By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from wives who are already looking for the best way to posture in terms of their behavior once their husband leaves them or pursues a separation. Many are fully aware that their husband is going to leave relatively soon. And they are wondering what is the best way to respond. Many know that they should not panic and just try to remain as upbeat as possible but they aren’t sure how far they should take this.
I heard from a wife who said: “about six months ago, my husband told me that he was going to give our marriage six months to improve. He said if it didn’t improve, then he was going to leave me and initiate a separation. I have really tried to make things better. And I personally think there have been improvements. But apparently, my husband disagrees with this because last week, he told me that he was probably definitely going to leave. I tried to remain neutral and since that time, I have been trying to prepare myself for the day that he leaves. I am certainly not ready to give up on my marriage, but I know that I can’t panic. I guess my question is should I act happy when he leaves? Should I act like I don’t care? Do I act as if I’m looking forward to my own freedom? I want to act appropriately and in a way that makes saving my marriage most likely, but I’m not sure what is most appropriate.”
I know exactly how this wife was feeling. I had these same questions after my husband left me. Unfortunately, although I initially had good intentions, my true feelings showed through. I just could not hold back. I wanted my husband to come home so desperately that it was obvious how I was feeling. And I think this leads to my most important point which is that your reaction should be in alignment with your personality, what is believable, and what is going to get you the closest to what you want. I will discuss this more below.
Don’t Take Any Posturing So Far That It’s Not Remotely Believable:
Unless you’ve been fighting so much that you can no longer stand the sight of your husband, pretending to actually be happy once he leaves is probably taking things a bit too far. Most husbands are going to know their wives well enough that they aren’t going to believe this stance.
I think that this would be the case here since the wife admitted that she had really been trying to improve the marriage. To that end, it was probably pretty obvious that she didn’t want him to leave. So it would be a bit outlandish to think that as soon as he packed his bags and was getting ready to walk out the door, suddenly this thought made her happy. It’s just too big of a jump for most situations, which is why I think that there’s probably a better alternative.
Why I Think It’s Better To Act Hopeful Rather Than To Act Happy:
If you were to ask me to pinpoint the best reaction in one word, I would chose the word hopeful. The reason for this is that hopeful is much easier to pull off and it is much more authentic. Of course you’re going to be upset, scared, and hurt when your husband leaves. I’m not sure that you should attempt to pretend otherwise. But, it is important to portray confidence and to make it appear that you believe in your marriage, in your love, and in your commitment. As a result, I think it’s appropriate to portray that you feel concerned but hopeful.
There’s A Difference Between Remaining Upbeat And Being Happy That He’s Gone:
Many wives who are considering appearing happy actually want to make their husbands believe that they are glad that he is gone. I don’t think this is the best call. This is your marriage and your husband that you are talking about. He isn’t likely to believe that you will be glad to see him gone and I’m not even sure that you should want for him to believe this.
Yes, it is important to remain upbeat and approachable once he leaves. The reason for this is that you do not want for him to be reluctant to approach you or to spend time with you. To that end, you don’t want to portray depression or sadness. You want to appear that you are coping and are upbeat. But this is different from trying to make him believe that you are happy that he is gone. It is very important to understand the difference. Because one of these scenarios makes saving your marriage more likely and one makes it less likely, in my opinion and experience.
As I alluded to, I was not able to pull off the hopeful stance at first. Instead, I was desperate and this almost cost me my marriage. I had to pull myself together in order to completely change tactics. And one of these tactics worked quite well. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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