As with many facets of life, there are no guarantees in relationships. You may sense that your wife is becoming unhappy with the marriage, or you may have committed some transgression that is likely to result in her leaving. Ultimately, you cannot make her stay, but you can make careful efforts to connect with her and nurture the partnership, or to redeem yourself for any wrongdoings. Many of these actions are founded on clear, honest and sincere communication.
A general awareness of your own actions and behaviors and their effects on your wife will make your sensitivity and commitment clear, according to an article distributed by PsychAlive, titled "How Mindfulness Can Save Your Relationship." For instance, if she claims that you no longer appreciate her, you may feel yourself getting defensive and angry. You might lash out and accuse her of being different or less exciting that she was early in the marriage. This type of response is not productive and will likely aggravate the situation further, possibly causing your wife to leave. Instead, take the time to notice your emotional reactions to your wife, and to carefully construct your responses to her remarks. This is more likely to lead to a rational discussion and reasonable compromise.
Some marriages fizzle simply because one or both partners become bored and complacent. It is normal for some of the initial relationship excitement to wear over time, but some spark should remain, and all relationships require deliberate nurturing to maintain a connection. In his article for the Huffington Post titled "How To Save A Dying Relationship in 4 Steps," relationship coach David Wygant offers several ideas for staying engaged. This includes taking your wife on dates regularly, making an effort to go on weekend trips, complimenting her unexpectedly and sending flirtatious texts and emails.
If you're worried that your wife may leave due directly to your actions and behaviors, such as infidelity or gambling instead of paying the bills, it is imperative that you take responsibility for your actions. Apologize to your wife by verbalizing what you have done, acknowledging how it has made her feel and explaining how you plan to make amends. In her article titled "When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce and You Don't," counselor Kim Bowen also suggests refraining from pressuring her to forgive you or to stay, as these decisions may take considerable time. If you push her to do these things, she may feel that you are insincere and disrespectful of her need to work through the issue at her own pace.
Seek Professional Assistance
A qualified counselor or therapist is a valuable resource who can guide you as you save your marriage. He or she can teach healthy, productive communication techniques, as well as effective conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. With professional assistance, many troubled couples can reconnect with diligent effort and commitment. Even infidelity, which is catastrophic to relationships, can be successfully confronted -- leaving couples stronger than ever before. For a positive and successful therapeutic experience, both you and your wife must be committed to the process of rebuilding the relationship.
- Power of Two Counseling Center: When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce and You Don't: Kim Powers, LPC
- Psychology Today: Can a Failing Relationship be Saved?: Fredric Neuman, M.D.
- Psychalive: How Mindfulness Can Save Your Relationship
- Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life: Forgive Yourself, Save Your Relationship: Juliana Breines
Jill Avery-Stoss is a graduate of Penn State University and a writer and editor based in northeast Pennsylvania. Having spent more than a decade working with victims of sexual and domestic violence, she specializes in writing about women's issues, with emphasis on families and relationships.