If you and your spouse have been discussing divorce, but you don't want to divorce, or maybe you have been served with divorce papers, but divorce isn't for you, this post might be helpful. First, you must realize that, in Texas, either spouse has a right to divorce just because they want to. Texas does not require any reason for divorce. That said, there are a few ways to increase your chances at avoiding a divorce. Before we look at those, let's look at 4 strategies that rarely work: Reassurance. Telling your spouse that you have changed, that things are different now, or that the cheating will stop, generally don't result in a change of heart. If you haven't changed by now, your words aren't worth too much. Arguing. No matter what arguing style you use (yelling, analytical, playing the victim, rationalization, or other), trying to convince your spouse that their decision is wrong generally doesn't work. Telling them that they are stupid or are making a bad decision doesn't help the situation, in fact, it helps to cement your spouse's decision to proceed with divorce. Pessimism. Perhaps the Eeyore syndrome, where you try to play the victim, will work. Trying to make the other person feel sorry for you isn't a good strategy. Not only is this strategy ineffective, but it also isn't healthy for you. I Love You. Repeating, "I love you" over and over isn't going to fix the situation. Don't stop saying it, but these words don't fix every situation. Remember the old proverb, "actions speak louder than words". Typically, if you use one of these strategies to keep your spouse around, the best result is prolonging the inevitable. So let's look at 4 alternatives that actually increase the chances of restoring a relationship. Stop. Stop pressuring, stop whining, stop complaining, stop criticizing. No Arguing. Start agreeing with your spouse. Whatever they say, see it from their perspective and agree. There are 3 parts to this strategy: agree, be sincere, shut up. Don't defend yourself. Be Positive. While this situation is probably terrible, you must be positive. Find ways to compliment your spouse. In every situation, try to find the good and make an effort to mention it. Use short, quick conversation to make a positive impact in your spouse's life. Increase Faith. Whether you are religious or not, increase your faith that this situation is going to make you a better person. If you are religious, increase your attendance at church, mass, or the synagogue. Become involved and get your family involved. If you aren't religious, consider whether you should give it a try. Of course, there is no guarantee that any of these techniques can stop a divorce, but they have worked in the past and continue to work. There is one thing to remember when you want to change your spouse: you can't. You can only change yourself, so start there and let the rest take care of itself. Become a better person. If you get divorce, grow through it. If your marriage is restored, be blessed and don't return to the old habits.
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