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Should I Be Hopeful That He Will Change His Mind About Divorce?

Question:

I’m in shock. After 11 months of marriage my husband told me he wants a divorce. He told me on a Monday night and Tuesday he called to tell me he contacted an attorney and that I would be getting a letter.

I was so clueless. He was acting depressed over the last few weeks and definitely less affectionate. Yet, he was still kissing me good bye in the morning and calling me “babe.”

When I asked him what was going on he said he went to see a therapist. He said he wasn’t sure if it was his family, friends, work or us that was making him sad. We did have some arguements over minor things but no knock out, drag out fights. I relocated to his state so I would be the one most affected in terms of moving, etc. I told him I wanted to fight for our relationship. He said he is not confident that counseling would help and he doesn’t want to take that step.

What I am blown away by is the fact that he had seen an attorney weeks before and just pretended to live life normally. The weekend prior, we went running together, and to dinner and the movies. Things were tense but never did I think things were that bad. I never knew he was considering divorce nor did he ever express to me that he was so upset with us that he might take this action. He asked me why I couldn’t you tell something was wrong, as if I am a mind reader.

He never gave me the opportunity to fix anything that might be affecting the way he was feeling. It really is so frustrating. Why he is rushing this confuses me too. I thought we were a terrific couple and everyone that knows us is in shock too. I have removed myself from the house after trying to convince him we should seek professional help. I am hoping that the space might change his mind.

Should I think this way or move on?

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Answer:

Recently a friend of mine told me a similar story about her husband suddenly suing for divorce while she was clueless. It is not unusual for people to miss the signals. Often, that is referred to as denial. You may have seen the signals about your husband, but, you denied them because it was too painful.

Remember, the weekend you went to dinner and the movies, you said that things were tense. Apparently, you overlooked the tension that was affecting the two of you.

It is extremely difficult to improve a marriage if one of the partners fails to communicate and refuses to go to marriage counseling. He seems to have made up his mind about divorce. What is troubling is that you do not seem to have any idea what his complaint are about the marriage. In fact, you write that you could have helped him if he had discussed marriage problems with you. You are assuming that the problems are all his. However, he seems to want a divorce because there are things about the marriage with which he has been unhappy a long time. In other words, you could not have helped him but you could have worked with him to improve your relationship.

From what he tells you, his mind is made up and he wants a divorce. It is never possible to force another person to change their mind, particularly when they never told you that anything was wrong. I do not like saying this because I believe in marriage but, in my opinion, you have to move on.

Having said that, I am not sure that moving out of your house was a good idea. I am not an attorney and you must hire a lawyer whose expertise is divorce. After all, you may have a claim to part of the value of the house because the two of you are married. However, I am only raising a question. I believe that its in your best interests to seek the guidance and help of a lawyer so that your rights are protected throughout the procedings.

I suspect that it would be a good idea for you to enter psychotherapy for yourself. Divorce is a wrenching experience that takes a heavy toll on emotions. Psychotherapy can help you get through the crisis and help you understand what may have happened.

Best of Luck 

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