The worst has just happened, and your spouse has told you they want to leave. The choices you make next will depend on what you want. Do you want the divorce? Then call your own divorce lawyer. Are there children, and do you want to remain intimately involved? Hopefully you do, so you need a divorce lawyer with experience in child custody law. Do you want to save the marriage? Consulting with a divorce lawyer of your own is probably still a good idea; however, there are also some things you can do. Read on for three things you should do if you’re hoping to save your marriage, and three things you really should not do.
Three Things to Do
- Keep up your schedule and yourself. If you start falling apart, getting angry, musing upon your possible revenge, or fail to shower and shave, you’re not making anyone want to live with you. While all of these things may be natural reactions to an announcement of divorce, they’re not going to help you save your marriage. Keep up with all of your daily activities, exercise and take care of yourself, keep up the house and your routines, and be respectful both towards your spouse and yourself.
- Be open to questions and concerns. Whatever the reasons for the impending divorce, bring an open mind to whatever your spouse has to say. Be the sort of person that your spouse wants to be around because you’re pleasant and kind. Be firm and insistent about your desire to save the marriage, while also allowing them to bring you any questions or concerns that they have. Especially, be active and engaged as a listener. Whatever you do, don’t be dragged into an argument. If necessary, walk away. Better yet, engage in a constructive manner and keep your cool.
- Get some help. If your spouse seems very serious about this divorce, one of the wisest things you can do is to get your own divorce lawyer and chat with them for advice. It’s not necessary to plan out your entire divorce, or even to let your spouse know that you are consulting with a divorce lawyer. But getting some legal help will let you know what your options are. You should also consider seeing a counselor. Maybe you’ll only be able to see a counselor on your own, but if you can convince your spouse to go to counseling with you, your chances of saving your marriage just went up.
Three Things Not to Do
- Don’t be needy or manipulative. We get it. You’re feeling desperate. This is not an excuse to beg, plead, or follow your spouse around like a puppy. Don’t make excessive phone calls and don’t buy flowers or gifts to try to make up for any bad behavior on your part. You’re not going to be able to buy your love back with a Hallmark card.
- Don’t push things on them that they already know. If your spouse is seriously considering a divorce, you can probably assume that he or she does remember your wedding day. Asking them to look at wedding pictures with you is not really going to help. Don’t try to get them to read books about marriage, although going to marriage counseling could be helpful. And definitely don’t get their mother involved.
- Speaking of your mother, don’t do anything stupid. You know that your mother would not like it. Don’t spy on your spouse, don’t go wild with drugs, alcohol, or one night stands designed to hurt them. Don’t go around asking other people to intervene and talk to your spouse. If you cannot resolve the situation, the chances that your best friend Gordon can do it are very slim.
Divorce is hard, and no one gets married hoping that one day they’ll get to make that call to a divorce attorney. If divorce is on the table, do get a divorce lawyer so you know your options. But don’t give up just yet. As the old saying goes, it’s not over til it’s over.