Disagreements and conflicts are part of every long term relationship, especially one as complex as marriage. However things have been particularly difficult between you and your wife that now she is thinking in terms of a divorce, here are a few tips on convincing your wife to stay on and save your marriage.
Stop the arguments
The first thing to do if you wish your wife to work together with you on saving the marriage is to stop arguing and fighting. It is impossible to do anything constructive when your home is constantly echoing with heated words and raised voices. In order to stop all this, simply agree with whatever your wife says, start saying things like: "I understand why you are upset", "I know I have not been there for you". Even if she says something that you think is totally off track about who you are, remind yourself that there must have been something you had done to make her think that way – in any event, simply suck it up and keep quiet. So when your wife announces, “I want to leave”, you can say, “I understand” or at least “I see”. This implies that you perceive and accept the reality that your marriage is in a bad predicament. On the other hand, if you respond to her announcement with anger, denial, defensiveness and lengthy explanations about why she is wrong and you are right, then you will be losing the endeavor even before it has begun. Realize that if your wife has already come to a decision, then she has given a lot of thought to all the possible arguments and counter-arguments that you may come up with. On the contrary, if you stay calm and admit that you accept the position even if you may not agree with her reasons for a divorce, she will lose her need to take an aggressive and combative stance. It goes without saying that this approach will not make the problems in your marriage disappear but will be the first step in creating an environment when issues can be addressed and solutions sought out.
TIP: Download the guide to saving your marriage.
Take a moment to think
If you are looking for ways to convince your wife to give your relationship another shot, the implication is that she wants to opt out while you don’t. . If she has already made it clear that she wants to end the marriage, you now have to ask yourself what you really want and why. If you don’t want a divorce, consider if the reasons for this are strong enough to make you put in time and effort to save the marriage. Despite what your wife thinks, you may be reasonably happy with your marriage or even if you know things are far from perfect, you still love your wife and want to make the marriage work. On the other hand, emotions are not your top concern and you simply appreciate the practical advantages of your current living arrangements and believe that you cannot afford to pay huge amounts in alimony or child support. Whatever your reasons for not wanting a divorce, decide if they are valid enough to make you fight for your marriage. Justifications like “a divorce will be bad for the kids” are unlikely to mean much if they are being exposed to daily flights between you and your wife anyway.
Consider her reasons
Now that you are clear about your own priorities, consider the reasons why your wife wants to leave. You may or may not already know the reasons, but still find some time to sit down by yourself and jot down your thoughts on your wife’s demand for dissolving the marriage. May be she is having an affair or feeling unhappy in the marriage for whatever reason. Or maybe she is tired of putting up with some negative aspect in your behavior. Very often the reasons are not simple and are fallout of years of dissatisfaction and selfishness on both sides. But there must have been a breaking point, so to speak, which told your wife ‘this far and no more’. So, if you truly want to save your marriage, you need to be honest with yourself on what made your wife arrive at such a decision. Only when you are able to zero in on the actual reasons behind the proposed divorce, can you do something to stop it.
Let her know what you can do to change things
If you wish to convince your wife to stay, you will have to give her a good reason to do so – in other words, you will have to make some concrete changes in your behavior which can make her rethink her decision to leave. For this you will need to go back to the reasons behind the proposed divorce and change accordingly. If your wife complained about your negativity and habit of criticizing her, see what you can do to be more positive and generous. Or if she wants to leave because you cannot seem to settle into a job, consider how you can prove to her that you willing to be more responsible. It might be difficult if she wants to leave because she is having an affair, but even here you can agree to give her whatever she felt was lacking in the marriage like emotional support, understanding and more appreciation. However stay away from whining, complaining or giving evidence of your neediness. Instead of pressurizing your wife on account of the kids or defending yourself with arguments, prove your willingness to improve your marriage by actual noticeable changes in your behavior. On the whole, be calm, positive and pleasant; these may not immediately make her reverse her decision but will convince her that things can change and need not proceed to the point of no return.
While it is easier to keep fulfilling responsibilities and obligations in a marriage, it is harder to continue showing genuine affection that is typical in the early days of courtship and dating. Also Sometimes spouses, especially couples who have been married a long while, simply fall out of love with each other – not because one of them got involved in an affair but only because lack of nurture and affection. Go back to the times when you started seeing each other and try to think of the things that you did for your wife – like perhaps sending flowers to her at work or DVD nights on Fridays with her favorite pizza. Or perhaps you regularly took off for weekend breaks in the early days of your marriage which eventually stopped with increasing household and work load. Start these all over again, refresh memories of happy times and the fun things you did with each other. All these will help you to reach deep within yourself and bring back the feelings of love and respect for your wife which is necessary for the survival of any marriage.
Get professional help
Despite your best efforts, there is only so much you can do to convince your wife to save your marriage. In case she continues to be adamant about a divorce or if is unfaithful, abusive or anything that puts your life and marriage at grave risk, suggest seeking marital counseling. Therapy can help immensely in uncovering the source of conflict and suggesting practical, impartial and effective ways of resolving marital differences. But more than that it can also let you know when the pros of a divorce outweigh the cons and it may make more sense to part ways. Even if your wife does not agree to go with you, start going to a counselor by yourself. Over time your wife may agree to accompany you and even if she doesn’t, there is no doubt that the sessions will benefit you anyway.