I hear of scenarios that describe this situation quite a bit. I often hear things like: "my husband insists that he still loves me, but doesn't feel that he can be with me right now. He says he needs space and some time away to decide where he wants to go with this. He feels that he needs to be on his own for a while. I just can not understand this. How can you love someone but then doubt that you want to be married to them?"
This can be a very difficult question for a wife to wrap her brain around. Typically, in our minds, if we love someone and things are not falling apart around us, nothing should change. It's a simple equation to us. We love each other. We made a commitment. End of story. And we don't understand why our husbands don't see it in this same way.
The truth is, it's impossible to 100% understand or even embrace someone else s' thought process – especially when you do not share it. There is very little that you can do to control or change that. However, there is a lot that you can do about the situation at hand. And, the things that you can do may not be what you're inclined or tempted to do. I will discuss how to understand and handle this situation in the following article.
Accept What He Says At Face Value And Focus On Changing His Perceptions Rather Than On Changing His Words: The biggest initial mistake that I see folks make is that they focus on semantics. I often hear wives dwelling on things like "how can he love me but not be in love with me?," or "how can he not want to be married to me when he swears that he still feels the same?"
The truth is, you might never get a satisfactory answer to these questions. In fact, his attempted answer might confuse you, or anger you, or hurt you even more. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to accept what he says as fact. He might well be confused, projecting his own issues onto you and the marriage, or just be out and out wrong. But, he's likely not going to change his mind just because you argue with him or point out the flaws in his thinking.
Many wives will go on an all out campaign to talk him (or guilt him) into staying. What they don't often realize is that they are really weakening their position. Because think about it for a minute. What you really want if for your husband to decide two things. You want him to continue on with his thinking that he loves you, but you want for him to take this even further and decide that he wants to be with you and committed to you 100%.
How likely is this if he stays while dragging his feet, pouting, and looking out the window with longing eyes? If you go about it all wrong, but manage to keep him with you under duress, then really, all you've done is bought yourself a little bit of low quality time. Because eventually, he's going to want to break away again. And, when he does, it's going to be much harder for you, if not impossible, to reign all of this back in.
What you want to do instead is to change his perceptions. Because right now, he's likely thinking that yes, he does love you, but that he does not love being married to you. He likely suspects that his life is going to be better, for whatever reason, if he's alone. That's why he's wanting to test out his theory. No, I'm not a man, but I hear enough from them that I pretty much know how many of them think in this situation.
What's standing between him leaving and him staying is his perceptions, not his feelings. That's why you must take the feelings at face value and place your efforts on the perceptions.
Changing What Your Husband Is Thinking In A Genuine Way So That He Wants To Stay In The Marriage: Once this whole concept is explained, many wives intuitively understand this. However, it can be difficult for them to embrace it or to try it because it feels very risky. If you don't fight his wanting to try being on his own or having some space, what if this then becomes a permanent thing? What if he does see that he likes being with out you?
Well, I guess this is possible. But, you're going to tackle those perceptions that we talked about. And, in my opinion, this is the only option that allows you to know that he has come to this decision on his own and is really quite sure about it. You want him present, enthusiastic, and without doubts. This is the way to do that.
Once many women realize this, they will be tempted to shower their husbands with affection, attention, and happy talk. Unfortunately, this often comes across as both fake and too little too late. You want to act in such a way that is going to be believable. And, you want to focus on things that are sustainable. You really want to resist luring him in with something that you can't maintain because down the road he's potentially going to feel like he was made some false promises and, once again, it will be harder to reign all of this back in when he's tempted to stray off on his own again.
Here's what wives often don't realize. They already hold the secrets and the key to this man's interest and happiness. You've already walked down this path. You're already intrigued him and made him smile with your laugh and your outlook. But so often, we stop laughing, we stop being happy go lucky, and we allow every day life stressors to erase the joy from our lives. In the wake of this, life becomes monotonous, boring, and heavy.
As the result, men begin to perceive that the grass is greener somewhere else. Your job is to change this perception. And you are more capable of this than you likely believe.
When my husband wanted a divorce (but I desperately want to save my marriage), I did everything that I could to stop it. I made many mistakes born out of frustration and fear. I delayed, I begged, argued, stalked and engaged, but none of these things worked. Thankfully, I decided to approach things from another angle and this eventually worked. You can read more about which tactics worked and which didn't on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/