Marriage is filled with trials and tribulations. It’s normal for couples to go through ups and downs. At first, things may seem like they’re perfect, but eventually, you’re bound to experience hardships. The kinds of hardships married couples endure vary, and so does the manner in which they handle them. Have you and your wife reached a crossroads? Are things so challenging that, no matter how hard you’ve tried, you just can’t seem to resolve whatever issues you’re facing? Have you come to a point where your wife finally decided to call it quits? What can you do when your wife wants a divorce and you don’t?

What if I Don’t Want a Divorce but My Wife Does?

You’re still very much in love with your wife and you want to work things out. After all, when you said that you would be by her side until “death do us part,” you really meant it. Do you give in and give her what she wants, even though you don’t agree it’s the best solution? Or, do you give it your all and try to help her see that your relationship, the life that you have built together, and the love that you share for one another are strong enough to withstand your struggles – no matter how difficult they may be?

If your wife has told you that she wants to file for divorce, there’s no doubt that there are tons of questions going through your head. “How do I respond? What can I do? Is there anyone I can reach out to for help? Can I convince her that we can work things out, start over, move forward, and have a happily ever after?”

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, you’re in a difficult situation. Trying to figure out how to navigate things when your wife tells you that she wants a divorce but you don’t is hard. Don’t give up hope, there is a chance you can save the marriage. The following tips may be able to help guide you through this major bump in the road and hopefully put you back on a smooth path – together.

Find out why your wife wants a divorce

When your wife tells you that she wants a divorce, your initial response may be anger and frustration. You’re probably going to want to lash out. Don’t.

Although it’s going to be hard, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Before you jump to conclusions and get into a heated argument, take a deep breath, sit down with her, and listen. Give her your undivided attention and let her talk. Don’t interrupt. Give her the time and the attention she desires and deserves.

Try to figure out where she’s coming from

After you’ve sat down with your wife and listened to what she had to say, avoid responding right away. Let her know that you heard everything that she said and that you need some time to process things. Carefully consider all of the information she presented. Go someplace where you won’t be distracted and disturbed – the lake, the woods, a walk around the neighborhood, the shower, or a dark room – and contemplate.

As you consider the reasons your wife gave for wanting to get a divorce, try to come up with solutions to the issues she expressed. For instance, if she feels like your marriage has become a boring routine – that the spark that once burned brightly has been extinguished – reflect on your relationship and you’ll probably realize that she has made some very valid points if you see things from her point a view. In fact, you might feel the same way in some ways.

Now, try to think of ways that you can reignite that flame; add more interest to your everyday routine to spice things back up again.

If the reasons are communication or financially related, what steps are you willing to make to improve these?  Would you commit to working with a counselor for professional help?

Try to change her mind

After contemplating, ask your wife if you can speak with her and present your stance. Present the solutions that you feel would remedy the situation so that you can get back on the right track. Let your wife know how much you love her and your life together, and that you are willing to do whatever you can to work things out – together.

If she is still unconvinced, you might want to ask if she would at least first commit to trying marriage counseling or seeing a family therapist, before moving forward with a divorce. A mediator can be very helpful and may offer solutions that will help you effectively resolve your struggles and move forward with your life – together.

Although this was written from the viewpoint of a husband to a wife, the same strategies apply to any relationship.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.