Five Things You Should Do When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting angry when things don’t go your way. You may not be able to talk your spouse out of his or her decision. Rule: If you find out your spouse wants a divorce, stay calm. If you are a believer, pray for God’s intervention – that He places peace in your heart, wisdom on your lips, and discernment in your head.
Seek Good Counsel
If your spouse wants to end the marriage and you want to remain married, ask people who are successful at marriage for advice. People who have already failed and divorced have little helpful information about how to save your marriage. If you want to talk with divorced people about your marriage, ask them for a referral to a good divorce attorney.
Most people take the decision to file for divorce very seriously, only considering a divorce after a long period of destructive choices have undermined the viability of the relationship. Even though you may not see the symptoms of the destruction, your spouse feels the destruction and you must learn to see things from your spouse’s perspective. The most effective way to understand your role in the end of the relationship is to seek professional advice with a qualified counselor, but you need to be willing to dig through your “junk” to grow from the process. With hard work and dedication, you will learn to see your role in the relationship and how to identify and be in a “healthy” relationships in the future. Self-evaluation is critical when you have kids. You need to honor and respect your child’s other parent, even if he or she is no longer your spouse.
Listen Always and Speak when Spoken to
I’ve learned over the years that most relationships fail because of a lack of communication. Generally, the breakdown in communication arises from the inability for one or both of the parties to be an effective listener. Accordingly, if your spouse wants a divorce, make sure that you listen to – and hear — everything your spouse says so that you can say what he or she needs to hear instead of only focusing on what you want to say.
Make an Appointment with a Divorce Lawyer
Choosing a lawyer to meet with is the most important decision that you will make. Make this decision sooner rather than later so that you can be informed about the divorce process and how best to proceed. Only decide who to hire after you have had an opportunity to meet with the lawyer (or lawyers) and have developed a feel for how willing he/she is to tell you things you do not like to hear. If you do not develop this sense, change your questions and/or consult with additional attorneys. The person you retain must be willing and able to speak truth into your life in this emotionally devastating time. If you are uncertain or have any doubt about whether you should hire a particular lawyer you consulted with, make another appointment and meet with someone else. You do not want to hire someone you doubt when you must rely on their advice. Remember you have no obligation to hire a lawyer with whom you have consulted. You should be absolutely certain that you’re comfortable with your decision before investing in the lawyer’s services.