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Moving forward when your spouse does not want a divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2022 | Divorce

Chronic dissatisfaction in a marriage can motivate you to end the relationship. Divorce is not always a mutual decision. Sometimes one spouse wants to preserve the marriage, but Indiana law does not require both of you to agree on the subject. This situation, however, introduces more conflict into an already difficult situation. Despite your frustration, you may succeed in guiding your spouse toward acceptance if you can be patient.

Compassionate communication

When you announced that you wanted a divorce, your spouse probably felt panic. Perhaps your spouse did not realize how unhappy you were and was devastated by the news. You might ease the emotional upset by stating that you understand why this hurts but are not doing it to cause pain.

If you do not view the relationship as salvageable, follow these communication guidelines:

  • As kindly as possible, explain your reasons
  • Be firm but gentle about your decision to divorce
  • Resist your feelings of anger if your spouse does not cooperate

Delaying tactics and obstruction

A reluctant spouse may make genuine efforts to repair the relationship or express this goal as a means of putting the divorce on pause. You will have to decide if you want to see a marriage counselor and work on the marriage instead of filing for divorce as you first intended.

On the other hand, if you know that you want to move forward, be prepared for delaying tactics like:

  • Failing to provide financial records
  • Threatening self-harm
  • Accusing you of substance, financial, or child abuse

Staying the course

When confronted by these tactics, try to avoid emotional reactions. The law recognizes that people sometimes have to end marriages under contentious circumstances.