understand each other's perspectives
When one party asks for a divorce, that's not the time to lose it. Listen to them and take some responsibility. Don't attempt to gaslight them. Instead, tell them you get where they are coming from. Validate what they feel, why they are doing what they are doing. You might say something like, "I get why you want to do this. You feel like I have not been listening to you." Like previously stated, these steps will provide you with a platform from which you can find a resolution. Don't get defensive as most people tend to do while in survival mode. You want to be thoughtful, kind, and loving through it all.
Yeah, you read that absolutely right. Give the party that wants a divorce space. It might seem like this should be a time when you should be close and on their case. But it's really not. You will end up pushing them away and you don't want to do that. Go about doing your own stuff and let them do theirs. They might even start to miss you.
- Work on yourself
While you're giving your partner space, take the time to evaluate things. Check where you've been faltering. Sometimes it may feel like your partner is the one at fault and you want to absorb yourself. But you can only control what you do. It will not be easy. There are times you might feel desperate and you want to call your partner, but that isn't a good idea. Call family and friends, anyone you can talk to.
- Re-establish communication
Those previous steps will at least get your partner to come around to some extent. He or she may become open to meeting once in a while. Don't get to talking about your relationship immediately when you meet. Focus on positive communication until the pressure is off.
Seeing an experienced marriage counsellor is a great idea on your way to reconnecting with each other.