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 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/

How To Behave When Your Husband Wants A Separation And You Don’t

By: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from wives who are devastated to learn that their husband wants a separation.  And, they often know that how they behave and react right now might have an impact on whether their marriage will survive the separation.  So, many are looking for advice on the right way to behave or to act when he’s pushing for the separation that the wife doesn’t want.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband told me two weeks ago that he wants a separation.  I have tried to do everything in my power to talk him out of it.  But nothing has worked.  At this point, it appears to me that the separation is actually going to happen. So I need to know the best way to react and to behave.  I want to set it up so that we actually make it through this and remain married.  But I’m torn.  Part of me feels that perhaps I should play hard ball with him and pretend like I’m actually looking forward to the separation.  And part of me is tempted to play the guilt card to see if I can make him feel so guilty that he won’t leave.  What is the best way to play this?” I have a definite opinion on this, which I will discuss below.

Don’t Try To Force Negative Emotions Like Guilt Or Fear:  I know that trying to make him feel guilty may feel  like a no brainer.  After all, he should feel guilty.  But, as easy and as just as this strategy might be, it so often fails.  And the reason that it fails is that people have a tendency to want to escape negative emotions.  They also want to escape the people who cause the negative emotions.  So yes, maybe you could make him feel so guilty that he would hesitate to go.  But this likely would only be a temporary reprieve.  Eventually, he’s going to start thinking about how you didn’t allow him to get what you wanted and how, yet again, you’ve held him back in some way.

The same is true of fear.  It’s normal to consider trying to make him feel jealous or to hint that perhaps you will see other people during the separation.  But, again jealousy and fear are negative emotions that often eventually work against you.  Because he will ultimately associate these negative emotions with you or the marriage.  And he will want to escape them that much more.

Why Making Him Believe That You Want To Help Him Is Often The Best Strategy:  I know that the last thing that you might feel toward your husband right now is helpful.  I understand that the last thing you want to do is to cooperate with him.  But think about it this way.  What you really want is for him to come back and for you to be able to save your marriage. In order to do this, he’s going to have to think of you and the marriage favorably. And he’s going to have to eventually believe that he is better off with you than without you.  This isn’t likely to happen if you fight him every step of the way.

However, it is likely to happen if he believes that you are the person who is going to try to help him to get what he wants.  He needs to believe that you are on his side, even if you don’t like his actions or his methods right now. Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not asking you to pretend that you actually want the separation or are happy about it.  Your husband isn’t likely to buy this anyway.  What I’m asking you to do is to consider if that if you can make him believe that you love him enough to support his doing what he needs to do to be happy in his life, then he is going to see you as his ally.  And that is more important than I can possibly stress.

Make Sure That You Are A Positive Influence In His Life And That You Elevate Him When You’re Together:  Here is a very common thing that goes wrong during a separation.  The husband feels guilty and the wife is angry. The husband is afraid that interactions will be unpleasant so he wants to avoid this. As a result, he doesn’t come around much. The wife assumes that he’s not coming around because he never wants to come back to her.  And the situation deteriorates from there.

That’s why it’s vital that he knows being around you is going to be a pleasurable experience.  That way, he has no reason to avoid you and will actually want to seek you out. And this is the way that you begin to rebuild your marriage during the separation.  People often tell me that they think it’s impossible to strengthen or rebuild your marriage while you are separated but I’m living proof that it’s not.  So to answer the question posed, I believe from my own experience that your behavior should be cooperative, upbeat, and helpful when he wants a separation and you don’t.  It’s vital that he sees you as his ally right now.

I know that it may seem as if I’m asking a lot.  But I know from my own experience that this strategy can work.  If it helps, you can read about how I carried this strategy out on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

What’s The Best Way To Make A Husband Miss You And Want To Come Home?

By: Leslie Cane: Of all of the strategies that I’m asked about by wives attempting to lure their husbands back home, making him miss you so much that he can’t wait to return is the most common.  Wives often aren’t sure quite how to pull this off without appearing too desperate or obvious.  I heard from a wife who said: “my husband left about three weeks ago.  He said that he just wasn’t happy and he needed time to evaluate how he wants to proceed with our marriage.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken but no matter what I did or said, he indicated that he was leaving anyway and that there was no way to change his mind.  We do speak somewhat regularly.  He checks in with me, but he doesn’t give me any hints about what he is thinking.  And he never mentions coming home.  Frankly, this is what is most important to me.  I want him home where he belongs.  I also try to hint around to see if he will say that he misses me and wants to come home, but he never does.  How do he make him miss me more than he does? How do I make him miss me enough that he wants to come home.”

I had a definite and very strong opinion on this because I was in this exact situation and I felt very strongly that if I could make my separated husband miss me and yearn for me enough, he would finally come home.  But I found through my own experience that the harder I tried, the more he resisted.  I did eventually get him to miss me quite a bit, but it wasn’t until I almost gave up my very obvious plan that things turned around.  It’s my experience that actively trying to make him miss you will often accomplish just the opposite.  But taking a very unconventional approach often works much better.  I will explain more below.

Often, If It’s Obvious You’re Trying To Make Him Miss You, He Will Be less Likely To Do So:  Many wives will do their best to make themselves appear attractive to their husband.  Some will even attempt to make him feel jealous or will hint that other men are trying to pursue them.  Still other wives will try to elicit guilt or they will make all sorts of promises as to what positive things he can expect if he just comes home.  The common denominator between all of these potentially failing plans is that the husband is very likely to know that he’s being manipulated.  As such, he is going to be tempted to doubt the validity of what you are trying to present to him.  And these doubts may well keep him from missing you all that much because he is confused as to what is real and what is not.

I know that this can be very frustrating.  And it can leave you wondering that if you’re not supposed to actively try to get him to miss you , then where does that leave you.  I’ll cover that topic now.

The Better Alternative.  How To Make Him Miss You While Not Making Your Plan Obvious: If you lean on him to see what he’s missing or are constantly asking him how he’s feeling about you, then you’re only assuring his resistance.  These questions make him uncomfortable so he may well think that it is in his best interest to avoid you.   And, while you may know that you shouldn’t try so hard, you often won’t be sure what you should do as an alliterative.  Well, it’s my experience that once you stop trying so hard, you will actually gain some ground.  As strange as it sounds, once you begin to live your life without the sense of desperation or panic that comes with making your sole focus getting him home, he will often notice this and eventually may miss you more than he might have if missing you was your sole focus.

I understand that this might not be what you want to hear.  But I would rather tell you something that will actually help you get him back home than something that sounds good but is essentially ineffective.  I literally had almost given up on my husband once he began to suddenly take notice.  And frankly, he began to take notice (and to miss me) because I suddenly backed away.  He could not help but notice that suddenly I was no longer constantly calling or asking about his feelings or wondering aloud how much he missed me.  I will very openly admit that this wasn’t my intention in the beginning.  It wasn’t a conscious or calculating plan.  I became so tired of not getting the results that I wanted that I took a break. And this is what made the difference.  Once I took that break, the silence had him questioning what I was up to.  And this is when he started to miss me.  Had I known that the end result would have been so easy, I would not have wasted all the time that I did.

So to answer the question posed, it’s my experience  that the best way to get him to miss you and to want to come home is to not try so hard and so obviously to accomplish this.  Instead, live yourself.  Remain open to your husband.  Remain positive and friendly.  But don’t make your sole purpose in life to get him to miss you or to get him to come home.  Instead, make it clear that while you will be there when he comes to a decision, you no longer plan to put things on hold while you are waiting.  I know that this might sound counter intuitive, but the success rate of this plan is much higher than more obvious plans.

As I said, I sort of lucked into this plan.  I spent months trying to get my husband home with no success whatsoever.  In fact, my attempts to get him home only made things worse between us.  It wasn’t until I took a break that he began to literally pursue me.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Sparking Conversation During A Trial Separation: How Do You Do It?

By: Leslie Cane: When you’re going through the trial separation that you never wanted, you can intuitively know that every interaction that you have with your spouse during this time period can be quite important. So you can put a lot of pressure on yourself to have the perfect conversations and interactions. Unfortunately, things can be quite awkward between you and your spouse during this difficult time. And the added pressure doesn’t help.

One place where this can be particularly evident is in conversations. There obviously needs to be an easy rapport between you. After all, if you are going to reconcile, you’ll need to communicate effectively. But the words can be difficult and the conversations can be tense. Sometimes, you almost feel as if you have to resort to small talk with your own spouse and you wonder why in the world it should be this difficult when you’re known this person for so long and have shared your life with them.

A wife might say: “I know that I need to spark some very good conversations with my separated husband. It feels as if our marriage is on very thin ice. Unfortunately, I do not get to talk to him nearly as much as I’d like. He sort of brushes me off sometimes when I call him, so we basically talk about once per week – mostly about the kids. I understand why it’s very important that we talk about the kids and I’m not complaining about this. But when I try to steer the conversation to something else – like our marriage – things get uncomfortable or awkward. We struggle with the conversation or there is silence. My husband and I used to be able to talk about anything. We used to effortlessly talk for a long time. Now it seems like everything is a struggle. The only conversation that goes well is when we talk about the kids. Last night, I resorted to talking about politics and that was a disaster. I am not sure how to spark a good conversation and that is just so ironic because this man is my husband and I should be able to talk to him.”

Why Forcing It Is Not Always The Best Option: I totally understand your concern. I had the same issues during my own separation. It seemed that the harder I tried, the worse things got. It got so that I was afraid to even open my mouth. But I knew that I had to, because obviously, if you want to reconcile, you have to talk. But here is something that I learned the hard way. You don’t always need to talk about your marriage – especially at first. In fact, from my own experience, I came to the opinion that it was better NOT to talk about the difficult marital issues until our relationship could withstand it. Because it seemed to me that attempting to do so was only making things worse.

I got the best results when I was able to keep the conversation very light hearted and even funny. So we talked about mutual friends, uplifting stories or conversations we’d heard, our parents, our mutual friends, our childhoods, my new hobbies (that I’d picked up during the separation,) some funny stories about living alone, books we’d read, movies we’d seen, etc. If this sounds like small talk, well, in a way, it was. But since you’ve having light-hearted small talk with someone who you already know very well, there should be a bit of intimacy within it.

The reason that keeping things light worked well is because it allowed my husband and I to gradually become more comfortable so that eventually, we were talking much more often. Sure, in time we did need to broach those hard topics like our problems, what to do about our marriage, etc. But it was much better to save that until we were on firm ground again and until is was clear that we could withstand it.

Keeping It Simple: So my suggestion as to how to spark a conversation is to stick to what is going to be easy to talk about. And sometimes, that is the kids. That’s perfectly fine. Of course, you don’t want to be limited to just the kids. There are usually enough current events to chat about. But you want to keep it light and you want to keep it flowing. You may have to start out slow and work your way up. It’s even okay to limit the time so that you are both left wanting more. Once the conversations flow more easily, you’ll find yourself talking more frequently and for longer periods of time.

The whole idea is to start slowly and with easy topics. From there, you build up to more talking. Once you are very comfortable and have an ease with one another, you can then ask yourself if you are ready to discuss the more difficult or more important topics. In my experience, there is no reason to rush this. If there is any doubt, it is better to wait. You want to create a sense of intimacy, and not distance, through talking. If the hard or awkward conversations create distance, then put them off for now and work on the intimacy instead.

As I alluded to, I learned this the hard way.  My insistence in pushing my husband almost lead to a divorce.  So I backed up and I kept things very easy, simple, and gradual.  I rejoiced over very small victories.   But by not pushing, I was able to save my marriage, which was the goal all along. You can read more on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

I Don’t Want My Marriage To Be Over But My Husband Has Moved Out

By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from wives who believe that their worst case scenario has now happened because their husband has finally got angry or frustrated enough to move out.  They are often struggling with living alone for the first time in a long time.  And they are often worrying about what is going to happen with their marriage.  It’s very normal to assume that your marriage is practically over when your husband moves out, but I strongly believe that this doesn’t have to be the case.

I heard from a wife who said “my husband left and moved out last weekend. He had mentioned it before, but I honestly thought that I had talked him out of it. I guess I was wrong about that. More than anything, I want for our marriage to work. But obviously, I’m worried that this can’t happen if he moves out. I can’t believe it’s come to this. I’m so depressed over this.  I know that I have to pull it together, but I am having a hard time doing that.  When my friend’s husband moved out, I told her that they could eventually work things out, but they were never able to do that.  So I know that I can try to put on a happy face, but part of me knows that I’m kidding myself.  I don’t want to let my marriage go.  But part of me feels that I am going to be denying the inevitable and playing mind games with myself.  Is it better to just try to force myself to try to let my marriage go?”

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of information about the circumstances or problems that lead to the husband moving out or what he said when he did, but it’s my belief that just because one spouse moves out, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the marriage is over or that you have to just let go immediately. I will discuss this more below.w

Why I Don’t Think That One Person Moving Out Means That You Need To Immediately Give Up On Your Marriage:  I know that you probably feel incredibly panicked and vulnerable right now.  Suddenly, the bed that you are sleeping alone on feels so very big and you start to hear every little noise because of the silence that wasn’t there when you lived with your husband. And perhaps you have some friends who are insinuating that it is time for you to say good riddance or to start living your life as a newly single woman.

Often, people just do not understand how foreign and wrong this all sounds to you, especially since this is all so new and painful.  And often, what people don’t really understand is that immediately letting go or giving up lessens your chances of saving a marriage that might have been saved.  Sure, there may come a time when it’s clear that it’s time to move on.  But that time generally doesn’t come immediately after a spouse moves out.  It’s my opinion that you owe it to yourself to at least try to a few different things before you just give up, which leads me to my next point.

There Are Times When A Spouse Moving Out Can Actually Help:  It’s generally a pretty fair bet that by the time your souse actually moves out, your marriage has been struggling for more than a short amount of time. There’s generally a problem or issue that has become so bad that the spouse who leaves has distanced himself from you or now believes that the feelings between you aren’t just enough to overcome or compensate for the problems.  However, sometimes when you spouse moves out and is no longer faced with those same problems on a daily basis, the problems no longer seem quite so insurmountable.

And sometimes, his feelings for you no longer feel so distant.  There are times when he begins to miss you and he begins to realize that it might be worthwhile to once again try to address the issues that he thought were insurmountable before.  And the reason that he can see this when he couldn’t see it before is that he now sees that life isn’t as wonderful as he assumed.  He may not have come to this conclusion on his own if he weren’t alone and suddenly full of introspection.

Of course, I can’t tell you that this always happens.  But it’s my belief and experience that you can tip the odds in your favor by not panicking and by trying to remain upbeat and positive, especially when you are interacting with your husband.

Waiting To See What Happens Is Not The Same As Putting Your Life On Hold:  Sometimes, when I encourage people to hang in there for at least a little while, they mistake this to mean that they should hang on their husband’s every word or to just stay home and await his call. This isn’t what I mean.  If you put your life completely on hold, you tend to become more impatient and this can come off as desperation, which, let’s face it, isn’t all that attractive.

There is nothing wrong with continuing to live your life.  In fact, time and experience has told me that this is precisely what you should do. I certainly don’t mean that you should see other people or do anything that is going to jeopardize your marriage.  But I do mean that you should see supportive friends who put a smile on your face instead of staying home, listening to sad songs, looking at old photos, and allowing yourself to become more and more upset.

I can paint this scenario because I myself have experienced it.  I used to play the same depressing songs in the same order for night after night until I just got sick of feeling so bad and depressed.  It’s very important that you don’t allow yourself to get too down right now.  Him moving out doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is over, but it’s very important that you remain upbeat so that you can attract him with a positive attitude rather than deflecting him with a negative one.

And in my opinion and experience, it’s worth it to give it some time and some effort before you just decide to give up.  I am glad that I didn’t give up and accept that my marriage was over.  It wasn’t over, but it took me awhile to convince my husband of this.  It became easier once I understand a few basic truths about human behavior.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

What Does It Mean When Your Husband Wants A Separation?

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives whose husband has recently asked for a separation.   Many of the wives aren’t sure how the separation is going to play out or what it really means for them or their marriages.

I often hear comments like: “what does it really mean when a husband asks for a separation?  Does it mean he doesn’t love you anymore?  Does it mean that he’s trying to ease you into a divorce?  Does it mean that he’s tired of you, wants his freedom, or needs some space?  Can it mean that there’s someone else that he would rather be with?  Or that your marriage is over?  Because I’m not sure what to think about this.  I’m trying to have a good attitude and handle this is a positive way.  But I’m not how you’re expected to respond when essentially, your husband is saying that he doesn’t know if he wants to be with you anymore.”

Why your husband wants a separation (and what this means for you and your marriage) varies as much as the couple themselves as well as the issues in the marriage.  His wanting a separation could mean some of the things that the wife mentioned above, but it doesn’t have to.

In the following article, I’ll tell you some of the reasons that men give me for wanting a separation in the hopes that it helps you decide what this means for you or your own marriage.

Common Reasons Men Want A Separation And What This Means For You And Your Marriage:  I’m not a man who has asked for a separation.  In fact, I’m a woman who has been on the other side of this issue.  But I do have men in this exact situation visit my blog.  And many tell me that the separation is a way to sort out their feelings and think about things without their wife’s constant feedback and questions.

Very few of them tell me that they are asking for a separation because they eventually intend to file for divorce.  In fact, the opposite is often true.  Frankly if they had really wanted a divorce, many insist that they would have just filed for one in the beginning and saved themselves the trouble of a two step process.

Many have a specific reason for wanting a separation rather than a divorce.  Many still believe (or hope) that things can be worked out.  But, they don’t think that working things out is likely if they stay and continue to argue or face the same old issues without any change. So many see the separation as a way to calm things down so that both people can think, get some perspective, and hopefully be inspired to make the changes that are going to save the marriage or change it for the better.

Having said this, are there some men who just want out and see the separation as a quick way to accomplish this or use the separation as the first step to divorce?  I’m sure there are.  But these aren’t the men that I hear from.  And frankly, a divorce is much more straight forward and less emotionally complicated.  It’s my view that many men who ask for a separation do so because they think that there’s a chance that the marriage can be saved, but they know that drastic action is required to do so.  And they’re often very tired of having the same old arguments or not being able to work though the same old issues so they think that the best thing to do would be to take a break and see if things look differently because of it.

Do You Really Need To Know Exactly What Your Husband’s Need For A Separation Means?  Or Can You Just Trust In The Process And Know That It Means You Need To Work On (And Hopefully Improve) Your Marriage?:  I understand your need for answers.  And I know that you are probably thinking that if you figure out exactly why he wants a separation (and what this means to you) then your course of action or your best response will be so much more clear.

But, I have to tell you that often men aren’t able to give you these sorts of specific answers.  Many of us hope that they’ll give us some sort of specific list that we can check off as we address or remove the problems. But this isn’t likely to happen and continuing to approach and question your husband about this will usually make him defensive or tired of the process before it’s even begun.

When you are separated and you want to save your marriage, one of the most important things that you can do is to watch the perceptions that you are creating.  This is so important because one day your husband will need to make a decision as to whether the separation is going to end and he’s going to come home.  Or, he may decide that he’s going to stay away and continue the separation or go ahead and file for divorce.

When he makes this decision, you don’t want for him to have the mental picture of you engaging him, debating with him, and insisting on answers that he may not be able to give you.  I understand your need for answers, but sometimes it’s better to just accept the obvious, which is that he’s trying to determine if the marriage can be saved and he’s wanting to see if some time apart will improve things.

So your focus should be on exactly that.  The goal should be to allow the time to improve things so that he sees that the marriage can be saved because he still loves and can work with you.  You can’t do this if you are harping on things that are unclear to him also.  Don’t worry so much about the undefined things that lead up to this.  Focus now on the specific action that is going to get you out of this.

Handling Your Husband Wanting A Separation: I believe that the most important thing to do right now is to not let your emotions take over.  I know that this is a scary process, but keep reminding yourself that no one has filed for divorce and, if you handle the separation correctly, it can actually improve your marriage and help you save it.

As difficult as it can be to focus on the positive and to trust the process, that’s exactly what I would suggest that you do.  You have to portray the person who has the best chance of changing your husband’s mind and inspiring him to return home.  This person needs to make him feel optimistic and hopeful rather than guilty and hopeless.

So, to the extent that you can, focus on just improving the relationship and his perceptions about it.  Now, when I say improve the relationship, I don’t mean to tear it apart and dissect it to build it back up.  I mean focusing on restoring the connection of the people within it .  Because if you can do this, even when you are technically apart, everything else becomes a lot easier. And it’s not as difficult as you might think.  One positive thing that sometimes happens during a separation is that people see how much they really do miss and care about one another.  This really is what you need to remember and focus on.

It was my husband, not me, who wanted space and the separation. Unfortunately, I drew on negative emotions rather than positive ones. This seriously backfired. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, get him home, and save the marriage. You can read my very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

My Husband Wanted His Space, But Now He Wants To See A Counselor. Why?

Sometimes, husbands who initiate a separation because they want space can seem to distance themselves from their wives in an almost conscious manner. They seem to be deliberately doing this on purpose, as if the distance will somehow make the separation easier. That’s why it can be very surprising when that same husband seems to suddenly change his position and suggests something that could potentially help your marriage. One example is counseling, (although some wives understandably aren’t sure if the counseling is meant to help save the marriage or to pave the way for a healthier divorce.)

A wife might say: “my husband and I attended counseling briefly when we were still living together. Honestly, I hoped that it would help us, but it hurt us more. My husband chose this male counselor who obviously thought that everything was my fault. He found no fault at all with my husband’s behavior, but seemed to think that I was contaminating the marriage at every turn. I resented some of the things that this counselor said and although I tried to listen to some of his suggestions, the counseling was honestly a disaster and I believe that it’s one of the reasons why my husband pursued a separation and moved out. He figured if counseling didn’t help, then we might as well cut our losses. Once my husband moved out, he asked me for space and became very distant, rarely responding to my phone calls or texts. I got the message after a while and just tried leaving him alone as much as I could. I wasn’t sure what else to do because every time I tried to bring him closer to me or get him to answer my calls, he pulled even further away. After weeks of my leaving him alone, he called me and said that he had been thinking about our marriage and has decided that perhaps we should try counseling again. I immediately said that I did not want the same counselor and my husband conceded that I could choose the counselor this time. However, as thrilled as I am that at least he will have to spend time with me in counseling, I worry about what this means. Maybe he wants to go to counseling just to make sure we have a healthy divorce or that we co-parent effectively. I want to believe that the reason for counseling is to move us toward reconciling, but I can’t know what he is thinking. Am I wrong to be hesitant about the counseling?”

I understand your hesitation. And I know first hand that you can have a completely different experience when you switch counselors. Not everyone has success with counseling, but I always feel that it is worth a try. Most counselors are ultimately trying to ensure that you improve your situation. Yes, sometimes there are personality clashes or biases at play. And in those cases, there is nothing wrong with switching. The fact that your husband is willing to switch is, at least in my eyes, a good sign.

I believe that there’s very little downside to asking around and finding a good counselor who is known for saving marriages. He has said that you can choose, so now is the time to really do your research and to find the person who is known to slant his or her practice toward successfully saving marriages. That minimizes the potential for a surprise once in the office. If it doesn’t go well or it isn’t what you expected, you can always reevaluate. But it’s certainly worth a try to go to someone who is known to have success to see if that person can help you, especially since your husband is willing to go.

As far as paving the way for healthy co-parenting or divorce, I understand that concern, but believe it or not, I’ve seen couples go to counseling for co-parenting and come out with a saved marriage. Sometimes, the issues overlap somewhat. And just by working together, you sometimes make some marital progress. I’m not sure that you should discount something that might be beneficial just because of past experiences or fear. If it doesn’t work out, you can always try self help or something else. But seeing a professional and getting someone else’s unbiased and professional opinion can be very helpful.

I know from my own experience that it’s very easy to focus on fears and “what ifs” right now. I did the same. However, let’s look at how far you have come. Your husband was resistant to communication and now, not only is he reaching out to you, but he’s willing to take that a step further and go to counseling. Not all husbands are willing to do this. I’d call that progress and a reason to be cautiously hopeful. I didn’t always have these advantages (especially in the beginning) and although I did eventually make my marriage work,  it might have been easier if my husband had been more cooperative.  I had to work with what I had. You can read more on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

What Is My Husband Thinking While We’re Separated?

By: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from wives who wish that they could read their husband’s mind during a marital separation.   Often, he’s not being very transparent about his thought process and this is very frustrating for wives.

Common comments are something like: “my husband and I have been separated for a couple of months, but he’s not very forthcoming about what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling.   Some days, he is receptive to me and some days, he’s not.  So I can’t tell if he’s feeling particularly loving toward me or if he’s feeling like he might want to move back in and try to save our marriage.  When I ask him what he’s feeling or experiencing, he tells me that he thinks different things at different times and that, when he comes to a decision, he will share it with me.  This is breaking my heart.  I have no problem telling him how I feel.  Why can’t he do the same?  What do husbands think about while they are separated from their wives?”  I’ll try to answer these questions as best as I can in the following article.

Many Men Have Very Varied And Conflicted Thoughts During The Separation (Especially In The Beginning.) Obviously, I’m not a man who is going through a separation.  But I do dialog with many of them on my blog.   And many share a good deal of varied and conflicting feeling.  On day, they may miss their wife and wonder if maybe they should return home and put everything into saving their marriage.  And then the next day, they might actually enjoy feeling single or feel overwhelmed by all of your marital problems.    So, some of them are telling you the truth when they admit their they feelings can swing from one extreme to the other.

To be honest, these swinging feelings are sometimes nothing new.  In fact, many men want the separation as a way to sort out these fluctuating feelings.  The hope is that once they have some distance from their wife and their marriage, it will be easier for them to tell which feelings are the most sincere and frequent.  This doesn’t always become evident in the beginning of the process.  Many men feel a good deal of guilt about leaving and many find that they miss their wives more than they suspected that they would.

On the flip side of the coin, some men do find that they like the single life.  This can particularly be true if your marriage was a volatile one in which there was always a lot of conflict or fighting.  Sometimes, once they have a little peace and quiet, they find that they like it and they begin to lean toward making the separation more permanent or they consider pursuing a divorce.  Also, some husbands meet someone else during the separation and some of them can feel that it’s easier to just start over with someone new than to revive a marriage that might be damaged beyond repair.

Of course, I have no way of knowing what your own husband is thinking right now.   He may fall into either of these categories or neither one.  He may even be somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, he will give you little hints along the way. And other times, he might contradict himself, which I’ll discuss right now.

Tips For Deciphering Your Husband’s Hints As To What He Might Be Thinking During The Separation: As I alluded to, it’s important to understand that your husband might be experiencing a lot of different types of feelings.  That’s why you might be getting some mixed signals.  In general though, if he is receptive to seeing you on regular basis and things are going well when you are together, then you can reasonably sure that his thoughts about you or the marriage are positive.  But if he’s putting off spending time with you or always seems to be making excuses to avoid you, then the chances are good that there are some negative thoughts or doubts going through his mind.  And, if you’re seeing a combination of the two (which isn’t at all uncommon) then he’s probably experiencing those fluctuating feelings we’re been talking about.

Insights For Trying To Make Sure His Feelings Are As Positive As Possible During Your Separation: You can’t control your husband’s thoughts and feelings.  But you can attempt to set it up so that you have the best chance of him thinking positively of you.  Every time that you speak to one another or are together, try to be as cheerful as you possibly can.  Try to make sure that the time you spend together is pleasurable for both of you.  And, this might include not leaning on him about his feelings.  If he wants to share them, that’s great.  But if he’s reluctant to do so, don’t push too hard because if you do, then he might hesitate to spend time with you as often.   By being approachable and agreeable,  you decrease the odds that his feelings are negative ones and increase the chances that they are positive.

So to answer the question posed, men have varying feelings while they are separated from you.  But it is to your benefit to try to set up the circumstances that encourage positive thoughts and experiences.  It’s in your best interest to worry more about setting up positive circumstances and interactions instead of continuing to pressure him or question him about feelings about which he may changing anyway.

I do understand where you are because I constantly bugged my own husband about his feelings when we were separated.  I just could not help myself.   I needed to know if my marriage even stood a chance.  Unfortunately, my pestering him too much made him want to avoid me.  And so I had a much harder time saving our marriage in the end.  It wasn’t until I realized my mistake that I began to turn things around.  If it helps, you can read about the strategies that actually worked on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

 

If My Husband Won’t Talk About His Feelings During Our Separation, Does This Mean Our Marriage Is Over?

By: Leslie Cane:  I sometimes hear from people who are worried about their spouse’s lack of transparency during their trial separation. Often, they were really hoping to get some insights into how their spouse might be feeling and whether these same feelings are good or bad for the future of their marriage.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband and I separated about eight and a half weeks ago. When he came to me and told me that he wanted to separate, he represented it as something that wasn’t that big of a deal. He made it sound like he just wanted some time to sort out himself in mid life and he indicated that he would be in close contact the whole time. He even made it sound somewhat romantic, like we could date one another once again. So I assumed that he was going to be up front and open with me the whole time. This isn’t what has happened. At first, we saw each other regularly, but that too has tapered off. We only see each other sporadically and when we do, we talk about everything but our marriage. I am very open and honest about the fact that I miss my husband. I am more than willing to talk about my feelings. But he doesn’t share this sentiment. He seems to want to keep everything very private. I will ask him what he is feeling or thinking and he says that he really doesn’t have anything to share right now. I’m afraid that this is a very bad sign. If he won’t share what he is thinking and feeling, how are we going to save our marriage? If he is reluctant to talk about his feelings, does this mean that our marriage is over?” I will try to address this concern in the following article.

Why I Don’t Think That A Separated Husband’s Reluctance To Discuss His Feelings Means That Your Marriage Is Over: In a perfect world, both spouses would be equally willing to share their feelings and to do whatever was necessary to make quick progress so that they could end the separation and save their marriage. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case in real life.  unfortunately, most people do not feel the same things or have the same thoughts or wishes at the same time. So as frustrating as it is, you may be working on a different schedule or time line. You may be ahead of him in some realizations and you may have easier access to your feelings or be more open about them. This is very common. Men tend to be more closed off with their feelings and are therefore less likely to discuss them.

He May Have Valid Reasons For Not Being Very Open Right Now: There are several legitimate reasons that he may not be sharing his feelings right now. It is possible that he is feeling very conflicted and he has not yet had time to sort this out. He may not have anything definitive to share with you. Or, he may be feeling things that might be confusing to him or troubling to you but he knows that his feelings might change so he doesn’t want to be premature and upset you if it’s unnecessary.

Another possibility is that he may not have a decent handle on his feelings. It’s very normal to feel conflicting feelings, especially in the beginning. This can make you feel confused and give you the sense that you don’t know what you’re feeling. So, instead of sharing this confusion or bringing someone else into the mix, sometimes your husband thinks that it’s better to just wait until he has something meaningful and definite to share. Besides, he usually knows that you are going to analyze everything that he tells you and he may not want for you to read too much into feelings that just aren’t clear.

Sometimes, You Just Have To Put All Feelings Aside, At Least Initially: I know that it is probably your initial inclination to think that the focus should be on both of your feelings right now. After all, you figure, if you both love one another and want the marriage enough, then things should automatically fall into place. But sometimes, when you are separated, the feelings are not as important as the actions. But sometimes when you are separated, this thinking is backward. Sometimes, you have to put aside the emotions and focus on the results. Because the truth is, this is a volatile time when your emotions might be all over the place. You may feel differently when the situation isn’t quite so painful or when cooler heads prevail. So it can help to just set everything aside except for where you want to go from here.

The wife wanted to save her marriage. That was her primary goal. Yes, it would have been wonderful if her husband had cooperated and was open about whatever he was feeling. But that wasn’t the reality. And assuming the worst or pressuring him to spill his feelings when he’s shown reluctance isn’t really in alignment with this goal.

I know that you want him to tell you that he’s feeling very favorable feelings. You want and need this reassurance and I don’t blame you because I know how this feels. But if he’s not willing or ready to share, it’s my experience that it is best not to press. He will probably share his feelings in his own time. And believe it or not, this isn’t necessary to your saving your marriage. You can continue to try to make small improvements as the situation allows. The two of you don’t need to share your deepest, darkest feelings in order to start interacting more positively. And sometimes, you have to settle for the small victories. So to answer the question posed, I don’t think a separated husband’s reluctance to share his feelings means that your marriage is over.

My husband didn’t share much with me early on in our separation and of course this upset me. But our marriage certainly wasn’t over, although it felt that way sometimes. I’m glad I didn’t stop trying to improve things when my husband wasn’t really cooperating in the way that I wanted him to.  Sometimes, you just have to keep going so that you don’t give up hope.  If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com