HAS HE TOLD YOU HE IS NOT sure he wants to be married to you anymore?
Maybe he has said he needs time and space to figure out what he wants. Or he has given you the cliched ‘I love you but I am not in love with you’.
Worse still, he may have stated that even though he loves you deeply, he has fallen in love with someone else and he does not know what to do.
Or he may not have said any of these things but is simply emotionally distant since he is trying to figure out whether he wants to continue his marriage with you.
What his doubt does
If you are in a situation where your husband is expressing doubts about your marriage, it can be frightening. Witnessing the falling apart of your family is the most painful thing you can ever experience.
You may become desperate and depressed. There are days you will wake up and wonder if it is all a dream.
You will try everything in your power to make him change his mind; to make everything ok. However, you will soon realize that you cannot force him to make a decision. So, you will resign yourself to whatever decision he will make.
But after a while, it can feel like ‘relationship limbo’ where the not knowing is the most painful part, and all you want is to move on; in or out of the marriage.
But how will you help your husband to decide what he wants so that you can both continue with your lives?
Do not pursue your husband
It is human to want to save your marriage. However, remember you cannot control the decisions your husband makes. Crying, pleading and begging your husband to stay will only push him even further away. You come across as completely unappealing and it will never work in your favor. Your desperation only solidifies his resolve to end the marriage.
Do not cling
Texting and emailing thousands of messages saying that you are sorry, that you will forgive him, that you will change, that no one will ever love him the way you do, that he is destroying the children, will not make your husband stay. Many of us even ‘fall sick’ or ‘accidentally’ hurt ourselves, hoping to hear the husband say that he has decided to stay.
Question: do you want your husband to stay because he loves you, and he wants to be with you or because it's too hard to change and start over?
Things you should NOT do to make your husband make the decision you want:
- Do not act needy or desperate.
- Do not keep pointing at all the good things about you and the marriage.
- Do not try to manipulate your husband by making him look at your wedding photos.
- Do not try to make your husband feel guilty about your relationship or the current circumstance
- Do not follow him around the house like a sad puppy. In fact, do not appear like a sad puppy at all.
- Do not enlist the help of your friends and family to make your husband stay with you.
What to do
Tell your husband that you have also thought about the situation and you agree with him. This is important and lets him know that you have listened and you're in fact in the same situation as him.
But don’t agree about the plans to give up. Instead, agree on what you both don’t want. Then, when everything is out in the open, tell him that you want to start a new relationship with him.
And commit yourself to improve your relationship no matter what he decides.
Draw the boundary
Many women have reacted to unsure husbands by providing them permission to do whatever they wish. Many of us will ignore or tolerate inappropriate behavior. We think that this will facilitate a positive outcome.
Worse still, you are still having sex with your husband even though he is not sure whether he wants to be with you. Here is a dose of reality: sparks may still go off whenever you come together in bed, but it takes more than sex to build a relationship. I know you are confused because you still care about your husband. You are waiting for loathing to set in so that you can triumphantly turn down his advances. But what if you never feel that hatred?
What to do
Put some boundaries in place to prevent the prolonging of the ‘limbo’ situation. Also, you do not want to be his back up if his other plans do not work out. You should not give him an option to have a month or two off from your marriage so that he can explore how it feels to be single again and how much he likes it. You deserve better than that.
Let him know that he can leave if he wants to. However, once he does, he will not be coming back until your marriage is fully restored. Also, let him know that you will not wait for long. Lastly, he will lose you and your family if he is unfaithful to you. This message sobers him up because it greatly increases the risk to him. He will also make a decision quicker since he will realize that he cannot have his cake and eat it too!
Request him to go for counseling
A man who really cannot decide what he wants needs to work with his wife and a counselor to make a decision. Since going through a divorce will impact all the areas of your lives, the pressure on your husband to make the right choice is enormous. If your husband refuses, then he has already decided.
A good counselor will help your husband to work through his issues:
- Does he still have feelings for you?
- Is he truly ready to leave or is he just threatening? Many times, spouses threaten to leave for the following reasons:
- Anger and Frustration.
- To gain power and control over the spouse
- To finally be taken seriously
- As a wakeup call that the marriage is ailing
- Is the passion between the two of you really no longer present or is it just buried under responsibilities?
What if he does not want to go for therapy?
Do you know you can convince your reluctant husband to attend counseling by offering something? Many counselors indicate that a lot of people attend therapy because the other spouse offered something in return for their attendance. The good news is that the reluctant spouses report to finding the sessions helpful and many have eventually embarked on saving their marriages.
The final thought
We invest a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in our marriages and put a lot on the line. We devote our emotions, time, efforts and energy to our marriages. We want our marriages to be happy and healthy.
I am sorry you are going through this difficult period. But you know what, research shows that many marriages have beat the odds and survived the threat of divorce. Yours can also be a success story. Maintain your commitment and keep the faith.
If your husband decides to work on the marriage, it's time to get some help. The first step is to educate yourself on what your husband needs out of your marriage. You'd be surprised how quickly a marriage can change when you can correctly recognize the real issues.
This is not the time to stick your head in the sand and leave your marriage to fate. Making promises to change is not enough because you will invariably fall back into old habits. You both need help to make the changes stick.
If after educating yourself and implementing change in your marriage doesn't work, then it's time to Reach out to a good counselor to help you realize the relationship that you both want and deserve.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend a good counseling service at this time. If you don't know one, ask around discretely with your close married friends. You might be surprised whose been to counseling.
Thanks for reading this guide on how to deal with your unsure husband. If your stuck or have any comments or queries, then please contact me here