I often hear from wives who are quite confused by the contradiction that is going on inside of their own homes. Typically, they are being reassured by their husbands that they are still loved, and yet the husband has dropped the bombshell that he no longer wants to be married. The wives often wonder how on earth this makes sense. Most wives can’t fathom wanting to end the marriage to someone that you supposedly still love. And, if the love is there, why can’t the two of you work together to change his feelings about ending it?
This is obviously a question that is going to have to be answered satisfactorily by your husband. But, in my experience, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle this awful bit of news. Many of us allow the shock and pain to contribute to us responding with knee jerk reactions that only make things worse and only reinforce the negative perceptions that are likely very much contributing to the husband’s wanting out.
So, in the following article, I will try to provide some insights as to what your husband might be thinking and experiencing and how you can use this knowledge to address the things which must be over come in a more positive, and more successful, way.
Not Allowing The Unknowns To Keep You From Addressing Those Things That Need To Be Addressed: It’s very common in this situation to make your focus on trying to change what is an equation that doesn’t make sense. Many wives will make it their primary goal to “get to the bottom of” why he’s doing this. Or, they will try to argue that it doesn’t make sense to still love your wife but want to leave her. It’s very tempting to ask if he’s lying about loving you or if he’s lying about the situation. Is there someone else? Is there something else that’s happening or another consideration that he’s not sharing?
You might not ever get truthful information in response to these questions, especially at first. He may not be capable of giving you the answers. (Many men tell me very vague reasons (like their general unhappiness) as the reason for their wanting out, rather than one specific cause.) Or, he may well be holding something back. You may not be able to change this as you’re dependent on him to give you a glimpse of what is truly in his mind and in his heart. You often can not change or control this no matter how much you may want to.
So, you are mostly better off taking control where you can – within yourself and within your part of the marriage. Don’t let a constant quest for answers that may never come to delay or stop you from doing what needs to be done. And what needs to be done is immediately working on changing the perceptions, the environment, and the nuances that are contributing to your husband’s (and likely your own) unhappiness.
Zeroing In On The Perceptions And The Small Nuances That Are Contributing To Your Husband Not Wanting To Be Married Any More: Husbands sometimes tell me things that they don’t tell their wives. Not always, but sometimes. Even so, as I said, many husbands who find themselves in this position will give me very vague reasoning as to why they are finding themselves where they are. I’ll often hear things like “I just feel like being married isn’t working for me anymore.” Or, “we are just two different people who aren’t really compatible anymore and neither of us are as happy as we should be.”
They will very rarely tell you (because it’s possible that even they haven’t perceived these things on a conscious level) the underlying causes, which are almost always things like a loss of intimacy, a loss of sustained marital efforts that strengthen and bond you, and an environment that is no longer filled with happiness and fun. Men will often mistake these shifts as a sign that the chemistry that used to bring you together is gone. Yes, they still love you. That has not changed and it’s quite probable that they aren’t lying about this. They really do believe it.
But, unfortunately, they also believe that things are too far gone to really change. They also believe that the marriage is no longer fulling and promising enough to fight for and that, on a personal level, they are better off cutting their losses than investing time and effort into trying to get back the perceived losses. These are the things that you should be addressing and turning your attention to, not how they could love you but still want to leave you. It’s much better to take quick and decisive action rather than be argumentative and questioning.
Taking The Action That Is Going To Give You The Best Chance Of Changing Your Husband’s Wish To End The Marriage: As I said, you really only have direct and complete control over your own actions. You really can’t make or force him to feel or do something that he’s completely opposed to. But, you can change the circumstances and actions that are framing his opposition. Don’t dwell on where the marriage is going and don’t repeatedly question him or argue with him about this. Doing these things only reinforce the negative perceptions that you must overcome.
Instead, brainstorm and think about what things, character traits, and actions drew your husband to you and strengthened your relationship in the past. Now is the time to bring those things forth. Now is the time to draw on those things that have gotten you a positive response in the past. It is not the time to focus on semantics or how one or both of you is wrong and needs to be corrected. Instead, it is the time to conduct yourself in the manner that gives you positive responses and perceptions from your husband. The reason for this is because he needs to see that the environment and the marriage can change because you are taking decisive action rather than repeatedly questioning and arguing.