By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives whose husbands are trying to keep their distance during a marital or trial separation. Often, the wife very much wants to be in regular contact. Sometimes, she is trying to improve the relationship or to save the marriage. But other times, she is just trying to make sure that her husband is OK, the same as she would for anyone who she cared out. But some husbands just do not see things this way and they resist contact.
I heard from a wife who said: “I didn’t expect to talk to or see my husband every day while we were separated, but I did expect to be in touch. However, it was clear early on that my husband didn’t want to be in contact with me. If I called him, he would try to get off the phone as soon as possible or make up some lame excuse as to why he needed to do something else. If I dropped by, he would stick his head out the door but not invite me in and he would say that it was a bad time. The other day I got angry and I asked him why he wouldn’t even spend any time with me. He finally answered that he really wants his privacy from while we are separated. He says that I am always trying to figure out what he is doing and he doesn’t like having to answer all of my questions. He doesn’t want to be accountable to me. Where does this leave me? I don’t need to be in contact with him every minute of every day, but it feels like he wants to completely exclude me from his life. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want me to know that he’s seeing someone else. But if this was the case, why go for the separation? Why not just divorce me?” I will try to address these concerns in the following article.
Try To Look At This Practically Rather Than Emotionally:
I know that this hurts. Believe me when I say that I absolutely know how you feel. My husband and I were separated for much longer than I wanted. And he gave me much less of his time and attention than I would have liked. That said, as much as I know how this feels, I also know this. Much of the time, the more you try to convince your husband that he doesn’t need his privacy, the more he is going to want it. And he may just demand it or give you no choice but to give it to him. What I mean by that is that he may change his phone number, block your phone, or no longer answer the door when you come by. And all of these things will deteriorate your marriage (and your chances for a reconciliation) even further.
I know that you are probably desperately looking for something that you can do or say to change his distancing himself from you. But you need to know that you often won’t be able to force your way to success. This is usually a decision that he will need to make on his own. And if you try to manipulate him, he will often resist you even more. So as tempting as it is to keep pushing, it’s my experience that you shouldn’t. In fact, once I was forced to stop pushing and pressuring my husband, my situation changed (for the better) as a result.
Know That Two Can Play This Game:
I want to preface what I am about to tell you by saying that no matter what strategy you decide to take here, you want to make sure that you can carry it off genuinely and that you are not going to take it so far that it does more harm than good.
I have found that in many cases, your best bet is to not argue this point. He wants privacy? Fine, you are able to give him that. But conceding privacy followed up by negative emotions or behaviors isn’t going to do you much good. Instead, ask yourself how you can turn this situation around so that it actually works to your benefit.
What if you agreed with him in such a way that it might actually turn the tide? I know that you may be skeptical of what I am about to say, but I have found it to work a good deal of the time. When you tell him that not only do you understand his need for privacy, but you can see where that might be necessary for both of you, suddenly you might find him wondering why you have had a chance of heart.
And then, once you stop calling or coming by, he may just wonder what is behind this. You may just find him calling you. And when he does, it is so important that you conduct yourself correctly. This is what I mean when I say that you shouldn’t take it too far. Some wives will want their husband to think they are seeing other men or they will make their husband feel rejected. Or they will tell him that they will drop the whole privacy thing if he will. In my view and experience, this is taking it too far and shows your hand.
Instead, you are better off remaining positively and friendly. You want him to want to spend more time with you to find out more about what is going on with your life. But if you are argumentative, he might not think that the effort is worth it. Instead, remain open and upbeat. And if he asks, tell him that you are coping as best as you can while trying to make the separation somewhat bearable.
Once he starts calling or reaching out to you, then the privacy issue has almost resolved itself without your needing to argue or even debate about it, which is honestly the best that you can hope for. And even better, it opens the door to your saving your marriage.
As I alluded to, my husband did not want much to do with me during our separation. And at first, I did everything I just told you not to do. This hurt my chances of reconciliation more than I can express. But, as soon as I backed off, I saw very different behaviors from my husband. Suddenly, he was interested in me again. And eventually, I used this to my full advantage to save my marriage. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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