How Should I React When My Husband Says He’s Moving Out?

By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from wives who are so upset or shocked by their husband announcing that he’s moving.  Because of their overwhelming emotions, they often aren’t sure how to formulate an appropriate response. Many have conflicting feelings. They are angry or sad, but they want to react in a way that is going to help preserve their marriage or prevent a divorce.

I heard from a wife who said: “I knew that our marriage wasn’t what it should be. But I sincerely thought that we could work it out and I never expected for my husband to take the drastic action of moving out. This morning, there was a note from my husband by the coffee maker announcing that once he returned home from work tonight, he was packing his bags and moving out. He said he was telling me this so that I could arrange to stay away to avoid an awkward or painful situation. He didn’t mention if he was going to pursue a divorce. I am so furious about this. You would think that after years of marriage, I would deserve more than a short note. You would think that he could have the decency to at least look me in the eye. Now, I’m in a situation where I don’t know how to respond. I am very tempted to pack his bags myself, change the lock, and leave his belongings on the front porch. But I know that doing this would hurt my chances for saving my marriage. Still, I would feel like a fraud if I pretended that I am not furious about this. What is the best way to react?”

This is a tough question to answer. Because the appropriate response and reaction will often depend upon the husband’s reasons for leaving and the personalities of both people involved. However, when you want to save your marriage, you have to think a little more carefully and treat a little more lightly. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Ask Yourself About The Real Reason He Wants To Move Out: Some men will threaten to move out just to get a reaction out of their wives. Sometimes, they only intend to be gone for a short period of time in order to scare their wife into some sort of change. Others are trying to put themselves in a position where their wife begs him to come back. But some husbands are very serious about breaking away or taking some time for their own.

So it can help to examine what your husband’s motivations might be so that you can formulate the appropriate response. In this case, the wife felt that husband was unhappy with their marriage and genuinely wanted some time away. She felt that it was possible that he might eventually pursue a divorce if things didn’t dramatically improve in their marriage.

So for her, the best response was going to be the the one which made it the most likely that she could see her husband regularly during the separation. She needed to set it up so that they had positive interactions that would eventually contribute to improving their relationship and, hopefully,  saving their marriage.

A Suggested Response: If you think that your husband is really serious about moving out and isn’t just posturing or trying to scare you, then you want to take this seriously and you want to face this head on with sincerity and respect.

The wife wasn’t sure if she wanted to be in the house when he moved out because she was afraid that a huge fight would break out once the emotions started to bubble over. If this was the case, you could always leave a note. But, if you can swing it, verbal words are likely to have more impact as long as you can remain calm.  However, whether you speak the words or write them, an appropriate response might be something like: “I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I’m hurt and sad.  I’m also really disappointed that you didn’t tell me this face to face.  And I wish that you would reconsider. I would be more than happy to allow you some time alone without your needing to move out. I could stay with friends for a while if they would make you more comfortable. But, no matter what you decide, I hope that we can improve things between us eventually. No matter what happens to our marriage for the short term, I don’t want to completely lose my relationship with you. It is simply too important to me. So if you need some time then I respect that. If that is what it takes to improve things between us, I’m all for it. But I would hope that you wouldn’t need to move out in order to do this. And, if you do, I hope that we can stay in touch regularly so that things don’t get worse between us.”

I know that it’s very tempting to tell him that if this is what he wants than he shouldn’t let the door hit him on his way out. But, as good as this might feel in the short term, it thwarts your most important long term goal which is to save your marriage.

And although any response that you decide on should sound genuine and be in line with your personality, try to make sure that it is calm and designed to maintain a cordial relationship with your husband on which you can build.

Unfortunately, my opinion on this is based on my own experience.  I reacted quite badly when my own husband moved out.  And I had to work very hard to reestablish my relationship with him.  I did eventually save my marriage, but not without making a lot of avoidable mistakes first.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

My Spouse Seems To Be Playing Mind Games During Our Separation. What Should I Do?

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from folks who feel as if their spouse is not at all being themselves during a marital separation. And while it is understandable that a person would be a little off while they are going through a difficult or painful separation, it can sometimes be obvious that the spouse’s behavior goes beyond this. Many people feel that their spouse has taken up the sport of mind games during the separation and they aren’t quite sure how to handle this.

An example is a wife saying: “honestly, I thought that the separation might be good for us. Our marriage has been struggling for a long time. And although my husband and I often agree to go to counseling and to work together to make our marriage better, nothing really happens. Both of us just sort of wait for the other person to do the changing or to make a move. And so nothing improves and things only deteriorate. So bringing up the separation is something that happened quite naturally. I thought that we could be cordial about it. And the whole idea was that being apart would make us see how much we wanted to be together. But that isn’t what has happened. My husband is very sarcastic to me and at times, he’s downright mean. When I ask to see him, he always says that he is busy. Sometimes, he won’t even pick up my calls. The other day, he said he couldn’t see me because he had other plans. When I asked him what those plans were, he told me that he wasn’t going to tell me that information.  So, I point blank asked him if he was seeing someone else. And he still wouldn’t answer. It was almost like he wanted for me to think that he was going out with someone else. This is infuriating to me. I wouldn’t play games like this with him. Why is he doing this?” I’ll tell you some possible theories in the following article.

It’s a bit hard for me to objective here because many would argue that I took certain liberties during my own separation when my husband was distant and avoiding me.  In my defense, I never allowed him to believe that I was seeing other people. And I was never rude or even distant to him. In fact, I was always clear on the fact that my hope was that we would get back together, but I made it clear that I was no longer going to put my life on hold.

Playing Mind Games Is A Common Attempt To Gain Reassurance When Separated: I believe that this is very common when one spouse feels rejected. This scenario is especially common when one spouse wanted to separate while the other did not. It’s often an attempt to see if you can get a response out of your spouse, if only to prove to you that they still care. And you can call it mind games if you like but it’s often a cry for attention or a plea for reassurance. They figure if you get angry, or jealous, or demand information, then this is proof that you are still invested in your marriage.

How To Handle This Scenario: Even if you know what is driving your spouse to act this way, this practice can still be annoying. It can still be hurtful. And it can even hurt your chances of a reconciliation if you take it too far. So how do you best handle this if you suspect that your spouse is playing mind games? Well, you don’t want to come right out and accuse them of this. They will likely only get defensive and it is doubtful that they are doing this in a purposeful or sinister way.

You may want to have a conversation about this but you don’t want to be accusatory. In this situation, the wife might say something like: “I have to say that things aren’t going in the way that I hoped. It was my wish that the separation would bring us closer together but I can’t help but feel the distance between us. I realize that you are busy, but do you think that we could schedule some time together? I think that it’s very important that we make the time to check in with one another. I’m still hoping that this will all turn out OK. I hope that you are too.”

The last thing that you probably want to do is to try to play hard ball or think “two can play this game” and then try to play your own version of mind games. This will typically only make things worse and then with both people pulling away, you have a marriage that just gets more and more damaged and more and more awkward. Sometimes, one person has to step up and be the bigger person. One person has to step up and tell what is still the truth.

It helps to keep in mind that your spouse is probably doing this to draw you closer to him or to get affirmation that you still care. So sometimes, just being the bigger person and offering that reassurance will be all that is needed to get them to back off of this stance.

In my own case, I was definitely backing off in order to get my husband to be receptive to me.  And this definitely helped the situation.  But I was always careful not to take this too far.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Signs That Your Husband Still Loves You During The Separation

By: Leslie Cane: I know from experience that one of the things that takes up most of your thoughts when you are separated is wondering whether or not your husband still loves you. To that end, you almost become detective – like, always looking for clues that might indicate that, although you are separated right now, he still feels love for you. Because if he still loves you, doesn’t this increase the odds that you will eventually reconcile or get back together?

To demonstrate, I might hear a comment like: “I hate to be one of those wives who are overly clingy during my trial separation. But I guess I am becoming one. Because I am always looking at his behaviors and his actions that might be indicative of love. If he hugs me, I wonder what he means by this. If he compliments me, I wonder if it is a good sign. Sometimes, I find some things that give me hope, but other times, I feel like he is just trying to be nice. What are some signs that your separated spouse still loves you?”

It’s difficult to give universal signs because every husband’s personality is different. My husband didn’t give me a lot of the signs that I am going to list below, but he apparently did still love me because, after I tried some new strategies, we did eventually reconcile and we are still going strong. I mention this because I don’t want for you to think that your husband definitely doesn’t care anymore if you don’t recognize any of the signs below.

But, I do get a lot of correspondence from people who eventually reconcile that indicate the same behaviors over and over. Even though I’m going to list some of those, I do want to stress that not seeing these doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t love you. It may mean that he isn’t demonstrating it. He could be trying to push down or deny his feelings. Or, he could be trying to keep you from seeing them. At least for right now.

He Still Shows Concern For Your Wellbeing: Sometimes, wives find their separated husbands still taking care of household chores or spending money on things that she wants or needs. Or, she might see concern on his face when they chat or visit. The thing is, despite our very common fears, love doesn’t stop, end, or pause just because you separate or take a break. Some men are better about demonstrating this love than others. But even men who are trying to hold back will often show their love by still wanting to take care of things for you. So, you might notice that he’s still taking care of his part of household chores and expenses and that he regularly asks about how you are doing and wanting to make sure that you are OK.

He’s Trying To Gauge Your Feelings Or Your Lifestyle: Men who are indifferent to their wives generally don’t care what their wife is doing or feeling. You don’t see them becoming angry or asking their kids what mommy is doing on Friday nights. Many angry wives contact me because their separated husband is demanding to know what they are doing and acting jealous. These same wives are understandably confused and a little frustrated because he was the one who wanted the separation and yet suddenly he is demanding answers from her. I understand the frustration. But this can honestly be a good sign. If he didn’t care, he wouldn’t be showing curiosity or jealousy.

Despite His Best Efforts, He Gives You Loving Gestures: Many separated husbands are on their guard. They aren’t sure what they are feeling and they don’t want to send you mixed signals or confuse you. Even still, many husbands who still love their wives can’t help demonstrating loving gestures, even if they are very subtle. It could be brushing your back. Smiling at you. Or even opening your car door. Anything that is demonstrative of caring feelings can be a good sign.

Some Signs That Seem To Show He Doesn’t Care Can Mean Just The Opposite: Some men are well aware that they still love their wives but they are trying to deny or repress these feelings. Some men admit that, at least for right now, they wish that they didn’t still love their wives, but they know that they do.

So he may push you away, say mean things, not come around, or act downright rude to you. But that is just his attempt to keep you at a distance because he is trying to sort out his feelings and he finds the whole process overwhelming. I’m sorry if all of this is confusing. But a separation is a confusing time. Some men are pretty transparent with their feelings. Others try to deny them or keep them hidden.

Generally speaking, if you are seeing very negative emotions from him, it’s not always a horrible sign. Strong emotions are indicative of emotions, which is good. I am more worried when I hear about a husband who is indifferent. Because not caring at all is probably not loving at all.

As I alluded to, my husband didn’t show many of these signs.  He was trying to project an image of uncaring.  His jealousy was the first sign that he did in fact care.  But I read the signs all wrong. If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

If You’re Separated And Your Husband Gives You A Long Hug, What Does It Mean?

By: Leslie Cane: If you’re recently (or even not-so-recently) separated, then you will know what I mean when I say that you are always looking for clues, signs, and signals that might tell you how your separated husband is feeling. Some of this is due to the uncertainty of the situation; but sometimes, part of this seeking can be due to a husband’s unwillingness to discuss his feelings. His wife may straight-out ask him about what he’s experiencing or feeling, but it’s rare that she’s going to get a straight answer. So she has no choice but to be on the lookout for any clue that she can get.

And frankly, it’s not always all that hard to find these clues. What IS hard is how to interpret them. You can wonder if your own feelings are clouding your judgment. You can wonder if you are just experiencing wishful thinking. You can wonder if you’re assuming the worst because you are expecting the worst. Because, let’s face it, you’re not exactly equipped to be objective when you are very invested in your marriage and are deeply upset about the separation.

Here is one example. A hurried separated husband might show his wife a bit of affection with a long or extended hug and then the moment is over. The wife may hope that he follows up, but he doesn’t. So all you can do is speculate. A wife might say: “my husband and I have been separated for just over two months. Things have always been cordial between us from the very beginning. What has always been most important to us is our son’s well being. We don’t want our son to see us fighting or acting silly. And my husband and I genuinely do respect and like one another as human beings. I just can’t relate to the separated or even divorced couples who hate one another. That just isn’t us. Anyway, my husband has always either given me a quick brush on the arm or sometimes just a quick hug in greeting when he comes over to pick up or spend time with my son. So a quick touch or show of affection is actually expected between us. However, yesterday, he gave me a hug and he definitely lingered. He actually leaned in, just stayed there, and then smelled my hair. He then proceeded to compose himself and break away. But he smiled at me. Then he went back to his normal behavior. I had hoped that he would follow up by suggesting that we get together outside of the house and outside of parenting, but so far, that hasn’t happened. I was telling a mutual friend about this and she told me that she thinks I am just reacting to wishful thinking or that my husband may have just reverted to habit. I suppose she could be right. But this is not what I want to believe. What does it mean when your separated husband gives you a long, extended hug?”

This is very hard to quantify. Of course, your husband would be the best person to provide this information. But sometimes, even he isn’t sure what, exactly, he is feeling. Sometimes, he is just reacting and not thinking. So that when you ask him about it later, he isn’t lying when he says he’s not sure what he feels.

There are men who have told me that they reverted to habit in the presence of their separated wife, so I suppose that this is a possibility. However, husbands who don’t feel some affection and comfort toward their wives don’t do this. What I mean is that if your husband was only feeling cordial (but still somewhat unloving) toward you, then he would be less likely to revert back to habit because his feelings would mean that he’d be on his guard and not really receptive.

My point is, it’s typically only a husband who has receptive and affectionate feelings toward his separated wife who will revert back to habit so easily. So no matter how you look at it or break it down, I don’t think that you can deny that it’s a positive sign. Sure, it may be fleeting and you may wish that he had immediately followed it up with something. But that day may be coming. And it is my experience that this time period (hopefully just before a reconciliation) can be fragile. You don’t want to scare him off or make him hold back by demanding information that he may not have. You might be better off just being receptive and allowing this to happen naturally again and with regular frequency.

Once that happens, you won’t need to question it so much and requests to spend more time together should just naturally follow. I guess my bottom line answer is that I think that it’s a very good sign, but you can’t possibly predict the future. So it’s best to not make demands or to put pressure on the situation. You want to encourage MORE of these hugs or spontaneous signs of affection, not less. And sometimes, that means just accepting what’s right in front of you and being happy for it without over analyzing it – at least for now.

I do know how you feel because I analyzed every single behavior by my husband – the good and the bad – during my own separation.  There was a time when I was sure that we would end up divorced because I wasn’t seeing enough behavior that I felt was “good” enough.  And yet here we are – reconciled and still together.  There’s more on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How Do I Need To Act During A Trial Separation If I Want My Husband Back

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from people who have only agreed to a trial separation because it’s what their spouse either wanted or insisted upon.  They don’t have any intention of making the separation permanent or of allowing things to deteriorate so badly that the separation eventually leads to a divorce.  But, they know that their wishes won’t just automatically become reality unless they take control and make it happen.  To that end, they often want to know how they should act during the separation in order to have the best chance for a reconciliation.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband has been wanting a divorce for the last seven months.  After a lot of discussion and pleading, I finally talked him into a trial separation instead. My greatest wish is to save my marriage because I still love this man and I know that having an intact family is the best thing for my children.  But, since he’s left, things have gotten even worse between us.  He says that he feels like I pressure him too much and that I try to keep tabs on him.  Of course I want to communicate with him regularly because I’m fighting to keep him.  But my friends say that my strategy is all wrong.  They say that I need to give him space and not be so suffocating.  Are they right?  How do I need to act in order to have the best chance of getting him back?”

I understood the wife’s actions.  Her descriptions reminded me so much of how I acted during my own separation.  You want to hold onto your husband so badly.  You want to know that he misses you as much as you miss him.  And you feel as if stepping back even slightly would allow him to slip straight through your fingers.  But, this wife’s friends did have a valid point.  Often, the more you cling to your separated husband, the less he wants to allow you access to him because he feels pressured.  And very often, he envisioned having some space during the separation.  And when he doesn’t get this, he can blame you and take his space by force by distancing himself from you.  This isn’t what you want.  So below, I’ll offer some tips on what I think is the best way to act during a separation when your primary goal is to get him back.

Don’t Act As If You’ve Already Lost Him:  When separated wives tell me that they want to get their husbands back, I often remind them that he is still their husband.  He hasn’t yet left the marriage because there has been no divorce.  Yes, being separated is scary and it certainly doesn’t imply that you are blissfully married without any problems.  But it doesn’t mean that a divorce is imminent either.  Many separated couples do reconcile and avoid divorce.

It’s very common for wives to panic in this situation and act as if they have already lost their husband.  This contributes to clinging which can make an already difficult situation even worse.  So ask yourself if you’re acting like you’ve already lost him.  If you are, now is the time to change that and to portray some confidence even if you have to force yourself to do so.  Often, your husband is going to follow your lead, even if neither of you realize that he is doing so.

If you give off the vibe that things are just dreadful and you are just weeks away from one of you filing for a divorce, then whether you intend to or not, you make this more likely.  But if appear to be confident that it will all work out because you are determined to make it so and you know that the two of you really do love one another, then you make a reconciliation more likely.

Don’t Look At It As Acting:  When wives ask me how they are supposed to “act” in order to make something happen, I have to remind them not to see any part of this process as acting.  The last thing that you want to do is to allow your husband to think that you are manipulating him.  Any actions that you take and any feelings that you display must appear to be absolutely genuine.

If you think of this as acting, you may be sabotaging yourself.  You want to show your husband your true, authentic self when that self is at it’s very best.  If you feel as if you are acting, then take a step back and reevaluate what you are trying to portray. You always want to make sure that who he sees is you and not a role that you are playing.  Because if he even suspects that you are not being genuine, then he will not be even remotely receptive to your words or actions.

Don’t Create Additional Drama.  Be As Approachable As Possible:  I understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and fear right now.  So, I do completely get that it’s hard to be upbeat and approachable.  And yet, that’s exactly what I am suggesting.  Because if every time you and your husband are together you debate tough issues or try to make him come home, he’s just going to start to avoid you.  You’ll start to hear excuses as to why he’s busy or can’t communicate with you.  And the face to face meetings may become rare.

In order to save your marriage, you need to gain some ground.  And in order to do that, you must spend quality and enjoyable time with your husband.  To make that happen, you are going to need to be approachable and agreeable.  This goes back to being the best version of yourself.  Always try to be positive and upbeat so that he enjoys your time together.   If you do this correctly, he will naturally want to continue interacting with you and this should naturally lead to an improvement in your marriage.

So to answer the question posed, you shouldn’t see this in terms of “acting” in a certain way.  But you should take a very positive and open approach that should make your interactions feel effortless instead of forced.

I learned this first hand during my own separation.  At first, I acted out of fear and desperation and this almost costs me my marriage.  I had to take a huge step back in order to truly make up for my past mistakes.  This wasn’t easy, but it made all of the difference and it allowed for us to reconcile.  If it helps, you can read more my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How Do You Know When Your Husband Is Emotionally Invested In Coming Home After A Separation

By: Leslie Cane: It’s human nature to want the other person in any romantic relationship to feel the same romantic feelings that you do. No one wants to be the only one who is feeling the love. But this is never true more than when you are trying to reconcile with a separated spouse. You can want the reconciliation enough for both of you, but that still doesn’t keep you from wanting reassurance that your spouse really WANTS to come back and is just as emotionally invested as you are. Some spouses will offer you verbal reassurance that they are happy about (or invested in) the reconciliation, but that doesn’t stop you from looking for clues for true confirmation of the same.  And what you are typically looking for are very concrete signs of an emotional investment – but you sometimes wonder if you will notice them when you see them.

For instance, a wife might say: “after nearly four months of working on my husband during our separation, he finally agreed to try coming back home on a trial basis. I worked very hard to get him to trust that things would actually work between us. I know that I should be thrilled that he’s willing to try coming home, but I find myself having some worries and doubts. The biggest thing that bothers me is that he doesn’t seem as excited about this as I am. Yes, he has agreed to it. But I’ve planned all sorts of special things for us. I’ve announced it to all of my friends. He hasn’t done anything special. In fact, he hasn’t canceled any of the plans that he made while we were separated. This makes me worry that he really doesn’t care if our marriage is going to make it or not. It makes me concerned that he’s not nearly as emotionally invested as I am. How do I determine the level of his emotional investment? And what happens if I find out that he doesn’t have it?”

First Things First.  Consider Perspective: I understand why you are so very interested in his emotional investment. I felt exactly the same way. But I have to tell you that my constantly trying to second guess my husband actually made things worse for me. My husband got defensive and didn’t like my trying to analyze him so closely. Looking back at things with hindsight, I would have been better off going with the flow and just being very grateful that he was willing to consider coming home. Because my insecurity that he was not “into” or as “emotionally invested” in the reconciliation as I was could have become a self fulfilling prophecy as I put more pressure than was needed onto my marriage. Instead of allowing our reconciliation to be a sweet time of rediscovery, I put it under the microscope, added more worry to an already-fragile situation, and just put stress where we didn’t need anymore.

Here is what I came to realize after way too long: Honestly, keeping track of who felt what (and when) didn’t matter that much.  How we started didn’t really matter, either. It just mattered where we ended up. What do I mean by this? Well, about the same time that my husband and I tried to reconcile, some mutual friends of ours were in the same boat and were trying to reconcile their own marriage. The husband was trying to woo the wife back and they were in that sickening honeymoon phase.  I was so very envious because there were times when my husband didn’t seem all that excited. Years later, they are divorced and we are still together.

Perhaps my husband had his doubts to start with. But what mattered is that he was willing to try. And a little at a time, our progress convinced both of us to keep going until we were both fully invested. It didn’t happen right away. And I know there were times when I was more invested than he was. This knowledge hurt me and frightened me, but that certainly didn’t mean that I was going to give up or not accept my husband back. I was going to take him back in any way that I could get him, but I wasn’t going to accept less than the marriage that we both deserved when we were through with the process. (But I accepted that the process might take a while and it did.)

Signs That You May Want To Look For Eventually: As far as what signs to look for, I think that you have the most important sign right in front of you – he is telling you that he is willing. He is saying that he’s willing to come home and give it a try. Would you prefer his unbridled enthusiasm and loving displays? Sure, we all would. But we don’t always get this initially. However, if he truly didn’t think that there was any chance for your marriage or if he was sure that you were wasting your time, he likely would not have agreed to try to come home.

Sure, eventually you want to see him making future plans, showing you affection, listening and being attentive, and making an effort to sustain positive changes. However, you don’t always get this right away or all at once. Rather, it is often a gradual process that happens once progress begins to be undeniable. And many people walk into the process with doubts and with less emotional investment than their partner. But that doesn’t need to dictate your outcome. He’s there. He’s willing to try. What choice do you have but to take him up on it and to take advantage of the opportunity and build upon it?

At the end of the day, I decided that I was going to seize the opportunity to save my marriage even if my husband wasn’t jumping up and down and doing back flips.  And we made it.  He’s much more enthusiastic today so it was all worth it.  The rest of the story is on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How To Act When Your Husband Leaves

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives who are emotionally devastated after their husband has left them. But, because of strategic reasons, they aren’t sure if they should show him this reality.   Many ask me if they should try to tone down their emotions or to portray themselves in a certain way in order to increase the chances of him coming home so that they can get him back or save their marriage.

I heard from a wife who said “my husband left me. There was no real warning. I knew that we were having some problems with our marriage but never in my wildest dreams did I think that he would take it this far. I came home from work to find a note on the kitchen table saying he thought we should live apart for now to evaluate our marriage and our lives. I am devastated. I am sad. And I am furious at him for doing this to us. But I’m not sure how to act.  I’m afraid to show him how mad and scared I truly am. I feel like I need to be careful of who or what to show him right now. How should a wife act after her husband leaves, especially when she wants him back?”

To me the keys words in that last question are “when she wants him back.” Because if you don’t care if you ever see him again or if you remain married to him, then it really doesn’t matter how you act. You could act in whatever way you wanted in accordance with your feelings without worrying about the repercussions.

But if you do want him back and your marriage is still very important to you, then how you act or react can be very important and can make a different in the outcome. So, if you still want to save your marriage, I’ll offer you my opinion on what I think is the best way to act. This is based on my own experience, my research, and from all the stories and experiences I hear about on my blog.

Know That If Your Husband Is Trying To Get Your Attention By Leaving, So Completely Ignoring Him Probably Isn’t In Your Best Interest: Many times, a husband leaves because he doesn’t know what else to do. Often, the two of you keep going round and round with the same old issues and problems but are not making much progress. So often, rather than continuing to talk but not really getting anywhere, a husband will leave in exasperation or in an attempt to get your attention.

But many wives will try to shift the power back toward them because they don’t want to give their husbands the satisfaction of seeing them get upset. So they will act as if they don’t care or will try to ignore the situation. But knowing that he’s trying to get your attention, ask yourself if this is really the best call or if it’s going to make an even larger problem.

In my opinion and experience, there’s always a middle ground. Of course you don’t want to go to either extreme. You don’t want to show yourself as someone who is desolate and who can’t cope. But at the same time, you don’t want to act as if you don’t care when nothing is further from the truth.

Finding The Middle Ground: Setting It Up So You Have The Best Chance Of Him Coming Back Home To Save Your Marriage: I know that it’s hard to not get carried away with your emotions. You have your pride. You have your fear. And you may well have your resentments and misunderstandings.

But if you are going to make progress so that you can eventually get him home and save your marriage, you’ll often need to put those things aside and place your focus on coming to the table with a spirit of cooperation.  Admittedly, he likely made a hasty and selfish decision that has probably hurt you deeply. But you can’t dwell on that because doing so does nothing to help your marriage or to move you forward.

Behaviors That You Want Him To See After He Leaves: Now that I’ve discussed how he’s trying to get your attention and you should, as part of your strategy, come to the table with a spirit of cooperation, let;s talk about how that looks in real life.

The wife knew that the husband would eventually contact her because they had business dealings that would have to be discussed. So when he did, she might say “it goes without saying that I’m disappointed that you left. I was shocked and devastated when I came home. But right now, what is more important is us moving forward. There’s obviously some things that are bothering you or you wouldn’t have left. I haven’t been one hundred percent happy either. So, now that the decision has been made, maybe we can both use this time to evaluate what we really want and think about how we might help each other to get what we both want.”

Hopefully you see what attitude I’m going for here. In the above dialog, the wife was able to tell the husband she was hurt and disappointed, But she didn’t dwell on it, nor did she break down and beg him to come back. But she made it clear that she wanted to work with him to find a way so that they could both be happy. And when you can set it up so that you are working with your husband rather than against him, you’re much closer to the right path.

You Matter Too: I’ve stressed that you should make it clear that you still care about your husband and want to make him happy. But at the same time, you matter too. It should not be all about what he wants and what he is thinking. You should make it very clear that you are using this time to consider what makes you happy. He should wonder (at least somewhat) how you are spending your time. And every time you are together or you speak, you should appear that you are coping, that you are reflecting on your own wishes, and that you are focused on making your life a happy one. Make sure that you are upbeat and easy to be around. This ensures that your husband wants to see more of you so that you have a continuous foundation on which to build.
Sometimes when I discuss this with wives they say that they feel as if they have to act a certain way. I guess that’s one way to look at it. But I chose to think of it this way. You are showing him the best side of yourself. You are allowing him to see the woman he fell in love with and to remember you at your best so that he misses you, wonders if he was wrong for leaving, and eventually wants to come back.

When my husband left, I admit I reacted very badly.  I cried, begged, and tried everything in the book to make my husband guilty enough to come home.  This backfired and made things worse.  It wasn’t until I understood what behaviors he needed to see that I was able to turn things around.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How To Make Your Husband Want To Come Back To You: The Right And Wrong Ways

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear for wives who are looking for the strategy or plan that is going to make their husband want to come back to them. Sometimes, the husband has abruptly left after a fight. Others have left after long struggles within the marriage and the departure doesn’t come as huge surprise. Others leave as part of a trial separation. Whatever the reason that he’s left, these wives want him back as soon as possible. They often don’t much care what they need to do in order to accomplish this. They are just tired of being without him.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband left me about four months ago. I’ve tried everything that I know to do in order to get him to come back. I’ve tried to appeal to his sense of obligation. I have tried to make him feel guilty. I have tried to make him jealous. I’ve tried to seduce him. I’ve tried to pretend that I just don’t care. But nothing works. Nothing makes him interested. He seems to tolerate me. He’s polite. He never declines to see or talk to me. But he never takes the initiative either. He seems to be perfectly happy to be apart from me for now. What can I do to make him want me back? Because I’m starting to give up hope.”

I know first hand that it’s very hard to maintain hope when he’s given you absolutely no encouragement. But, sometimes, you have to force yourself to hold out hope if you’re still intent on getting him back or on saving your marriage. Because as long as there’s hope, there’s a chance. I used to tell my friends that if I gave up, I would certainly fail because I was conceding defeat and I wasn’t about to do this. This is an individual decision, of course. And I didn’t know all of the details. But I do believe that before you give up, there are some things that you can try to do to encourage your husband to want you back. Notice that I said encourage. Because I don’t think you can “make” or “get” someone to do something genuine, nor should you want to. I’ll discuss this more below.

Give Him Enough Respect To Not Play Obvious Games: When the wife said that she’d tried everything to get her husband to want her back, I got a sinking feeling. Because often, when wives try multiple strategies, it gives off a vibe of desperation that husbands can sniff out almost effortlessly. As a result, he stops taking you seriously and you most definitely have a less than captive audience for your strategies.

Often, when you get to the point where you both know you’re playing every card you have, it’s time to just stop and be straightforward and stop playing games. Because he knows what you are doing. He’s expecting for you to continue on and he’s stopped paying attention. So how do you get his attention? By changing things up. By completely doing an about face. And by no longer trying to do things just to get a reaction so that he can actually take this process seriously.

Allow Him To Remember Your Relationship When It Was Effortless: When you get to the point where you feel rejected and he feels frustrated, it’s very easy for the spouse who left to see your relationship as problematic and getting worse. It can become difficult to remember when things were new, fresh, exciting, and easy. It can get to a point where your relationship feels like so much work, that he starts to wonder if this is all even worth it. He’ll start to wonder if people who are really meant to be together or who are really in love have to work this hard to keep it together.

So, it’s vital that you show him that his perceived difficulty can change. You want to remind him of the two people who use to seamlessly fit together and who can again one day.

Now, as you might expect, this might mean that you have to back off on the pressure that you’ve been applying. You might have to lower your expectations at first and have some patience. It’s so important to understand that the more you try to pressure and manipulate your husband, the more he is going to pull away from and discount you.

Honestly, one of the best things that you can do is to make yourself approachable and agreeable. You don’t want him to feel as if he has to be guarded to communicate with or interact with you. Nor do you want him to feel that he needs to brace himself for guilt, jealousy, or shame when he’s in your presence. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember that you want to elicit positive emotions rather than negative ones.

So to answer the question posed, instead of trying to “get” or “make” your husband want to come back to you, encourage him to want to come back by not playing games or attempting to manipulate him and by being patient as you show him how effortless and pleasurable your relationship can be. This may take time, but that is OK.

And, I’m not saying that you can’t flirt, be playful, and do what you know gets a response. But this shouldn’t be your only strategy meant only to get a quick response. It’s fine to allow a little flirting  to get your foot in the door. But once inside, you want to build something that is truly lasting so that you don’t have to deal with this issue again.

Unfortunately, I didn’t always do what I’ve just suggested to you.  And I made a huge mess of my marriage.  Not only did my husband not want to come back, but he was beginning to lose his patience with my strategies.  It wasn’t until I did a complete about face and tried a more straightforward strategy that I saw very positive results.  If it helps, you can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How Do You Know If Your Husband Is Never Coming Back To You?

By: Leslie Cane:  You would like to think that when you are going through a very challenging time in your life – like dealing with a marital separation, for example – that the people in your life would limit themselves to only providing positive feedback and support.  There has never been a more appropriate time to stick to the old adage: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Unfortunately, not everyone can adhere to this.  People who we love and people whose opinions we seek out and value can be the very ones whose careless comments hurt us the most.  They do not realize how those careless, flippant comments can cut us to the core.  Not only do we have to deal with the hurt, but we have to be able to honestly evaluate if their words have any merit, which can be difficult when we are already so emotionally raw.

Here is an example. A separated wife might surround herself with her best girlfriends who have always been there for her.  They may be out to dinner when a man notices the wife and starts trying to flirt with her.  The wife might explain: “we were actually having a good time when a couple of guys came up.  One started flirting with my friend and the other started flirting with me.  I felt very uncomfortable and at that point  I decided to call it an early night.  I told my friends that I had a headache and was going home.  The friend who was flirting with the other guy became angry.  And she angrily blurted out: ‘your husband is never coming back.  Not ever.  I don’t know what it is going to take for you to realize it, accept it, and start living your life.’  I was so hurt and shocked.  And I couldn’t think of anything to say in response, so I just left.  The next day, my friend called and apologized.  I told her not to worry about it, but now I am the one worrying about it.  Now I wonder if she was telling me the truth.  How do you know if your husband is never coming back?  Is it possible that the signs are there and I’m just not reading them?  I admit that things have not gone well during our separation and that, right now, my husband does not seem very interested in coming back.  But to say he’s never coming back?  That seems harsh because we haven’t been separated for that long.  How do I know if my friend is right?  What are the signs that I should be looking for?

My answer is going to be biased.  I admit that right away.  But I don’t think that there are any cut and dried signs that always mean that your husband is never coming back.  My husband was not interested at first either, and yet he eventually came back.

One might tell you that when there is another woman, there’s a good possibility that he’s not coming back.  And yet I’ve known couples who have actually moved in with other people who have eventually gotten back together.

I’ve known couples who have insulted each other and vowed to never want to see each other again who have gotten back together.  I’ve heard of couples who have moved across the country from one another and who have eventually reconciled.  And although it is more rare, I’ve heard from people who actually married others and then much later, down the road, remarried.

So, to me, there are very few true signs that he is “never” coming home.  “Never” is a very hard word to fulfill because it’s so restrictive and no one can predict the future.  People change their minds.  They have a change of heart.  Circumstances and feelings change.  People get counseling and learn different ways to solve their problems.

I am not saying that this happens in every care.  Sometimes, husbands do not come back.  But, since you can’t see the future and you’re clearly still invested in your marriage, it truly is up to you whether or not you’re going to let your friend’s off-handed remark (which she probably said when she was motivated by her flirting with the other guy) dissuade you.

Believe me, I had plenty of people giving me their unfavorable opinion about my husband’s thoughts and motivations.  Many of them weren’t shy in telling me that my marriage was over.  Needless to say, this was upsetting.  But one day I decided that none of them could possibly know the outcome.  They weren’t clairvoyant and they couldn’t read my husband’s mind.   And even if they could, what he was thinking today may not have been what he was going to think tomorrow.

So I decided that I was going to control what I could.  I was going to try to make every conversation and every meeting count.  I was going to work on myself.  And I was not going to cloud the future with worry and naysaying.

It was not easy.  I think it’s easier to “give in” to the negativity sometimes.  And there were times when I just had to tune people out.  It was hard but it paid off. This wasn’t easy because these were people who I loved and whose opinions I valued.  But they didn’t know what was going to happen with my marriage anymore than they knew who would win the Super Bowl that year.  It’s all just guessing.  And when something is as important as your marriage, you shouldn’t base your actions on a careless guess.  At least that is my experience.  If I had listened to people’s guesses, I’d probably be divorced today.  And I’m very glad that’s not the case.  The whole story is at my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Tips For Surviving The Trial Separation

By: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from people who are getting ready to start a trial separation. Most of the people who contact me never wanted the separation in the first place. Usually, they are just trying to comply with their spouse’s wishes. Sometimes, their spouse has made it clear that a separation is going to happen whether they like it or not, but rather than getting a divorce, it’s usually suggested that a trial separation might be the better route. And while a trial separation does allow you to continue to hold onto your marriage and still a chance to save it, living through a trial separation can be really difficult.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband had been pushing for a trial separation for several months. Finally, he pretty much told me that if I wouldn’t agree to the separation, he was going to go ahead and file for a divorce. So I felt as if I really had no choice but to comply. But the separation has been just awful. I miss my husband so much. And I had hoped that being away from me would make him miss and appreciate me, but it hasn’t appeared to work that way. He’s just as distant and cold as he has been all along. When I ask him how he’s feeling and what he’s thinking, he doesn’t want to talk about it. Apparently, I’m just supposed to go along with the trial separation and not ask any questions or make any demands. It’s as if I’m just supposed to take what he gives me. I don’t know how I’m going to survive this. Every day is a huge challenge and I just feel more and more hopeless all of the time. How am I going to get through this?”

I know from my own experiences that you are going through a very difficult time, but you can and will get through this. In the following article, I will offer some tips for successfully surviving and getting through the trial separation in a way that hopefully leaves your sanity and your marriage in tact.

Define And Understand The Goals And The Boundaries Before The Awkwardness Sets In: It can be very beneficial if you can set it up so that you both have an understanding as to how the trial separation is going to work. How often are you going to contact and see each other? Who is going to take the initiative to contact who? What are you trying to evaluate or decide while separated? What needs to happen or occur for the marriage to be saved? Of course, it may not possible to answer all of these questions. And your spouse may not even be willing to define everything. But, it is always better to try to reach an understanding early in the process before things get awkward or misunderstandings or hurt feelings occur.

Try To Make The Time Apart Help The Situation Rather Than Making It Worse: I know that if you are reading this article, you likely miss your spouse very much and this separation is almost like a form of torture for you. But, if your spouse has asked for a separation or space, then this is very indicative that some time apart might actually be an opportunity for your marriage rather than a curse. Because if your spouse felt strongly enough about the situation to ask for a break, then it’s pretty likely that he felt that things were bad enough and unlikely enough to change that he felt that action was necessary.

The separation can be the break that can give you both the perspective that you need to save the marriage. Many spouses end up missing each other and realizing that they really do want to salvage the marriage. But this is less likely if you work against the process rather than with it. Resist the urge to call, text, or demand too much from your spouse. Give them the time and space that they’ve asked for and there’s a chance that this will work to your advantage.

If It’s Hard For You To Accept The Distance, Consider Doing Something To Make Over Reaching Very Difficult For You: During my separation, it was nearly impossible for me to give my husband the space he wanted and apparently needed. I always wanted to call, go by, or reach out to him. But every time I tried to do this, it was obvious that he was not receptive and was getting frustrated with me always being around. I understood that I needed to back off but I just couldn’t seem to.

I knew that I needed support from family and friends and I also knew that if I was in vicinity of my husband, I could not resist making a pest of myself. So I went back home to see my extended family (which was hundreds of miles away.) This was hard at first but it forced me to back off a little bit and it meant that I was with and supported by people who loved and supported me. This eventually improved my attitude and outlook and little by little, this helped to improve things with my husband, who became interested again when I wasn’t so accessible.

I know that the trial separation is difficult. But try very hard to allow it to make him miss and want you rather than making him think that he must divorce you to finally get the space he wants. Even if you don’t feel confident, try to project confidence and a belief that the separation won’t last forever and when it is over, it will reveal two people who still love and are committed to one another.

The time period when I was separated from my husband was among the most challenging in my life. But the tighter I clung, the more difficult it was. It wasn’t until I forced myself to back up that things improved. If it helps you can read the very personal story of how I saved my marriage on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com