Screaming, throwing a plate, crying until you’re dehydrated, and crying in the arms of a loved one all might seem like a good idea right about now.
As an initial response, to learning your husband wants a divorce these are all valid reactions.
But there will come a time soon enough when you’ll want to move past the initial wreckage. When you’ll have the strength to pick up the pieces and move forward.
What to do when your husband wants a divorce isn’t an easy question to answer. There is no one-size fits all blueprint. In fact, ultimately a divorce might not even be in the cards.
But the purpose of this talk isn’t to speculate and give you hope. It’s to create a blueprint that sees you move forward in a healthy and constructive way.
Right now it may seem like there’s little hope.
But I’m here to tell you there will be a day when the storm subsides and the sun shines again. There is hope and there is the possibility of transformation. I’ve personally worked with women that have been able to create an impactful shift after having suffered a divorce or from infidelity.
Change is scary and requires that you heal internal wounds. To heal these wounds you’ll have to ask difficult questions and be willing to have difficult conversations with your partner as well as with yourself.
I say this because trying to move forward without healing the trauma is like slapping a bandaid on a tumor that’s metastasized then telling yourself you’re fine.
This strategy may work for a little while but in the long run, your relationships with loved ones and your mental health will suffer.
I know it will be difficult but think of your future self. Consider how much of a better place you can put your future self in if you put in the time to heal now.
The best way to heal is by taking one step forward.
Here’s that first step.
Who were you before your marriage?
Were you a sexy, confident woman ready to take on the world?
Do you think your marriage has changed who you are for the worse?
Naturally, this will be a difficult question to answer. Can you really attribute negative change to the marriage or does it have to do with any of life’s other million variables that may have changed who you are and how you view yourself?
It’s difficult to answer, which is why you should sit with this question of whether your marriage has changed you for the worse and if it allows you to be your best self.
From what I’ve seen from working with women going through divorce or struggling with their husband’s infidelity is that a woman will be super sexy and confident at the beginning of a marriage, but those feelings will subside 5, 10, or 20 years into a marriage. To a degree this is natural, but it’s possible the dynamic you have with your husband is exacerbating these feelings.
Take the time to evaluate the relationship in its totality.
Ask yourself if your husband is keeping you down or allowing you to be your most comfortable and best self? Can you carry yourself in a way that aligns with your values and who you want to be?
It’s difficult to think things through on your own. Not only is it scary but finding a way forward can be like running through a labyrinth with no end in sight. If you want to game out the situation and work towards a healthy future, I’d love to talk with you.
This may seem like odd advice.
After all isn’t this an article about what to do when your husband wants a divorce?
Let me remind you that you can’t control what your husband does. The only thing you have control over is how you behave, react, and understand the current situation. After a traumatic experience like learning your husband wants a divorce, it can be all too easy to buckle under pressure.
To be complacent and revert back to our instinctual behavior even when we know it’s damaging.
One of the most unhelpful human characteristics is our need to be consistent with our identity and who we see ourselves to be. If we have toxic qualities or harmful attachment styles it’s incredibly difficult to transcend these, even though we’re aware of how detrimental they are to our lives.
It’s easy to make bad decisions when it feels like our world is crashing down. To drink too much, to say the wrong thing, to lash out at people, etc. These bad decisions give you a quick sense of gratification. They feel like the right thing to do because the desire to act out negatively is so strong.
But don’t get me wrong, living in a negative, indulgent place is okay for a little while.
It’s okay to overeat for a little while, to neglect your health a bit, and to hide from life. I believe if you don’t give into negativity just a little in the midst of the storm, the healing process might be even more difficult.
Give yourself a two or three-week period to indulge (so long as you’re not hurting others, yourself in an indelible way, or your partner).
You have to process and grieve what you had. If you don’t do this now you may repress these negative emotions and have them bubble up and overwhelm you later on.
Just be sure to set some sort of timetable for your emotions. Don’t allow them to unchecked forever. Doing so leads to neverending indulgence that could easily devolve into depression.
At some point, you’ll want to ask yourself how you can use pain to grow and move forward.
What are those deeper wounds that need addressing?
Do you feel abandoned, inadequate, or fear that you won’t meet anyone else?
Or perhaps you feel the relationship has been on the decline for a while and you’ve just refused to acknowledge it. Now the relationship is ending and you finally have a chance to move forward with grace. Seize that opportunity by addressing internal wounds.
Only once you’ve addressed these wounds can you really start to build momentum and move forward.
The first step is awareness.
Are you aware of what’s happening? Do you know your husband has cheated or that the relationship is coming to a close? Have you identified what wounds need addressing most? Have you asked the difficult questions you must ask in order to move forward?
The second step is acceptance.
Becoming aware is one thing, accepting that what happened happened and that you have internal conflicts in need of addressing is the next step. Once you accept it, you can begin to take the time to shine the light on what happened and really figure out how to heal. If you don’t accept what’s wrong you won’t be able to focus on it long enough to fix it.
The third step is processing the pain.
This is the most in-depth and emotionally involved step. It entails facing the fear and pain, really looking at it from a more objective perspective and understanding how it has negatively impacted you and how you can move forward.
The best way to start this is by feeling the negativity. Feeling what happened in your bones. This way you acknowledge the pain is there and are able to sit with it. If you never allow the pain into the room how can you expect to look it in the face and understand it?
The physical sensation will pass, but it takes time.
The fourth step is transformation.
Here is when you create meaningful shifts and are able to move past trauma.
But I understand how these steps can seem a bit abstract.
If only you had a concrete blueprint full of granular steps and exercises you can do when confronted with what to do when your husband wants a divorce.
I know many women that have been haunted by this dilemma.
It’s for this reason I created my program, the Authentic Relationship System.
Via my online curriculum, live strategy sessions, and a warm online community full of women in your position I can help you create meaningful positive shifts in your life.
I’d love to talk more about where you’re at now in your relationship, where you want to go, and how I can help you get there.