It may seem like a relief to just get divorced and be done with the whole mess, especially when things have gotten really bad. Most people would actually prefer to work out their differences and desperately seek ways to prevent divorce.
Divorce can be a lengthy, expensive process, often both physically and emotionally draining. It can be devastating to children of the marriage, and frankly is just not an easy way out.
If you think there is any possibility of preventing divorce, you can turn your marriage around by reading these helpful tips. However, it is up to you to change. You cannot rely on or expect that your wife will change first, if at all. By taking the initiative yourself, either she will respond positively to the changes you are making, or you will gain confidence and learn more about what makes a new relationship successful if this one does end in divorce.
The first thing you need to do to prevent divorce, is to stop disagreeing and/or fighting with your wife and agree with her instead. Yes, agree! Try to honestly look at things from her perspective, without becoming defensive or attempting to justify things you have said or done that she didn’t like. When you agree with someone and really try to put yourself in their shoes, they will be more receptive to a worthwhile conversation.
If she complains, for example, that you are not really “present”, that you don’t listen to her, chances are there is some truth in that statement. So, rather than getting in to an argument, you might respond with, “You’re right. I’ve been distracted with (something at work, worrying about finances, whatever is really on your mind!) and I probably do seem like I’m not paying enough attention to you.” By agreeing, you will be validating her feelings and she will recognize that you are listening and may well back down. When you do this and take ownership of your shortcomings, it become a powerful force to help prevent divorce.
The next thing you want to do is to lighten up for awhile. Not every conversation in a strained relationship has to serious and heavy. Or in some cases you just may have withdrawn from talking altogether becasue it just sucks up so much emotional energy to get in to these confrontational interactions. It may not be easy, but try to become more upbeat and lighten the mood around the house, avoided intense or heated conversations. It will take tremendous pressure off the relationship.
Finally, to prevent divorce, really take stock of your own actions and words and think about how they may have been contributing to your marital problems. You can’t blame your wife for all the trouble, although it is easy to do in a strained relationship. This is a partnership, and both of you contribute to the problems, whether directly or as a reaction or response to something the other is doing. It is up to each of you to examine your own part, but start on your own if you have to.
Get some notecards and start writing down your problems, thoughts, and concerns throughout the day. When you get home, pull out your notecards and say “Honey, I’ve started to write down some things I think about during the day, and I’d like to (share them with you, get your advice about something, etc)” She may look at you kind of funny, and it may mean swallowing your pride, but would you rather prevent divorce or continue in the conflict? Once she recognizes that you are willing to begin taking full ownership of your issues, concerns and mistakes, and that want to share your innermost feelings about these things with her, she may begin to see you in a more positive light and become more receptive to working on the marriage. Once you start communicating in this manner you will be able to begin working through conflict and healing your marriage.
You must start to do these things now, she needs to know you care about making a significant difference in the way things have been. They are worth the effort and can help to prevent divorce–you just may be surprised at the results!