The Sweet Bitter End How My Divorce Fell Apart Right Before My Eyes

The Sweet Bitter End How My Divorce Fell Apart Right Before My Eyes

Like you, I’m hurting. Hurting from a wound buried deep inside that no one can see, feeling a pain that can’t be expressed. How do you love someone you hate so much? How do you remain calm when your insides are screaming? Keep calm, keep reading, and I’ll show you I reached the sweet bitter end.

How it Started

13 years, that’s how long I was married. I was in love, I loved her laugh, her smile, and all that she was and did for my heart. I was a Corporal in the United States Marines and she was a PK or Preacher’s Kid. We met while I was visiting my sister, about 5 hours away from my duty station. I fell hard for her and fast, some would say that it was love at first sight. I did anyways, for years!

The Problems Begin

We had our first child 10 months after we were married and from then on, we had problems. Now I’m not going to go into details, just know that somewhere along the road, she lost faith in me. She had 3 affairs and waited until our 10th year of marriage to tell me about them. I, being the wise idiot, believed that if I forgave her and didn’t mention the affairs or address them, it would give her a chance to heal and be the wife that I always dreamed of. It worked! We were great, had our last child and bought a home together, life couldn’t get any better…or so I thought!

The Beginning of the Bitter End

I started to notice an all too familiar distance forming between us. Me being Mr. Fixit, decided that that was the point in which I needed to introduce change…and change is what I got!  She told me for the 3rd and last time, that she wanted a divorce! How could this be? I was always faithful. I always provided for the family and made sure we had all that we needed. I wasn’t a drunk or abusive. What could I possibly do to fix this inevitable problem? The answer…NOTHING!  No matter what I tried or could try, she was leaving, and that pissed me the hell off!

I gave up my military career for her! I gave up my business endeavors for her! I gave up my dreams for her! How dare she tear away my passion and then just end up leaving me anyways? I hated her! I hated her voice, her smile, hell, even her name drove me to anger! On top of it all, she took the very soul from my body when she stole my kids and moved five hours away to live with her parents! I was devastated, a shell.

How could I have been so stupid, so naïve in thinking that I could change her mind, or even change the course her actions had set us on? I waited until the bitter end, the very last minute, to hire an attorney, and then went against his advice to force her back to my town (something that I legally could have done.) I had hoped that this decision would grant me favor with my oldest daughter, who, at this point, loved her new school. How could I be the evil dad and take her away from that? So I let them stay. I will never know if that was the best decision, but it was my decision and I have to live with it.

Needless to say, my anger grew. I went from seeing my children every day, being there for their every need, to being a 4 day a month dad. The idea of not being there for my children hurt what was left of me, and hurt it bad. I went into a deep depression.  My friends tried to help, but it just took my mind off of it in short periods of time.

Enter the Therapist’s Advice

I decided that I needed to see a therapist, something everyone in the middle of a divorce should do.  She listened to my sob story and gave me the weirdest and best advice possible…I need to date!

How is that supposed to help? I’m an angry, bitter, asshole, who wants nothing to do with the opposite sex. Those destroyers of men, those evil dream killers, they could never help me! Besides, I can’t be loved. I was faithful, loving, compassionate, honorable, blah, blah, blah, and my marriage still ended in divorce. How could I find love when it was obvious that I didn’t know what love meant? Her response…You need to know you are still desirable!

She was right. I didn’t think I was wanted, I hadn’t felt desired in a very long time. But how do you hide hate and bitterness while dating?

I went straight to online dating. I built an amazing profile, posted amazing pictures, wrote an amazing bio, sat back and waited for the amazing responses, and boy did I get some! Apparently I am very desirable to old overweight women who are still married but in an “Open” relationship…and I mean a lot of them! ‘Match’ my ass! Remind me how is this supposed to make me feel desired again? Still, I didn’t lose all hope.

I finally got a response from a decent looking woman 6 years my junior, I was desirable! We went on a date and I learned a lot…a lot about myself. My divorce wasn’t about me and what I had failed at, it was about her and what she failed to value in me and our relationship. I felt a huge weight lifted off of me and a peace that I didn’t know I could feel again. That date opened my eyes to the possibility of me loving again and I was a new man from then on.

Enlightenment

Knowing who you are is a true gift and also a growing gift because you never cease to adapt and grow as an individual, so you always have the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Going through a divorce is a catalyst for growth and change. Not that you need to change, but that your life will inevitably change from it. I didn’t want a divorce, I actually hated the idea of it. But I was looking at it all wrong. A person makes a decision based on the facts presented, and that goes for anything, including marriage. Over time, as more information is provided to you about your significant other, you try and make the best decision as to whether you want to continue to be with them. I’m sure that anyone reading this, at some point in time during their relationship, thought to themselves about an event that made them think “Why would they do that?” or “Why am I still with them?” It could be a fleeting thought and never take hold, but you still had that thought. I believe it is in those moments that we notice a change in ourselves and in our desires for the other person. I guess you could call it a growth spurt!

These growth spurts are what helped me throughout my divorce.  The more I learned about myself, the more I learned that my divorce was the best thing to happen to me. I’ve grown, progressed, changed into a man that, not only am I proud of, but my kids can be proud of too!

I’ve learned to love my ex again. No, I don’t go out of my way to impress her or give her things, I just respect her and the fact that she is the mother to my two little girls. I know that she will disappoint, that is her character, I just don’t dwell on it. I use it as a learning tool and move on. The important thing is to put aside my bitterness and focus on my children, life is too short to kill your spirit with bitter and angry thoughts. Move on!

My divorce was finalized after 26 months, and I’ve since been dating and am engaged to a wonderful, unique woman that is everything I have ever wanted in a partner. What makes her so great? She helps me grow and be the man I want to be, all while loving me along the way! I’m happy that I never turned into that bitter woman hater that lives his life full of discontent with the opposite sex. I am so happy with how things have turned out and I know it won’t be an easy road to travel, but it also won’t be a lonely road either. In all honesty, what more could a man ask for? I’ve reached the sweet bitter end.

 

Losing Your Child To Parental Kidnapping Protect Yourself; Protect Your Child

Losing Your Child To Parental Kidnapping Protect Yourself; Protect Your Child

Most people believe strangers are responsible for the majority of childhood abductions, but national statistics say parental kidnapping is more often to blame. A family abduction occurs when a family member, likely a separated or divorced parent, takes and hides a child for some length of time. This heartbreaking and devastating crime occurs more than 200,000 times each year.

Childhood kidnapping is usually driven out of anger, frustration, abandonment and desperation. Often, emotions overwhelm personal judgment and sound reasoning. And in custody disputes, this often leads to one parent losing their child to parental kidnapping.

Often cited reasons for parental abduction include:

  • Forced interaction or a reconciliation with the parent left-behind
  • Spite or punishment against the other parent
  • Fear of losing custody or visitation rights with the child
  • Protecting the child from the other parent who is perceived to molest, abuse, or neglect the child

Are You at Risk of Losing Your Child to Parental Kidnapping?

There are often subtle and obvious warning signs of a pending abduction. The most common signals your child may be in danger of parental kidnapping include:

  1. Threatened abduction or attempted abduction in the past
  2. Suspected abuse supported by family and friends
  3. Paranoid delusion or severely sociopathic behavior
  4. Your spouse/ex has alien citizenship (in a foreign country) and may potentially flee the US
  5. Your spouse/ex feels alienated from or fears the legal system, and has family or social support in another community or abroad
  6. Your spouse/ex has no strong ties to your child’s home state
  7. Your spouse/ex has no job or is not financially tied to the area
  8. Your spouse/ex is planning to quit a job, sell a home, or close bank accounts
  9.  Your spouse/ex applies for passports, or obtains copies of school or medical records

Pay close attention to these any and all of these potential signs and contact the family court and/or your attorney for assistance. Any direct threat of parental kidnapping must be taken seriously. The family court and law enforcement authorities should be contacted immediately if you feel your child is in grave danger.

Parental Kidnapping is a Serious Crime

Both parents are entitled to equal rights and access to a child unless an order specifically limits one parent’s rights or access to their child. Before a divorce or child custody suit is filed, either parent can take their child and maintain custody of them.

Once a custody order is in place, each parent must abide by it. If a parent without legal custody of their child violates a custody order and snatches or conceals a child, they may be potentially charged with parental kidnapping.

The taking of a child is considered kidnapping by looking at three main factors:

  • The legal status of the offending parent
  • Any existing court orders regarding custody
  • The intent of the abducting parent

Parental abduction often violates many federal and state laws, and if parental abduction occurs, contact law enforcement immediately. As enraged as you may be, don’t take the law into your own hands. Let experienced officers use the justice system to help you locate and bring home your child. You should also contact your family law attorney, and if the where abouts of your child are unknown, consider hiring a private investigator to locate your child and to focus dedicated resources on the case.

State Kidnapping Laws

Laws vary by state, but generally parental kidnapping involves a suspect abducting a child and holding them in a location they won’t likely be found. Some states laws maintain a parent cannot keep a child more than 24 hours with the intent to conceal them. In some states, just the unlawful retention of a child is sufficient for a charge of parental kidnapping; the use of force or a weapon is not required in all states to support the criminal charge of parental kidnapping. However, many state also include a defense for any parent attempting to protect their child from real threats.

Preventing Family Abductions

Custody battles are frustrating and can be infuriating, and child abductions are not uncommon. To keep your children safe, consider following these recommendations:

  • Start any child custody process immediately upon learning of your impending separation/divorce (as you need a custody order to prove your rights)
  • Impose visitation restrictions, such as supervised visits, if there is imminent danger of parental abduction
  • Include parental kidnapping prevention measures in the custody order such as having both parents post bonds. This will serve as a deterrent, and if the child is abducted by your spouse/ex, the money helps you with costs of recovery. For further information visit the Professional Bail Agents of the United States at www.pbus.com.
  • Maintain a certified copy of the custody order at your home.
  • Document any abduction threats and report them immediately to your family court and/or attorney.
  • Contact the police to intervene and alert your spouse/ex of the consequences of child abduction.
  • File certified copies of your child’s custody order with their schools, healthcare providers, daycare, sitters, etc. Make sure it’s known not to release your child to the non-custodial parent without your permission and demand to be notified if an attempt is made.
  • Keep a record of all physical descriptive information on your child and your spouse/ex, including height and weight, hair and eye color and any distinguishing marks, and maintain current photos (6 months). List social security numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle information, and other identifiable data.
  • Obtain a passport for your child, and let authorities know your child cannot leave the country without your written authorization – see the U.S. Department of State for more information.

Although it may be difficult to do, maintaining a friendly connection to the your spouse’s/ex’s family may be beneficial. It could help you avoid the trauma of family abduction, and in the event of a kidnapping, you may need their support to bring your child home safely.

What Else You Can Do

Keeping your children safe also requires open communication between you and your child. Ensure your children know as much information as possible including their full name, your full name, and full addresses and phone numbers. Make sure they know how and when to call you, and how and when to contact 911 services.

Most of all, make sure your child feels loved. Convey a message – without mentioning, or accusing the your spouse/ex of being a potential threat, and that you will always love them, look out for them and will do anything and everything to be with them.

Losing your child to parent kidnapping is gut wrenching and heartbreaking not only for you but also for your child. Fortunately, laws exist to help you get your children back. Should you ever lose your child due to parental kidnapping, turn to the criminal justice system and law enforcement for help.

Should you have any questions specific to your child custody or visitation case, or if you would like help enforcing a child custody order, contact a divorce attorney or a Father’s Rights attorney in your area for help.

Resources:

Photo Credit: Canstockphoto.com 

Setting Boundaries with Friends After Divorce Friends Are an Invaluable Asset

Setting Boundaries with Friends After Divorce Friends Are an Invaluable Asset

Divorce lawyers are paid big bucks to help divide the assets between husband and wife during a divorce, but one of the most valuable assets is left out of the mix. Who gets to keep the mutual friends? Many couples often find it difficult or nearly impossible to maintain mutual friends following a divorce. The good news is that by setting boundaries with friends, it may be possible to minimize the damage to your close friendships and hold onto the ones that really matter. Divorces are overwhelmingly challenging, and losing your friends is just another loss that’s difficult to deal with. While it may be easier part ways with some friends, there may be others that could turn into a very tough tug-of-war. Creating boundaries with friends may seem like yet another relentless task in the divorce process, but it is essential part of the process if your friendships are to survive.

Setting Boundaries with Friends

While you may rely on your best buds for a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on, it isn’t fair to your friends to bash your ex if they are still friends with her. Doing so can quickly create an awkward situation that may prevent your friendship from continuing. Setting boundaries with friends following a divorce should include an agreement from both parties that no ill words will be spoken about the other partner. Let your friends know that it is okay for them to stop you if you start going down that path. While it is okay to discuss what you are going through, don’t attempt to force your friends to take sides.

Speaking About the Divorce

Divorces can be messy and emotional. You may discover some less than pleasant truths about your wife or things may happen during the divorce that are uncharacteristic of your wife. Just because you are hurt or angry, it doesn’t give you the right to spread personal information around. Setting limits with friends helps to create rules on what can be shared about the divorce. Sharing too much can be hurtful to your ex and hurtful to your friends who still love and care for her. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t have shared the information before the divorce or in front of your ex, don’t share it with them after the divorce. You will want the same curtesy from your ex.

Mutual Invitations

Who gets to go to Dave and Sally’s wedding? Who can still attend Wednesday happy hour? It can be extremely awkward and uncomfortable for divorced couples to end up at the same social event, especially in the early stages after splitting. While it may have been a no brainer to invite both of you before the divorce, mutual friends need to know how it is going to work following the split. Discuss this with both your ex and your friends and come up with some guidelines. Whether it comes down to taking turns or giving both you and your Ex the option to attend knowing the other may be present or leaving the decision in the hands of you and your Ex, the key is communication. The last thing you want to do is show up to the wedding and see your Ex with another man if you aren’t ready to witness that. And if you know that the two of you cannot get along, it is best for everyone involved to not put yourself into that situation if you can avoid it.

Know that it will get easier over time, and perhaps there will be a future time where you do feel comfortable in social settings with your Ex. This doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement.

Handling Backlash

No matter how clear the communication was in the beginning, emotions are a big part of any divorce and will likely pop up at some point. You may feel hurt that your friends are spending more time with your Ex than you. Or you may resent them for inviting her to a particular event instead of you. Whatever the case may be, there may be some backlash, and your friends might find themselves on the brunt end of it.

Setting boundaries with your buds and others up front will help prevent these negative feelings or at least help you deal with them when they come up. Let your friends know that both parties will try their best not to drag them into any negativity towards the new friendship arrangements.

Accepting Lost Friendships

The truth is that some of your friendships will naturally end after a divorce, and that’s okay. Don’t try to maintain them all. Perhaps your Ex was closer to certain friends or had friendships long before your marriage. Perhaps some of the friends began through your Ex’s family. These friendships are sometimes better off left with your Ex.

On the other hand, some of your friends may find it too uncomfortable to be friends with both parties after a divorce. Remember that this is awkward for them too. They may naturally pick one side or perhaps both friendships will fade following a divorce. Lost friendships are expected and aren’t a reflection on you.

Recognize When Enough is Enough

No matter how hard you try or how much you want to make it work, sometimes sharing mutual friends creates more stress and tension than is worthwhile. You may feel more negative emotions and experience more unpleasant memories than you wanted to by being around people who used to be a part of your marriage or you may find it difficult to follow the boundaries you set up.

You have to be real with yourself and recognize when enough is enough, at least for awhile. You may need to distance yourself in order to heal for some amount of time before coming back into a friendship. If this happens to you, be honest and open with your friends. You aren’t abandoning your friendship, but you need to prioritize yourself during this trying time in your life.

Make New Friends

Just because you and your Ex have agreed to continue your relationship with mutual friends, do not close yourself off to new friendships. While your mutual friends are important, your life is changing and new friendships may help you adapt to your new lifestyle. Talk to new people, put yourself out there and accept invitations as they come along. New and different people can breathe new life into you and help accelerate the process of starting new.

Setting Boundaries and Sticking to Them

Setting boundaries with friends is the easy part. The more difficult part is sticking to them. Your brain knows these boundaries are logical and necessary, but your emotions may get the better of you and make it difficult to maintain these boundaries. You may feel tempted to ask your friends about your Ex’s personal life or bash her for being late to pick up the kids. It is expected that you’ll slip up every now and then, but start building a healthy habit to respect these boundaries from day 1 … no matter what you feel or how tempting it may be.

Moving Forward

Nearly every aspect of your life will look different following a divorce, and the friendships you once shared with your Ex are no different. Couples who’ve had a tight circle of friends may find it even more difficult. With the correct approach and mindset, you may be able to retain the friendships that you built during marriage. Setting boundaries with friends and sticking to them is essential. Be honest with your friends and yourself about your situation and your emotions, plan accordingly and, above all else, remain respectful of your Ex.

 

 

Teaching Your Kids About Money Smart Dads Raise Financially Savvy Kids

Teaching Your Kids About Money Smart Dads Raise Financially Savvy Kids

If you’re a Dad who wants his kid to do well in life, then one of the best things you can do is to start teaching your kids about money. The sooner, the better. Children who learn smart earning, saving, and spending habits early on positively impact their financial futures.

Skills to earn income, save, invest, and spend money can be taught at a very young age. Understanding the difference between needs and wants, grasping the concept of how savings grow, and grasping how debt can negatively impact one’s life are all entirely possible for children to learn.

These concepts are not often taught in most schools, and while I think they should be, I think it is more important that dads take the lead in teaching your kids about handling finances. Because frankly, who cares more about your child’s money than you and them anyway?

Ways to Teach Financial Basics

Allowance

I did not give my children an allowance, but in hindsight, I wish I did. Having them ‘earn’ an income is a great way to teach the ins and outs of earning, saving, spending, and even donating. As children are faced with situations such as wanting a toy or piece of clothing that isn’t in the family budget, they can be taught the difference between needs and wants. You can be teaching your child patience as well by showing them how to save for a desired purchase that is not in the family budget.

Shopping

Grocery or back-to-school shopping trips can be great teaching opportunities. Start by preparing a list of needs before hitting the store. Show your child how to compare prices, take advantage of things that are on sale, or buy in bulk to save additional money.

Explain how the brands they may see advertised on television are not always the best value option. If they ask for items that are not on the list explain that those things are not necessary and be willing to say no. Alternatively, you can use those times for teaching your child they can pay for their wants out of their savings.

Banking

Open a savings account with your child and if they are of working age assist them in opening a checking account. Owning and maintaining savings accounts can children learn about interest, how to deposit and withdraw money, and depending on their age, properly use debit cards.

Business

Does your kid show an entrepreneurial spirit? Help them start a small business. A lemonade stand, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, or babysitting services are all reasonably easy options for teaching your kids about money. This is an excellent way for them to learn financial skills. Also, they can learn how to set and achieve goals, what profit and loss are, how pricing effects profits, and more importantly how hard and honest work can be rewarded. A small business can also instill confidence and necessary people skills.

Hacks for Teaching Your Kids About Money

  1. Use clear jars to accumulate money for saving, spending, and donating so that your child can visual see the money. As they earn money or are gifted money, teach them to split the money between the different jars, based on agreed upon designations. Such as 25% for long-term savings they can’t touch, 25% for short-term savings, 10% for donations, and 40% for spending on their wants.
  2. Have them count their money and record in a notebook or on the computer, each time they add money to their jars or take money out. Putting down notes as to where the money came from or how it was spent or donated is a good habit for them to create. You’ll be teaching your kids about money, and about record keeping.
  3. Assist your child in setting goals for their money. If they want a toy that will take four weeks of allowance to pay for or their first car, which may take them four years, help them create a savings chart to track it. This can be done with a simple piece of paper and crayons for young children or an Excel spreadsheet for an older child.
  4. Physically show them how money works. Instead of using your credit card online or at the store teach them how to use cash. Go through the motions with their own money when they want a toy by having them grab a few dollars out of spending jar and taking it to the store to physically purchase an item.
  5. Explain the concept of opportunity cost. If you buy this book with your money, you won’t be able to buy that toy too.
  6. Find opportunities for teaching your child the importance of giving and lead by example. Even with just a little bit of money, they can learn about giving. Have your child pick a charity, a cause, your church, or even someone they know who could use a little help. Eventually, they’ll understand giving doesn’t just positively affect the charitable causes they give to, but also the giver as well.
  7. Describe how compounding interest works – Interest is earned on the original amount of money saved, as well as on any interest already earned. Here’s a fun calculator for them to try.
  8. Educate them about credit and the danger of credit cards. Stress the importance of using credit responsibly and paying off credit cards in full each month. Credit card debt is costly and can quickly ruin one’s life. Don’t let them learn this the hard way.

Financial Technology and Money Apps for Teaching Your Kids

As your child ages, you’ll likely want to introduce them to more technology-based financial education. This may aid you in teaching them necessary to understand concepts mentioned above. Here are a few highly rated fin-tech products you may want to check out when you and your child are ready.

FamZoo

FamZoo, encompasses many areas of teaching kids about money, including spending, saving and giving. Their technology allows you to utilize prepaid cards or a simple IOU system instead, to provide allowances to your kids. It’s entirely customizable, goal-based, simple to use and in addition to allowance tracking, FamZoo also allows you to:

  • Assign payments for chores
  • Set up savings buckets to pay your kids a specified interest rate (compounding interest!)
  • Establish separate logins for your child to give them responsibility for tracking their money.

FamZoo offers lots of features for a variety of ages making it an awesome program that grows with your kids.

Bankaroo

Started in 2011, Bankaroo is the idea of an 11-year old daughter and her father who helped her bring it to life. It is a virtual bank designed for kids, ages 5 to 14. It teaches the value of money in a fun and straightforward way. Create checking, savings, and charity accounts for your kids to track their allowance, gift, or chore money. Kids can also create savings goals and earn cool badges.

Bankaroo has mobile apps in both English and Spanish and offers financial curriculum programs for schools too.

PiggyBot

Aimed at kids, ages 6 to 8, PiggyBot offers an easy way to track allowance spending and saving. Instead of cash, your kids have a virtual balance, like an IOU with you. Each child has a separate Spend-It, Share-It, and Save-It account and you decide how to allocate the allowance.

Kids can set goals, take pictures of things they want and share money. There’s also an option to show off the items they purchased. The system is designed to reinforce principles of saving for wants, needs, and nice-to-haves.

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to communicate with your child early and often on how to earn, save, and spend. There are many ways, tools, and technology available for teaching your kids about money. Offer several examples to them of how money is earned and provide your child the opportunity to help decide how it is budgeted for saving, spending, and sharing. Also, please educate your children about the dangers of spending above their means, overusing credit cards, being in debt, and paying high-interest loan rates.

Additional Resource:

Money Confident Kids

5 Things to Do Now If Your Wife Wants a Divorce Tactics for Saving Your Marriage

5 Things to Do Now If Your Wife Wants a Divorce Tactics for Saving Your Marriage

Divorce isn’t rarely two-sided, and if your wife wants a divorce, you’re likely banging your head against the wall trying to figure out what went wrong and what you can do to make things better. If you feel like your marriage is slipping through your fingers, don’t sit there and bitch about it. Get off your butt and make changes. Don’t give up until you’re sure it won’t work. Just because she’s dropped the “D” bomb doesn’t mean your marriage has to end.

If you’re think that your marriage can be saved, it’s time to take things into your own hands. Take a look at the five things to do now if your spouse wants a divorce, plus, what you should never do if you want to save your marriage.

1. Suggest a “Do Over”

No, you can’t completely start over from the beginning. There will be fights that can’t be forgotten and words that can’t be taken back, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end. Make your best effort to Reignite the spark as best you can. Take your wife on dates, smile at her, tell her what you love about her and why you’re with her. Go out and do fun things, travel and try new activities. It’s normal for a relationship to become stale over the years. Marriage is a lot of hard work, and if you want it to last, you have to be willing to do the things that made it exciting in the beginning.

Suggest to her that the two of you give it one month with a “do over”. You both have to be in it together and agree to commit to specific time frame of trying to get your marriage back on track. If nothing changes after that time, then you can re-evaluate the long term prognosis, but changes like this that re-engage the spark are sure to make a positive impact on your marriage.

2. Evaluate and Change Your Behavior

If your wife wants a divorce because of what’s perceived as YOUR behavior problems, whether it’s anger issues, constant complaining, or bad habits, you need to change your ways now. This doesn’t actually mean that you’re to blame, and you likely have a list of her behaviors that you’d like to see changed as well. But, if you want to save your marriage, focus on yourself first and changing the behaviors you know may be damaging your relationship. This is really tough (hell, you’ve had how many years practicing and perfecting who you are), and you may have to seek out a professional to help the changing process. But, if your relationship has gotten to the point where your spouse wants out, you need to recognize your possible flaws and take responsibility for changing what you can.

3. Invest Time and Energy to Working on Yourself

You can’t fix your marriage if you’re not the best, or at least a pretty good version of yourself. Invest your time into activities that make you feel good and contribute to your healthiest, happiest self. Exercise, eat well, go to therapy if you need to. Recognize that there may be parts of you that have changed over time, and do your best to get back to a version of yourself you’re proud of. Sometimes we’re not willing to look at ourselves as part of the issue, but without that acknowledgment, nothing’s likely going to change for the better.

Take care of yourself and take the necessary steps to feel good about the way you look. If you’ve let yourself go over the years, bring back whatever used to make you look and feel your best. You’ll feel on top of the world, and it will make a huge difference in your marriage.

4. Seek Professional Help

If your marriage is on the brink of divorce and you haven’t seen a therapist or a divorce mediator, you need to do so ASAP. If your wife wants a divorce, there are issues between the two of you that need to be resolved. At this stage, it’s not always possible to work it out yourselves. Having a professional, objective, unbiased opinion can help you both figure out what the real issues are and how to implement positive solutions.  Therapy and/or mediation will require both of you to own up to your share of the marriage problems, too.

Seeing a marriage counselor or therapist may not save your marriage. Both of you have to want to save your marriage for there to be any sort of resolution. If your wife refuses to cooperate, try your best to convince her why it would be beneficial and how much you want your marriage to work. Don’t push her too hard, but try your best to make her see the light.

5. Agree to a Temporary Separation

If your wife is determined to get a divorce, you may want to agree to a temporary separation (or trial separation). Yes, it may be the last thing you want to do, but if she needs space and time for herself, you need to give it to her. The tighter you hold on, the more likely she is to pull away.

Once you separate, she’ll be faced with the reality of what she thinks she wants. She’ll see what life is like without you and your marriage, and will have to decide if what she’s asking for is truly the best solution. It’s okay to trust in your relationship and the love you share, but you also need to prepare yourself for the worst. If the separation only strengthens her desire for divorce, the split may be the best thing for you both.

What You Should Never Do When Your Wife Wants a Divorce

As soon as you heard the words “I want a divorce” come out of her mouth, it probably hit you like a ton of bricks. Don’t overreact, don’t panic, and for God’s sake don’t beg her to stay.

Divorce is often discussed between couples for quite some time before it actually happens, and going off the rails early on isn’t going to help the situation. People can change their minds, and if you both commit time and energy to working on yourselves and your marriage, you may not have to worry about divorce.

Don’t shut down, either. It’s painful to hear that your wife wants a divorce, but ending communication completely is only just going to push the two of you farther apart. Eat dinner together, watch your kids’ sports games together, spend time doing things you like, and make sure to keep the conversation flowing. Remind each other why you married one another in the first place.

You Deserve To Be With Someone Who Wants You

Finally, don’t rush things. You and your spouse need to work at your own pace to salvage your marriage. Divorce rarely happens overnight; it often takes many months for couples to go through with it. Take the time to figure out what the issues are in your relationship, why it isn’t working anymore, and what both parties can do to make things better. If ultimately time and action don’t heal the problems, and your marriage comes to an end, you should realize that you deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you.

(c) Can Stock Photo / JackF

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