My Husband Wants a Divorce—What Do I Do?
Does Your Husband Want a Divorce?
Do you think your husband wants a divorce? It's a terrifying thought that your lifelong commitment may be coming to an end, and you may be desperate for a solution.
Even if you already know your husband wants a divorce, take a minute to read this anyway, because I'll share some things you can do right now to help save your marriage.
Signs Your Husband May Want a Divorce
No one goes to sleep perfectly happy—and then wakes up the next morning feeling it's time to end their marriage. Coming to this realization is a long process, and thankfully that means that there is still a chance to prevent it divorce from happening. The first thing you want to do is to read the signs. The trick is reading the signs and acting in time.
So what signs should you look for when you think that your husband wants a divorce? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- He is distant and easily becomes irritable or angry with you.
- He doesn't open up and talk about how or what he is feeling.
- He doesn't spend as much time with you and likes to be away from home.
- He doesn't seem interested in spending time with you alone, or as a family with the children.
- He is not as affectionate anymore (no hugs, kisses, or cuddling).
- He doesn't wear his wedding ring all the time.
If you've noticed any of these signs, then your husband may want a divorce. Keep in mind that every person is different, and these signs don't absolutely mean that he is ready to break it off. However, these are some of the most common signs that your marriage may be on the rocks.
Here's the thing that most people don't realize: Your spouse is likely feeling the exact same way that you are. No one enjoys the yelling, arguing, and feelings of disconnection. I guarantee you, no matter how much you two fight, how mean you are to each other, or how much you want to be away from each other, you probably still love each other.
The thing is, both of you are probably acting out of fear. Once you learn calm each others' fears, there is a pathway toward marital stability. To do this, you will both need to compromise.
What You Must Avoid When Your Husband Wants a Divorce
Every woman wants to know exactly what to do when their husband wants a divorce. Oftentimes a sense of urgency causes people to try to resolve the problem instantly. Usually, however, these knee-jerk reactions make things worse in the end.
Here are a couple things you want to avoid when dealing with this situation:
You want to avoid texting him as much as possible. It will only lead to disaster, especially if you're worried that he is with another woman. Many times, your husband will read your message and not reply just because he wants space. Plus, tone is easily misconstrued in a text, so save your words for later, when you are face-to-face.
Apologizing for Everything
When you say you're sorry too much, your husband knows that this is an act of desperation. Plus, apologizing doesn't offer a solution at all, which is what you both really want. Remember the saying "actions speak louder than words"? This is a perfect example of when that idea applies.
Promising Things Will Be Different
Most people use this more than once, and it doesn't work after the first time (maybe the second if you're lucky). If nothing has changed after you promised this the first time, why should he believe you this time around?
Avoid false promises at all costs. Here's the interesting thing: Usually, what you want to do is counter-intuitive to what you know to be true. You know things won't be different, but you'd like them to be, so you succumb to magical thinking and pretend that saying these words will somehow make it true. Why is that? Because we're blinded by emotions when our marriage is falling apart.
When you're dealing with a delicate situation, you have to keep a calm, clear mind—and admit to yourself and each other that things won't change without a lot of work.
What to Do When Your Husband Wants a Divorce
So, what exactly should you do when your husband wants a divorce? You should agree to separate. This counter-intuitive approach initially will sound utterly insane, but read on to learn why it's effective.
Agree to a Temporary Separation
Right now, you're probably scratching your head, thinking "You've got to be kidding, right?" Nope, not one bit. This is a powerful move to start with, because it helps show that things are actually going to change. When faced with the reality of what he's asking for, your husband may begin to question whether or not his desire to dissolve the marriage will really bring him any more happiness, and this is exactly what you want him to start thinking.
Interesting concept, isn't it? Think of it this way: Has anything you've been doing (like calling, texting, or pleading with him to find a solution to your marital issues) brought you any closer to peace in your marriage? Most likely not. The reason for this is that the more we tighten our grip, trying to keep the situation from falling apart, the more likely it will be to slip through our fingers.
At a certain point, you have to trust in your marriage and your love for each other, and you need to believe that everything will work out if you truly want it to. You have to just let go for a bit. Everything you two struggled through together, everything you accomplished together, keep that in mind as you keep fighting on through the challenging times.
This is just one step in the process, and it's the single most effective strategy when your marriage is on the verge of collapse. I read about this strategy in a book called The Magic of Making Up by T.W. Jackson. He describes all the mistakes we make when we try to save our marriages, why they don't work, and how pursuing a more counter-intuitive approach can lead to saving your marriage and rekindling the flame that once burned so brightly.
If you have feelings of depression, you can't stop thinking about why he really left, you've lost your appetite, you're indulging in your favorite comfort food too often, or you lose focus at work or with friends because you can't stop thinking about him, then it's time to dig deep and start looking at yourself.
You can't mend your marriage when you're broken, yourself. In other words, you can't start fixing your relationship until you've worked on fixing yourself. This means making a serious investment of energy and time in whatever it takes to get your head on straight: counseling, therapy, self-help books, exercise, meditation, or whatever else helps you recognize and change old patterns.
Your marriage is very important—not only to you, but to your husband, as well (even if he doesn't always show it). You can follow the seven steps outlined in Jackson's book, which I highly recommend, to win your husband's heart and solidify your marriage once more.