If your spouse is seeking a divorce or if you fear your marriage might be headed for a fall, you may feel as if there is nothing you can do about it other than simply going along.
The fact is that most divorces in Texas are no-fault divorces, which means your spouse can obtain a divorce with or without your cooperation in the matter. However, there are steps you can take that may convince your spouse to reconsider and work on your marriage together.
If you have questions or concerns about divorce, you can consult with an experienced Killeen divorce attorney early in the process. This can help you better understand what divorce would likely mean for you in terms of your parental and financial rights. It can also ensure that you will be well prepared to protect these rights if your marriage is headed toward divorce.
One of the most important first steps you can take if you want to change your spouse’s mind regarding divorce is taking the time to discuss the matter with them.
You married for a reason, which means that your spouse has likely experienced some kind of disappointment or doubt in relation to your marriage and may feel like you are no longer focused on your relationship or on them as your partner.
Marriages can hit rocky spots in which both spouses experience doubt and confusion. The best way to successfully put these challenges behind you is by keeping the lines of communication between you open. Share your commitment to all the following actions with your spouse:
To strengthening your marriage
To supporting your spouse
To working through the challenges you face as a couple
To better understanding your spouse’s perspective and his or her thoughts regarding what needs to change
To doing what it takes to get your marriage back on track
By doing so, you let your spouse know that your marriage is your priority, which can go a long way toward smoothing over challenges in your relationship.
Your Spouse’s Perspective
Your spouse may be amenable to working on your marriage, and if this is the case, you are in a very good position in terms of your ability to stop the divorce in question and to forge a stronger marriage.
If, however, your spouse is bound and determined to obtain a divorce, it may not matter what you do. Keeping this difficult truth in mind can help you make the best decisions for you as you move forward. While it is always worth trying to salvage your marriage if that is your desire, you should take your cues from the situation at hand.
This means that, if your spouse is showing you – in no uncertain terms – that they are barreling forward with divorce, you should pay attention and focus on protecting your rights, which makes having the professional legal counsel of a dedicated Killeen divorce attorney in your corner well advised.
First and Foremost, Look Within
In order to help take divorce off the table, the strongest tool available to you is making changes within yourself because the fact is that we cannot change anyone but ourselves.
If your spouse has reached the difficult conclusion that the answer to your relationship problems is divorce, you are no doubt experiencing some challenges of your own, and now is a great time to reflect on your own happiness and fulfillment.
Taking proactive steps to foster your own overall contentment and well-being can inspire your spouse to take note and do the same for themselves.
Get the Help You Need
If your spouse is not interested in working as a team by seeking marriage counseling together, focus on your own needs and pursue counseling for yourself. In recent years, the number of opportunities for online or over-the-phone counseling has expanded considerably, which makes it more convenient than ever to find a counselor who is a good fit for you.
Other avenues that may help you gain increased personal perspective include all the following steps:
Seeking guidance from a trusted clergy member
Sharing your thoughts and concerns with a trusted friend or family member
Joining a support group
Take Enriching Action
You have reached a difficult juncture in your marriage, and your spouse may not have the emotional energy or the focus to be a team player in your efforts to save your marriage. However, this situation should not stop you on your journey to expand your own horizons.
All the following actions can prove exceptionally rewarding and may help your spouse recognize that your rejuvenated commitment to yourself reflects your rejuvenated commitment to your marriage:
Rekindle your passion for whatever it is you were once passionate about, such as running, yoga, crafting, cooking, or doing anything else that brings you joy.
Take up a new hobby or activity that has recently piqued your interest.
Reconnect with old friends with whom you may have lost touch over the years.
Join a book club, volunteer, or go after that promotion you have had your eye on – the more connected you are with the world around you, the more enriching your life will be.
While fulfilling yourself may or may not sway your spouse’s decision to divorce, it will put you in a better position to handle whatever comes your way.
Consider the Role You Have Played
The breakdown of your marriage is not solely your or your spouse’s responsibility – you both played your own unique role.
Our lives are busy, and divorce often results from overlooking small challenges that ultimately morph into much larger problems. Taking the time to understand the role you played in allowing your marriage to degrade over time can provide you with the insight necessary to turn things around.
You did not go into your marriage with the idea of sabotaging it, and neither did your spouse. As such, a bit of soul searching – rather than accusing your spouse – can go a long way toward shifting your focus and making the changes necessary to help alter the course of your marriage. Here are several important questions to ask yourself:
When did our marriage head off course?
What role did I play in the process?
What could I have done differently?
What concrete actions can I take now to help mend our relationship?
Introspection can help you gain a clearer perspective, which can improve your ability to forge stronger relationships, including within your marriage.
Talk about Change
You and your spouse have reached an impasse in your relationship, which means something needs to happen to get things back on track – if possible. After exploring your role in how your marriage got where it is and focusing on taking the necessary internal inventory, it is time to share your findings with your spouse.
Often divorce is kicked off by either spouse – or both – throwing out divorce threats that they may or may not mean but that, nevertheless, have the capacity to gain momentum. While making threats is not a mature, constructive approach, having an open discussion about the kinds of concrete changes that could help right what is wrong with your marriage is.
Keep all the following points in mind along the way:
Focus your comments on the present – rather than on past mistakes.
Let your spouse know that your comments are guided by your love for him or her and your commitment to your marriage.
Refer to yourselves as the team you are and approach your marital concerns with an eye toward looking out for both of you.
Remember that every marriage faces ups and downs, and that rough patches are generally a reflection of both spouses’ coping mechanisms.
Focus on your strengths as a couple.
Take your spouse’s feelings on the matter at hand into careful consideration.
Demonstrate that you care and that your spouse’s feelings and concerns are of primary importance.
Showing your spouse that you recognize the role you have played in your marital problems and your willingness to do what it takes to resolve them sends a strong message that may help bridge the gap between you.
An important element of clear, open communication between anyone – whether you are married or not – is listening carefully to what the other person has to say.
Sometimes, this means understanding the subtext of your spouse’s words and recognizing where the feelings being shared are coming from. Your marriage has a rich history, which makes it important to frame your partner’s words in the context of your backstory.
It is also critical to keep in mind that some people are better at communicating their thoughts and feelings than others are, which means your spouse may need encouragement or help in this arena, and you may need to spend more time deciphering what they are trying to tell you.
Choose Your Own Words Wisely
One of the most important considerations when it comes to clear communication is choosing your words wisely. We have all said things that did not come out quite right, and the effect on your spouse can be considerable – especially in light of the fact that even the prospect of divorce can be triggering.
By taking the time to weigh your words carefully, you help ensure that you are getting the point you want to make across without amplifying emotions and confusing the issue.
This does not mean that you should only say what your spouse wants to hear. Instead, it means that a bit of forethought can prove highly effective in relation to communicating openly and authentically with your spouse.
Highlight Your Relationship Skills
Relationships do not grow and nurture themselves – it takes effort. To foster healthy, rewarding relationships, you are going to need to put your relationship skills to the test.
If you have never considered your marriage in this way, now is an excellent time to give it a whirl by carefully assessing your level of relationship skills in each of the following categories:
Making it a priority to greet your spouse kindly, which takes little effort but can reap significant rewards in terms of solidifying your relationship
Fostering a sense of fun in your marriage
Focusing on the interests that you share
Taking your spouse’s perspective on any given matter into careful consideration
Refusing to blow minor irritations out of proportion
Using physical touch to show your love and affection for your spouse and also making it a habit to put these feelings into words
Providing the additional love, support, and attention that your spouse occasionally needs
Being honest but empathetic when your spouse asks you to share your opinion or to offer advice
Being someone your spouse can trust
Sharing the highlights of your life with your spouse, including the small things like favorite restaurants, books, movies, and beyond
Accepting your fair share of the work in your relationship – without being begrudging
Managing your tendency to become defensive
Fostering compromise between the two of you
Accessing your vulnerability, which is essential to achieving true marital intimacy
If you find that you come up lacking in a specific category or two, remember that improvement is very doable – all it takes is a bit of introspection and focused intention.
Turn to an Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney for the Skilled Guidance You Need
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a compassionate divorce attorney with ample experience and legal insight to help guide your case toward a favorable resolution – in pursuit of terms that work for you and your children.