It's not uncommon for spouses to visit a divorce attorney before deciding to end their marriages. Many benefit from speaking with a lawyer to learn what divorce will be like, and to better understand their legal rights and options. Sometimes, these individuals successfully repair their marriages. Other times, they use the information they've gathered to more successfully navigate their divorce process.
When it comes to the spouses who fall into the "undecided about divorce" category, it's always a good idea to ask them if they've gone through the following steps to save their marriages. Ultimately, if the following process fails, it might be time to move forward with divorce.
1. Avoid identifying as the victim
Whether it's you or your partner who wants to get a divorce, don't play the "victim." The person who enters into the victim mindset will usually cause his or her spouse to feel guilty. While "guilting" a spouse to stay in a marriage might work for a short time, it is not a permanent fix. Instead, flip the script: Be proud of who you are, be proud of your spouse and be proud of your relationship. Dig deep to find the things you enjoy about your relationship, feel them and express them.
2. Communicate clearly the changes you require
It's time to get clear about your marriage "deal breakers." What can you change about yourself and what do you need your spouse to change? Communicate these clearly with your spouse, find out what he or she needs and then get to work on complying with the list and holding your spouse accountable.
3. Spruce up your appearance
Are you looking your best for your spouse? At one time, he or she was attracted to you – so much that you both decided to get married. It's time to make sure you're looking as good as you can to keep that spark of attraction alive.
4. Resolve old relationship wounds
You and your spouse could be carrying some baggage about one another. Have a deep conversation to see how you may have hurt him or her. Express the hurts you carry as well. Once you understand the misunderstandings about these instances, you can say you're sorry, mean it, forgive and let them go.
5. Visit a therapist for couples counseling
You may also want to visit a therapist for couples counseling. Counseling can help you gain clarity about whether you want to be married or not.
Some spouses know that none of the above steps are going to work. Or, they've tried these steps -- and everything else under the sun -- to no avail. If you're ready to end your marriage peacefully, learn more about your legal rights and options to finalize your divorce respectfully.