Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Wife Wants a Divorce - Just Ask Joyce

Q: "Is it really over? My wife wants a divorce after 15 years and three children, but I don’t. I lost my job three years ago and worked two menial jobs to make ends meet. I finally secured employment in my field again. It’s been a struggle, but we are coming back. She says she was too lonely during this stressful time.

I love her with all my heart. I don’t want a divorce. I want our kids to grow up in a home with both parents. How can I change her mind? She hasn’t said she doesn’t love me, only that we both will find someone who makes us happier. I can’t imagine life without her, and I don’t want to be without my kids.”

Joyce:  Problems come because life happens. People are guilty of ignoring maintenance in many areas – cars, house, home. When a big break occurs, it’s easier to get a newer, more improved model than spending time and money for repair, regardless of the original investment.
    But if both parties are willing to invest the efforts marriage requires, the likelihood of problems and issues being resolved increase dramatically.

    Is it over? I can’t say. There is always hope, but you can only control your actions. Here are a couple of things I would encourage and challenge you to do:
    1. Fight for your home. Things are likely tense, but do what’s right by your wife and your kids. Help around home; be kind; interact with kids; be the leader in your home.
    2. Seek counseling. It would be a shame to decide the course for your children’s lives without an all-out effort to salvage their safe haven. If your wife doesn’t desire to participate, you will benefit from the guidance you receive.
    3. Have a backup plan. Don’t get caught with your proverbial pants down with no exit plan. I am not suggesting you exit. I’m simply saying if she hands you the invitation, have a place to go.
    4. Stay focused at your new job. It’s going to be important to be attentive at work while life is coming apart at the seams. Don’t get caught in the same position you found yourself three years ago – without a job.
    5. Don’t cave to fear. Don’t panic or despair. Remain calm. Don’t provide more reasons for her decision to dissolve the marriage.
    6. Dismiss the thought that you are a failure. You’re not throwing in the towel — she is! Unfortunately, it takes two to get married, but only one to get a divorce. Right or wrong, if one party is unwilling to work it out, there’s not much you can say once her mind has been decided. But don’t stop working toward the goal you desire – to save your marriage.
    7. Be patient and wait. While you’re doing what’s right, be patient and wait on God. He knows what’s ahead, not you.
    It’s not over until a judge declares the marriage dissolved, and even then, a marriage can be restored.

    Remember to focus on your kids. You have three beautiful children who need their dad more than ever before. Be the father your kids look up to, can model after, and desire to remain connected with. There is no substitute for you in their lives.

    Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro, at joyce@justaskjoyce.com. I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at JustAskJoyce.com.


    1. All of this is wise, constructive advice. I was in the same situation after almost 20 years. Some of these were instinctive for me, but I wish I had heard some of the others. My philosophy was to examine where I might be at fault, correct those as best I could, and move forward to a better marriage or a great single life (whatever the outcome is). Another person's actions don't make you a failure.

    2. She had me, until she mentioned, GOD. She doesn't know if this man has been indoctrinated into religious beliefs. He could very well not be a "believer". A better choice of words might have been, "No one knows what the future holds. Do your best, be patient, and see what happens".


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