If my husband wants a divorce, does this mean that my marriage really ended?
I got an email the other day from a woman who wrote in part: “My husband has finally filed for divorce. Does this mean my marriage is over? I wonder if I should throw in the towel and give up the fight, because frankly, I already I have no more fight. ” He was a bit confused as to what she really wanted the result to be. The words she was using almost indicated that she was tired of the whole thing and felt that perhaps it would be the right decision to let the marriage come to a natural end. But, when I asked her a few follow-up questions, she indicated that she actually wanted the marriage to work, but felt like she had tried everything and was tired of going around in circles with no real resolution. In the end, I told her that since everything she had tried only made the situation worse, she was going to have to completely change her tack if she wanted to save her marriage from divorce. I will develop this further in the next article.
Your desire for a divorce doesn’t have to mean it’s officially over, but it does mean that you have no hope that things will ever really change.: There are many men who find my blog while investigating divorce. Some write to me and share their feelings. I can tell you that the vast majority of them indicate that they are giving up because they just don’t know what else to do. They tried everything they could think of and lasting change never really happened. Over time, the harsh reality has been established that this is the way it is and that, despite what both of you may say or do, nothing changes for the better. Sure, there may be some temporary improvements, enough to get everyone excited, but in the end, both of them again sabotage patterns and behaviors that leave them dissatisfied and frustrated.
Women are often surprised to learn that it is the perception of the ability to change that they must overcome, not the fact that their husband does not love them deep down or the external stressors that many blame for their divorce. It is often the fact that you are tired of getting ahead and that your hopes are lowered. The repetition of movements and disappointments begin to accumulate so much that you begin to think that it is better to start over than to continue in the same way.
Change course and find something that works to save your marriage: The first step is to identify what you have been doing that has not worked. In my reader’s case, I had actually tried two tactics. First, he tried what I call the “hard ball” tactic. She had taken a somewhat combative stance and insisted that her husband was quite wrong. The implication was, what did he really expect from a relationship that was more than a decade old? People get busy. Children and jobs require most of our time and energy. You are doing the best you can and he must not be so selfish as to imply that you are not.
Of course, unsurprisingly, this was not greeted with a warm welcome from her husband. Nobody wants to be told that they are wrong or that they are selfish. When it became clear that this was not going to work, he made a drastic change and tried what I call the drastic or desperate tactic. She began to act in a way that hadn’t been typical by telling her husband that she couldn’t live without him and begging him not to leave. The problem with this is that her husband knew that she was not sincere because throughout their relationship, she had never been subordinate before. He didn’t buy it and it didn’t seem true.
Try the middle of the road tactic to save your marriage:To be successful in saving your marriage in the long run, you need to find a solution that you can live with and be excited about. Remember when he said “he didn’t have much of a fight left”? Even using these words is an indication that what he was doing was undesirable for her and it was certainly not giving her much pleasure or anything to look forward to. So, in a sense, she is defeated before she even starts playing.
You have to find a solution that sticks and is credible over time. I often advise people to sit down with their spouses and agree that you are not happy either and that you agree that the marriage is stale and stagnant. You can honestly see why he wants a divorce and it saddens you to see how opposite this is to how they used to interact with each other. In fact, this bothers you so much that you would like to just try taking baby steps and see if you can save the relationship, even if it ultimately ends in divorce.
The reason you move so slowly is because if you act too hard, you are likely to encounter resistance and doubt. You want to appear as non-threatening as possible and set yourself up to be successful. They will likely accept that you just want to make it easier on the two of you (and the kids, if you have them), as they will be working together rather than against each other.
He may resist at first, but if you show him rather than tell him that genuine change can occur, he will eventually begin to change the perception that is your real problem in the first place – that nothing will really change, so he better cut himself. . your losses now.