When married couples find themselves in a relationship crisis, the possibility of divorce often starts coming up more and more frequently. Certainly, divorce will give you the freedom to go your separate ways and be done with the conflict. But if you truly desire to stop your divorce, there are several strategies you can begin implementing right now which may turn your relationship around. In fact, your spouse will never know what hit him!
Granted, these strategies take a little work. And most of the work, if you want to stop your divorce, is yours to do. Don’t put the onus on your spouse to change. In fact, if you try following these strategies, your spouse will likely be surprised and start changing in response to you. Keep in mind, that these will feel very counter-intuitive to you initially. They will likely be the very opposite of how you have been behaving. So be prepared to try on some new behaviors which will help you stop your divorce in its tracks!
The first thing you need to do is stop complaining about or criticizing anything about your spouse or your marriage. Every time you engage in that sort of behavior, you just push your spouse further away and give him more reason to want to go through with the divorce. So, work hard to catch yourself when you want to make a critical or negative remark if your goal is to stop your divorce.
Instead, take an unusually agreeable stance. If your spouse makes a critical comment or complaints, agree with him. For example, if he says something like, “all we ever do is fight”, rather than try to convince him that that isn’t true, (and thus be letting him know how wrong he is) agrees with it. You might say (and you must be sincere), “you are right….we do fight a lot.” And once you have agreed, drop it. Don’t say anything else. Don’t give in to your urge to defend yourself or the marriage. Just agree.
Second, don’t pressure your spouse in any way. When people are having marriage problems, it is not uncommon for one spouse to be pressuring the other to make changes. If you want to stop your divorce, this is a huge mistake.
Whenever you pressure someone, you not only put them on the defense, you trigger their resistance. No one likes to feel pressured, so the natural tendency is to resist it. Stop yourself whenever you feel the urge to pressure your spouse to work on the marriage, make changes, etc.
Third, avoid having serious conversations. Those can do more harm than good in a fragile relationship. The reasons they can be so damaging is because they create undue pressure in the relationship. Again, pressure will backfire if your goal is to stop your divorce.
Last, keep things lighthearted, casual, and upbeat. In other words, cliché as this may sound, “go with the flow”. So many problems arise when we try to fight against a situation. By allowing it and no longer fighting it, it frees up the resistance and will often lead to things turning themselves around. And it takes far less energy to go with the flow than against it.
Practice doing these things and you will be much more likely to stop your divorce. Keep in mind, you must do them consistently. If you slip back into old habits of criticizing, pressuring or complaining, you will just shift things back to where they were. But keep doing these, and it will give your marriage the best chance of working out after all.