My Spouse Wants a Divorce
H. Brennen, February 21, 2019
What do you do when your spouse wants a divorce? If there
is one simple answer to this question it is this: Let
him/her go. Is that all? Is it really that simple and is
that all you do? Well, although this might really be what
one’s attitude should like, there is much more to be said.
Truthfully, many might be thinking when one just “let go”
that this means one is giving up. But it really isn’t what
will be happening.
There is something important to understand when one’s
partner wants to get out of the relationships. When one’s
partner is fed up, frustrated or exhausted about the
terrible condition of the relationship and wants to leave,
the best thing to do is accept the condition of the
relationship and do not intimidate or coerce the person to
stay. When one demands that the want-to-leave partner must
stay, the chances of the partner returning to the
relationship or even discussing the issues, is almost zero.
On the other hand, when the hurting partner wants to leave
and the other partner lets her/him go, there is a 50/50
chance that the partner will return. In fact, based on
research, and my experience as a marital therapist, this is
the only way the partner will even think about returning.
When I talk about “leaving” I am not necessarily suggesting
that the person wants to move out of the house or
immediately file for divorce. The person who is so
wounded, angry or confused might simply need “space” or time
to think. The person may want his or partner to move out of
the bedroom or he/she sleep in another bedroom. Some may
need to “get away” for a definite length of time or for an
uncertain length of time. Yes, some may want a divorce.
Whatever the method or reason, let him/her “go.”
the bottom line why you should display a spirit of
understand and let your partner go. Love is freedom. Love
does not force. True love is about letting go.
you truly love your partner, then let her/him go.
The more you try to “hold on” it will push your partner further and
further away. Note carefully that “holding on” gives the
other partner the feeling of being under control by her/his
partner and that is excruciating.
Here what psychologist, Dr. Joe Beam of Marriage Helper
states. He says if your partner wants to leave and you
really want your partner to stay then do the
First, take control of yourself. You might be
emotionally upset, angry or confused. Seek to
understand your feelings and your motivation. Do you
really love your partner? Ask the question why “Do you
really want to save the marriage?” Be honest we
yourself. Seek to control your own emotions and
Second, don’t try to take control of your spouse.
As I stated earlier, this can be the most damaging thing
you can do.
Dr. Beam states that people in panic mode often try to take
control of the leaving spouse. Every day they beg the
spouse not to leave. Every day they would send texts, call,
and literally be a pest to the leaving spouse. Based on my
experience and the research, this behavior pushes the
leaving partner away for good. This kind of behavior leads
your spouse to believe that you are trying to control and
One of the common ways a person tries to control his/her
leaving spouse is by instigating guilt. Some so-called
Christians use bible texts demanding that they must serve
them. They would accuse their partner of sinning if he or
she leaves. It is really true? To let go takes love.
Love is the only attractive force when your partner wants to
leave. True love let’s her/him go.
What message I want the readers to leave with is simply
about the right use of “control.” Taking control
of yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, will set the
frame for what happens next. No, it will not guarantee
that your spouse does not leave or will come back if he/she
has left already. But it is the only way your spouse would be
attractive to stay in the relationship.
If you are reading this article and your spouse wants to
leave you, remember the route to you own emotional and
relationship health is not to take control of your leaving
spouse. You must take control of yourself.
Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, a
marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical
psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to
or write to P.O. Box
CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit
or call 242-327-1980
READ MORE ARTICLES BY BARRINGTON