How To Respond To Divorce Threat

Responding wrongly to a divorce threat can easily end a great relationship moving forward. The best 3-step response to a divorce threat is 1) to understand your emotions in the threat, 2) choose your response (either flaring, inaction, pump up), solve the problem together.

Response 1 - Understand Your Emotions In the Threat

The emotions you faced are unprecedented and unexpected in a threat, especially for the 1st time. You cannot control your emotions.

It could be anger from not being understood. unhappiness from being blamed unfairly. It could be something important to you but your spouse think otherwise.

Don't bother to think positively, it is not possible from my standpoint. Instead, understand the emotions because it will be useful to manage the right actions for the respective feelings. It can be as simple as conveying it to others.


Response 2 - Choose Your Behaviors

You can control your behaviors. Separate your emotions from your actions and things will end up better. Don't do something you will regret.

Typically, this is what will happen. Your spouse hurt you, you hurt your spouse back. You and your spouse cool down and things get better or worse based on how much both loved each other.

Option 1: Flaring up and Threatening Back
No one will advise flaring up but it really depends on the spouse and the exact situation you have. Flaring up could be useful if you have been the taker in a give-and-take relationship. Your spouse needs to know you are angry too and hurt.

You can flare back at your spouse but do not say words you might regret. Your spouse might end up reacting back and ending the relationship over trivia matters too. That is the reason why no one will advise flaring up as it can end up be the most regretful decision in your life.

Option 2: Inaction And Focusing on Problem
Another possible response is to prevent your internal state of mind from going haywire. Taking a page from some religions, you practice self-love first above all. Remember that an inaction is a form of action.

This method is the typical behavior for people who have a stronger spouse or don't like arguments. This might be good in the short term but end up hurting in the long term. Stonewalling is also identified as one of the ways to harm the relationship.

Option 3: Pump Up
The Pump Up method is presented by Dr. Susan Heitler, Ph.D. and previous senior psychologist at TherapyHelp. Dr. Heitler's blogposts received over 20 million reads. Her book "Power of Two" got 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

She once advised in a TEDx show to ask an angry wife to close her eyes and imagine a video screen showing what will make the wife mad. Instead of thinking of the husband, it was work-related. She would confirm that the "bump" in life for the wife was work-related or depressogenic.

Her advice is to take deep breathes and imagine yourself growing bigger and stronger than the problem. Taking breathes and getting bigger or pump up is a necessary step to her advice.

Response 3 - Problem Solving

The last response would be coming with solutions to tackle the problem in the future. This step might never ever happened if you and your spouse did not move on from the issue that caused the divorce threat.

This is only after response 2 because you should be over who's right or wrong. You should be feeling ready to solve the problem together.

This is actually the easiest response and step when both of you are ready. Just come up with all the options, agree on the action together and work on it. Things will never be perfect but the power of two working on a problem is wonderful.

I hope the above 3-step responses on divorce threat will help you in getting your relationship sorted better. Even if you failed at step 2, you can still work together, in the long run, to solve the problems eventually. That is what a couple should work together instead of break things of each other.

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form

Sky Hoon
He is happily married and have 1 child. He went through the pre marriage counseling and found it useful and wished to share to others in their marriages