How to save Your Marriage when Your Husband Wants a Divorce - 17 Things to Do to save a Marriage
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It is getting easier by the day to divorce a person and while a lot of people have legitimate reasons to get divorced, others seem to do it at the slightest inconvenience almost as if marriage is a mere relationship. You should therefore applaud yourself for wanting to save your marriage in the first place.
That being said, we understand that it cannot be easy knowing that your spouse wants a divorce. You might be feeling unwanted, sad, rejected and a host of other negative emotions most of which are justified because the person whom you decided to give your life to in marriage now seems to want out.
A stronger emotion you might probably be feeling is hopelessness stemming from uncertainty about whether you can save your marriage and you can’t help but continually ask yourself the question, “can our marriage be saved?” The good news is that the answer to this is yes, yes your marriage can be saved.
Your husband would most likely have reasons why he would like a divorce which means that if solutions are proffered to these reasons, he would be less inclined to leave because he has less of a reason to.
Because every marriage is unique however, we cannot give you specific solutions and advice on how to prevent divorce and save your marriage but we can give you general ones that you can tailor to your marriage to help you save it.
If you are unsure that your husband wants to divorce you, you can look out for some signs that he is planning to leave.
17 Tips to save a marriage from divorce
1. Find out why he wants to leave
The first step in trying to save your marriage is to find out from your husband why he wants to leave because this can point you in the right direction in finding out how to convince your husband to save your marriage.
Again, it is understandable if you feel emotional but you must do this in a calm manner. You cannot be too angry as this might push him further away and you cannot appear desperate such that he either feels too powerful or feels you are clingy.
You should take some time to properly structure the conversation but remember, remain calm and try to create a comfortable atmosphere that will allow him to express his views freely.
2. Healthy communication is key
Building on from the first point, you need to try to foster an environment in your marriage where you and your husband are able to communicate freely and openly about any and everything from him spilling coffee to the lunch lady flirting with him.
Communication is very important when it comes to the subject of how to save your marriage when your husband wants a divorce because your husband being able to talk freely with you means that he will be able to tell you the things that bother him as soon as they arise. You can then both work on these issues before they become such a big deal that they threaten your marriage.
3. Look at and work on yourself
As much as we don’t want to admit it, a major reason why your husband might want to leave might have to do with how you treat him or some things that you do in the marriage.
If you are bent on saving your marriage, you need to look inward and take an assessment of yourself to find out anything that you could be doing that would drive your husband away.
If and when you find some of these things out, work on them and when he sees this he will be more likely to come back.
It is important that you only work to improve the negative things you might be doing instead of changing who you are drastically as this would not last. It would be a temporary fix because it would not be who you are and when you revert back to your normal self, any improvement in the marriage would be reverted as well.
4. Be more appreciative and accepting of him
One of the reasons why you might find a husband giving up on marriage could be because he does not feel appreciated for the things he does because you are focusing on the things that he does not do. For instance, maybe you fixate on the little things a bit too much such as how he doesn’t wash the dishes on time or take out the trash.
Studies have shown that it is best to instead appreciate those things that he does because not only will there be less conflict between you two, it would encourage him to do more work in order to experience your appreciation once more.
Show your husband appreciation by doing some of these things.
Also tied to this is the need to accept your husband for who he is. Of course there are some things he does that could be improved upon but trying to change him too much might breed resentment and an inability to feel comfortable around you which is something no one wants.
5. Try to weather the storm
Sometimes the best answer to how to stop a divorce and save your marriage is to wait it out. Quite a number of marriage counselors have noted that some people jumped the gun too easily when they sought a divorce and they ended up regretting it.
Their advice is to try to wait out whatever issues prompted the thoughts of the divorce so that the benefits of the marriage would be allowed to supplant these issues thereby giving you and your husband the chance to work on the marriage.
6. Align your future goals and belief systems
Another way to save a marriage from divorce is to find a way to align your future goals such that both of you are headed towards the same things in life.
A marriage is a partnership and like a business, people are less likely to leave a partnership where the other partner has goals that will complement and support theirs thereby increasing the likelihood of their combined success.
Find out where your husband sees himself in 5 – 10 years and then do the same for yourself after which you can find a way to align these so that both of you can stay together and work to achieve your collective goals.
7. Work on the physical
Physical attraction is very important in a sexual relationship of any kind and marriage is no exception.
It is no secret that married people have a tendency to let themselves go after marriage and this can create a problem if one of the main reasons they got together in the first place was based on aesthetical values.
Even though some might consider this vain, a spouse might want a divorce because they simply aren’t as attracted as they used to be to their partner because they changed physically.
If you suspect that this is the case, then saving your marriage might have to involve putting in physical work to look as much as you used to when you first got together with your husband.
Again, it is best not to overly change yourself because you can’t help that humans change as they grow older and coupled with childbirth, people cannot be expected to remain the same forever.
8. Be more interested in him
Some marriage counselors have expressed views on how married couples can sometimes know too little about each other or are simply not as interested in their partner’s lives as they ought to be. For instance, your husband might be a huge sports fan but you have never gone to a sports game with him.
Studies show that spouses doing things together brings them closer so if you are a spouse trying to save your marriage, it might pay off to put more interest in your husband’s life if you don’t do so already.
Find out what he likes and enjoys and try to do it with him sometimes. Once again, if doing these things will overly change who you are, you don’t have to do it,
9. Control your emotions
As suggested earlier, it is important that you try to contain your emotions during this time or else they could manifest themselves in unhealthy ways such as in arguments and passive aggressive communication.
These will only serve to push your husband away and reduce the chances of you being able to stop your divorce and save your marriage.
Find an outlet for these emotions such as exercise or even a daily journal so that they will not be bottled up inside you.
10. Give him space whilst letting him know your stance
If your husband wants out of your marriage and you don’t then you should let him know that. You should then give him some space to properly think about whether he wants to leave as well as an opportunity to miss you.
The amount of time that you should give him varies according to the type of marriage you have but we recommend not more than 9 months at the latest. Giving him a break would also show that as much as you want him to stay, you will not show him any desperation to make him feel as though he has so much power that you wouldn’t survive if he left.
11. Evoke memories
If you want to stop your husband from divorcing you then do not underestimate the power of memories.
Try to get him to remember memories of better times in your relationship with him. You could for instance get him to go on dates to places he really enjoyed as a young couple or just mention some of your favorite moments in the past when talking to him. The trick is to be subtle about it.
The aim is to get him to remember how far he has come with you and times when he really liked you. This could go a long way in saving a failing marriage as it might convince him to give the marriage a second chance to see if things could go back to how they used to be.
12. Do you
In trying to stop your husband from divorcing you, it is important that you try to focus on yourself as well so as to ensure that you can stand on your own and can maintain a sense of self worth.
This will show your husband that you are capable of surviving without him and believe it or not, can convince him not to leave because strength in a woman is an attractive quality.
So find things to do for yourself such as working harder at work, going out with friends, finding new hobbies or engaging in old ones and the like. This is most effective when you give your husband some space to process his feelings of divorce as it would leave you with ample free time.
13. Work on things as soon as they appear
When your husband wants out of your marriage for one reason or the other, it is best to ensure that no new issues come up so that you will be able to deal with the existing issues without pressure.
The best way to do this is to deal with minor issues as soon as they come up so that they do not mushroom into big ones. This is conflict resolution 101 and has the added advantage of showing your husband that you are actually being proactive in trying to save the marriage.
14. Focus on what you can fix and make a plan for what you cannot
In trying to figure out how to save your marriage when your husband wants a divorce, you need to carefully pick your battles. Experts in family studies have noted that there is a tendency for people who are trying to find the best way to save a marriage to work on things that they cannot possibly solve on their own.
It is best to work on things within your power such as issues relating to your behavior as you have a better chance of being successful with these. When these are out of the way you can then work on those larger issues such as financial problems brought on by external factors.
15. Prioritize your marriage
One of the most effective things to do to save a marriage is to prioritize it. When you make something your priority, you tend to find ways to make it better because the attention you give it will show you areas it is lacking in.
Prioritize your marriage by giving each other alone time where you can get to build your marriage. For instance, you could establish a daily routine that involves just the two of you or you could include “couple’s time” in your official schedule so that you can move anything that clashes with it.
16. Find his love language
Everyone has a love language and finding your husband’s could be the key to helping you fix your marriage before a divorce. Observe him for some time and notice how he responds to certain things that you do. Those that make him really happy are his love language.
Anything from gifts to compliments to quality time to being more sexual could be his language and when you find it, work on them and he will be more convinced to stay because he will feel more accepted.
17. Get counselling
Marriage counselling has helped a lot of marriages and so is important to consider if you are wondering what to do to save your marriage.
Counselors are professionals in their field and would have seen the problems in your marriage in other marriages as well.
They would therefore have a better chance at being able to help you based on tried and tested techniques and this is supported by research from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) as shown by the above graph from GuidDoc Health.
It is very important to note however, that you should not assume that because a marriage counselor was unable to help you, all marriage counselors will be unable to help. They use different techniques and because marriages are different, you may have to shop around before finding a counselor that can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you make your husband love you again when he wants a divorce?
- Find out why he wants to leave.
- Show more interest in his life.
- Be more appreciative of him.
- Find his love language and use it.
- Do more things together.
2. How can I save my marriage when my husband wants out?
- First find out why he wants to leave.
- Give him space whilst letting him know that you don’t want a divorce.
- Prioritize your marriage.
- Communicate more with him.
- Go for couple’s counselling.
3. How do I stop my husband from wanting a divorce?
- Communicate and find out his reasons for wanting a divorce.
- Work on the problems that you can solve.
- Give him both time and space to sort out his feelings.
- Prioritize your marriage to show that you want him to stay.
- Sign up for marriage counselling.
Trying to save your marriage when your husband wants out can be very frustrating and emotionally wrecking especially when your husband does not try to meet you halfway by putting in effort. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to save the marriage, be sure that it is indeed what you want to do.
Remember to not show your husband any desperation as you try to convince him to stay because this can drive him further away.
In the end if you have tried all you possibly could and things are still not working out, it might be time to call it quits whilst consoling yourself with the fact that getting a divorce is not the worst thing in the world and would enable you to start over away from someone who did not want you.
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