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My Spouse Is Claiming That He Wants To Divorce Me – So Why Hasn’t He Done Anything About It?

When your spouse tells you that he wants a divorce, many people assume the worst. Some picture themselves living as a single person or a single parent in the not too distant future. So, when after some time their spouse has not yet filled for divorce, it can be very confusing for them and they can begin to wonder about their spouse’s motivations. Is he not filing because he’s not sure that this is what he really wants? Is he stalling just to save money for a while? Is he getting ready to file but not telling you?

To demonstrate, I might hear from a wife who says: “my husband and I were separated for about five weeks before he told me that he didn’t think that the separation was working and he wanted a divorce. I was really holding out hope during our separation. I will admit that we had some bad days where we fought. But we also had some good days where we connected and actually had romantic feelings, which my husband went so far as to admit. So because of this, I had hoped that things would not only improve for us, but that there would be no need for a divorce. Obviously, I was wrong about that. Last week, he told me that he just doesn’t see any of this working and that he is going to go ahead and pursue a divorce. But this morning, when I asked him if and when he has filed, he told me that he has not filed. I didn’t press any more than this, because I am glad that he has not filed. But, why wouldn’t he have filed? Is he changing his mind? Can I rest easy now?”

I am not sure that resting easy in any situation similar to this is the best idea. A separation is serious. A proposed divorced is serious. This is especially true if you are still invested in your marriage and want to save it. With this said, there are many reasons that he may not have filed. I will go over some of them below.

He Is Possibly Having Mixed Feelings: Of course, this is the possibility that most of us hope for. We hope that he’s not immediately filing because he has some doubts. The fact that the wife said that the two of them shared some romantic interactions during their separation could make this scenario more likely. He likely understands, as you do, that filing for and then getting a divorce is a very serious step. Much of the time, there is no going back from this, although some couples do end up reconciling. In this case, it’s advisable to be grateful for the reprieve and to not push. You don’t want to continue to ask him why he hasn’t filed on the chance that he will go ahead and file just top stop the questions. You are better off trying to recreate the promising encounters that you have had so that you put even more doubt in his mind.

He Is Possibly Getting Things Lined Up: Many people want to do their research first before they actually file for divorce. After all, divorce is costly both emotionally and financially. So it makes sense to make sure that you have the best attorney who can guide you in the filing for divorce in a way that cuts down on both the financial and emotional costs. He may also need to find a new place to live, which also takes time. I am not saying that this is true or even a good guess. But some people do delay filing for a divorce until they have set things up so that the transition is as smooth as it can possible be.

His Threat To File For A Divorce Was Just Strategic Posturing: Some people who tell their spouse’s that they are going to file for divorce never actually file at all. They say that they are going to file because they are looking to get some sort of reaction out of their spouse or they are hoping that the fear of them filing for a divorce will inspire their spouse to get more serious about ending the separation or to act in a more desirable way. I have no way of knowing if this was the case here. But it is a possibility. I’ve heard of many situations where one spouse threatens to file and never does. The intention all of the time is to scare the other spouse into acting in a different way or to be more accommodating. If you suspect that this is a possibility, I’d suggest asking yourself what might be his motivations. Is he looking for reassurance that you don’t want a divorce? Is there an issue that you haven’t been willing to compromise on? Are you willing to compromise on it now?

These are all just possibilities. You will likely get a more definitive answer in the days to come. But until then, I would suggest remaining calm. And I would suggest trying to repeat the behaviors that lead to those promising days during the separation. I know it’s tempting to demand more information or to ask him when, exactly, he is filing. But doing this only makes his timely filing more likely.


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