What to Do When Your Husband Wants a Divorce

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Do you want to save your marriage?

Every day, women contact the Beam Research Center because they want to save their troubled marriages. Unfortunately, their partners don't always have the same desire.

A husband may love someone else and want a divorce. Or he may feel controlled in marriage and just wants to get away from a domineering wife. Although the reasons for marital discord vary, the situations are often the same: the wife desperately wants to save the marriage but the husband wants out.

Joe Beam, a motivational speaker and author, founded the Beam Research Center to help couples in situations like this. With a background in ministry and corporate training, he feels compelled to help families the way he helped corporate employees. His marriage seminars attempt to change the way couples live and love so their marriages can be what God intends them to be.

Are you trying to save your marriage, but your husband wants out? Does everything you do seem to drive him further away? Here are a few suggestions from Beam, starting with three things you should not do.

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1. Do Not Cling

Do you cling to your husband as you try to save your marriage? Many women do this, but it rarely works. Trying to win back your mate by crying, pleading, or manipulation usually fails.

Instead of drawing your spouse back into the relationship, clinging pushes him further away. Not only is it unattractive, but it also implies that you will take him back for any behavior.

This removes any reason to stop his abandonment. If you want to save your marriage, don't cry, beg, plead, demand, manipulate, or otherwise cling to your husband.

2. Do Not Collapse

Instead of clinging to your husband, or after trying this behavior and giving up, some wives give their mates permission to do whatever they want. They tolerate marital infidelity and other inappropriate behaviors, agree to separation, and terminate joint accounts.

According to Beam, most spouses yield to their departing partners to avoid angering them and making things worse. In reality, the opposite happens. Giving in usually causes the same results as giving up.

3. Do Not Control

No one wants to be controlled. Anyone who tries to hold their marriage together by making demands will fail. If you think your husband is unfaithful, or even if you know this is true, tracking him will probably backfire.

Treat your husband with equality and respect, and never force your opinion or point of view. Marriage partners have a right to their own thoughts and feelings, even if the other spouse has a different viewpoint.

What Will Help?

“Clinging causes the other person to pull away, collapsing helps them to leave faster, and controlling disgusts them with you.

"None of these help your cause if you wish to save your marriage,” says Beam. What will help your cause? Here are four things you should do.

4. Practice Patience

Patience buys time and helps you to deal with situations that are overwhelming in the moment. Take one day at a time, make one decision at a time, and overcome your marriage obstacles separately.

According to Beam, time is on your side. It erodes the emotional intensity of an illicit relationship if your husband is having an affair. And it gives you a chance to demonstrate the changes you are willing to make in the marriage.

5. Get Counseling

Ask your husband to join you for couples counseling or an intensive marriage weekend workshop. If he refuses, talk to a trusted third party who is close to your husband.

A pastor, friend, parent, or even his grown child may convince him to seek counseling despite his desire to end the marriage.

If necessary, give your husband a perk to attend counseling with you. For example, offer a concession in your pending divorce if he attends a marriage weekend. Offer it only in exchange for a strong chance to save your marriage. And don't withdraw the concession if he keeps his end of the bargain.

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6. Commit to Change

Rather than focus on your husband's faults, admit your own weaknesses and negative behaviors. Then, work on improving those areas. Not only will this benefit you, but it may also help your marriage.

Keep working on change whether your husband notices, ignores, or mocks your efforts. It may or may not influence him or save your marriage, but you'll be a better person for changing your bad behaviors.

7. Persevere

It takes strength to save your marriage when your husband wants out. Stay strong, and find a support system of optimistic people who will encourage your efforts.

Focus on yourself. Exercise, eat healthy, and do something to avoid obsessing on your marital troubles. Get involved in church or a women’s Bible study. Attend individual counseling if your husband refuses couples counseling.

Closing Thoughts

Each marriage is unique, and no one can make a decision for someone else. However, Beam’s suggestions can give you a greater chance of saving your marriage. And even if your relationship ends, you will be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthier.

Your Turn

If YOUR marriage was headed for divorce, what steps did you take to save it? Leave your answer in the comments below. And if you liked this post, use those nifty buttons on the left to share it with your social networks. Thank you!

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© 2013 Annette R. Smith

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Comments 14 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Very good advice. Most times, it is difficult to convince the husband to try counseling. Hopefully, patience will win out. Voted Up.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Thank you, MsDora. I've been learning a lot about marriage, divorce, and remarriage in an effort to strengthen my own relationship. There are some wonderful resources out there. Joe Beam has some very helpful advice for couples, and Tony Evans also comes to mind. I appreciate the vote up!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Start squirreling away money. You will need it.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

This is good, sound advice! Thank you! Up, useful and interesting!


MarieAlana1 profile image

MarieAlana1 3 years ago from Ohio

Patience is a virtue. Now, I understand why clinging is a bad thing. You have great advice!~


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

Thank you for this going to share with some friends ~ loving and praying for marriages for some three years. I love falling in love again and again. I love our covenant and I love our most loving and teaching Father in Heaven ~ thanks for this hub


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, moonlake. Thank you for your comment.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Thank you, Randi. I'm happy to share. Your comment and votes are most appreciated!


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Marie. Patience is a virtue, indeed. Thanks for stopping by!


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

You're welcome, Kathy. Thank you for sharing my article with your friends. And thank you for continuing to love them and pray for them. God bless you!


disappointed 2 years ago

Married for 17+years husband filed for divorce after he retired from military ,wasn't aware he simply abandon his family. I love my husband I do not know what went wrong ... I guess being apart ... confused ...we both have attorney's but I'm against this divorce.. any advise


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hello, disappointed. I'm sorry to hear this. Is there someone you can talk to -- a pastor, Christian counselor, or close female friend who is strong in the faith? This is my advice, and I am praying that God will give you guidance in this situation. Blessings, Annette


vicki 2 years ago

My husband wants a divorce and I am completely baffled by this he says thst he wants to be single and he said thst he feels bad for it he still shows affection for me and still kisses me so im a bit confused we have only been married for a year...he is in the army and I honestly don't know what I would do if we divorce i have ran marriage counseling across him but he refuses will it be good if I just continue to go by myself ? Idk what to do at this point


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Vicki. Thank you for reading my article and sharing your concerns with us. I'm not a counselor, but I think it's good that you're considering one -- even if your husband isn't interested in counseling at this point. A pastor or trusted friend can also give you guidance or a listening ear. I will pray for you and your marriage.

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