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Divorce and Separation

Can You Stop a Divorce?

By Susie and Otto Collins

It can feel like a freight train is roaring through your life.

When it has become apparent that your marriage is ending-- and you don't want it to-- the whole situation can feel overwhelming, unbelievable and unstoppable.

You may be desperately searching for ways to stop a divorce from happening. Is it possible to actually do this?

The answer to the question, "Can you stop a divorce," is not clear-cut.

Depending on when you realize that your marriage is in trouble and the willingness of both you and your spouse to make changes, a divorce can definitely be prevented.

We've seen many examples of couples who have recognized that their relationship was falling apart
and they turned things around.

However, too often, a couple will not acknowledge the full picture of what's going on in their marriage until it's too late.

Perhaps it's clear to each that the other person needs to change, but there is little to no ownership of what both are doing to cause disconnection.

In other cases, both people work very hard to NOT see the signs of distance in their marriage. A lot of denial is going on. It's only when one person makes the choice to cheat or otherwise break trust
that marital troubles are admitted to.

Then it can feel like it's too late to repair the damage.

The course of every relationship is different.

While it's not clear-cut or absolute that you can or can't stop a divorce, we are certain that you CAN always make deliberate choices that will bring improvements to your matter what happens
with your marriage.

When you're facing a possible divorce, it's essential for you to remember what you CAN control about your life right now and also to acknowledge what you can't.

The more you are able to let go of trying to make your partner treat you in a certain way or to change
his or her mind, the better off you'll be in the long-run.

We aren't advising you to give up on your marriage and we're also not recommending that you attempt to force things to change.

We ARE urging you to continue to remember what your priorities are, what you are willing to do (and what you aren't) and to act in accordance with that.

Stay focused on what you know instead of what you fear.
If your partner has announced to you that he or she is filing for a divorce, it can be upsetting and shake up your world.

If you've discovered that your spouse has lied and maybe cheated as well, you might feel devastated.

There are all kinds of questions that you may have about what your partner said or did and what you should do next.

Stop yourself if you find that you're taking guesses at what your spouse meant when he or she said ____ or why your partner did what he or she did. This isn't going to help you.

Instead, keep yourself focused on what you know instead of on what you fear. If you feel fear, feel it. But, as much as possible, separate out your feelings from your thoughts.

Your fearful, worried or angry thoughts can sink you deeper in this difficult place you're in...and keep you stuck there too.

Instead, recognize it when you're guessing at or assuming something that you don't have reliable evidence for.

Find ways to get answers to your questions and to keep some level of communication with your spouse open. Determine which questions are ones you might be better off letting go so that you can re-focus on your future.

This is one very powerful thing that you CAN do for yourself-- you can make this process less painful as you keep your attention on how you feel and what you know is true and allow your guesses and assumptions to release.

Respond instead of react.
While you can't force your spouse to remain married to you when he or she is ready to leave and while you can't undo the actions of your partner (or yourself), what you can do is make sure you are
responding instead of reacting.

When you hear upsetting news like this, it's only natural that you may feel compelled to say or do certain things. These reactions make perfect sense-- whether they involve you crying, shouting, pleading,
closing down, etc.

Be gentle with yourself and know that the impulse to react is to be expected.

At the same time, as much as you can, don't react.

Take some time to really consider your options. Get into the habit of pausing before you say or do anything, especially when it pertains to your partner and the subject of divorce.

Allow yourself to explore all the possibilities that you can see before you decide which makes the most sense to you now and which also seems to be the wisest in the long-term.

Responding instead of reacting might sound easy when you're not feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

What this requires is you listening to that voice inside of you that counsels you to take a deep breath and pause before speaking or acting.

Listen to that inner wisdom and remind yourself that you do have choice and you will move through this difficult time.

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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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