So you’ve discovered that your spouse wants out of your marriage. This can be an extremely troubling time. I mean, you’ve invested into your relationship; you’ve tried, you’ve loved. Maybe you’re confused right now. I don’t know where you are, but I want you to know that you’re not alone. Thousands, even millions of people have gone through this, and I want you to know there is hope. Now, although I can’t tell you how to stop your divorce, what I can tell you is how to build a better relationship so that your spouse may reconsider filing.
I want you to know that there’s hope with it, but you’ve got to follow a few steps that will put you in a better position. I’m Jim Pourteau, and I’m part of the Marriage Helper Team. I’m thrilled you’re reading this article. I would encourage you to stay to the end for a free resource for you and your family.
You know, one of the common misconceptions among people is that we don’t communicate. Now, I think I know what they’re saying. They’re saying we communicate poorly because all the couples I’ve watched that are in terrible times; they know exactly what they’re saying, and the other person knows as well. So they’re just communicating some hurtful things. What we have to do is start communicating good things to our spouse. Not things that are painful, but things that show hope and vision for times to come.
If your spouse wants out, that means they’ve fallen out of love.
And if we’ve fallen out of love, I would think that if they fell back in love, then the divorce would stop. I mean, is this guaranteed? No, but does it seem plausible? Absolutely. We’re fixing the issue. So I would encourage you to do this: look at how people fall in love. If you don’t have our course about the LovePath, I would encourage you to get it. Dr. Joe Beam, our founder, wrote it and explains a lot more about the process you follow while falling in love.
People don’t fall in love. It’s a process. If you follow it, you will fall in love and greater in love. If you neglect it, you will fall out of love. So you’ve got to follow this process. And within the process, there are a couple of critical things. First, there’s attraction, which is very important. That’s how the person wants to be around me, sees me. That’s how I appear attractive physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
So, I think that’s pretty important because that’s what attracts us and brings us to the beginning of the LovePath. And if we think of that path and stay on that path, that gives us more information and more tools for us to build a new relationship so the divorce can possibly come off the table.
What do I do with this LovePath?
That’s a good question. Well, you want to do everything you can to become the best person you can be. See, in the past, your spouse was attracted to you. They thought you were in a good place, a place good enough that they would extend dating with you; then become engaged and get married. And the argument is if they were attracted to you once, they can be attracted to you again. Why? Well, because physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual parts start positive, but then they can go neutral. They can also go negative. So what if I started working on them to make them better? Right? So the first thing I need to do is keep that in mind.
The next thing I need to do is maintain, or lead, my thoughts.
What can happen is when we hear this information about our spouse wanting out, I mean, it just becomes an explosion in our mind. And if we’re not careful, we’ll feel the urgency, and the urgency will move us to act. And what I’m saying, it’s not the time to act. It’s not the time to make a decision. This is when you want to pause, and you want to lead your thoughts, and you want to think through this. Emotion will not get you where you want to be. Emotion can get in between you and the place you want to be.
So you want to maintain your thoughts in a good position. Yes, this is a threat, but if you get it in your mind and you become all anxious and agitated from it, you’re not going to think well, and you’re going to need to do this. So maintain your thoughts in the good place they need to be to make the right decisions.
You’re going to want to focus on the right now.
Now, in evaluating a relationship over the long-term, I’m going to look further down the road. But when it comes to the initial part of what I am doing, how am I impacting my spouse, I’ve got to look at what I’m doing today. Because what you do now produces what’s going to happen tomorrow. So if you’re fighting with them during this divorce proceeding and your divorce process, you’re trying to prove your point, things like that. What can happen is you create a more extensive riff between you instead of creating a connection. You already have the riff. You don’t need more of that.
So I would encourage you to put yourself in place to focus right now. “What do I need to change?” Not: “what if this happens or what if that happens?” Or, “how am I going to deal with this over there?” You’re not there yet. You don’t have the opportunity to do that. But what you do have is the opportunity to do is address what’s now, and if you don’t address what’s now in the right way, it’ll set up some hurdles, some difficulties later on in life.
So what you want to look at is what do I need to do right now? What do I need to do to be on this path? Do I need to work on my attraction? Do I need to be a safe place emotionally for my spouse? So when they share some of their pains and hurts, I don’t attack them back, but instead, I hear them and work through that. And you see, you start examining your attractiveness. How are you?
Are you taking care of yourself physically? People will say, “well, if I’m taking care of myself physically, if I’m trying to gain weight or lose weight or something like that, aren’t I changing myself for my spouse?” And my argument is: no, you’re just taking a bath or putting on some deodorant or whatever. It’s the best that you can be at your age. What I’ve watched is sometimes spouses interpret our lack of doing things as disrespect towards them.
See, they can look at that as we’re not taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, as we don’t care about them either. Because if I cared about my spouse, I would try to be the best I could be for them. It’s so crazy how these can get messed up. And so what do I want to do if my spouse wants out? I want to put myself in a place where I’m the most attractive I can be. I’m not changing who I am. I’m going to adjust my behaviors, and I’m going to be the best version that I can be.
You need to accept something.
It would be best if you accept that there will be many minor issues that will happen. A lot of things are going to go wrong. And it was a lot of those small things that brought you to where you are. A single snowflake by itself isn’t that bad, but when billions of them get together, it shuts down cities and whole countries. And I’m saying you probably have a lot of problems in the relationship that led to its degradation, and they’re not going to be fixed overnight. So you have to be patient. You have to plan.
You have to play the long game here, knowing that what you’re doing is adjusting your behavior so your spouse can see you differently and be attracted to you; pulled towards you instead of pushed away from you. See, it’s essential to realize that because you’re not going to fix all these at once, and in fact, you may never fix some of them. But if we can reconnect emotionally, it’ll make some of the most significant changes in our life.
In divorce proceedings, a lot of times, we become rigid. We draw lines on principle. Well, the principle of this is this, and so I’m not going to cross it. And I heard a mentor of mine a long time ago say this: “Be careful about making your point, because you might make a point and not make a difference.” See, what you want to do is be able to make a difference in your relationship. You want your spouse to see the relationship differently, see you differently in the place and the love that you have for them. So be careful about just drawing these lines. Remember, compromise is the key here.
The other thing you want to do is listen, not just hear what they’re saying, but understand it. Be prepared to ask a question or two. Not journalistically, but in an area for you to comprehend, what are they saying? Don’t assume because they say they want to be respected that it’s the same way you want to be respected. So you must ask that question. If you don’t, you’re going to be working hard, doing things that mean a lot to you, but they may not mean that much to your spouse. So see, this is a big part of communicating clearly. And the last thing I encourage you to do is go back to where we talked about when we started and revisit those PIES.
It begins with the PIES
It ends with the PIES. Because if you are healthy, your decisions will be healthy. Your thinking will be healthy. Your walk will be healthy, and everything you touch becomes healthier. So I want to encourage you to make that self-development a powerful place to be as you’re trying to influence your spouse.
Now, I told you that if you stick with me, you get a free resource, and we have that resource for you. It’s a course called “How To Get Your Spouse Back.” And if you’ll contact us here at Marriage Helper, we’d be more than happy to provide that for you and give it to you free of charge. In addition, we have another resource that’s a paid resource, but it’s a ten-week program called Save My Marriage. It is a powerful program that thousands of people have gone through and seen how they could positively influence a place in their marriage where they’re negative. And I would be grateful if you could check out either of those.
We have lots of things that can help you on your journey and help it be, even though it’s a challenging journey, the best that it possibly can be. And you have the best impact possible. Take care.