What you need to know:
- Since you have little control over your spouse’s behaviour, your job is understand your own behaviour and stop doing whatever is damaging the relationship
Q: My wife and I have been married for many years. We have been having the ‘normal’ issues that any marriage has. This is why I was so shocked last week when my wife told me she wants a divorce. I talked to her, begged her to stay. In fact I promised to change everything about me that could have contributed to this. She has now totally gone silent. She is not talking to me at all. I really want to save my marriage. What will I do now? Is there any hope for my marriage?
A: I can sense your feelings of despair and panic regarding your situation and I really empathise with you. While you are trying hard to bring your wife back, please note that you may be doing all the wrong things in trying to save the marriage. Your actions could be pushing your wife even further away.
Look, when your wife declared that she wanted a divorce, you started pleading her to change her mind and promising to change everything about yourself she does not like. The hard truth is that this is not appealing; it only comes across as pathetic. When your wife said she wants out, this means she may have been mentally preparing herself for a long time… often years. Therefore her response to your begging is probably going to be 'too little too late' and it solidifies her resolve to end the marriage.
If you are really committed to saving this marriage, then you must concentrate on that particular task and not on who is at fault. It would be better if you get prepared to focus only on how you contributed to the break up… for now. Beware that this can be a particularly painful process and you may need to see a counselor to help you figure this out but do not hesitate to do this.
Since you have little control over your spouse’s behaviour, your job is understand your own behaviour and stop doing whatever is damaging the relationship. This does not mean that you sit and wait for things to unfold; after some time you may consider discussing her tough decision with your wife and see if she is willing to undo it to give the marriage another chance. In case she reverses her decision, then you start the journey of your marriage recovery; when she sticks to it, you may need to accept her decision. My wishes of success.