What Not To Do When Your Husband Leaves

by: leslie cane: I get quite a bit of correspondence asking for advice on how to handle it when you spouse leaves, especially when you want them to come back. It’s just as important to understand what you should not do in this situation. The reason for this is that doing and acting in the wrong way can make the job of getting them to come back home (or salvaging the relationship on any level) very difficult.

So, in the following article, I”m going to discuss the things which, in my opinion and personal experience, you should not do when your spouse leaves. Because avoiding some of these things will put you in a better position when you get to the point where you’re working on the things that you should do.

Avoid Trying To Show Your Spouse That They’re Wrong, Selfish, Or Crazy To Leave: Many people will resort to this strategy first. They will try to show their spouse that their decision to leave was a stupid or selfish one. They will basically attempt to get into a debate meant to show their spouse that his or her position is incorrect or self centered.

Frankly, some of the points that you want to make may well be valid. Some of your spouse’s perceptions may well be wrong and the act of leaving might very well be self centered. But, you aren’t likely to convince them of these things. Do you really think they are going to respond with “well, I hadn’t considered that. Let me pack my bags and return home immediately.”

No, they probably aren’t going to respond in this way at all. Instead, they are going to dig in and reaffirm their reasons for leaving in their own mind. Actually, usually arguing with them is only going to strengthen their commitment to their position. Not only that, but you run the risk of them seeing you as the person who is trying to keep them from getting what they want because you are not willing to meet them half way and to attempt to see things from his or her point of view.

Don’t Bombard Your Spouse With Obvious Pleas For Attention That Come Off As Negative: Sometimes, when we feel our spouse pulling away, our gut instinct is to want to do whatever is necessary to get their attention turned back our way. So we act in a way that is not typical of us. We call and text constantly. We try to manipulate their emotions in an attempt to elicit pity, guilt, or fear.

When this doesn’t work, the panic begins to set in and although we know that we shouldn’t, we ramp up our attempts to get his attention even more. We belittle ourselves. We play games. We engage him or take the complete opposite approach where we become subservient and make silly promises.

Your spouse can and will see through this. And when they do, they will often perceive you even more negatively than when this process started. You have to remember that you really should not be seeking any attention or any reaction. You want to get the right attention and the right reactions.

Don’t Forget Your Real Goal. Perception Is The Key: As I’ve alluded to, it’s so easy to allow the uncertainty of this to be your driving force. But always remember that your driving force should be to change his perceptions on his own. You want him to go from thinking that he’s better off without you than with you to thinking that perhaps he’s wrong about all of this. (This is a realization that he should make himself in order for it to “stick” and be lasting.)

The way to make him doubt his current plan is to show him that perhaps he was wrong about what he thought was true at the time. And, often what he thinks is that things are not going to change enough to make this a situation that he wants to remain in. This assumption might just be wrong. But that’s not the way he sees it, so you’re going to have to play the cards in your hand as they are.

And you will have to remember this each time you interact with him. Your goal really is not to get any reaction at all. It’s to begin to slowly change his perceptions of the situation and of you. So you need to show him the best side of yourself and of the relationship. And this often requires your not pushing so hard that he feels that he needs to pull away in response and in defense.

Show him the easy going, confident woman who just wants him to be happy and who wants a good relationship with him – no matter what that relationship ultimately turns out to be. Move very slowly with this. Gradual is better than dramatic because it slowly restores his trust in the marriage being something that he still wants. If you always remember what the goal really is, it becomes a little easier to control your actions.

When my husband left me, his mind was made up. He was going forward with moving out and then the divorce. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

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