A Last Ditch Effort To Save Your Marriage: What Should It Include?

by: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from wives who are at the point where they’re willing to do just about anything to prevent a divorce or separation.  And many have already tried numerous and various things which haven’t worked so far.  So, sometimes they come to a point where they intuitively know that it’s now or never as far as their marriage is concerned and they’re struggling to come up with some last ditch effort that is actually going to work.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “nothing that I’ve done to try to save my marriage has worked.  I’ve promised my husband I would change.  I’ve tried to figure out what he really wants and then attempted to give that to him.  I’ve begged him to go to counseling but he won’t.  I’ve tried to make him see that neither of us are going to be any happier apart.  But everything that I do or say is either ignored or discounted.  I’m getting pretty desperate at this point.  I’m trying to put together a last ditch effort to save my marriage but so far, he’s been resistant to everything.  What can or should I do at this point?”

I can remember feeling exactly this way when I was trying to save my own marriage. And I also know that when you’re in this very scary and desperate place, this is when you will often make the most unfortunate decisions.  You often aren’t thinking clearly and you suspect that you might have to do something very dramatic or over the top to finally either get some results or some relief.  I’ve had wives admit to me that they’ve considered any number of things that were very embarrassing and unfortunate as they look back on them now.  Many have admitted to behaviors like making threats, promising that he will be sorry, out and out begging, or even alluding to the fact that the wife can’t (or won’t) be live without him.  Unfortunately, these sort of strategies are so obviously so desperate that most husbands see right through this and respond in the exact opposite way that you’d hoped.  Instead of suddenly seeing you as desirable, they can see you as unstable. So below, I’ll discuss what I think a last ditch effort to save your marriage should include.

Look At What Has Or Hasn’t Worked In The Very Recent Past: It’s an unfortunate truth that much of the time, wives who feel like they’re at the point where a last ditch effort to save their marriage is necessary will usually continue with what they have been doing all along, but in a more dramatic way.  They sometimes feel so much frustration at not being heard that they will just try to deliver the message louder, with more intensity, or in a way that they hope means that he can’t possible ignore them any longer.

But, if you’re trying things that haven’t worked in the past, you’re likely to get not only the same result, but a result with a stronger negative result from your husband.  It’s not likely that what hasn’t worked in the past is suddenly going to start working simply because you’re laying it on a little more thickly.   Instead, you’ll often do a little better if you can rationally look back and determine which efforts resulted in something positive and which were a disaster.  Can you see any situation when he responded at least somewhat positively?  Because if you can, this is a vital clue as to the strategy that you should be using right now.

For example, many wives should notice (but sometimes don’t) that coming on very strongly will often result in their husband being less receptive, while approaching him in a calm and cooperative manner will often results in him being more receptive.  I can’t say that this is always true, but usually it is true more often than not.  People have a tendency to recoil away from things that inspire negative reactions or inspire them to be defensive, while they tend to welcome or be receptive to the things that make them feel more positively and less conflicted.

Men will often reject dramatic behaviors because they just don’t feel comfortable invoking those types of negative emotions.  They would rather see a smile on your face and be approached in a positive way.  Now, I know this may not make any sense to you.  Many wives will tell me how silly it seems to approach things from a positive place when their marriage may be on it’s last legs.  But, sometimes you have to place your focus more on the results that you want and vow to do whatever it takes to get you there.  So, if you’ve seen negative results from making promises or debating or trying to bring on the guilt, then it makes sense to stop that.  If your husband has shown a little more compassion or been more receptive when you’ve backed off some, then that’s the strategy you should focus on right now.

Frankly, Your Behaviors And Your Actions Shouldn’t Make It Obvious That This Is Your Last Ditch Effort To Save Your Marriage: Here’s something else that I can not stress enough.  Whatever strategy you are using should not be so obviously desperate or “last ditch” that your husband is going to be tempted to discount it’s sincerity because he thinks you’re just doing whatever you can to get your way.

And it’s for this reason that I suggest you get the whole “last ditch” idea out of your mind.  Because when you are afraid that you only have one chance left, then there’s a real risk to take on a mind set that forces you to act the unstable way that scares men.  And you lose the confidence that is often necessary to pull this off. So, you are often going to be better off just telling yourself that you’re going to approach this in a way that you both can be comfortable with and know that if you keep at it and you are meant to be together, it will eventually work out.

I have seen so much more success (and had more success in my own situation) when the wife approaches this in a calm and confident way.  Rather than “fighting for” your marriage and taking a combative stance, approach it in a different, more cooperative way.  Partner with your husband to work together.  Show him a woman that he can feel comfortable working side by side with because he isn’t going to met with drama or conflict every time he’s in a room with you.  Say what you truly mean and don’t make over the top declarations or promises.  Speak from your heart and be calm but sincere.  Don’t try to save your marriage overnight because this just isn’t believable or realistic.  Instead, just focus on making small improvements and concessions that ring true and make your husband want to see and interact with you more.

No, this isn’t a last ditch effort.  This is a more gradual plan that has a much higher success rate in my own experience. As I’ve alluded to, my “last ditch effort” to save my own marriage failed because my husband saw my behaviors as unstable and over the top.  It wasn’t until I calmed down and approached it calmly and methodically that I got the results I wanted and saved my marriage.  If it helps, you can read more of that very personal story (and a somewhat embarrassing one too) by visiting http://isavedmymarriage.com/

How To Respond When Your Husband Says He Wants A Divorce

By Leslie Cane:  I often hear from women who are struggling to decide how to respond when their husband tells them that he wants a divorce.  Most of the women who contact me don’t want a divorce and want to save their marriages instead.  Sometimes, the husband has already mentioned the divorce and, other times, the wives know that the conversation is coming and they want to know how to best handle and respond to it.

I understand that this is probably one of the most difficult conversations that you might ever have.  I also know that you’re probably rehearsing this in your head because you want to say and do the right thing.  And, it doesn’t help when your emotions begin to run away from you because you begin to think about what’s ahead with fear rather than looking at the days right in front of you with hope.

In the following article, I’m going to offer some tips on how I feel is the best way to respond when your husband says he wants a divorce. These tips are based on my own experiences and observations (and on what I have seen work the best for wives that want to save their marriages.  Obviously, if you agree with your husband and want a divorce, then that’s another article for another time.)

Try To Take In Not Just What He Says About The Divorce But Also How He’s Saying It.  What Clues Is He Offering You (Even If He Doesn’t Know It): It’s very important to remain calm and to place most of your focus on listening and taking this in rather than arguing or trying to have a back and forth conversation.  The reason for this is that how he presents his request for a divorce is going to give you some clues about his true feelings.  Sometimes, what he doesn’t say is every bit as important as what he does say.

As tempting as it can be to respond in haste, try to make listening your first focus.  What, precisely is he saying to you?  How is he saying it? What is he not saying?  What does this tell you about his thought process?  For example, does he mention his feelings for and his love for you or is he leaving that part out?  Is he giving you specific reasons for the divorce or is he leaving things vague?  Does his mind seem to be made up or is he wavering? What does his body language say about his resolve?

The answers to these types of questions will help you to develop your best strategy when you’re trying to save your marriage in the face of divorce.  Now, I will go over some responses that you really should try to avoid when your husband says he wants a divorce.

Responses You Should Avoid When Your Husband Says He Wants A Divorce: I know that it can be very difficult to have complete control over your response when the topic is so emotionally charged and the stakes are so high.  But, to the best of your ability, you should avoid any arguing or debating.   This type of response usually won’t help you any way and will actually usually make a divorce more likely instead of less likely.

You should steer clear of any responses that will get a negative reaction from him.  You don’t want to try to get him to feel sorrow or pity because this too will make him feel more negatively about you or the marriage.  So, phrases like “how could you do this to me?” are not the best choice.  Another common phrase is something like:  “who do you think you are?  You’re just going to throw our marriage away because things aren’t completely perfect.”  Another example is “Does it even matter that I don’t want a divorce?  Why do you get to decide what happens to our marriage?”  And here’s one more: “Are you even thinking about our children?  What is this going to do to them?  How could you be so selfish?”

While all of these phrases are understandable, none of them help your cause.

Another thing that you don’t want to do is to make threats or tell him that you are going to fight him every step of the way.  You don’t want to insinuate that he’s going to lose a lot of money or see his kids less if he divorces you.  I know that this can be very tempting and it might feel as if this is the only leverage that you have.  But playing these types of cards will generally make him even more determined to divorce you and to prove you wrong.  Not only that, but do you really want your husband to stay married to you because he can’t afford a divorce or only because of his kids?  Probably not.  You want him to stay married to you because he is happily married and because he wants to be there.

All of these types of responses are absolutely understandable, but they don’t get you any closer to your goal of figuring out the best way to approach this to save your marriage.  And these type of responses will also sometimes make your husband feel very defensive which can sometimes even strengthen his resolve to get a divorce.  This is what happened when my own husband wanted a divorce.  I handled this badly and it actually made things a lot harder for me.

What I Think Is The Best Response When Your Husband Says He Wants A Divorce: I know that I’m asking a lot, but, time after time, I notice that the best response is the one that allows you to maintain your dignity while at the same time, allows you to focus on maintaining the relationship as best as you can.  Because in order to have the best chance of saving your marriage, you are going to need a decent relationship with your husband and you will need access to him.  So, you don’t want to do anything that is going to jeopardize this.  And, you want to lay the groundwork for future interactions.   Obviously, you want to respond in a way that makes you comfortable and that will be successful for you, but here’s just one suggestion.

“Well, it goes without saying that this is not what I wanted to hear and I’m pretty floored.  I love you and don’t want to end our marriage.  However, I’m not the only decision maker in this marriage and you clearly feel differently, at least right now.  I would just hope that as this process moves forward, in whatever way that it does, that we don’t allow this to completely deteriorate our relationship.  You are simply too important to me.  I don’t want to end up like those couples who can’t stand each other or who let their relationship dissolve into nothing.  I hope that we can maintain some sense of closeness because that is more important to me than anything else right now.”

Do you see why I included some of the phrases that I did?  You’re setting it up and laying the groundwork so that you will have access to him in the days to come so that hopefully, he will be receptive to you.  I hope you can see that this response puts you in a much better position than arguing, debating, or attempting to make him feel guilt or other negative emotions.

I know that you are going through a very hard time right now.  I know that your heart is likely breaking.  But, this doesn’t always have to mean the end of your marriage.  It didn’t for me.  If it helps, you can read about how I saved my own marriage when my husband wanted a divorce on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

I Miss My Husband So Much During Our Separation That It Hurts: Tips And Advice That Might Help

I recently got heartbreaking correspondence from a young wife who was going through a separation.   They had been separated for about a month because this is what the husband wanted.  The wife’s primary goal was ending the separation and getting back together.  But she knew better than to push it.  She’d read some of my articles and knew that I advocate moving very slowly and deliberately during a separation.  So she knew not to push him and to take things slowly while focusing just on improving the relationship rather than dwelling on what they were calling it – or rather they were saying they were separated.

Still, she was struggling.  She said “I miss my husband so much during the separation that it physically hurts.  I am struggling every single day.  The more time I spend away from him, the more desperate I feel to get him back.  I have to literally physically hold myself back from reaching for the phone sometimes.  I’ll be flipping through the TV and I’ll see some shows that we liked to watch together and I’ll burst into tears.  How do I cope with this.  How do I get a hold of myself?”

I so felt for this wife.  I experienced the exact same thing while my husband and I were separated.  And I know this is unbearably hard.  But, the wife was right in her suspicions that if she let her husband see her like this, it was probably going to make things worse.  She couldn’t help how she felt of course.  But this was something she also shouldn’t share with her husband until later, at least in my experience.

So in the following article, I’m going to go over some tips that will hopefully give you some support when you’re separated, missing your husband horribly, but trying to play it the right way so that you can get him back.

I Know That You Miss Him.  But Do Whatever You Need To Do To Distract Yourself And Reevaluate Before You Act:  The wife repeatedly told me that she was constantly tempted to call, text, or come by.  Sometimes, her husband was still receptive to her so it was tempting to not want to contact him often to “feel him out.”

I do understand.  But allowing him to take the lead sometimes is almost always the right call.  If you are always the one initiating the contact, then he starts to feel as if there’s no give and take and this devalues you in his eyes – as strange as that sounds.

You’re too transparent and too easy to read.  He knows that you are hanging on his every word and basing the happiness of your day on what happens with him.  Even if this is true, this is not what he should think.

So what do you when you can’t stop calling, texting, or thinking about him?  You do whatever it takes to distract yourself.  This became such a problem for me that I had to physically remove myself from the situation.  I went out of town to stay with family and friends because I knew this was probably the only decent way to keep me from getting out of control and going overboard.

And this was the turning point.  A while after I did this, my husband’s attitude changed.  It wasn’t an immediate process, but it was quite noticeable.  Thankfully, I was smart enough to capitalize on this.

Yes, it was tempting to sigh with relief and beg him to call off the separation.  But everything I was reading told me this was the wrong call.  So I kept in contact but I didn’t come on too strong and I tried to create a little mystery.

I’m So Afraid That He Will Forget About Me Or Move On During Our Separation.  What If He Doesn’t Miss Me At All?:  In this situation, many wives worry that if they don’t constantly keep in touch, their husband will begin moving on because he doesn’t miss them as much as they miss him.  Frankly, if you contact him too much, you make him not missing you MORE LIKELY.

He may feel that he needs to prolong the separation just to get a break.  I have to tell you this.  Very few men visit my blog and tell me that they want to end the separation because their wife wore them down.  Instead, they just want the separation more when she acts like this.

But, many tell me that they decided to end the separation because their wife presented herself in such a way that it changed their perceptions about her and made them want to be with her again.  Please stay the course.

I know you miss your husband.  He might well miss you more than he is letting on.  But give him a chance to miss you so much that he will want to come back through his own free will.

I’m not saying that you should never call or just ignore the situation.  I’m just saying that there has to be a somewhat balanced give and take.  He has to feel like you are worth chasing a little bit.  If you both have to work for it, it’s perceived as much more valuable.

I know all of this because I was in the same situation myself.  I didn’t want to back off while I missed my husband so much.  But as I said, my backing off which changed the whole thing.  You can read this story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com.  I’m certainly no expert but this is what worked for me.  If you’ve not yet watched T Jackson’s free video on this exact topic, you can see it on the right side of this blog.  It’s free and worth checking out.  It taught me a lot.

I’m Separated From My Husband But Trying To Become Pregnant.  Is This Wrong?

I sometimes hear from wives who freely admit that they are desperate to get back their separated husbands. I can easily identify with this because I was in their situation once.  I know that feeling of believing that you have a limited window where you might be able to get him back, and so you need to do whatever you can, with any tools necessary, to lure him in before it is too late.  One tool that separated spouses will use is sex.  People often don’t realize that many spouses who are separated continue to have sex.  However, some wives take this is a bit further and think that it wouldn’t be so horrible to become pregnant during one of these encounters.  Some believe that perhaps it might even help matters.  In fact, some women do deliberately try to get pregnant during the separation, thinking that this might be the push that their husband needs in order to finally return home.

A wife might say, “Please don’t think too harshly of me with this, but I’m actually separated right now and trying to become pregnant.  My husband and I have been having problems, so we are technically separated, but we still see one another all of the time and continue to sleep together sometimes.  There have been times when my husband will pull away and insist that we shouldn’t be doing this, but he always comes back.  Anyway, before we separated, we had discussed trying to conceive, but of course once we separated, all conversations about that ended. However, I’m not getting any younger.  I was really excited about having a baby.  I also feel like my husband and I will eventually reconcile.  So I don’t see any reason not to continue to try to become pregnant.  I have not shared this with my husband because I’m afraid he won’t agree.  But I think that this might be the thing that draws us together. I have shared this plan with my best friend and she feels that it is an awful idea and is potentially entrapment.  She says it’s not fair to try to become pregnant without telling my separated husband.  She says that some separated people end up divorced and then I might be a single mom.  I sort of see her point, but I really feel like we will eventually get back together and I also feel it might be my ace in the hole in terms of getting my husband back.  Am I just way out of line here?”

I can certainly understand your thinking.  My husband and I weren’t sleeping together during our separation, but if we had been, I could see the draw of this plan.  However, I do have to say that your friend’s concerns are very valid.  If your husband finds out that you were attempting to conceive without consulting him, he could become very angry at a time when his anger is the very last thing that you need.  Not only that, but new parenthood is an extremely stressful time for a marriage. So, even if you reconcile, in my experience, your marriage is on fragile ground for a while after that.  It takes a while for things to feel normal again and for you both to have confidence that your marriage is going to make it for the long term.  There is still work to do in terms of easing back into the routines of a healthy marriage.  There are usually some things that must be worked out and overcome.  Very few couples have a flawless reconciliation.  It doesn’t make sense to add the stress of a newborn on top of an already fragile situation.

Not only that, but you don’t want underlying resentment from a husband who wasn’t consulted about the pregnancy – even if you are reconciled. You want to give your reconciled marriage the best chance of success.  That means being upfront, honest, and forthcoming.  That means discussing important decisions.  Having a baby and becoming parents is the most important decision that any couple will make.  Both people deserve to be fully involved participants with their opinions and wishes heard.  I know that it might not be what you want to hear, but I agree that you should wait until your marriage is back on very solid ground before you become pregnant.  This ensures that you can be certain that your child will have two loving parents and grow up in a very stable home with parents who have a good and enduring marriage.  Plus, your child deserves a conception that was agreed upon and eagerly anticipated by both parents.

I do understand why you are tempted.  I tried several little underhanded tricks to lure my husband back.  They all backfired.  It took me too long to learn how to play the long game instead, which eventually lead to a reconciliation.  You’re welcome to read more about that on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How On Earth Can I Even Begin To Save My Marriage After Some Of The Things My Husband Has Said To Me?

Saving your marriage with two willing people can feel daunting and overwhelming at times.  But saving your marriage when one spouse is not participating and has said very hurtful things can feel downright impossible.  A wife might be dealing with a marriage in which both parties have said hurtful things that have caused resentments, hurt feelings, and a sense of hopelessness.  In this type of situation, it can be hard to determine where to even start.

A wife might say, “I admit that while my husband and I have been struggling while going through a separation, I’ve said some pretty mean things to him.  I am frustrated with feeling as if I don’t matter to him.  I feel like I’ve just been dismissed while he gets the luxury of sorting himself out and deciding what he wants. So yes, in my frustration, I have called him selfish.  But before we even separated, he was saying really hurtful things to me.  For example, he said that I sold him a bill of goods when we were dating.  He said that he was dating a laid back, funny girl who was thin and healthy.  But then after he married me he got an uptight, overly-serious person who was overweight.  He acts as if I purposely tricked him and then switched my personality for spite.  He doesn’t realize that people naturally mature and change over time.  He even called me ‘portly’ once.  And he said that he thinks that I take joy in making him unhappy.  These are low blows.  But we have kids to think about. So I’ve asked him if he thinks that it will be possible to save our marriage.  His answer was that he doesn’t know, but that he thinks that we are better off just going with the flow right now.  He’s pretty distant and cold.  In spite of this, I would like to save my marriage for the sake of my children.  But when I mention this to my sister or to my friends, they both ask why I’d want to maintain a marriage to someone who has said hurtful things to me.  I do see their point.  Are hurtful words an indication that you can’t or shouldn’t save your marriage?”

I’m not a counselor, but in my nonprofessional opinion, that depends.  If your spouse makes a habit of saying hurtful things to you regardless of whether he is angry or you are fighting, then this is problematic because it shows a pattern of cruelty or a lack of empathy.  If he is saying mean things just to hurt you without any regard for your feelings and the relationship is constantly toxic, then I’d want to see some changes before I make any long term commitment.

With that said, it’s extremely common for both people to say some pretty awful things in the middle of a fight or during a separation.  Emotions can be incredibly high.  Both spouses can say things that they deeply regret and are incredibly embarrassed and remorseful about later.  I know that this was the case during my separation.  We both said really regretful things to one another.  I wish I could take them back, but I can’t. Your husband may feel this way also.  It really does come down to a question of whether the hurtful things were said in the heat of the moment or whether it is your husband’s typical habit to be hurtful or verbally abusive.  There is a difference between a couple who has a regrettable fight and trades hurtful insults and a marriage where one spouse is constantly belittling the other for sport.  If you can’t decide which category your marriage falls into, I’d suggest asking a counselor or neutral third party.  Sometimes, we get so close to our situation that we can’t see it objectively anymore.

If you decide that your husband’s words were due to the situation instead of intentionally meant to hurt you, then I can tell you that it’s possible to move beyond hurtful interactions.  My husband and I were truly brutal one another at times during our separation.  And I was just as guilty as he was.  I was so hurt that he was moving out that I was deliberately cruel because I was just trying to get a reaction out of him.  Ultimately though, I made a decision to let go of any anger I had about these conversations because I wanted to move on.  I decided to use the conversations to draw a line in the sand to define the type of marriage that I no longer wanted.  Sure, no one can get through life without ever saying something in anger to their spouse, but with effort and in time, you can improve your marriage so that more words are said in happiness than in anger.

When your marriage is back on track and you are feeling loving and protective of your spouse again, those types of hurtful conversations usually don’t surface very often.  If the conversations are bothering you, then you can certainly ask for clarification when things calm down and when you are back on solid ground.  It would be fair to ask if he really has an issue with your weight or demeanor, but I’d suspect that if you have this conversation when things are better (or you’ve reconciled) he will say that he only said those things because he was angry at the time.

But to answer the original question, you save your marriage in this scenario by asking yourself what your husband’s intentions were.  Once you’re satisfied that these hurtful remarks aren’t a habit, then you work on yourself first and then on your marriage as things calm down and you are able to do so.  I know that things seem immediate and explosive now, but as time moves on, things tend to calm down so that you can communicate in more productive ways and without hurting one another.

If it helps, you can read about how we overcame our own painful interactions in order to reconcile on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How To Rebuild Your Marriage After A Separation

By: Leslie Cane:  I sometimes hear from wives who are both happy, relieved, reluctant, and worried all at the same time.  They are happy because it appears that their husband might be considering coming back to them or at least “trying again” after the separation.   But, they are worried because they know that the marriage has some real difficulties (which made the separation necessary in the first place) and they worry that nothing has really changed.

So, they can have a lot of anxiety as to whether the marriage is actually going to improve or work after the separation.   And, they are often very invested in it working.  After all, the next time things fall apart, they may be dealing with a divorce rather than only a separation.

I often hear comments like: “my husband is considering moving back home after our separation.  I can tell that he’s reluctant and doubtful that things are going to really work out.  I need for this to work because I don’t want a divorce.  How can I rebuild my marriage after the separation so that it actually lasts?  How do I make sure that we don’t just end up separated again or even divorced because we are dealing with the same problems over and over again?  And how can I make sure that my husband is every bit as committed as I am?”  I will share with you the tips that I offered in the following article.

Rebuilding Your Marriage After A Separation Doesn’t Mean That You Need To Solve All Of Your Problems Immediately:  Here is what many people misunderstand (and where they go wrong.)  While you will absolutely need to work through and address your problems, you will usually have better results if you don’t try to do too much too soon.

The reason for this is that when your spouse returns (or is considering coming back) after a separation, the marriage is often still quite fragile no matter how badly one or both of you want for things to work out.  This means that you are still vulnerable to misunderstandings, your spouse feeling differently than you do about the issues, or the strain that comes from always focusing on your problems.

It is better to gradually attempt to rebuild the bond and then to slowly work through the issues (as are needed and as the marriage will allow at the time.)  Quite honestly, if you are successful in rebuilding the bond and the intimacy (and when you and your spouse are clicking again in the way that you did in the past,) many of the issues or problems that seem insurmountable right now will likely seem smaller in comparison.

The reason is that when you are sharing positive feelings and emotions with your spouse, you become very invested in wanting this to continue, so you are much willing to compromise more and dwell less.   I’m not saying that loving feelings will make all of your marital problems go away, but don’t underestimate how much they truly can help.

You Don’t Always Need For Both People To 100% Commit To Rebuilding During Or After A Separation.  A Wait And See Attitude Can Work As Long As You Are Moving Forward:  The wife was very concerned because the husband did not seem to have the same burning desire or the same desperation that she did to save the marriage.

The husband wasn’t exactly opposed to rebuilding, he just had some doubts that it would actually happen successfully.  This bothered the wife so much that I worried she would sabotage the whole thing by trying to force or push the husband into declaring himself 100% committed to saving the marriage.

The thing is, it’s normal for one or both spouses to have some doubts after separating.  But it’s OK to move forward anyway.  Over time as things go well and you move slowly and gradually, these doubts will start to fade.  But if you insist on a 100% commitment from the beginning, you may keep your spouse from every really trying or giving the process a real chance, even if they are reluctant.

Place Most Of Your Focus On Rebuilding In A Positive Way So That You Both Enjoy Participating.  (Don’t Allow Your Doubt Or Anxiety To Sabotage Your Actions:)  Here is what I want for you to take from this article. I want you to know that rebuilding after a separation should be seen as an opportunity that can actually be pleasurable.  Most people see rebuilding as akin to having to lift brick and mortar with power tools so that you are both breaking an emotional sweat. This can cause a lot of doubt, feet dragging, and reluctance.

You want for both you and your spouse to have positive feelings and enthusiasm about this process.  So place your focus on revisiting those things that used to make you happy and feel close to your spouse rather than dissecting every problem that you ever had.  I concede that problems don’t solve themselves and that you will eventually need to place some focus there.

But in the beginning, your attention really should be on just reconnecting and remembering why you loved each other in the first place and what worked well for you rather than remembering what went wrong.  Sometimes, I think that couples focus so much on their problems that they almost give those problems more power.

I know that some people will disagree with me.  But I have seen too many couples make this mistake and I see more success with couples who put their issues on the back burner and have some fun together (without holding on so tightly and being guided by fear,) at least for a little while.

The process really should be fun.  You want to see your marriage as a pleasurable and enjoyable place to be rather than a place where you’re going to be analyzed, discussed, and criticized until your toes curl and you just want to avoid the whole thing.

I think that sometimes people think that rebuilding after a marital separation requires a series of steps and that once you pass one issue, you move on to the next and to the next so that if you finally make it to the end,  your reward is that you remain married after a hard fought battle.

I see it differently.  What worked for me and many others is making the process of rebuilding an enjoyable one that teaches you what you still love about your marriage rather than what you still see as flawed.

My husband and I were separated and things went so wrong he actually filed for divorce.  Thankfully, I decided that dwelling on the negative was doing me no good, so I decided to focus on the positive and this worked.  You can read more of that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com.  There are also some excellent free resources on the side of this blog that will give you some advice and insights from the experts on this topic.

Will My Husband Come Back After The Separation? Here’s How To Make Sure That He Does

I sometimes hear from wives who are trying to set it up to have the best chance that their husband is going to come back to them after the separation.  They often ask me how they can tell if he’s actually going to come back.

I often hear comments: “will my husband come back after our separation? How can I make sure that he does?  I miss him so much.  I don’t want to lose him.  He’s staying with some friends and sometimes I think he’s happier apart.  He says he still doesn’t know what he wants or what he has decided about the separation so I’m trying not to push.  But I don’t know what I’ll do if he doesn’t come back.  What is the best plan of attack?”

I will discuss these questions and concerns in the following article.

Setting It Up To Make Sure That You Have The Best Chance Of Him Coming Back After The Separation:  There will come a time during this process where your husband will need to make a decision about where he stands and what he wants to do after the separation.  Usually, he’ll either decide that he needs more time, that he wants to come back to you, or that he wants to go ahead and stay apart and pursue a divorce or perhaps a legal or longer separation.

Obviously, when he goes to make this decision, you want for him to think as favorably about you as is possible.  And, you may have some work to do between that day and this because if you’re separated, it’s probably safe to say that things weren’t going all that great with your marriage right before he left.

So you’ll likely have to change his mind about some things.  And it’s vitally important that you chose those things very wisely. Because while it’s unrealistic to think that you might change his mind on all of your issues and problems, you CAN often change his mind about you and about how he feels about you.

Yes, this can take some doing.  But if you can change his perceptions about you, then you can eventually also change his mind about your problems – and eventually, about your marriage.

Making Your Husband WANT To Come Back After The Separation:  This is really more important than I can possibly express.   Many wives ask for my advice on “making” or “getting” a husband to come back after the separation.  Honestly, this isn’t want you want.

Do you really want him to come back with his head hung low and filled with reluctance?  If he comes back to you this way, do you think this is going to last?  Probably not because you’re both going to know that his heart just isn’t 100% into it.  And so this brings about resentment, and worry, and doubt.

The real goal is to make him to WANT to VERY WILLINGLY come back to you.  I know that these may seem like a tall order, but I promise you that with a little planning and skill, it can be done.

First, you have to get the right attitude.  You don’t want him to think that you’re going to force him to do anything that he doesn’t want.  You want for him to know that you want him to be happy and will give him as much time as he needs for that to happen.  You aren’t going to push him and you aren’t going to come on too strongly.  Don’t use your children or other members of his family for your leverage.  Men hate feeling manipulated and they will not respect you if you stoop to such levels.

I know that it can be VERY difficult to hold back sometimes, especially when you miss him so much.  But please trust me when I say that desperation is literally a repellant for men.  They can almost smell it and many tell me that it is a total turn off.

I strongly feel that you will often have more success if you portray yourself as the confident, strong woman who knows that ultimately you will find your way back to each other.  Part of this confidence means that you create a little mystery.

You certainly don’t want to literally jump every time he calls.  But, when you do interact with him, you want to look your best.  You want to appear busy and vibrant and you want to make sure that you laugh and smile.  You want to remind him of what he loves about you and you want to present the woman that he could look forward to if he came back.

Think about it for a second.  Is he really going to want to come back to a pleading, desperate, or scared woman? He’s more likely to want to come back to a confident, yet loving woman.

Another thing that repels separated husband is trying to “work” on your marital problems too soon.  You want to make sure that you are very strongly bonded again before you even think about attempting this.  Move very slowly while you are still on shaky ground.  And make sure he’s firm on wanting to come back and end the separation before you introduce anything back into the mix.

Admittedly, you’ll eventually have to come back down to reality and work through your issues.  But the time for that can be later, after he’s interested and committed again.

I know that this is a difficult time.  I truly do.  I had to use these tactics when I was separated from my husband.  It took me a long time to learn this lessons and I made many mistakes.  But I eventually was able to regroup and save the marriage.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Is My Marriage Worth Saving Quiz: True Or False Questions To Help You Decide

I hear from a lot of folks who are trying to decide if their marriage is worth saving. They often want to tell me the details of their marriage and then get my opinion as to whether they should fight for their marriage or just give in and call it quits. The thing is, I never feel that I’m really qualified to make or even influence this decision. This is a very personal situation and a marriage is sacred. The decision to end it is very serious and lasting. That decision should be made by the people within the marriage.

Nonetheless, on an almost daily basis, I hear from people who are trying to determine if their marriage is worth the effort to save it. So I’ve developed the 5 quiz questions (with true or false answers) that follow. I hope that what you find will hopefully at least give you a place to start. Of course, it goes without saying that I do not advocate making any decisions about your marriage based on anyone’s quiz. But my hope is that you will use this as a starting point to think about where you want to go from here. And perhaps some of the questions will bring up some insights that you haven’t yet considered.

The questions below have true and false answers. Sometimes, the answer might be somewhere in between or you might struggle to find an either / or answer. Just do the best you can and choose the answer that seems the most appropriate. I have indicated the preferable answer after each question with an explanation of why I feel it’s preferable.

Question #1: True Or False: I No Longer Have Any Feelings At All For My Spouse. I’m Just Completely Numb At This Point: (For the purposes of this quiz, “feelings are defined as any at all. In other words, anger, frustration, love, and affection all count as feelings.) I know that this seems very simplistic but when a marriage is really and truly over (and some would argue not worth saving,) there aren’t any feelings left. This includes anger, frustration or even what one might define as hatred. (That’s why the preferable answer here is false.)

People often tell me that they assume that if they are feeling very negative things toward their spouse, this is one indication that their marriage isn’t worth the trouble to save it. I actually disagree with this. If ANY feelings are still there, to me, it indicates that you still care and / or are invested enough to respond. Numbness is worse than negative feelings as far as marriages go, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. Even hurt or indecision can be good signs that the feelings aren’t completely dead.

Question #2: My Spouse And I No Longer Have Any Common Ground: I often suggest that people focus on the things that bring them together when they are trying to save their marriage, especially in the beginning when things are still awkward and forced. Being able to agree on core things (even if you can only agree that the marriage is in trouble and you want to save it) gives you a starting point on which you can both focus. This makes the whole process a little easier to navigate and your shared values gives you something on which you can place your focus.

Not having any common ground doesn’t always mean that your marriage isn’t worth saving, but it can mean that you might have a harder time and struggle a bit more when attempting this. If the answer to this question isn’t obvious to you, then take some time to reflect on where you may or may not have common focus.

Question #3: If I Try, I Can Remember The Good Times In My Marriage. When I Look Back, I Can Recognize Good Qualities In My Spouse (And Good Memories With Them:) The obvious preferred answer here is true. When trying to save your marriage, there’s a very important distinction between being disappointed or disenchanted with the marriage and having these same feelings about your spouse. If, despite your differences and your struggles right now, you can still look at your spouse and see a decent and honorable person with whom you enjoyed a good and solid relationship (even if it isn’t that way now) then this is a good foundation on which to build.

Frankly, when people tell me that they can’t find one redeeming quality about their spouse or can’t look back on their marriage with any nostalgia or longing, then that does cause some concern. It’s eventually important that you separate the problems in your marriage with the person who is your spouse. And marriages are usually much more fulfilling and happy if you respect, genuinely like, and can share good times with your spouse. (That doesn’t mean that you have to feel this way now, but it helps to believe that it’s possible eventually.)

Question #4: Being Right Is More Important To Either Of Us Than Being Happy. One Or Both Of Us Considers Compromise To Be The Same As Giving In: The preferred answer here is false. When you are saving your marriage (or even trying to be happy within it,) there is often going to come a time when you will need to compromise and put your spouse’s needs above your own – at least some times. Your spouse will need to do the same. The key is to decide which issues are most important to you and which you’re willing to back away from. However, some people become so invested in being right or in not giving in that they are just never willing to compromise.

And this inability to yield causes resentment, anger, and negative feelings that can make the marriage almost impossible to be happy or content in. I have seen many couples shift their marriage by changing their attitude about this very topic. They vow to become more happy in their marriage. They want to laugh and play more and to not take all of this so seriously. And so they let go a bit. And believe it or not, this can make all the difference.

Question #5: One Or Both Of Us Are Willing To Feel Vulnerable, To Step Outside Of Our Comfort Zone, And To Trust Our Heart Rather Than Our Heads And Our Doubts: The preferred answer to this is true. Many people see saving their marriage (or living within one that is struggling) as a very difficult and painful process. Many people anticipate difficult and painful conversations with a lot of tears and pain. Or they think that if they stay in a struggling marriage, they will have to learn to live as best they can when they aren’t really happy. It truly doesn’t have to be this way.

I have seen more people save their marriages (and he happy in them) by focusing on the positive and by being willing to have new experiences with their spouse in order to reconnect, while not worrying so much about the day to day drudgery of saving a marriage of our analyzing their every thought and problem.

Yes, you will need to look at and hopefully solve your issues. But the issues do not define your marriage. The people define the marriage. Their actions, behaviors, and habits define their marriage. If you have fallen into bad habits, then you must be willing to change course even if that is uncomfortable and feels foreign at the time.

At times, you may have to be the one to make the first move or say what needs to be said. Both people can’t sit there and wait for the other to make the move. Sometimes, improving or saving your marriage involves taking a deep breathe and diving in.

If I Answered Wrong Does This Mean My Marriage Isn’t Worth Saving?: Absolutely not. These questions were just meant to show you where your strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages are. If you see something here that inspires you to take action, make a change, or take a chance, then that’s the whole point.

And you know what? The fact that you researched the information in this article and sat down and got to the end tells me something very important. It tells me that you are still invested in your marriage – and this could certainly be an indicating that your marriage is one that is worth saving.

There was a time that I thought my marriage was truly at it’s end and not worth saving. My husband was distant and withdrawn and eventually suggested a divorce. I resented this for a long time. Thankfully, even though I had doubts, I decided to try one last thing, to give a little more, and to approach it from another angle, and this eventually worked. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

What Must I Do To Make My Husband Come Back Home?

By: Leslie Cane:  I sometimes hear from wives who are so frustrated that they are not being successful in getting their separated husband to come back home.  Often, they think that they have tried everything and, so far, nothing has enticed him to come back.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband left our home four months ago.  We had been fighting about my career.  I’ve had to do a lot of traveling lately and this left him watching the kids which stresses him out.  It took a huge toll on my marriage.   Rather than discussing it with me or trying to work out our problems, my husband got to a point where he couldn’t take it anymore and abruptly told me that he couldn’t continue to live this way so he left.    Since that time, I have offered up many compromises. I told him that I would prioritize our marriage and that I would find another job.   I found a counselor for us.  In short, I’ve been willing to make all of the compromises and my husband still says he’s not sure that he’s ready to come home.  I try very hard to be patient but I’m getting very frustrated.  My kids miss their dad.  I’ve offered to change everything about our marriage that he doesn’t like.  So why won’t he come back home?  What do I have to do to get him to pack his bags and come back to us?”

Obviously I had no way to know what this particular husband was thinking.  But I do hear from a lot of separated husbands and I believe that I have some insights into what many of them are thinking.  I also believe that I have a good handle on what it takes for many of them to decide to come home.  I will share this with you in the following article.

Often, Husbands Want To Believe That There Is Significant And Lasting Change Because  They Do Not Want To Have To Move Out Twice:   Many husband hesitate to move back in because they aren’t sure if things have really changed.  Many of them suspect that their wife is only saying that change has taken place in order to lure him back home.  The fear is that once he comes home, you will eventually revert back to your old ways.

Another possibility in the above scenario is that the wife might have misunderstood what the major problems truly were.  She assumed that her husband had left because of her job.  However, even after she offered to leave that same job, he was reluctant to come back home.  This could be an indication that there were other issues that were bothering the husband more than the job issue.   I would suspect that as the result of the wife’s travel, the husband felt neglected, taken advantage of, and disrespected.   The wife hadn’t done much to address these things.  And until the husband felt like he was an equal partner in the marriage and that he was valued and appreciated, he might still have doubts about coming back home.

It’s not always clear what all of the underlying issues truly are. Often, the wife thinks that she’s addressing the issues when there may be others that she is not aware of.  Often, there are underlying issues of intimacy, trust, respect, and chemistry that might be important to the husband but aren’t fully explored by the wife.

That’s why it’s so very important that you try to uncover every issue that your husband might be grappling with.  If you don’t have a good handle on this, you can attempt to ask your husband what might be contributing to his reluctance to come home.  A suggested conversation might sound something like: “I want you to come home when you are comfortable doing so because I want us to be successful once you do return to us.  Clearly, you’re not comfortable yet and I respect that.  Could you share with me the concerns that you have right now so that I can try to address them?  My goal is for us to address all the problems or issues that stand between us so that we are both happy and fulfilled.  We both deserve that and so do our children.  I promise to listen and not argue.  I truly want to know and understand how you feel.”

Hopefully a dialogue like this will get him to open up to you and will help to shed some light on what might be contributing to his hesitation to come home, which leads me to one more point.

He Must Believe That He Will Be Happier If He Comes Back Home Than If He Stays Put: The bottom line is this.  One thing that you must do to make your husband come back home is to make him believe that he will happier if he does so.  When he hesitates, it’s usually because he has some serious and nagging doubts about this.  And frankly, the harder you lean on or push him, the worse this can get.  Sometimes, it is better to back up and just focus on maintaining positive interactions between you. If you make your goal to just be happy together whenever you can make this happen, you will usually find that he will come to learn that he is happier when he is with you than when he is not.  And once this happens, he will often logically want to come home because he wants to be where he is the most content.

The first step in making this happen is to make it so that he is happy when he is around you so that he wants to be around you often.  Then, you want to make sure that you’ve identified and addressed all of the doubts or concerns he has about coming back home.  Once you do these things, he will feel more comfortable in coming home because his mind and his heart are no longer dealing with any doubts.

When my husband left me, his mind was made up. He was going forward with moving out and, I believe that he truly wanted a divorce. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but to get him home in order to save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

Is My Husband Showing Signs That He Wants To Reconcile? What if He Is?

By: Leslie Cane:  I sometimes hear from wives who are either separated, on a break from their husband, or in the beginning stages of a divorce.  Many are starting to see different (and more positive) behaviors from their husband. Sometimes, he has started to show interest again, act in romantic ways, or he begins to bring up the marriage or saving it. Of course, most wives will notice this change right away and wonder how they should respond to this or if the signs that they are seeing might truly means he wants to reconcile instead of just wishful thinking.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband and I have been separated for about three months. For the first six weeks, he pretty much avoided me. He wouldn’t respond to my calls or texts and it became pretty clear that things were not going very well. But then after we had been separated for about two months, he started acting a lot differently. He began to call and text me. He began to drop by saying that he wanted to see the kids. And when he did, he would say sweet things to me. Yesterday, he called and asked me out and while we were on the phone, he told me that he wanted to maintain a relationship with me because of the kids. I’m thrilled that he’s showing interest, but I’m a little confused too. What signs should I look for to show that he might be interested in a reconciliation? And how should I respond if he is?” I’ll try to address these questions in the following article.

Signs That Your Husband Might Want A Reconciliation: It was clear after dialoging with this wife for a while that she really was afraid that she was reading the signs all wrong and was seeing what she wanted to see. But, I assured her that the changing behaviors that she was seeing might be indicative of a man who wants to reconcile. Yes, he was telling her that he was trying to improve their relationship for the kids. But, this didn’t need to be the only reason that he was changing his behaviors. Because he was also showing romantic interest as well. He had been finding ways to brush her arm, laugh with her, and meet her gaze in an almost flirtatious way. There’s a difference between getting along for the sake of your children and wanting to get a long because of a marital bond or a romantic interest.

Now, it had only been a couple of days since her husband began showing a change of attitude. But in the coming days or weeks, she might look for some of the following. You want to hear your husband talk about the future with you. And you might listen to see if he seems nostalgic about your past or hopefully about your future. He might even mention what was wrong with your marriage or how to change it. He might offer to go to counseling or be more willing to work with you to improve or save the marriage. He might start asking you questions to feel you out to see if you feel the same way.

How Do You Respond If You’re Seeing Some OF These Signs Which Might Indicate That He Wants To Reconcile: I find that women in this situation have varying reactions. Some are very clear and transparent about the fact that they are thrilled that he wants to reconcile. The might worry if things are going to work out sometimes, but they are willing to do anything to save their marriage, so they are willing to jump right in and get to work.

Then you have some wives who really want to analyze exactly what is happening and which response will give them the best chance to save their marriage. Although they want to jump right back into their marriage, they are somewhat reluctant to do this because they want to lay the groundwork and move slowly to ensure that their marriage really stands a chance.

And then there are the wives who don’t want to get too excited because they don’t want to get their hopes up. They are suspicious of their husband’s motivations for suddenly wanting to reconcile, so they are guarded about the whole process. And they wait for him to lead the way.

So which approach is right? There is no one answer here. I do find that the suspicious and reluctant wives seem to sometimes have the lowest success rate because their doubt keeps them from truly letting go and truly trying their best to make things work. They are always holding something back because they don’t want to get hurt. But the fall out from this can be that their husband thinks they don’t care or he gives up because their lack of enthusiasm or commitment.

The wives who don’t ask questions and go all in immediately can sometimes be disappointed to later learn that nothing has really changed and that they still have the same problems that they have always had and which contributed to the separation in the first place.

That’s why I advocate a happy combination of the two. There is nothing wrong with being happy that your husband is showing signs of wanting to reconcile. That is good, exciting news. And it is a wonderful first step. But I find that couples who take the next step and find some sort of resources or get some kind of help to navigate the reconciliation process have a much higher success rate. Because it is one thing to want to reconcile. And it is entirely different thing to actually gain the education and resources to make it possible.

It’s my opinion that you will give yourself the best chance of the reconciliation actually working if you give yourself that chance to save your marriage but also temper your enthusiasm enough to ensure that you find and get the help that you might need to ensure success.

When my husband started showing interest in me again, I doubted his intentions.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so we moved slowly and this ended up being the right call because eventually did save our marriage and are still together today.  You can read about the whole process on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com