I am sometimes contacted by women who are desperate for a second chance in their marriage, but not only are their husbands not granting them this second chance, they are also demanding a divorce. This is a difficult situation because it places the wife in a distinct position of weakness that can be very hard to overcome. Often, your mind is telling you that if you can just get your husband’s attention and even a tiny “in,” you can then convince him to postpone all of these talks of divorce until you can work things out. The problem though, is that if your marriage is at this dangerous place, your husband has probably stopped listening to you and no longer views you as someone with whom he wants to have deep conversations or to work things out.
I remember when I was in this situation myself and I used to say that talking to my husband during that time was like talking to tree. I would get no reaction whatsoever or just one syllable responses that were meant to sent me on my way and waste no more of his time. I was able to get past this though and I think you can too.
If Your Husband Won’t Give Your Marriage A Second Chance, Stop Asking For It: Before you think I’ve lost my mind for saying that, please hear me out. I believe that the chances are good that your husband has put your voice in block out mode. And, I also know from experience that this situation is so frustrating that it can drive you to act in very desperate and unbecoming ways. Before you can stop yourself, you may find yourself engaging, threatening, and begging. All of these things, of course, drive your husband further away and take you even further from your goal.
One way to stop this cycle is to completely change course. This may not seem like it is the right thing to do and it may even sound risky. But, please trust me when I say that I can not count how many people this has worked for. And, think about it, your current plan is not working either, so what do you have to lose?
Putting Distance Between You To Eventually Bring You Closer: When I say distance, I don’t mean physical distance in terms of miles or separate households. Instead, I mean distance from the tension and the desperate situation that is under your roof. The tension needs to abate and the opposing sides you’re on need to come together, so you can’t continue on the way you are.
I typically suggest that at this point you agree with your spouse that the marriage is seriously unsatisfying to you as well and that you agree a break may put things in perspective. Tell your husband that you realize your actions have brought a distance between you and you will no longer engage in the behaviors that will continue this cycle. Reassure him that this isn’t meant to change his mind (you can’t know what the future holds), but that he’s too important you to allow you to part in any way but cordial.
Many men won’t believe you. That’s OK. It’s up to you to show him that you mean what you’ve said. Some husbands may even move forward and move out of your home. This may be troublesome, but trust the process. Distance can actually be a good thing if you play it correctly. Whether your husband stays in the house or not, the key is for you to proceed forward as the best version of yourself and freely give the distance you have promised, because if done correctly, it’s going to show your husband just how much he misses you.
I want you to think about the woman your husband first adored. Think about how close (or far away) you are to that woman right now. I interact with many men on my blogs and they overwhelmingly tell me that the major problem is that their wife is not the person they married. They married a light hearted, fun, and loving person and they don’t see her in front of them anymore. So, whatever your husband loved about you – your sense of humor, you compassion, your uncanny ability to “get” him and what he’s about, make sure your that husband sees that you still posses these qualities. This is key because frankly, at this point, he’s pretty sure that this woman is gone forever, but if he could get her back, things may well change.
Being Convincing And Consistent: The main purpose of this distance idea is to get away from the woman who is eliciting negative emotions and to move toward the woman your husband used to love – the one who is able to bring about positive emotions in him. Always remember this goal. Always present yourself as a woman who loves her husband but who respects herself enough to follow through with the break. See friends. Do whatever it takes to bring out the lighthearted, smiling woman that I know lives inside of you and make sure your husband sees or hears about her.
Many times, I will see wives take the initial action I have suggested, only to then see them set themselves way back when their husband begins to become receptive and they then try to speed along the process by moving too quickly or demanding reassurances or promises. Always remember you are going for positive interactions. Don’t move too fast. Make your husband want more and move at a snail’s pace.
It’s important that you begin to retain some of the power so that you are not at a disadvantage. In the best case scenario, eventually both of you will be equally committed to saving the marriage and will go all in with your whole hearts. This is really the only way to achieve long term success. You can and should have the difficult conversations about working out your problems once you’re back in a solid marriage, but don’t try to do this too soon or it could backfire.