6 Steps To Prevent Divorce
According to a recent poll conducted by YouGov America, only 3% of married couples reported they “never argue.” This statistic tells us something we perhaps already know-- it’s completely normal for married couples to fight. But if those fights are sprinkled with hurtful speech and harmful behaviors that go unresolved, resentment may take over, and couples may even go so far as to contemplate divorce.
But there are many situations like these where couples can learn to work through those painful conflicts and avoid divorce. If there is enough love and effort still reserved for the relationship, there is a good chance that you and your partner can make your marriage work. If divorce has crossed both of your minds but is not the solution that you are looking for, here are six steps to help you on your path to preventing a potential divorce:
Prepare To Put In The Work
Marriage is both a union and a job. While you get to reap the benefits of being with the love of your life, you also have to cope with the real aspects of life, such as conflict, arguments, and disagreements. Although things may have been perfect when you first started the marriage, these issues are bound to arise. They serve as a test of whether you and your partner are willing to work together for the betterment of your marriage.
If you and your spouse are ready to take the necessary steps, actions speak louder than words. Both of you should make a solid action plan to set yourselves up for success. In other words, if you and your partner want to rebuild and sustain a loving and supportive marriage, you must let go of excuses and get ready to put everything on the table. Change is only possible when you are putting in the time and the effort, and if you want to avoid divorce, this is typically what it takes.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When working with your partner to prevent a divorce, keep in mind that beginning with accusatory questions and statements usually makes matters worse. This can instigate an unproductive argument and create further problems.
Instead of pointing the finger, consider approaching your spouse with a sense of self-accountability. By doing so, both you and your partner can see both sides. Placing blame is almost always counterproductive when working on divorce prevention. While working through issues without placing blame, use positive reinforcement during your conversations to ensure your spouse is growing with you without feeling negative about you, themselves, or your marriage.
It may be helpful to remember that if your partner is unable or unwilling to change, it’s not your job to make them. The only thing that you can change to help heal the marriage is yourself, and that is what you should strive to do throughout your attempts to avoid divorce.
Learn To Communicate Effectively With Your Partner
Speaking to your spouse negatively and condescendingly fuels the fire of a broken or damaged marriage. This type of communication will likely spur arguments and keep the resentment building until divorce may be the only option you both can foresee. Many individuals will allow their feelings to get the better of them when speaking with their partners, which must be avoided if you wish to mend your relationship. Make sure to keep your tone and language positive and helpful, and seek to enter into every conversation with the intent to listen, understand, and help your significant other.
This can often be the hardest aspect of repairing a relationship, as you may have become accustomed to a certain way of speaking to your partner or may not have learned how to communicate effectively before marrying your spouse. If this is the case, make sure to do the research necessary to learn those skills and help your partner learn those skills to be successful moving forward.
If you’re serious about working through your issues with your spouse, old grudges and resentments should be addressed. Holding in resentment for past grievances is a surefire way to continue your marital problems. Make sure to examine your past and pinpoint everything you and your partner are holding against each other. Once you’ve identified these things, you must then learn how to accept them and, if possible, forgive your partner for doing them. Airing out your issues and taking a serious step to forgive will enable you both to move forward, not backward.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on divorce prevention requires the effort of both people. However, there is nothing wrong with seeking out counseling for yourself and attempting to do your own work on the side that can help you with any issues that may be contributing to the way you interact with your spouse and within your marriage. This is often the hard part for those who have a past that includes some traumatic experiences, but seeking help for these issues will ultimately help not only your marriage but your personal life and your future as well. You must be in a state that supports your mental health so you can give everything you can when working with your spouse. By doing that, the progress made alongside your partner will be that much more successful.
Caring for yourself physically can also go a long way towards cultivating better well-being for yourself and, in turn, bringing that positivity to your marriage. Eat well, incorporate movement into your daily routine, and get plenty of quality sleep.
Seek Out Professional Help Together
Most couples contemplating divorce have a difficult time fixing the problems themselves, which is why so many seek out marriage counseling. Research suggests that nearly 50% of married couples seek marriage counseling at some point in their marriage, with 70% reporting positive experiences.
There are many methods of treatment that professionals use in relationship therapy, including, but not limited to, cognitive behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy, problem-focused therapy, the Gottman Method, and more. These techniques are designed to help married couples uncover the root causes of their conflicts, communicate in a productive and empathetic way, and move forward armed with the tools they need to make it last.
At its best, marriage is a special bond to be honored, nurtured, and respected. Over time, as life’s stressors and distractions find their way into your married life together, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of that bond. The propensity that married couples have for taking each other for granted, paired with conflicts and arguments, can damage a marriage to the point that divorce becomes a real consideration.
Even though you may feel as if you’re no longer compatible and you’re just “going through the motions” for the sake of staying together, it’s important to remember that love did exist at one point between you. While things may seem grim, the truth is that you can repair the damage with the help of a relationship therapist who can provide you with the right tools to guide you through the process.
Despite its benefits, some couples don’t seek counseling. This may be due to scheduling difficulties or poor accessibility to a professional. Some couples feel uncomfortable sharing the intimate details of their marriage with a therapist in person, or they’re reluctant due to the stigma associated with marital counseling. Still, others assume they can’t afford therapy, or they think that therapy won’t help anyway.
Online therapy is an excellent option for couples experiencing such barriers to help. Online platforms like Regain specialize in connecting clients with experienced relationship professionals via messaging, voice chat, text, and phone. You can attend sessions from the comfort of your home on a schedule that suits your busy lifestyle, often for less than traditional therapy without insurance.
Along with its many practical advantages, a growing body of research indicates that online relationship therapy is as effective as conventional therapy for helping couples and individuals do the work required to save their marriage and move forward confidently.
If you and your spouse are ready to recover your marriage and strengthen your bonds again, a Regain counselor is there to help.
Below are reviews of Regain counselors from married couples experiencing similar issues.
“My wife and I felt like we were heading toward divorce. Troubles were growing, and we didn’t know how or where to start fixing things. This gave us a place to start, and Nancy built upon our progress. Thank you so much!”
“Cris Roman saved my marriage. His therapy approach taught my husband and me the skills we needed to change the way we communicated and how we understood each other. He is very non-judgemental and helps each person make sense of others’ feelings and actions without taking sides or placing blame. His ability to make you feel heard while helping you to see and understand why your significant other is acting a certain way is phenomenal.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the three main causes of divorce?
There could be several reasons for a divorce between you and your partner. The three most common factors are lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict/arguing. The larger “final straw” reasons for divorce that often lead to divorce are infidelity, domestic abuse, and substance abuse.
Can I refuse to give my husband a divorce?
If you want to avoid divorce, you can refuse to sign the divorce papers. However, this won’t stall the divorce proceedings for long. If you refuse to sign the papers, your husband can file a request to enter a default divorce. When this happens, you are served the divorce papers formally, and there is a court hearing. If you don’t show up for the hearing, your husband will most likely be granted the divorce with all of his terms spelled out. Meaning he could get full custody of the children or any other terms he listed in his contested divorce. If you want to save your marriage and avoid divorce, consider asking your spouse if they are willing to work on the marriage through counseling.
What to do when you don’t want a divorce?
Couples who have considered divorce find that counseling has helped them navigate, and sometimes save, their marriage. If your partner is unwilling to work on the marriage, then no state can make you or your spouse remain married. Sure, you can delay the divorce in hopes of reconciliation, but it can become unethical to do so. You are paying a lawyer for his time, so not only would it be costly to have them extend it as long as possible, but asking them to delay a case without good cause goes against lawyers’ ethical procedures. You can avoid divorce by talking with your partner before divorce papers are filed, but after they are, you only have a couple of months until the divorce is finalized. Most importantly, the divorce will not go away on its own. It will proceed, with or without you.
At what age is divorce most common?
Marriages end in divorce most commonly at 30 years of age, with 60% of all divorces involving people between 25 years and 39 years of age.
Statistically, wives are the ones who file for divorce at a 66% higher rate than husbands. Professions that most commonly lead to divorce include dancers and bartenders. Meanwhile, farmers have the lowest divorce rates.
Divorce is different and can come at various times for every couple. Some couples go through cycles where divorce may be discussed, and then problems are solved through counseling or therapy. Then new problems may arise. Your specific situation may not necessarily fit the statistics.
What year of marriage is divorce most common?
The median duration of marriages for men is 7.8 years, while for women, it is 7.9 years. Statistics on divorce may find that the second marriage ends after 7.3 years for men and 6.8 years.
If you are coming up on your eighth anniversary and having problems, it might be best to seek counseling with your partner before your marital problems lead to divorce. About 1% of married same-sex couples get divorced every year, while approximately 2% of married opposite-sex couples get divorced every year. According to research by Bowling Green University, the divorce rate among people 50 years of age and older has doubled in the last 20 years. Divorce statistics can change often and contain many nuances, so consider seeking out statistics specific to your situation if you want to compare them to others.
Is it possible to prevent divorce?
Yes, in many situations it is possible to come to an understanding, work things out, and avoid divorce. If you’re wondering about how to prevent divorce, marriage counseling may be right for you. A marriage counselor can give you an idea of what healthy marriages and marital happiness look like, which can inspire you to work things out and stay married.
What are the three main causes of divorce?
Three main causes of divorce are infidelity (aka cheating), no longer being in love, and irreconcilable differences. Life can throw many curveballs at us, and the person you married may be far different now. While it’s normal to have change and growth, if you have grown in different directions then it can be hard to maintain a marriage. Marriages require a lot of work, quality time, dedication to small things, and more. You may have children and want different things for your kids. There are countless ways that can determine why a marriage ends, and it is up to the partners to determine if it is the right thing.
How do I convince my wife not to divorce?
You may think you need some kind of feel good story to keep your wife from divorcing you, but that isn’t necessarily the case. A successful marriage will have many ups and downs, and that’s okay. If you can convince your wife that the hurdles you are facing are surmountable, and that you still love them, then you may have a chance. At a certain point, however, marriages may need to end for the benefit of both spouses as well as friends, family, the kids, etc.
What can I do to save my marriage?
Life can surprise us and, before we know it, we may feel like our marriage needs saving. Spending time with your partner can be a great way to improve your relationship. Open communication is never a mistake and can help you figure out the stuff that may have become a bother. Marriages are not necessarily easy, and it’s okay to reach a point where you feel like it may have been a mistake. It’s far from unheard of. But if you don’t want to lose your marriage and get divorced, then you’ll need to spend time working on fixing things. Talk to your partner, to your friends, your parents, etc. until you have a better idea of what needs to happen to save your marriage. It might also be beneficial to take a break—as the expression goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
What keeps a marriage together?
It’s the little things that keep a marriage together, but it’s also the big things. Where do you stand on important issues? How do you feel about children? Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you get along well on a daily basis? Do you still feel the way you felt when you were dating?
Spending your life with one person can be a daunting prospect. Not everyone is meant to have one partner instead of multiple partners. Some people are more content with the freedom of being single. Yet many people benefit from having spouses that understand them, can give them advice, and will support them no matter what kind of low point they get to.
How do I accept my husband wants a divorce?
It might be extremely hard to accept that your husband or partner wants a divorce. That said, you must listen to them and give them a moment to express why they’ve come to the idea of divorce.
You may be able to convince them to take a break or to try to return to how you felt when you were dating. If this is the one person who you want to spend the rest of your life with, be sure to listen to them and understand where they are coming from.
It may be beneficial to do some research into divorce or seek guidance on marriages via a counselor or therapist. It might also be a good idea to understand the risk of staying together vs. divorcing and listen to experts in the field.
- Previous Article
- Next Article