I often write about preventing divorce and saving marriages. Often, I chat with women, (but I am sometimes approached by men.) One of the more common questions I get is “How can I convince my husband not to go through with the divorce?,” or “How can I change my husband’s mind about leaving?” I find that a lot of the time, the women asking this question often want to know many things. They want to know if they can make real changes themselves when their husband isn’t receptive or has one foot out of the door.
They also want to know how to bring the spark back in their marriage and they REALLY want to stop feeling like they’ve lost control and are at the mercy of their husband’s thoughts and wants with no real input. They are tired of talking and saying the same things with the same results. They wish they could find the magic words or write the magic letter that is going to stop all of these talks about divorce.
Here’s the truth. You can’t really “make” or “convince” someone not to get a divorce. Sure, some can strong arm a man into changing his mind, but this will backfire eventually. There’s a much better way.
Because, if his heart is not truly in it, the issue is going to keep coming up over and over and your husband will not allow himself to be so easily convinced the next time. The best way to “encourage” your husband to change his mind about a divorce, is not to convince him or manipulate him, but to make him want to stay through your changed actions.
The Wrong Way To Convince Your Husband Not To Divorce You: Here’s what most women do and here’s where they go wrong. Many women who feel their husband slipping away pull out all of the stops. Nothing is off limits. They go into overdrive and become crazed rather than calm and panicked rather than patient. They follow their husbands around trying to engage and get any reaction they can (even if it is a negative one.) This only makes the situation worse.
Or, they may try to argue and debate with their husbands or “prove” to him why he is wrong. Or they try to convince him that if he just understood the real situation. he would realize he is wrong.
Still other wives try to become overly accommodating, telling their husband’s they’ll “do anything” to save the marriage and try to “show” or “prove” to their husbands how much they really love them.
All of these strategies can backfire because they are all using manipulation and worse, they all insinuate that your husband is WRONG and isn’t capable of making a sound decision.
In essence, by trying to convince him that he is wrong about a divorce, what you’re really saying to him is that he can’t evaluate his own feelings, he doesn’t deserve to be truly happy, and his spouse would rather strong arm him to get her own way than truly think about his happiness.
I am not writing this to frustrate you. I just want you to see it from your husband’s point of view. The problem here is that your husband is not feeling validated, and until he has, he’s going to block you and essentially tune out what you are saying.
The Right Make To Make Your Husband Want To Stay In The Marriage On His Own (No Convincing Involved): Hopefully, I’ve been able to show you that trying to change your husband’s mind or convince him he is wrong without really listening to him is not going to work long term.
So, what is the better way to get your husband to stay in the marriage? In truth, he needs to want to stay on his own. You need for his heart (and his commitment) to be fully present. So, you approach him from a place of validation. You tell him that you are listening intently to what he is saying, want to understand how you help, and value the closeness you once shared (and wouldn’t do anything to compromise it) Then, you agree that you could both stand to work on some changes so that things will be better for both of you.
You look him right in the eye and tell him that his happiness and the happiness of your family is extremely important to you. Tell him that you’d like for him to know that you are available if he wants to talk or share with you what would make things better for him. Tell him you intend to only interact with him positively from now on. He may balk at first, but he will remember this conversation later.
Then, you have to make good on this. Because honestly, he’s not going to believe you at first. If he’s seriously considering divorce, it’s very likely you’ve both made promises that haven’t been kept. He’s probably been told things will change when they really don’t. So, now, you have to SHOW him (with your actions, not with your words) that this is no longer the case.
Getting The Spark Back Will Make A Divorce Much Less Likely: I’d like for you to take a moment and thing about how you treated your husband when you were dating. You probably hung on his very word, placed his happiness high on your list of priorities, and poured a great deal of time into the relationship. This likely resulted in him feeling on top of the world. And, he probably thought that you could do no wrong.
But, this was lost somewhere. It happens to all of us. We all have responsibilities and priorities that get in the way. However, you must show your husband these two people again. You must always ask yourself if the person you are showing your husband is the one he fell in love with. (We often lose ourselves and replace her with a hurried, distant, hollow version of someone else.)
But, if you can bring back the woman your husband fell in love with, (in a genuine rather than manipulative way), she’ll do all the convincing with her actions rather than with her words (as she did in the beginning).