If you handle things well, he will respect you more, and your marriage will have a whole new beginning.
Is your husband thinking about separating or divorcing you?
There is no way to know what your husband thinks, but you do have the power to influence what he thinks. In fact every time you interact with him, you are influencing his thinking, whether you intend to or not.
Because of this, you have the ability to save your marriage.
The single most important quality for you to have, in terms of hanging on to the one you love, is perceived value. Did you ever notice how it’s more difficult to part with some things than others? A sentimental gift received long ago? Something very expensive? Something that is one of it’s kind? This is the quality you want to have if you are to be valuable (and therefore precious), to your husband. Objective facts like your income, or other contributions are not the key factor here. Perceptions are more important than logic because it is perceptions that create our emotions. Husbands and wives sometimes leave just to be with someone else who has much less objective value than their spouse, but who is much more emotionally valuable to them. This emotional value is what you will work on increasing to prevent divorce, separation, and even just emotional distance.
The more valuable you become for your husband, the less likely he will want to divorce you and the more likely he will return.
There is no guarantee your husband won’t leave you, but if you become emotionally valuable, he will soon regret the decision and have a profound sense of loss. There will be no need for you to get desperate. He will be back. A truly valuable person is hard to replace, as your husband would discover.
What are the characteristics of a valuable wife?
A valuable wife knows her husband well, but loves him anyhow. A valuable wife cares more about the relationship than what her husband wants at the moment. A valuable wife doesn’t allow her husband to mistreat her. A valuable wife follows her own values and earns respect (i.e. is not hypocritical). A valuable wife does not support her husband’s actions when they threaten the relationship. A valuable wife loves, puts the relationship first, and is respected. A man who has a wife he loves and respects will commit to the end of his days with her.
Don’t agree to damaging things to try to save your marriage.
Even though we say must say “no” at times, when it is clearly because of our desire to relate to our husband, we become more valuable. In some ways, it’s like a good parent, or a good friend. You don’t expect your friends to agree with things that would hurt your relationship. Their saying “no” doesn’t hurt your relationship at all, because you know they are doing it in your best interest. If they agreed with our dumb or harmful ideas, we would lose respect for them. We couldn’t feel safe with them and we couldn’t be as open. A safe, trusting, close relationship is really important to a marriage. So, sometimes we must say “no”. When we do what is bad for the relationship, even if it is what our husbands want, we lose respect.
Getting your husband to commit or recommit means loving more than needing so that you get respect rather than just getting used.
Some people lose relationships because they give too much. You are in this position if what you are giving (e.g., money, sex, housekeeping) seems more valuable to your husband than who you are. You know that parents who just give and give and give ends up with spoiled kids who disrespect them. They don’t get appreciation and they don’t get attachment. Many people lose their husbands due to a lack of respect from them. The three most common kinds of disrepectful men are the selfish man, manipulative man, and reactive man. There are reasons these kinds of husbands are disrepectful and things you can do about it.
Look at what your husband wants and needs and whether he is really getting that from you.
When your husband is leaving you or anticipating divorcing you, that means that he is thinking he can get something better without you than with you. You must take a hard look at whether he is right. If you were in his shoes, would you come to the same conclusions? As much as many women want to save their marriage, when they look at it from their husband’s perspective, they can often see the point. Are you trying to convince your husband to stay with you just to satisfy duty or obligation? Is your marriage a life sentence for your spouse? Is there something about yourself you need to work on so that you really can be a wonderful partner for your husband? If all the problems are your husband’s, then are you wanting him to stay just because it’s inconvenient for him to leave (and not because you really believe you can have a good relationship)?
To save your marriage, your desire for the welfare of your husband and your relationship must drive your actions. That is love, the basis of a good marriage.
What do you offer relationally, that other people don’t? What does it emotionally cost your husband to be with you? This will only sound negative if you have serious things to work on about yourself. If you have a lot to offer and are an easy person to love, then the reason your spouse is planning to leave is not about you. And you can help him to deal with whatever it is. If it is about you, then you can work on that, too. The only approach that is destined to fail is trying to convince your husband to recommit to a bad situation. Your willingness to work in counseling may be too little, too late, if things have been bad for awhile. It will rightly be seen as an act of desperation on your part rather than a sincere desire for the welfare of your husband.
This may be the time for you to work with a marriage coach
An advantage of marriage coaching (as opposed to marriage counseling) is that it does not require your husband’s participation. You can learn skills that you apply to your interactions with your husband to change the way he sees you, treats you, and thinks about you. This means that people who are not respected learn how to earn respect, people who give too much learn to balance giving and receiving, people who fight learn not to, people who are too patient learn to be proactive. When you are feeling desperate, or hopeless, having someone who can help you make progress is a big comfort. There are many things you can do to attract others to you, especially your husband. Remember, counseling is about restoring who you were; coaching is about becoming who you want to be.
If your relationship is in danger now, now is the time you must take action
What kind of action do you want that to be? A desperate action? An action that loses you even more respect in your husband’s eyes? Or the calm action of working on giving your husband a real reason to want to be with you (and only you)? Which way do you think will give your relationship the best chance for long term success? Yes, you could lose your husband while you are working on things, but isn’t that even more likely to happen if you don’t? Don’t fool yourself into thinking you just need to fix one little thing to make everything better. If you are really sincere about wanting to save your relationship, write out a list of your husband’s concerns and your own. What does your husband want and what do you want (because you don’t just want to keep your husband, right? You also want to have a good relationship, don’t you?). If you do, then you can determine if you really know how to make the changes happen, whether you need to get help with that, or whether you want to give up ever having those things and let your husband go. Can you think of any other choices?