I recently received an email from a wife who was beside herself at her husband’s insistence that he no longer wanted to be married. He had not yet filed for divorce but he gave the wife the impression that this was where he was heading. The wife was absolutely devastated. She had pretty much built her life around him and her children and she did not know how she should cope or even react to this news. She feared that the days ahead would be a huge struggle and she did not want for her family to see her this way.
She wanted some advice as to how she could cope with this in a more positive way. And, it was also her hope that if her husband could see her in this more positive light, he might change his mind about no longer wanting to be married. In the following article, I will share some of the pointers that I gave to the wife.
Things Can Change. Don’t Assume That Your Husband’s Feelings Today Won’t Change When The Circumstances Change: I understood that this husband seemed pretty sure that he was done with marriage. But, he hadn’t yet filed for divorce and seemed to have no immediate plans to do so. So, there was really no need to panic and to overreact as though the divorce papers were already signed. Honestly, men are very often turned off by excess drama, so try very hard to not let him see this side of it where you are concerned.
Many women will panic, overreact, and make grand gestures or have over the top conversations that are only going to push the husband further away. You want to try to be as calm as you can and reply in a way that insinuates that you’re willing to do whatever is necessary so that you can both be happy and at peace (as much as is possible) during this process. If your husband knows that you aren’t going to turn on the drama every time you are together, then he will be more accessible to you because he doesn’t feel like he has to go into self preservation mode.
Focusing On Bringing Your Best Self Back Will Often Help Your Bottom Line As Well: I know that you might not feel like walking on air right now. In fact, it’s likely that you just want to pull the covers over your head, stay in bed, or sit up all night watching reruns and eating pizza. It’s so easy to get down on yourself and your situation in times like these. But, this is precisely what you must not do. One of your main goals right now is to appear desirable and worthy to yourself, your children, and your husband. This is not likely if you’re moping around and focusing on the negative.
I know that you may have to fake this at first. I realize that I’m asking you to pull out an academy award winning performance. But do you know what? Once you show yourself that you can do this, you will feel better about yourself and your situation. If you show every one the best version of yourself – that content, capable and confident woman that your husband first fell in love with, your situation may just change in more ways than one.
It’s very important that you focus, day by day, on the things that are going to make it easier for you to cope and to make you feel more positively about yourself and your situation. This might mean focusing on your children, going out with your friends, or doing some things that you’ve long wanted to do. I understand that this may be a challenge. But this is important and helpful in so many ways. You’re telling yourself that you are worth your best efforts. And over time, your conscious mind is going to get with the program. This will become a little easier with time. And, when your husband looks around, he will see someone who appears quite a bit more desirable than a woman who is moping around and not displaying a whole lot of self respect.
Conducting Yourself With Positive Integrity Helps A Great Deal With Your Husband’s Perceptions: No matter what the reasons are behind your husband’s no longer wanting to be married, his opinion about this is most definitely based on his perceptions. For whatever reason, he thinks that the marriage is no longer working for him and is not giving him the pay off that he wants. He thinks that things just can not change to his satisfaction. Your job is to show him that these perceptions were and are incorrect.
And often, when you display the person that he thinks has long been missing he will begin to realize that maybe he’s been wrong about some things. And, if he’s willing to see that this perception might have been wrong, he will in turn be much more likely to consider that he may have been wrong about some other things also.
Yes, in this way, your attempts to appear better and feel more positive is, in a sense, part of a master plan. But, if it also makes you feel better about your situation and about yourself, what is the harm in that?
When my husband wanted a divorce (but I desperately want to save my marriage), I did everything that I could to stop it. I made many mistakes born out of frustration and fear. I delayed, I begged, argued, stalked and engaged, but none of these things worked. Thankfully, I decided to approach things from another angle and this eventually worked. You can read more about which tactics worked and which didn’t on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/.