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What to Do When Your Husband Wants a Divorce
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Beam, Joe. (August 21, 2013). "What to Do When Your Spouse Wants Out." Crosswalk: Divorce and Remarriage. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- Beam Research Center. (n.d.) "About Joe Beam." Beam Research Center. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Lewis, Frank and Angie Lewis. (2010) "What to Do When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce." Heaven Ministries. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Peach, David. (May 28,, 2012). "5 Tips for Christians Considering Divorce." What Christians Want to Know. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
© 2013 Annette R. Smith