Why one spouse won’t want the divorce

More often than not couples arrive at the decision to divorce together. Marriages breakdown for all sorts of reasons, infidelity being just one. Whatever the reason often both parties can see it coming. The spouse who has cheated may not want to divorce, but after everything has come to light they may see it as inevitable.

However, sometimes the request for a divorce can come out of the blue for one spouse and sometimes one spouse really won’t want a divorce and can make life very difficult for the spouse who wishes to end the marriage.

It may seem strange to want to stay with someone who does not want to be with you, but love, family and marriage are all strange. Here are a few common reasons why one spouse may be very opposed to a divorce.


One spouse may not want to take a financial hit. They may not want to have to run a household alone and they may be scared about how the divorce will affect them financially. If they are well off then they may worry about losing their lifestyle and if they are not so well off then they may worry about being destitute.

If you are wanting to divorce a spouse who does not want to divorce on financial grounds, then book an appointment with a mediator to start to work towards an agreement that suits you both and give them time and resources to help them budget.

The children

Many people stay in an unhappy marriage because of the children. Traditionally it was thought of as better to be together than to split, but now most professionals will tell you that having two happy, loving parents is better than having two unhappy and arguing parents, even if they live apart.

You can work together to come to the best arrangements for the children and use mediation to ensure your children have a happy and settled life, just between two houses.


Sadly, some people put their reputation before their happiness. Some people see divorce as a sign of failure, personal and social. Your spouse may be very scared of what others may think and worry that their reputation will be ruined with a divorce. Some people may also face pressure from older relatives that still stigmatise divorce.

However, you have to do what is best for you and not worry about what anyone else thinks. Encourage them to talk to a few mutual friends who will not react badly so they know that life will continue and they will not be judged.

If your spouse is very unwilling to accept your request for a divorce, book in a mediation session to start the process, open up communication and reassure them that everything will work out well.

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