Do you know when your marriage is falling apart and it is on the verge of divorce, the best thing you can do is accept your spouse and accept your marriage situation however bad it is.
Believe me in the long run your acceptance will help you to save your marriage and fix your marriage issues.
Yes! It’s painful to accept the fact that your spouse has declared that they think the marriage is over and they aren’t prepared to work on it.
I truly understand that accepting your spouse’s decision is the most painful and scary thing for you.
No doubt it is the most, or at least one of the most, frightening and stressful things that has ever happened to you. Nevertheless, it is what it is.
It is critical that you Accept your marriage situation before you will be able to move forward.
It is perfectly normal for you to be having difficulty accepting that your partner feels the way he/she does.
A very common reaction to this surprise is to want to talk your partner out of their feelings and their desire to end the marriage. You want to argue that things aren’t all that bad.
You want to say “no, you’re wrong”, or “I can change”, or “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhart Niebuhr.
“we can be better”, or “what about the life of the kids after divorce”, or “but remember how much fun we had when…”.
Don’t do it! This kind of panicky begging will make you look weak and out of control.
The best it will get you from your partner is pity, but their reaction could be far more damaging than that. It absolutely will not help your situation; it will make it worse.
Another very common reaction in your situation is resentment, anger, even rage.
Angry and resentful reactions such as blaming, badmouthing or threatening may make you feel better, more in control, in the short term but they will be very damaging to your relationship in the long run.
These emotional reactions are very normal when you are suddenly hit by devastating news and you feel that you have no control in the situation.
It is completely understandable that you want to beg or lash out at your partner. But stop!
Think about it. You want to save your marriage. You want your lover to stay with you and to love you more.
You want a peaceful, happy marriage. You will not get there by begging or badmouthing or blaming him/her.
Treating him/her as the enemy is completely counterproductive to winning him/her back.
Similarly, begging and hysterics and tears are not attractive behaviors that will entice your partner to stay with you.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s perfectly okay for your spouse to see that you are upset and saddened by the situation for better future. In fact, they need to know that you want to stay together!
But any indications of how you’re feeling need to be restricted to quiet and composed behavior as opposed to wild reactions.
I can’t stress enough the importance of staying calm and accepting your spouse and accepting your marriage sit.
Maintaining a composed demeanor and controlled behavior will avoid causing further damage to your relationship and will smooth the way for repairing the marriage. I know this is easy to say, but very hard to do.
Remember that I’m saying remain outwardly calm, regardless of what’s going on inside.
Even if an emotional reaction on your part doesn’t cause damage, it won’t do any good either.
The thing is, your spouse’s negative feelings have been building for a long time and he/she didn’t come to these conclusions lightly.
Believe me, unless you had a “defining moment” such as a huge fight or an infidelity, it’s likely that your partner has been feeling this way and analyzing his/her feelings for a long time, possibly for years. You can’t change that.
A little Note on Acceptance “Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it.” - Michael J. Fox.
Once again remember no matter how difficult it will be to accept your spouse and your marriage situation.
You have to understand that there is nothing you can do to change history or to change the way your partner feels.
The reality is that your spouse feels the way he/she does and those feelings are real and valid.
No amount of arguing or blaming or trying to control on your part will change reality, so why even try?
Why not skip that step, accept the situation, and begin to work on repairing your marriage?
There are two more things that you need to accept. You need to accept that you have had a part in creating your marital problems and that you will be the one making the changes to save your marriage.
We know that your partner has opted out of any efforts to revive the relationship, so that’s not an option anyway. But there’s another reason why it’s up to you to make the changes.
You can’t change your spouse. Think of all the time you’ve spent trying to change him/her.
You know what the problem is, and it lies within him/her. You are right and he is wrong and therefore his behavior must change.
So you’ve asked, you’ve begged, you’ve nagged, maybe you’ve even threatened. Did the behavior change? Probably not.
It’s human nature to think that the problems lie within the other person and also to think that we can coach, convince or coerce them into changing.
We see the problem so clearly, surely we can convince her to see it too, and then he/she will admit her mistake and change her behavior.
More likely, our repeated attempts to make the other person change will just make them resistant.
Eventually the reaction to the nagging or complaining or criticizing becomes more intense and the problem just gets worse.
The person on the receiving end will withdraw emotionally and probably physically as well.
The dynamics of a relationship are created by the actions of both of the parties.
We always tend to think that we’re right and the other person is wrong because we can see clearly all the things they do that we don’t like.
You know exactly what happened that you’re reacting to.
You may feel that your spouse is completely in the wrong and needs to change, but have you considered that you may have a part in this, too?
You can’t know what’s going on inside your spouse’s head. You know those moments when your spouse reacts strongly and you think “where did that come from”?
Something you did caused that reaction, so that’s the issue you need to examine and see what you can change to solve the problem.
Let’s take an example of a couple Joe and Karen.
Karen is a very social person who likes to party and hang out with friends as much as possible. Joe is less social but he usually goes with her because he enjoys their friends.
Over time, Karen has been noticing that Joe has been refusing to attend social events more and more often.
When he does attend, he seems to enjoy himself at first, but then he becomes quiet and withdrawn, and stays that way for a day or two.
Karen is upset with this behavior and is constantly chiding Joe about being too uptight.
She tells him he’s no fun and asks him why he can’t be like the other husbands who are so much fun.
Karen believes that Joe isn’t social and adventuresome enough and that he needs to loosen up. What has been happening for Joe is this:
After Karen has a few drinks at a party she criticizes him in front of their friends, and negatively compares him to the other men.
She says all the other men are so interesting and fun, why can’t he be like that?
Joe is very embarrassed and humiliated by this behavior but he is a gentleman and will not respond to her in front of their friends. So he withdraws, hoping she will shut up.
Once they get home, and for a couple of days after, he continues to be withdrawn from her because his feelings are hurt and he just doesn’t want to be around her.
Karen has no idea what has happened, she just thinks Joe is moody and no fun.
Once Karen carefully examines her own part in the situation, she will realize that her efforts to get Joe to be more fun are actually having the opposite effect and damaging their relationship.
She needs to accept Joe for who he is, accept that he will never be adventuresome, and stop trying to change him by criticizing him in front of their friends.
She needs to accept that she has had a part in creating this problem and that she must change her own behavior.
There is one final thing I would encourage you to accept. You need to accept your own feelings.
It’s okay to be frightened, hurt, stressed and confused. It’s even okay to feel angry or resentful, and any other emotion you may be feeling. You need to accept the way you feel, and then find a way to manage it.
“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” Michael J. Fox
All of these emotions will calm down eventually, but in the short term you need to accept your marriage situation as it is and manage your feelings to protect both your own health and the health of your marriage.
I will stop here. To be honest this is just one part of your married life problems and there are many other underlying issues in your marriage that you need to handle carefully and I believe you’ll agree with my thoughts.
And that’s the reason I want to recommend you a complete step-by-step program that will help you to rebuild your marriage and have a life-long satisfying relationship.