Four out of five divorces are unwanted. There is this belief, by those who have never divorced that couples sit down and decide together that the marriage is over. In 80% of divorce situations there is one spouse who doesn't want the divorce and this leaves that spouse at a disadvantage both emotionally and legally.
The spouse who wants the divorce is at an advantage due to the fact they have already emotionally divorced themselves from the marriage and, more than likely planned ahead legally.
What can and should you do if your spouse announces he/she wants a divorce?
1. Check your emotions. As painful as it is, you need to protect your legal interest in the marriage. You will have time later to work through the emotional issues. Get your legal "ducks in a row" because if your marriage doesn't survive you don't want to suffer the negative consequences of failing to protect your legal rights.
2. Surround yourself with a good support system. If you don't have family and friends you can count on to help you through this difficult time seek help from a therapist, a local divorce support group or an online divorce support forum.
3. Be reasonable. It is no fun being left. You will feel emotional pain, anxiety and a general sense of uncertainty about what the future holds. All those feelings can quickly morph into anger that can take over how you respond to your spouse's desire for a divorce.
The trick is to use your anger in a productive manner. One which will put you in a more advantageous position during a highly difficult time.