Just because you get sober doesn’t mean the birds will start singing, there will be money in your bank account, your boss will start to understand you and your spouse won’t file for divorce.

Sobriety isn’t a magic panacea for everything that bothers you. It took years to create the mess in which you may live — it will take a while to clean up the mess. It won’t happen overnight.

If your spouse is contemplating divorce because of your drinking and drugging, there are some things though you can do to stop the process — sometimes.

Search for “stop divorce” on Twitter, and you’ll get maybe 5, 394 response and half of them have something to do with ‘powerful, spiritual, psychic traditional healing, to stop divorce, marriage bind spells and other potions.”

I’m not certain what that implies, but it doesn’t sound fun.

What are the steps that often work? There are 7:

Prepare

Prepare to take action. If you are set on stopping a divorce, soothe the panic, forget the moping and form an action plan.

Smother

Bury the urge to play the victim role. “How could you do this to me?” may be how you feel, but it will be a losing strategy. You can’t guilt your partner into returning. Never a great way to halt a divorce. Skip the “poor me.” Remind yourself of the positive qualities you bring into a relationship and find how to show them. Soon, you’ll be believing in yourself.

Clarify

Clarify what in your life needs to change. Begin by making a list of the negative comments your spouse has made to you. List everything: all the complaints, the criticisms and angry comments you can recall. Go over the list with your soon-to-be-ex. Don’t leave any criticisms out. Once you have your list, think back. From whom may you have learned the script? Mom? Dad? Older brother or sister? Map a plan for fixing each item on the list.

Appearances

Look your best. Appearances often are a huge factor in stopping a divorce. Lose weight. Get a new hairstyle. Pay attention to the clothes you’ve been wearing and toss the baggy sweat pants.

Clean Up

Clean up all old hurts and find out what resentments and hurt feelings your spouse has that may be pushing them for a divorce. List each of the moments that your ex recalls with anger and create your list as well. Mistakes are for learning. If the marriage is rocky, maybe you haven’t done enough to learn from mistakes.

Believe

Believe in yourself and keep up your morale as you move ahead. If you feel, deep down, that you don’t deserve love, change that.

Skills

Learn the skills needed by everyone to have a good marriage.  No one would think to walk into a courtroom as an attorney without learning the skills of a lawyer.  Learn the skills needed for being a spouse. There are four skill sets essential for keeping a loving relationship:

  1. Talk together
  2. Make win-win decisions
  3. Prevent anger in the relationship
  4. Pump up the positive