Oftentimes one person in a marriage wants to call it quits while the other wants to work things out. For the person who wants out, it’s over. They feel they’ve tried and tried. There’s no hope of reconciliation from where they sit. The majority of those in this position are women, as women are the majority of those who serve their husband’s divorce papers. Lots of men, ignoring the problems in their marriage, suffer what has been labeled as “sudden divorce syndrome.” But it certainly isn’t always the case. There are definitely men who get fed up with their wives and want out, too. Usually, this is when the other person panics. They try desperately to change things, to make the other person happy. But often they tend to further push their partner away rather than bring them back into their orbit. So what do you do when you don’t want a divorce but your spouse does? Are there any moves you can make to try and save the marriage or is it all just hopeless? There’s no way to make sure that they see it your way and warm to reconciliation. However, positive changes can make an impression. It’s possible to bring a marriage back from the brink and plenty of other couples have done so before. Here are some ideas on how to save a marriage.
Do not beg them to stay. This is perhaps the worst thing you can do. Crying and pleading never work. If they feel like it’s too late to change anything, you will only further solidify that idea in their mind by partaking in this kind of behavior. Don’t block them if that’s their idea. But don’t exacerbate the issue by say leaving the family home first. Do not exacerbate the situation. It sounds simple but many people in this tenuous situation often take part in other behaviors that make matters worse. If you have been unfaithful, call off the affair. If you have been whining, nagging and overly critical learn how to stop those things from happening and instead supplant them with positive behaviors. If you have trouble controlling your temper and this has been what has been driving a wedge between you two, seek counseling, go to anger management classes and get a handle on the problem. Many people at this point want to bring up the transgressions of their partner. But you can’t control the past. And you can’t control your partner. The only thing you have absolute control over in this marriage is yourself. If you want to see positive change happen and talk the marriage off of the ledge you will have to change those negative things for which you yourself contribute and that are causing strife. If you do make progress and want your spouse to consider couple’s therapy with you, your first step forward may be making progress on your own issues.
Are you spying on your spouse because you think they are having an affair? Stop. Are you pressuring them to go to counseling with you? Cut it out. Do you keep badgering your spouse for one more change? Don’t do it anymore. Are you reading their emails, texts and stalking them on their social media sites? Give it a rest. This behavior will only further push them into the divorce camp. If you want them to reconsider the marriage you will have to give them some space. If you smother them you will drive them away. Don’t demand anything from them at this time. Don’t take part in blaming behavior. Take a good look at the negative patterns you and your spouse take part in. You are a scientist researching a phenomenon. Give your spouse time and space. Consider what their complaints are in the marriage. Are they legitimate? What are you doing that is helping to drive them away? Show them concrete evidence that this time you are making different choices and working on your issues, out of love for them, yourself and for the sake of the marriage. Once you understand what triggers your problems, and what you do to help set them off, you can counteract that behavior. And that is the first and most important step. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley and Susan L. Blumberg.