What can I say to show my spouse that our marriage is worth saving?
Sometimes I hear from wives who feel that they have the almost impossible task of saving their marriage all alone because they are the only ones who believe that saving the marriage is worth the effort. Your husband has told you that he is unhappy and is considering a divorce, or has moved to seek a separation. Either way, he’s been pretty clear about the fact that he doesn’t currently hold his marriage in high regard. He could use adjectives like “broken”, “damaged” or “struggling” to describe the marriage, while he himself is distant and cold. These wives know they have much more than an uphill battle. But the logical first step seems to be to make you receptive to the fact that it is, in fact, possible to save the marriage. And ultimately, it will be worth it too. Figuring out how to do this can be challenging.
A wife might say, “My husband is not that interested in talking to me, much less saving our marriage. We are technically separated, at his insistence. The great irony is that even he admits that I have done nothing.” He says that we have grown apart and that he no longer feels close to me. As a result, you don’t want to live your life without the love and excitement you think you deserve. I asked him not to rush his thought process, but I don’t know if I am communicating with him. I asked him to go to therapy, and although he has not said no, he means that he thinks it will be a waste of time. He gives me the impression that he sees our marriage as something that simply needs to be pulled out of its misery. I do not agree with this review at all. I know we have a long way to go to restore our marriage, but I think if we both made the effort, we could honestly make it work eventually. That I just don’t know how to get it when it resists me so much How do you convince your husband that your marriage is really worth saving? “
I agree with you that this can be extremely difficult. I submitted myself to this task both before and during my separation. Since my separation did not end as quickly as I wanted, I must admit that I was not immediately successful in convincing my husband. In my experience, the more you try to wear down your husband with logic, debate, and pleading, the more he will resist. The more you try to move on with him, the more you can feel your desperation and your desire to “talk to him,” and the more determined you are that you will not be successful.
Don’t be too quick to try and prove you wrong: I learned too late that it was better to award as many points to my own husband as I could. At the end of the day, I was much more successful when I could be on his side instead of trying to force my own opinion on him. Once I figured out and implemented this, I was much less resistant. For example, if I were in your situation, I would immediately agree with my husband that he was right in his perception that life is too short not to be truly happy in your marriage. That was a mistake I made. I tried to convince my husband that his wishes were unrealistic. I implied that I was selfish in expecting her life to be sunshine and roses when, in fact, that is not true for most people. It would have been better to tell him that he had every right to want to be happy and then offer suggestions on how he could be happy with me. And that is my recommendation for you. The faster you can find something to agree on, the better you are overall.
Have a plan and then explain it calmly and concisely: When you have this conversation with your husband, you want to make it clear that you have thought a lot and cared about her. You want him to know that you already have a workable plan so that he just has to follow it. Examine what your most important problems are, and then decide how you will tackle those problems. That could be counseling or a change in your lifestyle or behavior. Whatever it is, calmly explain why you think ending your marriage would be detrimental to both of you (and your family if you have children), and then explain how you plan to achieve the happy and fulfilling marriage that he desires. Emphasize that you are willing to do whatever it takes, including counseling if he is willing.
Know when to stop: Assuming your husband paid attention to you the first time, you don’t need to press your points any further, although I know it’s tempting (and frankly that’s exactly what I did). I say this because the more you repeat something, the more likely it will start to tune you out. You really only need to say it once and then focus your attention on making things better between the two of you, which brings me to the next point.
Try to stay away from a heavy atmosphere: Once you have expressed your opinion and he has listened to you, you should work on the atmosphere between you. You are much more likely to consider what you have said when you have shown that things can be easy and light between you. The goal is to create a light-hearted interaction so that he feels comfortable being and talking to you on a regular basis. The more you can build easy closeness, the more likely he is to believe that your marriage is not only worth saving, but can actually be saved.
In my own experience, I found it best to save our most troublesome problems for the end of the process. The reason is because their marriage is too fragile to be disarmed when they are apart. Instead, I found that it is better to create an easy and relaxed atmosphere and take advantage of that. The idea is to rebuild the closeness and intimacy first and then have the difficult discussions. This literally makes your husband see that their marriage is worth saving, so he doesn’t really need to give a formal presentation about it over and over again.