By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives who are dealing with a husband who is asking them to commit to working things out or to saving their marriage. Often, as much as the wife might like this idea, there is still a lot of doubt as to whether this is the right choice. The wives often aren’t sure if working things out is going to be possible or even if it is in their best interest.
I heard from a wife who said: “my husband and I have been arguing for months. Things were very chilly at our house, so I decided to stay with my mother for a while. Sometimes I think my husband is too immature to be married. He doesn’t seem to care about our future or about being responsible. He only wants to have fun with his irresponsible friends. And when I complain he acts as if I’m nothing but a nag. This cycle has gotten old and I am starting to think that I would be better off in the long term without him. I do love him though. He makes me laugh and he makes life a lot more fun. But I feel like if I stay married to him I will be an old woman with no savings and no security. Especially if he won’t change. Then out of the blue last night he showed up at my mother’s house with flowers. He asked me to go for a walk and while we were walking he asked me to come home so that we could work things out. He said he would try his best to get a better job and become more responsible if I will stop nagging so much. I want to believe all of this. But I am so torn. I worry that he is only trying to get me away from the security of my mom’s and then he’ll revert back to his old ways. My feelings are all over the place. I change my mind every few seconds. How do I know if working things out with my husband is the right decision?”
This is not a decision that I can make for anyone because it is a very serious decision that should be made only by the people involved. However, I can offer some things to think about or some questions to ask. I can also suggest some compromises that might make both people more at ease. I will discuss these things below.
Ask Him If He Would Be Willing To Make The Changes Before You Come Home Or Commit To Working Things Out: I am always amazed that people feel that they need to make an immediate decision in this situation. They allow themselves to be pressured into action before they are feel comfortable doing so. The fact is that this woman had a mother who was willing to let her stay as long as she needed. There was no need to make any rash decisions. She could tell her husband that what he was proposing sounded promising and that she couldn’t wait to watch it unfold. Then she could stress that if she saw the types of changes that he was promising for a set amount of time, then she would consider coming home. This way, she would feel more secure in deciding to give him that second chance because he would have already proven that he was making good on his promises. But until then, she still had the security of waiting.
Is He Willing To Allow You Input Along The Way?: Your reconciliation is going to have a much higher chance of success if you and your spouse are regularly discussing and evaluating your progress. Ask your spouse if he would be agreeable to meeting say once per week to discuss which things are working in your marriage and which are not. That way, he can’t say that you are nagging, but you will know that he is going to be held accountable on a regular basis.
What Does Your Heart Tell You To Do? I fully advocate placing as many safeguards in place as is possible. But, at the end of the day, you can’t predict the future. You can only go by what your heart is telling you, hope for the best, and set it up so that you have the highest chance of success. Stop for a second and listen to what that little voice in the back of your head is telling you. Because it is often quite wise. Listen to any objections that it might have and make a note of them because you will want to address these in order to have confidence moving forward. If you try to reconcile without believing that it is really possible, your chances of success are much lower than they might have other wise have been. So take stock of what is wrong and vow to address it if you chose to eventually move forward.
Know That You Can Change Your Mind: Understand that nothing is set in stone. Just because you agree to give him a chance to prove to you that he can change, this doesn’t mean that you can’t reevaluate or ask for more if something doesn’t work for you. Agreeing to hope for the best or to see what happens doesn’t mean that you have signed a binding contract. It just means that you are hoping that he will show you that working it out is not only possible, but it is also in your best interest.
So to answer the question posed, I can’t tell you if you should work things out. But I can tell you if you are considering it, there are many things that you can do to minimize the risk of failure and boost the chance of success. And I completely understand loving someone so much that you are willing to take that risk. Because very often, that risk is worth it. I would have done just about anything to save my marriage after my husband and I separated. But thankfully, I focused as much on improving our relationship as I did on getting him back. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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