Mistakes to Avoid When Faced with Divorce

If your marriage is on the brink of divorce, and your spouse wants to leave, it may be very hard for you to manage your frustration. You may feel hurt and angry, especially if you’re on the opposing end and want to stay together.

This may be a very hard punch to your ego, but instead of lashing out, retaliating, or pleading, now is the time to “put your best foot forward,” and avoid common mistakes most people make if you want to try to preserve your marriage.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Faced with Divorce

1. Don’t Try to Convince Your Partner That You Should Stay Together

This can lead to further deterioration of your self-esteem. This puts you in a vulnerable position, possibly feeling desperate and reacting in a way that will only alienate your partner. This may cause you to lose all hope and act in ways that will push him (or her) further away. Also, avoid reminding him of good old times or telling him that you love him. He is not open to receive this from you, and you may be disappointed with a cold response.

2. Don’t Lash Out in Anger

It’s natural that you feel angry or hurt, but this may lead to making serious mistakes. You lose all the power when you allow your anger to take over. You may have good reasons to be angry, but lashing out at him may only reinforce his decision to leave.

We also have to remember that we contributed to the problems in the marriage.  We can often be angry not only at our spouse, but sometimes we are angry because we didn’t set the right boundaries and allowed some unacceptable things to go on.

3. Don’t Force Your Partner Into Couples Therapy

He is simply not interested. This is another way of convincing or pursuing him. You would be spinning your wheels, and his resentment would grow. This would put you in a pursuer role and waste your energy and time. At the end of counseling, you may wind up saying that therapy didn’t help. And, it wouldn’t because your partner wouldn’t be invested in it.

What He May Be Open to Doing Instead:

Instead of trying to make things work out, maybe he would be open to something called discernment counseling. Discernment counseling is a short-term process that can help both of you learn what went wrong in the marriage or a relationship. It will also help both parties decide what they want to do. A well-trained discernment counselor can help your partner feel heard and make decisions that are the best in his given situation. They can also help you be on your best behavior in order to make it possible for the marriage to work if your partner decides he does want to stay together.

4. Don’t Stay in Limbo Indefinitely

You have self-respect and boundaries. There has to be a meaningful time limit to how long you will wait for him to make decisions about recommitting to the marriage. There isn’t any specific time frame; you need to make that decision for yourself. How much uncertainty can you tolerate? He must know it’s not an easy position for you, and hopefully he will be cognizant of it. By now, you have accepted responsibility for your mistakes in the marriage, and he may have done the same. If you’ve given him reasonable time to make his decision and you’ve been on your best behavior, it may be time for you to make the decision if he is not able to commit to your marriage.

How to Move on When the Deadline Comes:

Hopefully your spouse or partner realized how important this marriage is for him, and the two of you can now start working on your marriage. This may be the time to seek help from a couples therapist. If your spouse decides that he wants to leave despite you wanting to stay together, you two need to decide how to proceed legally financially, etc. Collaborative divorce or mediation may be a less painful way than litigation. It will be sad and painful for you anyhow. There are so many resources that can help you heal. There are many articles on divorce recovery that can help you find the right fit.