Can You Really Stop A Divorce?

150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Marriage is a relationship of balance. . . and a balance that is easily upset these days. Unfortunately, the solution many people choose to deal with the situation is to divorce. I say “unfortunate” because the vast majority of people enter into getting a divorce with a very optimistic view of the consequences. In fact, people underestimate the cost, the emotional toll, the length of time, the energy, and the consequences for children.

So, they blindly head down the road to divorce. The only ones to benefit from this action? The Divorce Industry, but the couple will not figure that out for awhile. And when they do finally realize this, they will be so angry with each other that they won’t care. That is the secret that many divorce attorneys will just not tell you!

But allow me to make an assumption here. Let me assume I am “preaching to the choir.” Let me assume that you are already on-board with me about the damage wrought by a divorce. Let me assume that you are not wanting to lose your spouse, that you don’t want your children split between homes, that you don’t want your finances devastated. Let me assume that you want to save your marriage, but you don’t know if a divorce can be avoided.

If your question is “Is it even possible to stop a divorce?” — then let us try and think through this together. You see, I don’t find it helpful to try and convince people to save a marriage. I only try to provide the information you need to do that.

So, consider the following circumstances and factors that determine the likelihood you will succeed in stopping a divorce and saving a marriage. But first, let me tell you that in my 2 decades of helping people deal with a marriage crisis, I never cease to be amazed by two things: 1) marriages that should not, in my estimation, end — do, in fact, end. 2) marriages that I think are likely to fall apart and end actually find healing and stay together.

One major lesson I have learned through this: It truly takes two people to make a marriage work, but it only takes one to royally screw it up (that is my technical term)!

That said, there are factors that play into the likelihood:

1) How long the problems have been known. This is not a matter of how long the problems have existed, but how long one person or the other has been aware of it. The longer a problem has been known, the longer someone has been asking for change. When that change doesn’t ever happen, someone often becomes more and more resentful, eating away at the marriage. So, when a threat is made to divorce, it is often more entrenched and defended.

2) Whether there is infidelity or not. First, let me say that statistics show the majority of marriages where infidelity has happened do manage to survive. Second, let me also point out that I did not say “whether has been infidelity or not.” We are talking here about whether the infidelity is current and on-going.

The reason is because the affair becomes idealized as the “better relationship,” and that can attract the person involved away from the marriage and toward the paramour. That said, the vast majority of extramarital relationships fall apart. Think about it: one day, the person thinks “that person cheated on his/her spouse with me. . . and that could happen to me!” Any relationship built on dishonesty already has the seeds of its destruction sown.

3) Whether children are involved. Parents are capable of pulling outside of themselves and seeing that a divorce would be difficult for the children. So, while it is easy to rationalize and pretend that everything will be okay, the parents know on some level that they are fundamentally ripping away the security the children have known. This gives more opportunities for healing and restoration of the marriage in relationships where there are children.

4) How a spouse responds to the threat of divorce. This is the one you have control over! You can’t go back and redo not changing earlier. You can’t stop a spouse’s infidelity. And you either have children or you don’t. But this one, you have control over.

Spouses that take action, that find the helpful information (as opposed to the lame and useless information floating around) tend to have the best chance for restoration. Why? Because good information will helps you avoid the mistakes that make things worse, helps you to create sensible strategies for reconnecting, helps you to understand what went wrong and what needs to go right. In other words, good information gives you the tools and understandings you need to make some real, lasting changes.

Albert Einstein observed that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Good information gives you new ways of thinking. And with that information, the chances of stopping a divorce and saving your marriage go up astronomically!

Information and help can be found in my System, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.

Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Dr. Baucom is internationally known for his methods and approaches to saving marriages. For over 25 years, Dr. Baucom has been helping people around the world to save, restore, and create the relationships they desire and deserve. He is the author of the book, How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps, and creator of the Save The Marriage System, as well as numerous other resources.

All stories by: Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.
  • Tom Sauve

    What if you have been separated for four years and the wife has started seeing another guy. They have taken trips together and she has told me that she does not love me – sounds like to much to overcome?

  • Certainly stacked against you! However, I have seen worse come back. (I have also seen some I thought should be easy fixes end in divorce!) Check your email, though. I responded to you there.

  • Tom Sauve

    Thank you Lee – She just took another last minute weekend with him. Left at 11:00 at night and is gone until Sunday night. She seems so happy with this new guy and going to the beach with him. Not sure how to handle this, do I just wait it out and hope it looses it’s luster? Do I talk to her about it and ask questions?

    How can I gain anu ground if she wants this and seems so happy and when she sees me she seems disgusted and annoyed. When I tell her I love you – she gets more annoyed. Any compliments I give just seem to make her angry?

    Very confused…


  • Catherine Sullivan

    My husband and I are heading for divorce. There has been infidelity on his part, there has been lack of respect for me and my feelings where other women are concerned. I tried to forgive him, but he still was seeing/talking with other women and lying to me. He takes me for granted. We have a problem with money. My lawyer advised me to take the money he had in the house and divide it. She said to take pictures of it and take half and put it in a safety deposit box. I have done that. My husband says I’m a thief and that there’s no chance of reconciling this marriage. We both don’t trust each other. Me due to his infidelity and he because as he states I stole from him. How can we get this marriage back. He wants nothing to do with me or this marriage and insists he can’t wait until I’m out of his house and it’s over. I don’t see this marriage as salvageable. Do you think it is. I want to save it.

  • Too late tony

    My wife wants a Divorce, we still sleep together, without touching (she is trying to be strong). We just put the down payment on the mediation to begin. I dont want this, I want my wife. She stated to me for the last three years she has felt neglected. I agree, I have shut down because I dont think she placed me as a priority. However, I still love her. She said she has reached her breaking point as she has tried and nothing has changed, yet we go everywhere, do everything together, even sleep together this weekend. How to i convince her that we can change and make this better…she said she has given up and doesn’t beleive me, but I want her to change as well and make me a priority. She wants this Divorce, I dont,and time is running out. What can I do! 2 children, beautiful home, I think this can be fixed but her feeling have hardened and no longer has faith that we can. How do I change that?

  • Julie

    My husband and I have been separated for 2 months. I have started to make changes to myself that he apparently noticed, as he was kinder to me than he had been in a very long time. He never showed interest in my facebook account while we were in the same home, but looked at my friend list and saw an ex -I am actually having no contact with this person, just an extreme lapse in judgment on my part. His attitude toward me is now cold and said he has “written me off” How do I convince him that I have no interest in this other person and love only him? (I’ve already removed the ex from my friend list)

  • Kelley

    We have been married for 21 years. There have been mistakes along the way and I wasn’t the wife I should have been. My husband feels like his feelings have eroded to the point of no return (his words). He did have an emotional affair, which he ended when I asked him to. We live in the same house and share many intimacies. I have been working towards rebuilding our relationship, but struggle in the face of his depression over our situation. How can I make him see I have found new emotion due to healing my scars and that our marriage will survive and be stronger on the other side?

  • sb

    What happens if your spouce is wanting divorce because the mother in law and you got into a fight and she won’t forgive you and he is not standing up to her