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Should I Reconcile with My Spouse?

before divorce reconcile Feb 08, 2023
Married Couple Speaking About Reconcilation

Reconciliation of a marriage is the process of restoring peace between spouses – which can occur before a divorce or during a divorce – if you and your spouse are ready to take action.  Read on to learn more about reconciliation and determine if reconciliation or divorce is right for you.

Should I Reconcile with My Spouse?

You want to be happily married but right now you are upset with your spouse for the pain they have caused you.  You are seriously considering a divorce (or maybe you have even recently filed for a divorce).  But your spouse wants you to consider giving them an opportunity to work on themselves to save your marriage.  You don’t know what to do.  You go back and forth about reconciling with your spouse or filing for divorce. What should you do?

I know this is a very important decision for you to make.  You didn’t get married to end up divorced.

 What Does “Reconcile” Mean in a Marriage?

When spouses reconcile, one spouse acknowledges the pain or hurt that they caused, and the other spouse chooses to forgive.   Spouses choose to reconcile to save a marriage because they recognize the sum of their experiences together is positive rather than negative.

Is Marriage Reconciliation Possible for Me?

Reconciliation of a marriage is a process.  It requires both spouses to take a series of actions together.  Typically, one spouse begins to recognize behaviors or statements that have caused harm to their spouse, and the other spouse learns and practices forgiveness for their past behavior.

Do People Reconcile Before Divorce?

It is quite common that a series of bad behaviors causes your spouse to tell you that they want a divorce, but never file.  Typically, the spouse makes those statements because they are at their wits end but truly do not want a divorce.  If your spouse has never stated they want a divorce before, it is quite common for spouses to reconcile and never file for a divorce.

Do Couples Reconcile During a Divorce?

It is far less common for spouses to reconcile after a divorce has been filed with the court.  Typically, the spouse has stated on more than one prior occasion that they want a divorce, and/or the couple has previously gone to marriage counseling.  Many times, the spouse who has filed does not believe there is any chance the marriage will improve.  However,

What are the Stages of Reconciliation?

The steps of reconciliation are:

  1. The spouse who hurt the other spouse needs to acknowledge the hurt expressed by the other spouse.
  2. The spouse who hurt the other spouse must accept responsibility for their actions or words without making excuses or blaming others.
  3. The spouse must apologize to the other spouse.
  4. The other spouse must accept the apology and forgive their spouse.
  5. The spouses should discuss ways to avoid the behavior and/or words in the future, as well as the consequences of continued behaviors or words.

How to Determine if You Should Reconcile or Divorce Your Spouse?

Reconciliation is typically the first option most couples choose to resolve marital problems.   Spouses use physical separation, marriage counseling, and individual therapy to help lessen inappropriate behaviors or words.  A legal separation or a divorce is typically the last option most couples use.

In the end, you must decide if you believe your spouse understands the hurt they caused and are accepting responsibility.  You must also believe that the actions or words will not continue In the future.  If you or your spouse needs to physically separate, go to marriage counseling or individual therapy, you should use that as a tool to prevent it in the future.

If you do not believe that your spouse is going to change and the same behaviors repeat themselves, you may need to consider a legal separation or a divorce.

Considering a divorce and don’t know where to start?  Grab The Ultimate 50 States Divorce Forms Guide.


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