Few things are as hurtful and as frustrating as when your husband tells you, very generally, that he doesn’t want to be married any more. I often get emails from wives who have just been plunged into this situation and they’re frustrated, scared, and confused. Often, the husband doesn’t give specifics which would help you to respond or formulate a plan. Just out of the blue, he’ll say something like “I just don’t want to be married any more. I’m not happy and I just want a fresh start.” Well, where does that leave you?
I know that things seem hopeless right now, but it’s important to understand that you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. You do know that at this particular moment in time, he’s not satisfied in the marriage. That much is clear. But, don’t give up before you’ve even started to fight for your marriage if you want to save it. Not wanting to be married doesn’t necessarily mean that he no longer loves you or that you can’t reconnect. It often takes patience, a unique plan, and determination, but I’m living proof that it can be done.
Why Men Often Decide That They Don’t Want To Be Married Anymore: As I said, I get a lot of women on my site. But, sometimes I get some men who actually ask me for advice on how to end their marriages, how to break the news to their wives, or how to get their wives to agree to a divorce. I often dialog with these guys as to the heart of the situation and what’s underneath their wanting out. I’m obviously not their wife so they have no reason to lie to me or to sugar coat things.
What they often tell me is that the marriage has deteriorated to a place where it doesn’t look or feel the way that it once did. Whereas it once felt comfortable, nurturing, and fun, the words that they use to describe it now are “suffocating, restrictive, and depressing.”
But, here’s what’s interesting. Very few of them even mention their wives or their feelings about her in these descriptions. Rarely do they say “I’m not in love with my wife anymore,” or “I don’t find her attractive anymore.” This is what most wives assume to be true, but I find that that’s not the reality. More often than not, what’s really happening is that the marriage now feels quite unsatisfying, but their feelings about you are often separate. They feel stuck. They feel unappreciated. They feel that their kind of existing along side you but that they are unfortunately not connected with you.
And what it really comes down to about 98% of the time is that they think that it is not going to change. They are at a point where they feel that everything has been tried, that everything has been said, that you’ve given it your best shot, but that, in the end, this wasn’t enough. This is the most important thing that you need to understand because this is the one thing that you must over come. You have to change this fundamental belief and show them that things in fact can change for the better.
Slowly Changing His Perception: I know that when you read this, you’re going to think that it is an over simplification, but it is the truth as I know it to be. If you want to save your marriage, you must change his perception of it, first and foremost. I’ve seen seemingly dead marriages saved because the wife was able to change her husband’s perception of being married from negative to positive. Yes, this seems very simple, but in truth it is extremely multi faceted and many small victories must be won until you are successful with this.
However, most people make this process more complicated than it needs to be. They will hound their husbands as to the exact reason that they don’t want to be married. They’ll challenge whatever reasons he gives, beg the husband to “work” on things, declare that the husband is wrong, and do tons of other things that only bring on more negative perceptions.
These actions are very often just going to do your marriage more harm. Don’t give yourself more things to over come. Don’t make extra work for yourself. Narrow this down to the most simple step that you can and focus just on that. Right now, that should be to change your husband’s perception of the marriage.
This may take time. But, take things little by little. You can start by making a list of what your husband used to love about you. Then, brainstorm the ways that you used to have fun together. Because I can guarantee you that the adjectives that you have on your list – things like “fun loving, sense of humor, easy going,” etc. are not the things that he would use to describe you now. Think back to the things that used to define your marriage, like “intimate, loving, fun, fulfilling,” etc. and ask yourself which words describe your marriage now. I can tell you the words that most husbands tell me: “suffocating, stressful, combative.” You must change this.
Go back to your list and brainstorm how to get back and display the most important qualities. These are the things that you will use to turn his attention back your way. Now, I know that you’re thinking “well, isn’t it too late? He already wants out. He’s probably going to leave.” He may and he may not. But, he likely isn’t going to fall off the face of the earth. You will still have to see him and interact, and when you do, you need to make each one count. You need to use the qualities that you already know that he loves about you. This does not include engaging, begging, or arguing.
Once you do this, he will eventually become more receptive to you. Once that happens, then you focus on creating positive experiences together so that you’re having fun and that you both want to repeat the process. Slowly over time, he begins to see that being married to you is no longer a negative state. It’s one that puts a smile on his face and one in which he can have fun and be fulfilled.
Always go slowly. Never push or make demands. Don’t make this process too difficult or strenuous for either of you. You want to be easy going, fun, and positive. I know that this a lot to ask when your marriage on the line. But, it is truly the best way to change his perceptions so that with you is somewhere that he wants to stay.