This story ends well. Eventually Nathan dropped the divorce and reestablished relationship with Julie. It took work, but together they mended their marriage and healed from their hurt.

Maybe you or someone you love needs to make similar changes to prevent or stop a divorce. If so, the suggested changes follow. Contemplate their potential positive effect on the departing spouse. Moreover, think through carefully the benefits they generate for the life and future of the abandoned spouse.

Change Yourself

Crying, begging, arguing, criticizing, demanding, and manipulating have a crucial commonality. They never cause a departing spouse to change his mind and stay. Instead, they propel him away more rapidly.

To attract rather than repel, demonstrate competence and confidence. If your spouse wants to end the marriage, tell him that you love him and that you will fight for your marriage. However, do so with strength and dignity, never weakness and desperation. Any action that appears clinging or controlling makes you less attractive emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you wish to create doubt in his mind about why he is leaving you, stop every negative behavior and develop every positive aspect of yourself. Demonstrate to him that though you love him and wish him to stay, you will survive and you will prosper even if he leaves.

Human nature leads us to desire what we do not – and, possibly, may not – have. If your actions indicate that you will take him back under any condition and that you will do whatever he wishes, you are not desirable.

Make yourself desirable to him by changing yourself in ways that benefit you even if he does not return.

Change yourself physically by improving your health and appearance. Eat as you should. Exercise diligently. Every day groom yourself well and dress confidently. Will it cause him to turn back? Possibly. If it does not, it is still the best thing you can do for yourself.

Change yourself intellectually by expanding your mind. Marital problems often debilitate thinking and reasoning. Read widely. Enroll in an online course. Seek conversations with learned, wise, or innovative thinkers. The effect on you will be extremely positive, and that is extremely important for your sake. Additionally, it may cause your departing spouse to see you from a different, and more attractive, perspective.

Change yourself emotionally by seeking people and experiences that evoke positive feelings within you. Laugh. Explore. Enjoy the deep comfort of feeling accepted and cared about. Find the fun that life offers, even if fun appears impossible. There is a reason no perfume company names its leading fragrance Misery. People avoid misery. They are attracted to joy. Heal your misery by developing inner joy despite your circumstances. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength” (Proverbs 17:22, New Living Translation). Sometimes that particular medicine not only makes the person with the cheerful heart better, but also heals a marriage.

Change yourself spiritually by deepening your relationship with God. Trying times often serve as the catalyst for a profound level of spirituality and communion with the Divine. That gives you strength in every aspect of life. It also may force your deserting spouse to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of you.

It may be that none of these changes lead your spouse to change as well, but they benefit you now and in your future. Often, they do have the desired effect on the spouse as well.

Change the Circumstances

You serve yourself and your life poorly if you allow fear of your spouse’s anger or threats to control you. Take charge of your life and do what is best for you. If you have children, do what is best for them.