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Can Reconciliation Happen During Divorce?

by S. Grey

Despite the difficulty of divorce, with effort, you and your spouse may be able to reconcile. You and your spouse must be willing to work together to solve your problems, instead of expecting things to be easy. While patience is a factor toward achieving reconciliation during divorce, you also need action and effort that will lead to change. Many methods can help heal your relationship during divorce, and the possibility may exist that you can turn your relationship around.

Statistics

Those who decide to work through marital issues have numbers on their side when it comes to reconciliation in divorce. Research published by the Institute for American Values indicates that many couples are able to resolve their problems. Two-thirds of adults in unhappy marriages were able to reconcile and indicated happiness after five years. This statistic indicates that a majority of couples are able to conquer negative feelings to lead to reconciliation. Unhappiness in marriage does not need to lead to divorce.

Endurance and Patience

Some couples were able to partially reconcile over time and the ability to endure problems. Because finances are often an issue in divorce, changes in a partner's job status such as getting out of unemployment or getting a raise, can reduce marital tension. By waiting for things to change, you might be able to avoid divorce. However, you must do more than be patient -- it takes bravery and tenacity to be able to wait until these changes happen. For example, you and your partner must each agree that you want to attempt a reconciliation rather than carry a divorce through. When you agree that you want reconciliation as the first step, you must next invest time and energy toward reconciliation. This effort may manifest as spending time together to resolve issues instead of checking out. When the reconciliation becomes difficult, manage your emotions, respect your partner’s feelings, and work through difficult emotions to better contribute to your goal of reconciling.

Changes in Interaction

Another method of reconciliation is altering how you and your spouse relate to each other. Opening channels of honest communication help you and your partner become more forthright about your own problems. Instead of holding onto resentment, you can communicate with your partner to let her know what is frustrating you, contributing to successful problem resolution. Listening is an effective change, as well. When your partner communicates her own issues, you help her feel heard and loved when you listen to her "I" statements, in which people take responsibility for their feelings, state the event that elicited the feelings and why the event did so, are a useful example. An example of an "I" statement is, “I feel lonely when you do not call when you are out late because I have to take care of the kids by myself.” One party must be open and forthright about feelings while the other must listen openly without judgment.

Marriage Counseling

Working with a trained marriage-and-family therapist provides an insightful opportunity to reconcile during divorce. These professionals help couples resolve their issues by changing how they communicate with each other. If you are devoted to reconciling, find a therapist who aligns with your goals. Working with marriage counselors can help you and your partner develop new ways of working together and can lead to lasting change in your marriage.

About the Author

S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.

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