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How to Save your Marriage When a Divorce Seems Imminent
Few experiences in life are as traumatic as a divorce. It is not only the breaking down of the relationship between a couple, but signals the falling apart of an entire family. So if you find that your marriage is rapidly going downhill and a divorce seems just a signature away, take matters into your hands. Be prepared for some tough measures and a lot of patience, but set about with a positive attitude towards finding a solution. After all, the very fact that you are looking for ways to stop a divorce, means that it is not too late and issues, no matter how intractable, can still be worked out.
Face the reality
The first step towards stopping an imminent divorce, is to acknowledge that there is a conflict and there are issues that need to be sorted out as early as possible. Very often, either partner believes that as long as the conflict is not out in the open, the marriage can limp along somehow. It is this fear of rocking the boat, that prevents a couple from taking early corrective measures, until it is too late and the boat has capsized. So take your courage in both hands and broach the matter with your spouse.
Discuss what’s wrong
Discuss what is troubling your marriage, and explore the reasons which may have led to the present situation. However, even as both of you discuss your relationship, agree to follow certain rules. Take turns to speak and do not interrupt when it is your partner’s chance to express his or her thoughts. Stick to finding out the primary source of the present conflict and do not drag up incidents from the past, or bring in comparisons with other couples. There is nothing so frustrating as being bogged down by the inessentials, while the most important matter at hand remains unresolved.
Express your inner feelings
Verbalize your thoughts and express clearly what has upset you and why. If you keep your feelings bottled up inside, it will only aggravate your perception of not being understood, until it may all burst forth in an unpleasant manner. Moreover, it is unfair to expect another person to read your mind and gauge what you may be feeling inside. When things are out in the open, it may surprise you to find out how much you both did not know, about the feelings and the perceptions of the other.
Avoid being accusatory
However, while discussing the source of conflict in your marriage, be careful to maintain an objective stance. Avoid getting caught up in the endless cycle of accusations and counter-accusations. A good way to do this, is to refrain from statements starting with “you”, for instance, “you do not appreciate my work” or “you spend too much time at the bar”. Instead, try to say, “I would feel much more valued in my marriage, if my work is appreciated” or “It would mean so much to me if we could spend more time with each other”. Charging the other person with bringing about the crisis in your marriage, will only make your partner defensive and would not lead the discussion anywhere.
Finding a solution
After you have identified the source of conflict in your marriage, try to find a solution. This is however easier said than done, but not impossible to work out. Keep in mind, that a resolution will entail some amount of responsibility for both the spouses. Discuss what each of you can do to improve the relationship, which will, in turn, entail bringing some amount of change within oneself. Each will have to give a little in terms of time and effort. Either partner will need to make some changes in his or her priorities and principles, if the marriage is to be saved. Here, more than anywhere, mutual co-operation is a must, especially since the stakes is so high.
Involve people you trust
Take the help of people whom you both trust. In the initial stages of a troubled marriage, both spouses tend to keep the problem within the family, thinking that somehow, it will resolve itself or feel embarrassed at what others might think about their failing relationship. However, if matters come to a head, it is much better to seek the advice of close family members or friends, on ways of resolving the conflict. But at the same time, they must be people whom you both trust, to have an impartial view and the interests of your family close to their heart.
Seek professional help if required
In the end if despite your best efforts, you seem to be no nearer to a solution, seek professional help. A marriage counsellor can work wonders for troubled marriages and no couple should head for divorce lawyers, without first going to a counsellor. This is because a marriage counsellor is trained to identify, accurately and objectively, the source of conflict. Moreover, unlike family and friends who may be closer to either partner, a counsellor will take an impartial view, while trying to resolve the conflict. But best of all, a counsellor will also come up with practical strategies to help your marriage survive the crisis. So, if your marriage is headed for an imminent divorce, this may be your best chance, since there is not time enough to experiment with various other marriage -fixing solutions.
Every marriage goes through rough patches, since kids, domestic responsibilities and hectic work schedules can create havoc with the most passionate of couples. However, if you find that the prospect of a divorce seems to be cropping up with increasing frequency, it is time to act. It is imperative that both spouses are willing to fix their marriage, since any workable solution will need the co-operation of both partners. So if you both feel that your marriage is worth saving, give it your best shot. Set about with a positive attitude and spare no effort in working things out. Remember that in the end, a marriage is a remarkably tenacious institution and it is still human society’s best chance against the wasteland of failed relationships.