Processing the Shock of Your Spouse’s Divorce Request
Shocked by your spouse’s divorce request? Your behavior at this critical time could determine whether you rescue your marriage or receive favorable terms during your divorce. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you process your current emotions:
Don’t Apologize Profusely Or Make False Promises
Avoid any responses that indicate desperation on your part. These include apologizing endlessly or promising your spouse the world. These promises hold little sway against an already aggravated spouse, who might assume you’re coming at the separation from a position of weakness.
Don’t Threaten Your Spouse
Want to drive your spouse away even faster or turn a possibly peaceful divorce into a vengeful battle? Threats will do the trick. Remember, anything you say can potentially be used against you later on, so stay calm whenever you’re near your spouse.
Avoid Social Media
In an age of constant connectivity, posting about divorce (or the possibility of divorce) online may seem perfectly reasonable. Avoid the temptation to vent on Facebook; your social media comments could later come back to haunt you. Keep the potential for divorce quiet for now, only sharing the news in person with close friends and family members.
Turn to Loved Ones for Support
Your spouse can no longer serve as your emotional crutch. Look to loved ones to fill that void. Share your feelings of shock, dismay or abandonment. You’ll feel better after you let loose in a supportive environment.
Visit a Therapist
Not everybody is fortunate enough to have a solid support system outside of marriage. If turning to friends feels like a stretch right now, visit a therapist or counselor instead. Couples counseling could also prove valuable; even if your spouse remains determined to divorce, these sessions can help you find a path towards a peaceful, mutually beneficial dissolution.
Suggest a Temporary Separation
In times of heightened emotion, drastic measures may seem necessary. What your spouse may really need, however, is time to cool his or her head. This can be accomplished through temporary separation. After a few weeks apart, your spouse may realize that better options exist. Conversely, following a few weeks away, you may agree that divorce is the best option.