Help! My Husband Just Told Me He Wants a Divorce!

For all the advice and information we provide, not every couple makes a diligent effort to practice the principles that will strengthen their marriage. Even for some couples who do put our advice into practice, they still face obstacles they can’t conquer, have trouble forming new habits, or simply can’t find it in themselves to rebuild lost trust or affection.

Even when couples work on their marriages, that dreaded moment can still happen – when one of you asks for a divorce.

But if you truly want to save your marriage, such obstacles – even the prospect of divorce – can’t stop you. See, even if you still have problems in your marriage after working out others, or are struggling to work your way through our system, still fighting after counseling, still having trouble in the bedroom, etc., you ARE making progress simply by virtue of effort and awareness.

If your spouse tells you they want a divorce, it doesn’t mean that the battle to save your marriage is over – it means that the time to make big strides in improving the relationship is RIGHT NOW.

Does your spouse want a divorce?
Does your spouse want a divorce?

Even if you’re partner is totally checked out, you can still work on the marriage on your own, and communicate with them in ways that will help them see the importance of the marriage – and the possibility of getting it back on track.

Before we get into some of these methods, it’s important to remember not to cling, beg, or beat your spouse over the head with your efforts to improve the marriage.

Include them by all means, but by clinging, we generally end up pushing people further away. We like to describe the ideal approach as “standing still with your arms open.” You aren’t chasing them, you are simply welcoming them back with a ready embrace. You aren’t forcing the marriage on them (forcing leads to resistance), you are letting them know that you are present and available, ready to forgive and move forward with a new and improved marriage with the one you already married!

If you’re working on the marriage on your own, your top priority is working on yourself. What can you do to be the ideal spouse? Do you have bad habits you could be working to resolve? Could you be in better shape? Could you make more time for family? Could you find ways to manage stress and mood to be happier? Could you contribute more around the house?

Take a good look at what you might be doing to contribute to the problems in the marriage, and tackle those things first! If you’re being the best “you” you can be, it builds confidence, makes you more attractive, and let’s you be free of self-blame, knowing that you’re putting in the effort to uphold your half of the relationship.

Once you’ve begun your own path of self-improvement, try to spend some time together on neutral ground, without delving into your relationship’s problems – just spending causal, enjoyable time together. Get a sense for why you fell in love in the first place. Enjoy each other’s company without all the pressures of your past problems, without expectations, without dredging up the past.

And here’s the most important part: you have to agree with your spouse that you don’t want your existing marriage either…

Agree with your spouse that things are not going the way you want them to, and that you aren’t happy either. Agree that your current marriage isn’t a relationship you want to be a part of, but explain to them that you DO want to build a new marriage with the person you’re already married to.

When you can agree that the marriage of the past wasn’t healthy for either of you, you can put it behind you and begin to focus on the future – a new marriage where you don’t make the same mistakes, where you’re both committed to each other and the relationship, and focused on building the marriage you’ve always wanted.

Even in the face of divorce, you CAN bring your marriage back on track. Don’t lose hope.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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fran 10 years ago

I am only 28. I love him very much. But I just don't feel any sparks when I'm with him anymore. We've always had our problems since day one. I enjoy spending family time with him though.

maryann 10 years ago

My husband and I have been married for quite some time. Here in the past two years we found out he has Aspergers. That explains alot of our issues since it is more of a social disorder. My husband and I have not gotten along for a while and I am contemplating divorce. I feel badly because it is not right to leave someone because you find out they have an issues. It was for better or for worse ya know. He has been there for my worse and now I am thinking of leaving him because of his worse.

cheri 10 years ago

I have been married for 6 years and my husband doesn't work, clean or cook. He also is a drug addict, he watches porn and he has or is always trying to hook up with another girl. He lies about everything. When I find out things he acts like Im over reacting. he says he loves me but every new thing I find out makes me care less. Is it really worth trying to fix???

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

It sounds like you need to spice things up a bit.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi Cheri - I think that is something only you can answer.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

HI Maryann - I think it's important to remember any issues he has were there before, just now they have a name. And now that they have a name you can find some strategies to help you both cope.

hopeless 10 years ago

rather interesting how the advice is also saying that this can work even with a checked out partner. My checked out partner (who also moved out two months ago) do NOT want to spend any time with me other than trying to discuss "divorce" with me. we've been together 13+ yrs (married 10), moved to another country for his career and then he left me after 2 months of being here. oh did i mention he is living with a work colleague he is "in love" with? Yes, he is cheating on me openly. I bought your system and did my best to work on those exercises, but I cannot work on things by myself as it requires spending time with him 8 hrs a week which is not all possible. it's getting hopeless when your checked out partner does not want anything to do with you.

Stacey 10 years ago

My husband filed for divorce. I've tried everything you've recommended and he still filed anyway. Won't talk to me or spend time with me. Threatens me with it giving me money everytime he does talk to me. He's not the man that I married at all. In fact he's not the man that I knew last year. He's openly cheating on me and says that he loves this girl and can't wait to marry her. She's 5 years older than our oldest daughter. Tell me how your system will change this.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi Hopeless - I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do on your own, and we support you in trying to save your marriage. All you can do try to be the best spouse and person you can.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hi Stacey - It would be hard to say without knowing the root of his transformation. Is he going through a mid-life crisis, struggling with depression, or is this a result of an unresolved issue between you? Our system aims to help you both find and fix the fissures in your relationship,but sometimes, the relationship still fails. In that case, we work to try and prepare your for the next phase and relationship in your life.

Stacey 10 years ago

He turned 40 last dec and started having issues right before that. He blames me for everything wrong in our relationship. All he says is that he's done. No reason or anything else. I have no money to pay for a marriage system. I need help though. I've said that I don't want our old marriage but a new one. And to no avail. He says he doesn't care about me.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

I would definitely research mid-life crisis then.

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