by: leslie cane: Most of the wives that I hear from are interested in one main objective – saving their marriages. Unfortunately, most of the time, the wives are the only ones who are interested in doing this – at least at the time that they contact me. Much of the time, the wife is fully invested in saving the marriage while the husband is either indifferent, doesn’t seem to care, or is pretty sure that he wants the marriage to hurry up and end. So one of the wife’s first objectives is usually to try to pique her husband’s interest to get him invested in saving the marriage again.
I recently heard from a wife who was trying to come up with the best solution to this problem. She said in part: “I am 100 percent committed to saving my marriage but my husband is not. He doesn’t seem interested in even giving me a chance. He says our marriage is pretty much over and that it’s too late to save us. He tells me that he feels like trying to save the marriage is not only going to be very difficult, but a waste of time. He says he’s not interested in doing all of this uncomfortable work and spending money on counseling when the result is going to be a divorce anyway. He would rather just give in or give up now than participate in something which he thinks might fail anyway. How can I make him interested in saving our marriage when right now he seems to be anything but? Is there any way to do this or anything for me to try, do or say?”
Well, there were certainly things that this wife could try. It never hurts to try something new rather than just giving up, especially where your marriage is concerned. Often, the key to getting your husband interested in saving your marriage is understanding what he really wants and how he really thinks. Once you do this, you then have to make him think that you are providing these things in a way that doesn’t require a huge amount of sacrifice or pain. I’ll offer some suggestions on how to do this in the following article.
Understanding The Obstacles That You Have To Overcome To Make Your Husband Interested In Saving Your Marriage: One of the first steps in getting your husband on board with saving your marriage is to understand his objections to doing so. In the case above, the husband had the perception that saving his marriage was going to be a lot of work and ultimately a waste of time. Also, he’d alluded to the wife that being single and “free” appealed to him because he thought that he wouldn’t be “tied down” and could enjoy life more. In other words, at least at this point, the husband was seeing being married as somewhat of a burden that had become hard work with very little pay off. Until I pointed this out, the wife saw her biggest obstacle to saving her marriage as the problems within the marriage. But actually, you’ll usually need to overcome some additional obstacles before you get to the point where it’s safe or advisable to address your martial issues.
Often, you are initially dealing more with a perception issue rather than a marital issue. It’s so important to understand the difference and to prioritize accordingly. In this situation, the wife would probably be better off focusing on showing her husband that the two of them could have fun together and that saving the marriage didn’t need to be a difficult or unpleasant situation.
Showing Your Husband That Saving The Marriage Doesn’t Have To Be An Unpleasant Process Or A Waste Of Time: These perceptions are extremely common and, if you can eliminate or overcome them, it can make this process so much easier. This isn’t to say that you won’t have to approach this gradually or that you’ll have to overcome some persistent doubts. But showing someone with repeated actions is so much more effective than repeatedly telling them.
I have many men who send comments on my “save my marriage” blog and it’s clear that many view saving their marriage as about as pleasant as spring cleaning, shopping all day in a large mall, or having a root canal. There’s just a general perception that the process is going to require for them to do some things that are either unpleasant or downright uncomfortable and painful. They picture themselves sitting in a therapist’s office while being poked and prodded emotionally. They fear while being told that they are doing every thing wrong or that they are an awful person. (This isn’t what happens in reality, of course. But this is sometimes how they will picture it.)
Sometimes, you just have to accept that overcoming these incorrect assumptions is a gradual process that you need to ease your way into. For example, sometimes it’s best to make a strategic decision that you’re not going to demand counseling if you meet some resistance. Sometimes, it’s best to delay asking for this until you feel him coming around. Another example would be to put your more difficult issues on the shelf until you see more enthusiasm or cooperation from him. You want to ease your way and move forward only once you feel some enthusiasm from him.
I realize that these concessions might mean that you make saving your marriage a more gradual process. But, gradual is better than not at all. It’s better to move slowly and still have your husband on board than to have your husband refuse to participate at all because you are asking for too much too soon.
Appealing To Your Husband’s True Wants And Needs To Make Him More Interested In Your Marriage: It’s very important to understand that husbands have very different feelings about what they want and need out of a marriage than we wives do. Frankly, we do want things our of our marriages but we want to see these things manifest themselves in different ways. For example, both husbands and wives want to feel appreciated, understood, loved, and admired. But women or wives are more likely to feel this way when our husbands listen to and pay attention to us. We want to feel like we matter enough to warrant his attention.
Husbands feel this way too, but they want to see this through more physical affection. They want to have a marriage that comes very easily where they feel that they can be themselves and have fun. They are much less likely to believe in the theory that a good marriage takes work. Men often tell me that if the relationship is “right” or “meant to be,” it shouldn’t take this much work. I tell you this not because I agree but because I want you to understand that perceptions that you must overcome.
The point is, sometimes getting your husband interested in saving your marriage means proving to him that you can rebuild or save your marriage without too much pain or difficulty, and, when the process is done, you will both be happy and fulfilled by the result. To do this, sometimes you have to focus on having fun or positive interactions with your husband while doing things that have nothing to do with saving your marriage. The idea is that you rebuild the relationship and change the perceptions before you attempt anything more ambitious than that. I know this because I lived it. I had to overcome these types of perceptions to finally and eventually get my own husband interested in saving our marriage. If you want to read the story about how I was able to do this, feel free to check out http://isavedmymarriage.com
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