If your husband is talking about divorce but you want to stay married, you may feel lost, hopeless and afraid. Perhaps, your marriage has been troubled for a while, but you think the two of you haven't yet given your all to solving your problems and making the marriage work. Convincing a spouse to remain in a troubled marriage may require extensive persuasion skills, but the good news is that you can put some work into improving the marriage so that divorce becomes a less appealing option for your husband.
Stay positive, even though it may seem counter-intuitive and might require some acting, Continue to smile, go about your daily routine, and look put-together. Speak pleasantly to your husband. Replace negative associations that have come from constant fights with positive ones.
See a marriage counselor, who can help the two of you work though problems and develop communication strategies. In counseling, delve into the reasons your husband wants a divorce in the first place. Listen to what he says without arguing or contradicting him.
Work to implement the strategies and changes you've discussed with your counselor. If your husband is feeling frustrated by a lack of sex, make more time for intimacy. If he's sick of being nagged, learn strategies to keep your nagging at bay. Focus on the positive things your husband does, like mowing the yard, rather than the things he doesn't, like take out the trash. Save discussions of minor issues for later, because the larger issue of saving the relationship is more important.
Spend some time apart. This doesn't have to mean a formal separation, but try going on vacation with a girlfriend or spending a week with your parents. While the two of you are apart, establish guidelines for communication. Give him the space he needs to sort through his feelings, which means that you need to refrain from too-frequent check-ins.
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- Divorce Busting; Michele Weiner-Davis
- Love Without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One; Steven Stosny, Ph.D.; 2008
- Make the first move to win your husband back today - don't wait!
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- Don't cry, scream, beg or threaten. These are negative behaviors that will drive your husband further away. Keep in mind that under certain circumstances you may not be able to change your husband's mind. In those cases, hold your head high and do your best to move on.
Naomi Baldinger began writing professionally in 2007. Her areas of expertise include cooking, literature, film, Jewish culture, the nonprofit sector, education and translation. Her work has appeared in "Git Nu" and "The Journal of Jewish Identities" among other publications. Baldinger holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.