My wife or husband refuses to divorce me, what can I do?

My husband or wife refuses divorce - what can I do?

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When appropriately used, unreasonable behaviour provides the quickest and easiest way to divorce. Give the court some examples of your spouses behaviour to show that it is unreasonable to live with them, and your divorce will be finalised in three to four months. 

And yet, unreasonable behaviour can be a double edge sword. It often immobilises people and stops them from taking action because they fear how their spouse will react and imagine a multitude of painful retributions their spouse will impose on them as a consequence of what has been written. 

All too often, I see people still stuck in loveless, painful marriages because they are still being manipulated and controlled by their spouse, or they fear the consequences if they say anything negative, however slight, about their husband or wife.

The Four Divorce Types


When facing divorce people fall into one of four types. You have 60% of people, known as Respecters, that regardless of whether they want the divorce or not, or where they are on the change curve that accepts the marriage is over. They understand that the use of unreasonable behaviour is simply a formality, a process that must be followed for the court to grant them a divorce.


You then have another 30% of people, known as Realists, who are wary about the behaviours written about them. They might initially present resistance but fairly quickly come round to the correct way of thinking, knowing that the behaviours don’t go on the public record and the majority of cases have no impact whatsoever on their lives. 


Then you have Resisters who make up 9% of people. Resisters are genuinely difficult, hostile even. These people will try and pick apart the whole process, flatly refusing anything written, regardless of how true or even how minor.


And finally, we have Refusers, the last 1%. Refusers cannot accept anything negative written by them. Bonafide narcissists and sociopaths dominate this group. These are the people whose behaviour is often the most extreme, yet they simply can’t or don’t seem to see it.

Using Unreasonable Behaviour When Your Husband Or Wife Refuses Divorce

As you can see, in most cases, most people quickly come round to the right way of thinking, and you can use unreasonable behaviour without concern for a quick and painless divorce. A small minority of spouses will be awkward to downright impossible. We will spend the remainder of the article discussing how to deal with them. Spoiler alert – waiting for five years separation is not the answer.

What do you do if my husband or wife is being difficult and refuses to use unreasonable behaviour? Often people in this situation just stay in their marriage. They give up their freedom, their legal right to divorce. They are giving up their basic human right to be happy. Instead, they stay married, waiting for the right time, often after five years where they don’t have to ‘blame’ or write something about their partner that will ‘upset’ them, even though in most cases, their partner has been doesn’t deserve their empathy, and often continues to be hurtful given a chance.

I’ve seen that the people who most forcefully refuse to have things written about them tend to have behaved the worst. During the marriage, coercion, emotional and physical abuse breaks down your self-esteem and self-worth continues post-separation.

Resisters and Refusers still seek to retain their control over you, and what better way to do it than take away your freedom to move on a have a happy life? The saying misery loves company couldn’t be more accurate. They are usually unhappy with their own lives, and so the only way they feel better about themselves is by finding a victim and making their life more miserable. 

What Should You Do If Your Husband Or Wife Resists Or Refuses To Divorce?

So what do you do in this situation? Well, let’s unpick it. You’re in a position where someone is controlling you, controlling your every mood. If they are having a bad day, they’ll do something to you to make you feel bad too. And yet, you remain trapped in this cycle because you fear that they will make your life a living hell.

But aren’t you living there already? As long as they are in your life, they’ll have a hold on you, and they will continue to make you miserable, so you have two choices. Remain in the relationship knowing that they will continue to hurt you or decide today to cut them out of your life.

Resisters and Refusers get their power from the attention you give them. Take that away, and you’ve destroyed them. Yes, they probably will create a fuss. They may scream and shout. If that doesn’t work, they might try to project their offensive behaviour on you, making you feel like you’re the one in the wrong. Whatever they try, stand firm. Marvel at their last-ditch attempt to keep a hold on you.

Make your decision to end this now and cut them out of your life by calling time on the relationship and not giving them another thought – you don’t owe them anything at this stage. Just making the decision will make you feel better, stronger, more empowered. And when you see their hold over you wane, you will ask yourself why you let this continue for as long as you did. Our worries are seldom as scary as reality.

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