How to win back your husband. Continuation from last week’s Blog.
Last week I shared a personal story about a time in my life when my husband left me because he believed he was no longer in love with me. As a Marriage Counselor, I see many women who are able to relate to some of my past marital problems disclosed to them in session.
During the crisis phase of that horrific situation back in 1986, I obsessed about what I was going to do to make my husband return home and how I was going to control the mechanics of that plan. I kept trying to call him at the office as that was the only mode of communication as cell phones and email weren’t as available during that period of time. He would refuse my calls and when he did take them he would remind me how controlling I was as I wasn’t respecting his wishes by giving him this time as a Respite to think about what he wanted to do. I would become even angrier and consumed with more anxiety and depression.
In the days to pass, I stopped my whining and crying and blaming of my husband. I started taking a look at my part in this problem. I had to stop concentrating on him and start concentrating on ME and my behavior. This stage in my life, as scary and as much as I hated it, was a poignant part of my differentiation process (becoming more different/separate from others/him). I started to understand that it was inappropriate to think I had the power to control the way people could think and feel. Developing a greater sense of self enabled me to manage the Co-dependency and self-destructing behavior I was experiencing in trying to control things outside of my control. I thought I was some omnipotent being who could influence people in the way they made decisions or thought or felt about things. Especially when I felt strongly about something. As if everyone should feel the same way I do. Even though my intentions were good my presentation came across as controlling and undiplomatic. I had to learn new ways of managing my emotions rather than act them out inappropriately making me appear immature and abusive. I took to heart the following recommendations as I believe they were instrumental in getting us back together.
As a Marriage Counselor working with couples in similar situations I help women and men manage their emotions and move forward in a healthy way where they learn to understand what they need and want. When they actually know what that is they will know what they can contribute to a relationship/marriage. Whether your husband has left you because he thinks he no longer loves you or has had an affair and is with someone else here are some techniques I believe helped me in the process and made for a successful reconciliation as we did get back together six months later.
- Grow up – Get out of immature mode. Stop being the victim. Concentrate on yourself and become the person you would want to be with knowing you could be a full on”bitch.”
- Stop blaming – your husband “the jerk” for the time being – not excusing what he did – moved out, cheated, found someone else, rationalized needing his space for a while. He didn’t do it to hurt you. He did it because something was missing in your marriage. On some level, you’ve known it too. It doesn’t make it right. It is hurtful and is a betrayal but what’s done is done. We’re trying to move forward. If you can set aside the anger and other negative emotions about the “abandonment” for the time being and stay focused on the big picture of saving your marriage, you are giving yourself a big advantage. If you don’t or won’t, then stop right here. It is over. You might as well start the divorce proceedings and start looking for your next “ex-husband.”
- Become more positive – Despite your depression, shock, grief, and pain of the worst heartbreak in your life it is imperative for you and important to the process to become more positive. Learn to exercise appropriate behavior as you will be observed by others, as well as your husband. In a different way exude a newfound aura of positive energy. As others experience your changed behavior they can give positive feedback to your husband confirming his observations and validate for him what he is also experiencing. Remember he left because he didn’t like the “negative you” so make the needed adjustment so you both benefit.
- Do more listening and less talking – When in communication with your husband keep it short and listen rather than do too much talking. You probably have a lot to say to him as you are hurt and upset. Giving him the space to talk provides emotional safety showing no anger, judgment or criticism. Keeping your tears in check also keeps you from looking like you are manipulating the situation as tears can tend to do that sometimes. Validating his words and showing empathy for his feelings will show a side he doesn’t see much of but you know you have to give. A woman I was working with in marriage counseling did just that in sessions and her husband said, “I keep waiting for you to interrupt me but you don’t!” She would smile and it wasn’t long before he moved back home.
- Concentrate on yourself – Utilize this time of separation to develop some insight about how you contributed to the demise of your marriage. It takes two to Tango. Receiving individual therapy would be helpful to identify your personal issues to see how they affected the relationship. Perhaps after this discovery, you can appreciate what your husband has been complaining about and you can get better focused on what you need to do to move forward. Believe me, if you don’t prognosis is not good. Continuing to point the finger at your husband and his faults will guarantee you a divorce. Work out, do Yoga, meditate, be a healthier you. You have all the time in the world during the separation. Make good use out of it.
- Thank him and show appreciation – This is the language of speaking “Male.” Despite the terrible things you feel right now try to focus on what is going right. Thank him if he is paying the mortgage/rent, helping with the children, and asking how you are doing. Tell him you appreciate his generosity despite the estranged situation you both are undergoing.
- Stay focused and off the fence – There will be days when you think it’s not worth going through the work of saving your marriage as it feels hopeless or stupid. You will have good days and bad. The discouragement will keep you from your vision of being a happy couple. It is ultimately a choice to continue to move forward or give up.
- Flirt – Flirting is a sign that you feel attractive. Bring your playful self to your interactions with your husband whenever you see him, be it at the marriage counselor’s office, divorce attorney, dropping off the kids, etc. Make every meeting a date. Dress up. Look your best with makeup and hair done nicely. Let him exercise male chivalry when with you so he can feel like the man he would like to be around you. Confidence will make you feel less insecure. Exuding confidence will make you look attractive.
- Seduce him – Since you are married restoring physical intimacy (sex) could only help with the reconciliation process. Don’t listen to what other people might say about having sex while you are separated. It’s none of their business and you shouldn’t be sharing the process with anyone but your therapist anyway.
- And finally – keep exercising this new behavior consistently as your behavior is indicative of the truth in showing him that he can trust the changed YOU and return to you making the choice to move forward so you will know he wanted to come back home of his own free will because he loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you. And YOU will be a happier individual because you did the work to become the mature person you needed and always wanted to become. Everyone in your family benefits from your growth.
Marriage Counseling can help put things in perspective if you’re willing to acknowledge the problems that exist and acquire the necessary tools to move forward. Remember it isn’t over until it’s over. Even if you are the one who was left you can salvage your marriage by becoming the woman you need to be in becoming the wife your husband needs and wants. Keep in mind a man doesn’t want a woman who understands him as much as he wants a woman to love him. Love doesn’t mean yelling or controlling or having it your way all the time. For that go to Burger King…..
For more information and help on acquiring these tools please contact me at (858) 735-1139.