10 STEPS TO TAKE WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER BEFORE CHOOSING DIVORCE
By Wendi Schuller | July 1, 2015 | 0 replies
Splitsville contributor and author Wendi Schuller gave us some expert advice on what to do before you take the plunge.
- Does your marriage feel like a prison sentence? Boredom and being in a rut can make a marriage seem dull and lifeless. Before ending it, see if it can be revived. Several couples took up golf together with the added bonus of improving their game in foreign locales. See if you can build upon a common interest – plus it gives you both something to talk about. Some couples have bought a holiday home and renovating it reignited the spark in their marriages.
- Go out to a neutral place, such as a café and have a respectful conversation about your feelings. Use “I” statements, “I feel…” without blame or accusations. Intently listen to his responses and what he feels could be changed in your marriage.
- Sometimes people rely too much on their spouse for companionship and to meet their social needs. The happiest couples I know each have some individual pursuits and interests outside of their relationships. Consider widening your social network through such groups as MeetUp.com to enrich your life and to see if this improves your marriage.
- Take a vacation together to provide time to talk in a pleasant atmosphere. It may be easier to have structured group time, such as being on a tour or cruise. Then there is a balance between interacting with others and having alone time. Getting away from your routines and environment, plus having a lot to talk about can realign a relationship.
- If you have been drifting apart and pass each other as two ships in the night – plan for couple time. Each week, alternate who selects the agenda for a night out. What fun trying new restaurants, attending concerts and seeing films. Some celebrities have claimed they split up due to lack of time together.
- Put yourselves in each other’s shoes to see a new perspective to the other’s point of view. Is there validity to their complaints? Some couples have come up with this compromise – each stopping an annoying habit. One husband habitually threw his towel and clothes on the floor. The wife’s cosmetics and lotions covered the bathroom counter. Each spouse ceased the aggravating behavior and now have been married for over two decades.
- Sometimes a partner has to leave for a period of time to really think things through. They may choose a work sabbatical or live in a distant land to determine if they should stay or divorce. Some have to get out of their place to gain clarity for their situation.
- You may want to get legal advice and have a trial separation handled by an attorney. This formal separation may become the first step to a divorce.
- If there is abuse – get out of the situation quickly. A domestic violence shelter can advise one how to extricate herself in the best way from an abusive spouse.
- Consider marital counselling with your spouse. It can show you how to communicate more effectively which is important both in marriage or divorce. The Retrouvaille Program has weekend retreats for couples to get their marriages back on track. If divorce is imminent, then counselling helps a couple to have an easier time parting ways.
Divorce does not have to be the end of a relationship, but rather a change in it.