“My wife wants a divorce! How do I stop it?” he bellowed at me. In speaking with my friend whose wife is seeking a divorce he openly wondered if there was anything he could do to change his wife’s mind. I looked him straight in the eyes and gave him this advice:
Here are the three things he needed to truly consider before trying to talk his wife out of seeking a divorce.
My wife wants a divorce! How do I stop it?
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Number one: can the reasons why she seeks a divorce be corrected?
People get divorced for very many reasons. Infidelity. Financial pressures. Lack of interest in their spouse. The list can go on and on and on. Sometimes whatever is ailing the marriage can be corrected and rectified so that the marriage can still stay intact. Sometimes not.
When I asked my friend what the reason was for her request for divorce he truly could not answer the question. He simply did not know. Or, perhaps deep inside he knows and is fearful of facing the fact that his marriage has been in trouble for a lengthy period of time and he chose to ignore the issues.
While he claims he is uncertain as to why his wife is seeking a divorce he just did not seem all that anxious to want to have a heart to heart conversation with her to see what the real reasons were for her request. My feedback to this to him was that if he didn’t know why she is seeking a divorce then perhaps it is best that he let the divorce happen.
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Number two: is the marriage worth saving?
When people get into their late 40s and early 50s most times they find themselves in a very uneventful and fairly dead marriage. Kids, career changes and age start to intervene into the quality of their marital union. This is fairly standard and to be expected.
I asked my friend point-blank: is your marriage worth saving? He sat back in his chair, took a sip of wine before answering “I truly don’t know?!” That answer alone tells me that the marriage probably is not worth saving. Both he and his wife are great parents to their kids; however, their emotional commitment to one another seems to have dissipated over the years.
Perhaps it would be wise for both of them to seek new life adventures apart so they can grow as individuals. Some marriages are meant to be long-term and forever; others were truly never meant to be. In my friend’s case I quickly got a sense that their marriage was over and that he was a little late to the party in realizing that.
Number three: if she does not want to be with you, do you truly want to be with her?
When I next asked him about wanting to remain with her in the marriage he didn’t seem as committed as I thought he would be. As troubled as he was when the thought of getting a divorce I could tell there was a sense of relief somewhere in his answers to me.
Perhaps the marriage was difficult for too long of a period of time. Perhaps the drain of raising three kids and moving several times for his career distanced himself, and her, from their emotional entanglement. Needless to say I got the sense that the idea of starting anew and being single again seemed not such a bad idea to him.
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Do you truly want to still be with her? I asked. In some ways yes, most likely due to the fact that they have history and kids together. But, other than that, I got the sense from him that he could easily move on from the marriage and still be a good parent to his kids.
When confronted with the question of “my wife wants a divorce. How do I stop it?” All one needs to do is look at these three areas of concern. If you, or the person asking you this question, can answer these above questions honestly; then from there you can ascertain if he should fight for the marriage and stop the divorce (if you can)… Or, let the divorce happen and move your life forward without your wife.