Coping with New Jersey Spouses Reluctant to Divorce

Man sitting at table One of the most difficult moments in anyone’s life can be acknowledging a marriage is over. Some Hackensack spouses reach that conclusion alone. Asking for a divorce is hard enough without resistance from a spouse, but mismatched desires about preserving a marriage aren’t uncommon. It is reasonable to assume news of divorce is shocking, even when your spouse realizes the relationship is strained. Unless there are expectations of a violent reaction, marriage therapists suggest approaching the matter empathetically. Some unhappy spouses try to avoid contention by taking immediate legal steps, but that can set off an explosive emotional response that is counterproductive to a satisfying outcome. Reaching the decision to divorce frequently takes a good deal of time. Therapists encourage spouses who want to leave to consider that absorbing bad news also takes time. A spouse’s initial refusal or reluctance to divorce may be the first answer but not the final one. Taking several steps before moving ahead with divorce is advised. Seeking professional, individual or couple’s counseling can be beneficial. With a neutral party’s help, you and your spouse can examine the state of the marriage and decide whether the relationship is salvageable. When you are certain divorce is inevitable, the news is easier for a spouse to bear when you recognize a partner’s feelings. Take the time to listen and acknowledge a spouse’s response is likely to include emotional extremes including hurt, anger and surprise. Your message should reflect the effort you’ve put into coming to the divorce decision. Your first instinct may be to leave and stop communicating. Therapists suggest keeping in touch to revisit the issue. It can become easier to talk openly about divorce after a spouse has had time alone with his or her thoughts. Call an attorney, but don’t rush through the divorce process. Ideally, you and your spouse part ways with a fair and satisfying agreement. Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Things to Do If You Want a Divorce But Your Husband Doesn’t” Cheryl and Joe Dillon, Oct. 15, 2014

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