Some reports talk about how spouses cooperate flawlessly at a divorce settlement while exhibiting emotional control that would be admirable in a boardroom. This is a best case divorce scenario that may be nowhere near reality for many New York couples.

A mutual agreement to divorce is possible but many spouses are in marriages where one partner wants to leave and the other does not. Who has not heard of or experienced a breakup when a husband or wife was blindsided by a divorce request?

Opposing a divorce may lead to litigation. It will not keep a marriage intact. Unwilling spouses cannot be forced to stay married.

How do spouses who have no desire to divorce cope with the news? Not well, according to exes who have had the experience.

Divorce announcements are rarely requests for permission. They are statements of impending action. “I want a divorce” is not followed by “okay?” A decision has been made by one person that affects two, whether or not the second person is agreeable.

Beyond anger and shock, many spouses want to know why partners feel the relationship failed. This is a reasonable question with an answer that could be more harmful than it is helpful. Learning unchangeable, hurtful details will make no difference to the outcome.

No one wants to be out of the divorce decision-making process. Trying to salvage the marriage is often useless. Most partners who want a divorce have made firm decisions to go.

Finding support in friendships or counseling is crucial. Having an outlet to discuss and display extreme emotions helps ex-spouses move forward.

Divorcing spouses sometimes feel the world should stop and collapse along with their feelings, but ex-spouses eventually realize that time does dull heartache. Therapy helps with perspective and self-esteem.

Matrimonial attorneys know from clients’ experiences that divorce survival can be a surprise. It may even be a pleasantly challenging one.

Source:, “10 Tips For Surviving The Aftermath Of Your Spouse Asking For A Divorce,” Aunt Becky, March 2, 2013