My Husband Doesnít Know If He Wants to Stay Married - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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My Husband Doesnít Know If He Wants to Stay Married

Recently, I received an email from a very distraught wife who was at a cross roads in her marriage. During an argument, her husband let slip that he just didnít know if he wanted to be married anymore. When pressed, he told her that he ďthoughtĒ he stilled loved her, but he also thought that he no longer wanted to be married to her anymore.

She wasnít sure how to process this contrast. How could he love her but not want to share his life with her as a married couple? And how was she supposed to respond to this? Sure, things had been a bit rocky lately, but she had no idea he was thinking about ending things. So, now she was faced with not only trying to deal with the shock of the situation, but also with how to fix it before things deteriorated toward divorce. Iíll tell you how I advised her in the following article.

His Telling You That Heís Not Sure He Wants To Stay Married Is A Valuable Wake Up Call: First off, I have to tell you that no matter how bad this feels right now, his telling you this is actually an advantage. I have so many women who write me AFTER their husband has already started divorce proceedings or after things have deteriorated quite severely to the point where there is no communication.

Yet, by communicating his feelings with you, your husband has demonstrated that heís still willing to engage in give and take. This is a positive thing and this allows you the luxury of the time to properly address this.

With that said, this is really only an advantage if you take action that improves the situation. Obviously, if you take action that makes things worse, he may as well have not said a word. So, use this to your full advantage and see this as a wake up call that not all wives get. Go in to this with the attitude that you are going to take full advantage of this to not only band aid things but to permanently make things better.

Accept Nothing Less Than The Root Of The Issue, But Donít Annoy Him Trying To Find It: Many wives make the mistake of taking the attitude that their husband owes them a first class ticket into his mind and heart. And, often itís not just the demand to be let in, itís the tone that you take. Your tone implies: ďI want to find out exactly why you think this because I want to show you that youíre wrong,Ē or ďyouíre selfish and youíre mistaken. what more could you possibly want from me?Ē

Obviously, these things do not endear you to your husband. No one wants to be told that theyíre not intelligent or perceptive enough to know whatís really going on. And, every one will defend his or her right to be happy and to be in a mutually fulfilling relationship.

Still, in order to fix this, you have to know what youíre dealing with. It would be very helpful if you could know whatís causing this shift in your husband. But, approach it as if youíre only wanting to work with him to address and then fix the problem. You donít intend to lay the blame or become angry.

Often, men just canít pinpoint exactly what is the root of the problem. Theyíll often give you vague statements like ďI just donít feel it anymore,Ē or ďIím just not sure I want to married Ė not just to you Ė to anyone.Ē This doesnít help you very much. But, hereís one thing that is almost always present Ė so much so that you donít even need to ask. If your marriage is in trouble, itís because there is a noticeable loss of intimacy within at least one partner. When a person is deeply bonded to their spouse, they donít question whether they want to be married or not. And if problems arise, they want to fix them quickly because they donít want to lose this closeness.

But, if your husband is in the process of checking out, heís already to the point where heís surpassed this fork in the road. The bond has weakened to a point where heís begun the process of accepting this loss. It makes sense then that before you can begin to navigate the slow process of bringing him back around, you first have to restore this bond. You canít do this if youíre always nagging him or trying to change his mind. You must be his partner in this process, not his accuser and not someone who is only out for themselves.

Restoring The Ever Important Bond And Understanding That Your Husband Will Go Where The Pay Off Is: Iíve alluded to this, but now Iím going to try to drive this point home. Your first step should be to restore the strong bond between you. Revisit the things that you used to enjoy together. Channel the best version of yourself. Donít present yourself as angry, desperate, or frantic. Present yourself as the loving, self respecting wife who cares about her husbandís happiness.

Itís also important to understand that itís just human nature to gravitate toward where the biggest pay off is. If you husband feels more positively when he is away from you than when he is with you, eventually heís going to want to go Ė and on a permanent basis. You have to make sure that his pay off is at home, with you. So, you should place your focus on creating positive, genuine feelings for both of you. Your being happier is going to feed into your own pay off, so that you can give freely to him. Remember that you want his pay off to be where ever you are, not where you arenít.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:15 PM
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Re: My Husband Doesnít Know If He Wants to Stay Married

Interesting article, I wonder if it applies both ways....when a wife says she is considering it. Because often different advice is given to different genders.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:29 PM
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Re: My Husband Doesnít Know If He Wants to Stay Married

This is an interesting article. It says a lot of what we should already know, but which we often forget when what we value is threatened. Those who are still intimately connected and bonded in a partnership are going to try to protect that bond and they do not always see that trying to do so, sometimes hurts the person with whom that bond is formed who is unsure.

In any relationship when one person wants more than the other wants to give, this dynamic is going to become troubling. The balance between independence and collaboration is especially hard to maintain during times of distress. If both partners are not willing and interested in maintaining that relationship, it isn't going to work. This is a little like doing the 180, I think -- don't exacerbate the problem, be the partner your spouse will want (and keep yourself happy in the meantime) and you will find out whether your partner wants to stay invested in the relationship or check out permanently.

One cannot cannot change one's partner's mind and letting the person figure out what he/she wants is ultimately the best idea because a freely chosen commitment is valuable in a way that a coerced, pressured commitment isn't and nagging feels a lot like coercion.

"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"ďWe first crush people to the earth, & then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate." -Lydia Maria Child.
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