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Dealing with an anti-divorce spouse requires patience and compassion

When two people fall in love and decide to get married, it's hard to believe that those intense feelings of love and passion could ever diminish or change. However, as time marches on and married couples are forced to confront and overcome numerous challenges associated with raising children, caring for aging parents, dealing with financial problems and compromising their own wants and needs for the benefit of family; the relationship between spouses is bound to be tested.

For some spouses, the challenges associated with maintaining a healthy, happy and fulfilling marriage are too great. However, even in cases where a husband or wife decides he or she wants a divorce, a spouse may not be ready or willing to accept that decision.

Thankfully, divorce laws allow a spouse to proceed with a divorce even in cases where a husband or wife doesn't want the divorce. However, choosing to move out of a shared home and simply serve a reluctant spouse with divorce papers sets the stage for a contentious and likely lengthy divorce process. Going the heavy-handed route is even more difficult and potentially devastating when there are children involved and child custody matters must be sorted out.

Once an individual has made up his or her mind that divorce is the best and only option, it can be frustrating and painful when a spouse doesn’t agree and wants to stay married. Barring situations in which domestic violence or abuse is a factor, it's often best for all involved parties to take a slower and kinder approach and seek the advice of a professional therapist.

A husband or wife who wants to divorce has likely contemplated the matter for months or years. His or her spouse, however, may feel blindsided and therefore needs time to work through emotions and come to realize that divorce is likely the best option for everyone.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Things to Do If You Want a Divorce But Your Husband Doesn't," Cheryl and Joe Dillon, Oct. 15, 2014