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Husband Wants a Divorce? Advice to Change His Mind

Probably one of the most common emails or requests that I get on my blog is women who write something like, “Help! My husband wants a divorce.  What can I do to change his mind before it’s too late? I can’t get through to him because he’s acting distant and won’t talk to or listen to me.”  These women desperately want to save their marriages, but their husbands are blocking all attempts at reconciliation and are basically shutting them out.  I have seen this formula so many times and I know first hand that it can be a recipe for disaster.  Because, when you’re faced with divorce and your husband is not making himself available, you are tempted to try desperate things or behaviors that are not typical just to get a reaction.  The problem with this is that not only does it make you appear more unattractive, it pushes your husband further away and puts you in a position of weakness.  No good is likely to come from this chain of events.  In this article, I will tell you some better alternatives that are more likely to change your husband’s mind about a divorce than the tactics you’re probably using right now.

Why Your Husband Isn’t Listening To You: Admittedly, I don’t know your husband, or you, or anything about the circumstances of your marriage.  But, I’ve been in your shoes and I’ve conducted countless hours of research on divorce and have interviewed many men who are seeking divorce or who are unhappy in their marriages.  Most tell me the same thing.  They’re not listening to you because they know that what you are saying is meant to change their mind.  They know that you are trying to manipulate them.  They know, (from the past experiences that have contributed to your being on the doorstep on divorce right now) that you have both made a lot of promises that you didn’t keep or said many things that never came to pass.  In short, they are tired of hearing the same old thing and getting the same old results.  So, they checked out as a defense mechanism. 

Now, I don’t tell you this to depress you or to place any blame. I tell you this because I want you to see that you need to change course if you want to change your husband’s mind about breaking up. So, no more degrading yourself, acting desperate, following him around, threatening him, engaging with him, begging him, etc.  You may get lucky (although as time goes on, the chances of this decline) and he may “give in” once or twice, but he’s going to resent you for it and it will only be harder to bring him back around the next time.  This is not a situation where you can afford to settle for a small short term victory.  To really save your marriage, you need a long term win.

How To Get Your Husband To Listen To You (The First Step Toward Changing His Mind About The Divorce): Hopefully by now, I’ve shown you that the way you’re probably going about changing your husband’s mind isn’t likely to work (especially long term.) But, you need to get him to listen to you if you’re going to make any progress at all.  How do you do this? By changing what you are saying.  Remember I said that husbands tell me they hear the same old thing? Well, change the message and tell them what they really want to hear.  How do you do this? You AGREE with them. You validate them.  Now, please stay with me. I know this may sound crazy, but I’ll explain.

At this point, many wives will say “Oh, I can’t possibly do that.  That is just too risky.  If I agree, then I may as well give up and just agree to the divorce.” No, that’s not what I mean, I promise. You are not agreeing to the divorce.  You’re simply agreeing that your husband has a right to want to be happy and you’re agreeing that the marriage is in real trouble. You’re agreeing to lighten his load and make his situation better because this is what he wants to hear.  And this is when he will listen to you.

Now That He’s Listening, What Do You Say To Get Him To See Things Your Way?: Well, see, that’s the kicker.  You don’t try to change his mind (and that’s exactly why this will likely work).  You act in such a way that he’s going to want to do that all on his own.  Because, if you do it any other way, his heart is not really going to be in it and this plan is going to backfire in a big way. 

So, it would go something like this.  The next time you are with your husband, you tell him that you’ve been doing some thinking and you realize that he is right.  You agree that the marriage has not been what it should be and you deeply regret that.  You tell him that you love him and above anything else, you want him to be happy.  You tell him that he is too important to you to part on bad terms. You promise him that you will no longer behave in such a way as to deteriorate your relationship – no matter where that relationship is headed.  Then, you make good on what you just told him.  Always stop and ask yourself if your actions are going to push him further away before you do them.

Go Slowly.  Never Rush Him Or Push For Him To Call Off The Divorce (He Must Come To This Decision On His Own): So, if you agree with your husband as I’ve described above, a lot of the tension should start to abate.  Once he sees that you mean what you say (and you aren’t just telling him something new to change his mind) he should hopefully become more receptive to you.  When he does, you should take things very slowly.  Let him set the pace. Don’t rush and don’t push. Just focus on creating positive feelings and shared experiences where you are both having light hearted fun. No strings attached.  No deep, difficult conversations about the marriage yet.  No talking about what was and what could be again.  Just focus on one shared experience at a time. 

If you do, I’d be willing to bet that over time, he’s going to start to see glimpses of the two people who first fell in love in the first place.  And when he does, he’s eventually going to want more of it.  Always leave him wanting more.  It is so important not to rush. Because as he becomes the one who is wanting to change the terms of the relationship, then you begin to gain more of an equal footing in the marriage and your place in it.  And, this is where you need to be if he’s going to change his mind with his whole heart, and his wholehearted  commitment, about your marriage. 


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