Stop a Divorce?
By Susie and Otto Collins
It can feel like a freight train is roaring through
When it has become apparent that your marriage is
ending-- and you
don't want it to-- the whole situation can feel
unbelievable and unstoppable.
You may be desperately searching for ways to stop a
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
divorce can definitely be prevented.
We've seen many
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
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
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
that will bring improvements to your life...no
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
We aren't advising you to give up on your marriage
and we're also
not recommending that you attempt to force things to
We ARE urging you to continue to remember what your
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
If your partner has announced to you that he or she
is filing for a
divorce, it can be upsetting and shake up your
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
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
Instead, recognize it when you're guessing at or
that you don't have reliable evidence for.
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
This is one very powerful thing that you CAN do for
can make this process less painful as you keep your
attention on how
you feel and what you know is true and allow your
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
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,
closing down, etc.
Be gentle with yourself and know that the impulse to
react is to be
At the same time, as much as you can, don't react.
Take some time
to really consider your options. Get into the habit
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
feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
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