I Feel Like My Spouse Has Agreed To Save Our Marriage As A Last Resort

By: Leslie Cane: When you desperately want to save your marriage, you often want an enthusiastic spouse. The hope is that he will want to save your marriage as much as you do. The hope is that when the two of you combine your efforts, you will be more likely to have success. But what happens when your spouse doesn’t share your enthusiasm and you feel as if he is just agreeing to save your marriage because the circumstances nudged into this as a last resort? What if you worry that you are much more into it than he is?

A wife might explain: “I have always known that my husband wasn’t too keen on saving our marriage. I begged him to try for six months before he moved out. He would not hear anything that I said. He said that he felt like we’d already tried hard enough. Things seemed to change when it looked as if he was going to get a big promotion and transfer. As soon as he found out, he began to plan moving out. It became clear to me that he did not plan for me to move with him. Because I really did not want to be divorced, I continued to try to keep in contact, but he wasn’t particularly enthusiastic. I kept trying, though, because I just could not accept breaking up our family. I hung in there for several weeks. Recently, I’ve been discouraged and I’ve been thinking about starting to move on with my life. So imagine my surprise when my husband called me and said that he’s starting to become open to ‘thinking or talking about’ saving our marriage. He said that he won’t make any promises. And then he let it slip that his promotion and transfer had fallen through. While I’m glad that he won’t be moving, I have to admit that part of me thinks that his sudden willingness to think about a reconciliation or saving our marriage is due to nothing more than the fact that he can’t move and he won’t be making more money. So now that he’s stuck here and it will be expensive to live apart, he’s willing to continue to slog through our marriage. As much as I want him back, I am not excited about getting back with a man who is only reluctantly with me.”

I understand your concerns, but I also believe that you are making quite a few assumptions. You can’t say for sure that he isn’t relieved that he doesn’t have to move for the new job.  It’s possible that since he moved out and has had time to think, he may have begun to open himself up to saving your marriage BEFORE he found out that the promotion wasn’t happening. Sometimes, separated people do end up missing their spouse and that leads them to open their mind to a possible reconciliation.

For the sake of argument, though, even if he is motivated by the lack of a promotion, I’m not sure that you really want to give up your chance to reconcile and to keep your family together because of this. Yes, you’d rather he be completely enthusiastic and only motivated by his feelings for you. But at the end of the day, isn’t it most important that he IS back rather than WHY he is back? Sure, we’d all love for our spouse to have the ideal motivations. But, if you can make it so that your reconciliation is successful and that your marriage is one day happy again, will you be worried five years from now that his promotion might have been part of his motivation?

The real goal should be to return your marriage to health and happiness. Yes, you may POSSIBLY be more enthusiastic about that than he is right now, but what matters the most is how you end up. If you end up ultimately happy and very much together, you likely won’t worry as much about what his initial motivations were. As someone who was separated for far longer than I wanted to be, I’d encourage you to take him back if you have the opportunity to do so and you are still invested in your marriage. In my experience, it’s more difficult to make progress when living apart.

I think that making progress will probably help your confidence some. Once you hopefully see him becoming more warm and open, you will start to relax a little more. Try to be enthusiastic and don’t allow your worry and doubt to impede your progress. Your enthusiasm might wear off on him and allow you to make quick progress.

I understand wanting to think that he’s 100% all in, but this is rare in most reconciliations. There’s usually some doubt and hesitation. No one wants to get their hopes up, only to be hurt. But some of us proceed on anyway. We move past our hurt and our fears and we hope for the best. It honestly feels so good to get validation once your reconciliation is complete. But you don’t always get that in the early phases. And that is where you are right now. Even if he’s unsure initially, what is most important is that he’s totally positive by the time you’re done rebuilding.

As I alluded to, I was most definitely more invested in reconciling than my husband was.  But I didn’t let that stop me because I truly wanted to save my marriage.  Ultimately, I just wanted it to happen no matter how or why.   You can read the rest of that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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