The Divorce is Filed. Is Reconciliation Possible?

The Divorce is Filed. Is Reconciliation Possible?

The Divorce is Filed. Is Reconciliation Possible?

It is not at all uncommon to see a divorce proceeding initiated when one (or sometimes even both) of the parties isn’t wanting it. There is often one side that would like to see the marriage remain intact for any number of reasons and they hold out for reconciliation. Reconciliation can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. We at The Smith Firm are hopeless romantics, so we’re always happy to see couples stay together. Here are some thoughts on making it happen.

Most attorneys aren’t here to help save your marriage.

Attorneys can be a hinderance to reconciliation if you’re not careful so know how to work with your attorney when you’re not wanting the divorce. If your divorce attorney is encouraging you to finalize the divorce but you have a desire to reconcile with your spouse, it’s important to communicate your feelings and concerns to them. Here’s how you might approach the situation:

  • Express your desires: Let your attorney know that you’re considering reconciliation and that you’d like to explore that possibility before finalizing the divorce. Be honest about your intentions and the reasons behind your desire to reconcile.
  • Seek their perspective: Ask your attorney for their perspective on the situation. They may have valid reasons for advising you to proceed with the divorce, such as legal considerations or concerns about the viability of reconciliation. Understanding their viewpoint can help you make an informed decision.
  • Discuss options: Explore potential options with your attorney. For example, you could ask about the possibility of putting the divorce proceedings on hold temporarily while you and your spouse attempt reconciliation. Your attorney can help you understand the legal implications of different courses of action.
  • Consider seeking additional support: If you’re unsure about how to proceed, consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor who specializes in relationships. They can provide impartial advice and support as you navigate this challenging situation.
  • Evaluate your priorities: Take some time to reflect on your priorities and what matters most to you. Consider the potential consequences of finalizing the divorce versus attempting reconciliation, and weigh them against your own values and goals.

Be realistic with whether reconciliation is possible.

If you are the party seeking reconciliation you may ask yourself whether reconciliation is even possible. It’s natural to hope for reconciliation, especially if you still have feelings for your spouse and believe that there may be a chance to salvage the relationship. However, whether you should hold out hope for reconciliation depends on various factors, including the current state of your relationship, your spouse’s feelings and intentions, and the efforts both of you are willing to put into rebuilding the relationship.

Here are some questions to consider when assessing whether reconciliation is a realistic possibility:

  • Communication: Have you and your spouse been able to have open and honest communication about your feelings, concerns, and desires for the future? Are you both willing to listen to each other and work through your issues together? If one party isn’t engaged with trying to help the marriage, reconciliation is going to be tough.
  • Willingness to change: Are you and your spouse both willing to acknowledge any mistakes or shortcomings in the relationship and make changes to improve yourselves and the relationship? Are you committed to putting in the effort required to rebuild trust and intimacy? We can all improve, but if one party isn’t willing to acknowledge any need to grow or change, reconciliation may actually be a detriment to you and your kids.
  • History of the relationship: What has been the overall pattern of your relationship? Have there been previous instances of reconciliation or periods of difficulty followed by resolution? Understanding your relationship’s history can provide insights into whether reconciliation is feasible.
  • External factors: Are there any external factors, such as financial stress, work commitments, or affairs, that may be impacting your relationship? Consider whether these factors can be addressed or mitigated to create a more supportive environment for reconciliation. If one party has moved on to a new person, you’re probably fighting an uphill battle.
  • Professional guidance: Have you sought guidance from a therapist or counselor who specializes in relationships? A professional can provide impartial advice and support as you navigate the complexities of reconciliation, but you may also want to consider a marriage coach, or someone with an eye for keeping marriages together.

Reconciliation starts with the first step…and you have to take it.

Ultimately, whether you should hold out hope for reconciliation depends on your individual circumstances and your spouse’s willingness to work through issues together. It’s important to be realistic about the challenges ahead and to prioritize your own emotional well-being throughout the process. If reconciliation proves to be unattainable, it’s essential to have a support system in place and to focus on moving forward in a healthy and constructive manner. However, if reconciliation is the goal, consider these steps when considering how to move forward:

  • Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on what went wrong in the marriage and your own role in it. Consider what changes you’re willing to make to improve yourself and the relationship.
  • Communication: Reach out to your spouse and express your desire to reconcile. Be honest about your feelings and intentions, but also be prepared to listen to her perspective without judgment. If they are not open to the conversation at first, jump to #5 below.
  • Apologize and take responsibility: If you’ve made mistakes that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage, apologize sincerely and take responsibility for your actions. Acknowledge the pain you may have caused and express genuine remorse. This step should only be done after consulting with your attorney though. If litigation is pending, disclosures and apologies could backfire.
  • Seek counseling: Consider couples counseling or therapy to work through your issues in a structured and supportive environment. A professional therapist can help facilitate communication, identify underlying issues, and develop strategies for rebuilding trust and intimacy.
  • Give it time: Reconciliation takes time and patience. Be realistic about the challenges ahead and avoid putting pressure on yourselves to fix everything overnight. Focus on making gradual progress and building a stronger foundation for your relationship.
  • Focus on the positive: Instead of dwelling on past grievances, focus on the positive aspects of your relationship and the reasons why you want to reconcile. Cultivate gratitude and appreciation for each other and celebrate small victories along the way.
  • Be willing to compromise: Reconciliation often requires compromise and flexibility from both parties. Be open to making concessions and finding mutually acceptable solutions to your differences.
  • Take care of yourself: Remember to prioritize self-care during this challenging time. Take care of your physical and emotional well-being, engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, and lean on supportive friends and family members for encouragement and guidance.

Ultimately, whether reconciliation is possible depends on both you and your spouse’s willingness to put in the effort and work through your issues together. Your attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout this process, but ultimately, the decision is yours to make. It may not be easy, but with dedication, communication, and mutual respect, it’s possible to rebuild your relationship and create a brighter future together.

If you aren’t receiving dedication, communication, nor mutual respect, it may not be possible to rebuild your relationship and The Smith Firm is here to help. We want to see every marriage succeed because we know first-hand the impact of divorce on everyone involved, but because we do, we want to provide solid counsel to navigate turbulent times.

Contact us today if we can help.