I recently received an email that I myself could have written many years ago. It was from a wife who was staring down the end of her marriage with great sorrow and confusion. She did not want to split up but her husband would not listen to reason and was moving forward with ending the marriage. She felt that her time was running out. And she was devastated by this because she knew that she and her husband were meant to be together and that divorcing would be a huge mistake.
She told me things like “he says that our marriage is over, but it will never be over for me. I just don’t know how I am supposed to walk away.” And, “this is so hard for me because there is no convincing him or changing his mind, but I know that breaking up our marriage is going to be a huge mistake.”
Even worse, every time she tried to communicate these things with her husband, she got the exact opposite response than what she was hoping for. At first, he argued and debated back. But lately, he’d just been ignoring and avoiding her. She told me that she felt like she was stalking her own husband and she didn’t know where to turn. She was not prepared to let him or the marriage go, but the husband had made it clear that he was not staying either. I’ll tell you what I told her in the following article.
When He Wants You To Let Him Go But You Know That You Can’t: This correspondence brought back so many memories for me. I know just how this wife felt. And, she confided in me that this process was making her act in a very embarrassing way that just was not typical for her. She was felt like she was losing control of her emotions and she did not like this at all.
Intellectually, she knew that she had to pull back somewhat, but emotionally, she just did not see how this was possible. I asked her to step back for a minute and ask herself whether her actions were bringing her husband closer to her or further away. She had to admit that, with every interaction that they had, things got worse and worse. In fact, the wife knew that she was only digging a deeper hole for herself and contributing to her husband seeing her as something that was troublesome and annoying.
The wife was absolutely right. At this time, it was set up so that the husband and wife were on opposing sides. They wanted opposite things. The wife had made it clear that nothing less than saving the marriage was acceptable to her. And, the husband’s stance was that things were not going to change and they both just needed to cut their losses with dignity. As it stood now, no one was willing to compromise and their fighting this out only made both of them less likely to get what they wanted.
So, this needed to change. And the husband had already proven that he wasn’t going to budge, at least as things stood now. So, it was up to the wife to change this dynamic. In my experience, she had two choices here. She could allow for things to go on as they were and continue to deteriorate the relationship and pray for her husband to out of the blue change his mind (which wasn’t all that likely in my opinion.)
Or, she could change tactics so that she was focusing on maintaining or building up to a more positive relationships and interactions, in the hopes of slowly rebuilding. In my experience, the second option is almost always the way to go and gives you the greater chance of success. If you can set it up so that you and your husband are not on opposing sides, you almost automatically will be given more generous access to him. And, when you are together, he won’t be as likely to tune you out, ignore you, or put his defenses up. This doesn’t always mean that everything will go your way, but it usually means that the situation and your well being will greatly improve.
Sometimes, Loosening Your Grip And Letting Go Even Slightly Will Be Game Changing And Will Improve Your State Of Mind: In my own experience, I became so unbelievably out of control when my husband and I were beginning the divorce. I could not seem to leave my husband alone even though he demanded that I did. However, my bugging him as I did only annoyed him and it only set me back hugely. But, I could not seem to stop myself from keeping right on doing it.
What had developed was an awful cycle that I knew was only making things worse but that I could not seem to control. I finally realized that I had to temporarily remove myself from the situation before I made it unbearable. So, I went to my hometown for some TLC from my family and friends. I just didn’t know what else to do.
I was afraid that “out of sight” would also mean “out of mind,” but do you know what happened? Eventually, my husband began to wonder just what caused my change of heart. Eventually, he became the one who started calling, and because I had sensed a change and begun to educate myself, I started to play the whole thing quite differently.
Admittedly, I probably would not have started to let go had I not gotten to a point where I had no where else to turn, but this does not need to be the case with you. Many people think that loosening your grip is risky, but many times, if you try to look at it more objectively, it becomes sort of obvious that it’s the only choice which gives you access to him and focuses on the positive.
If you’re focusing on negative emotions and reactions, he will likely only want to get away just that much faster, but if you can make it clear that you just want both of you to be happy and you want to maintain some sort of relationship between you, then this will often bring about better results. Very few people that I’ve seen try this seem to regret it. Most will tell you that it improved their situation and put a stop to a cycle that had become way too detrimental and destructive.
When my husband was getting ready to leave and demanded that I let him go, his mind was made up. He was going forward with moving out and then the divorce. And, I did let go, but only when it was clear that there was no other choice. Thankfully, this changed the game. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/