I have a lot of frustrated women who contact me and say things like: “my husband is saying he wants a divorce, but he will not say why,” or “he won’t tell me why he wants a divorce. Am I just supposed to accept this without him giving me a valid reason?” I completely understand your frustration. I was in this situation too. You can’t help but think that if you could pinpoint his reasoning for wanting a divorce, you could properly address the problems and save the marriage. But, his reluctance to talk about this means that you’re flying blind or just fumbling around in the dark. It’s hard to formulate a plan when you can’t even identify what you are dealing with.
However, it took me a long time to realize that fixating and dwelling on this (and bugging my husband about it endlessly) was only doing me more harm than good. I’m certainly not saying that his reasons for wanting a divorce don’t matter. They certainly do. But, the truth of the matter is that you will need to do and say the same things no matter why this is happening. So, while it’s nice to know, it’s not mandatory for saving your marriage.
Know That Even He May Not Know Or Understand Why He’s Doing This (And If He Does, He May Not Be Saying Because He Knows You Will Disagree With Him And Try To Change His Mind): Often when I tell women that a husband sometimes isn’t spilling the beans about the divorce because he can’t articulate his reasoning, even to himself, they look at me like I am crazy. But, hear me out for a second. I do have some men who contact me via my blog. Many of them want to know how to deal with their wives once they’ve asked for a divorce or they want to know how to tell their wives that they want to end the marriage.
Of course, I can not resist asking them what brought this on. I’m looking to know if the problem is a big or small one, and if I think the marriage can be saved. The vast majority of them (I would say well over 85%) can not articulate a concrete answer, even to me, someone who doesn’t know anything about them or their marriage. They will mutter general reasoning like “well we just grew apart,” or “I just don’t want to be married anymore,” or “I want a fresh start.” Sometimes, I will even press and ask things like “Well, what brought this on?” But even then, I’ll get vague answers like “we just grew apart,” or “we’re not in love anymore.”
The point that I’m trying to make is that, men know that these reasons seem quite lame and general, and I can hear their hesitation to say this out loud even to a stranger. And, they also know that the second that they come out with it, you’re going to immediately pounce, with a laundry list of why they are wrong. More fights will ensue. More tension will be present. By wanting a divorce, they want to escape these negative emotions, not create more of them. In essence, their zipping their lips is their attempt to exit without a huge confrontation or debate. They don’t want to give you ammunition to try to change their mind or to tell them that they are wrong.
It’s important that you understand this, because the plan which I think works best is based on this. We know that they don’t want an argument or any attempts to change their mind, so we’re not going to give them that – although they’re going to be quite surprised by this. Nope, we’re going to instead agree with them and throw them off balance a bit.
Going With The Tide Instead Of Against It: I once had a reader call what I’m about to tell you “going with the tide rather than trying to swim against it.” What she meant by that is that if you’re constantly trying to swim against the tide, you will eventually lose your strength and surrender anyway. It’s an impossible task. But, if you go with the tide, you allow it to effortlessly carry you exactly where you want to go. So, how does this relate to your marriage and his wanting a divorce?
Because I want you to swim with the tide by agreeing with him and forgetting about trying to pry the reasons for the divorce out of him. Hear me out. You and I both know that this plan is designed to save your marriage, but we’re not going to share that with him. Why? Because if we did, he would just close his ears to anything you had to say. He doesn’t want to allow to change his mind, so you’re going to stop trying to.
Am I telling you to just concede the divorce? Absolutely not. What I’m telling you is that to save your marriage, you first have to get them to let their guard down. So, you’re going to stop hounding them about what’s going on in their head. You’re going to agree that the marriage as it stands lately has not been any picnic for you either. You’re going to tell them that you’d actually like some time for yourself too. You’re going to conduct yourself with class and self respect. You’re going to stop killing yourself by swimming against the tide. And you know what usually happens when you do this? They are absolutely shocked. This is not the reaction they expected.
And, then they get curious. Is there someone else? Do you not love them anymore? They will need to know the answers so they will start sniffing around. And, what do you do when this happens? You continue to be the classiest, most fun loving, light hearted, and loving version of yourself. You make sure that they see the woman that they first fell in love with and you have patience. You can not right this train over night, but you can do it step by tiny step. You can know that each and every small win will build upon itself until he is looking forward to each encounter and begins to think that all this divorce talk was a huge mistake.