One of the greatest fears of a loving and devoted wife is that her husband might leave her.
That he might just call it quits.
There are many things that can go awry between two people.
Look. I understand. One of your biggest fears is that if your husband leaves you, he will never return. Living with that fear in your heart can cause you to act impulsively and as a result stumble.
After all, you have a lot invested in your husband and the last thing you want to ever happen is for him to walk out of your life.
But you have to be careful you don’t become a victim of your own fears.
Such thoughts can lead to problematic behaviors such as pleading and begging for your man to stay and not leave you.
You might find yourself at a crossroads. You might even be thinking about how you can encourage your husband to leave. If you fall in this specific camp, take a look at this article I recently wrote.
Some of these feelings are triggered by insecurities and fears that are spurred on by thoughts that something must be terribly wrong with the relationship and the worst will happen if he walks out.
It certainly is possible something is wrong with the marriage. But panicking and resorting to desperate measures to hold on too tight is counter productive.
When the marriage appears to be on the rocks, one’s mind can start racing, taking on a life of its own.
Unfortunately, when all seems lost, it is easy to give in to desperate feelings.
I won’t pull punches. If your husband is giving you indications he wants to walk, the risk of the marriage coming to an end is raised.
But there is another way to handle the onslaught of emotions you might be feeling.
Don’t Give In To Your Desire To Cling To Your Estranged Husband
We all can become victims of overreacting in the moment.
After a fight with our spouse we often look to regain the certainty that our lover still sees us as their pride and joy.
The last thing we want to think is that he is wanting to beat a path to the door and leave us forever.
So to combat these feelings, some married women will often look for a verbal or physical cue that their husband, while he may be agitated about some things, is not going to leave them high and dry.
Many wives will prod their husband to get assurances.
And there is nothing wrong with that. We all need to be reassured that our husband or wife loves us still, particularly if there has been an argument.
Where some wives run into problems is when they come off looking too desperate or resort to holding on too tight or relying on clinging behaviors.
These shows of emotions in and of themselves will often cause the husband to push away from you further. Not only does exhibiting these kind of behaviors make the wife look weak, but a manipulative minded husband can use this reaction to his advantage, giving him the upper hand.
There is what exists in every marriage a range of personal power. In theory, it should be balanced between husband and wife. But when that balance is out of whack, sometimes inequities come into play.
And while your husband may not be of the type that takes advantage of such a situation, some married men do.
So if you are reduced to begging for your man not to leave, you have already backed yourself into an emotional corner. If you are spending your time trying to convince him how what he is doing amounts to abandoning everything the two of you worked so hard to establish, you are already swimming upstream.
So what are you to do?
When you are in a position when you think your husband is going to leave you and you feel overcome with emotions, the worst thing you can do is to succumb to your fears and anxieties.
That voice of fear in your mind can cause you to do and say all the wrong things. And it is so easy to fall under its spell.
So here are my top suggestions on what kind of things you should not say or do if you feel the relationship is eroding. In other words, if you fear your husband is slipping away and you feel desperate to keep him from doing anything rash, like leaving you high and dry, then take these suggestions into account.
- Keep Your Emotions in Check: If you fear that your husband is on the verge of packing his bags and leaving you, don’t panic. The last thing you want to do is ratchet up the stress of the situation by becoming overly emotional. Avoid begging your husband to stay. That simply puts you in an inferior position. Stay away from pleading with him to come back if he has left you. By begging for your guy to come back home, you give up a part of your personal power. Your pleas becomes his weapon to use back on you, so just don fall into the trap. There will be time to sort through potential solutions.
- Call Your Husband’s Bluff: Sometimes guys will act like they want to walk away from the marriage. They will say and do things that may convince you that they are finished and want out. But think of it this way. If they truly intend to quit the marriage in that moment and make for the door, then there is not a lot you can do about it at that time. I know that sounds depressing, but in reality it is not. The fact is that emotions and feelings can be fleeting. In one moment your husband may be ready to bolt out of your life. But then later, after he recover his senses, he may calm down and realize the foolishness of his ways. So avoid giving in to his bluster. If he is planning on abandoning you and give up on the marriage, you will not likely be able to stop him or convince him to stay in the short term. Let him huff and puff and blow the door down as he leaves. There will always be other opportunities in the future, when things have calmed down, to explore reconnecting again. And if your husband is indeed bluffing, then allow him the space to recover from his overreaction. You have more to lose if you allow yourself to get caught up in any of the dramas that may be playing out.
- Mirror the Opposite of Your Husbands’s Emotions. The more agitated, loud, or obnoxious your husband becomes, then the more controlled, reserved, and cool you should behave. There is an uncanny calming effect you can have on your husband’s behavior if he gets upset and starts talking about bringing an end to the relationship. If your husband is talking about giving up on you, he is in that moment raising the stakes. Every word and action that follows will be magnified. So when the stakes are that high, don’t fall victim to engaging in emotional combat about any of the issues that are driving the two of you apart. It is better to be the calm one. Don’t give him the satisfaction of reacting in a negative way to his threat to leave. When he flies off the handle and threatens to give up on you, keep your cool and hold your ground. If you show aggression in the form of what you say or even your body posture, you will just end up contributing to the chaos and tension.
- Show Your Husband the Door: Sometimes using reverse psychology on your husband can help with diffusing the situation. While it is not a foolproof strategy, sometimes the best thing you can do is give your man as much freedom as he thinks he wants. The odds are poor that you are going to talk him off the ledge. If he wants to walk out, then chances are there is not much you can say or do in that moment to change his mind. So with this in mind, calmly show him the door. Don’t do it with malice or be mean about it as that will only come back to haunt you. No man wants the image of their wife screaming at them seared in their mind. That is not the image you want to project. Simply tell him you love him, but that feel incredibly hurt. Then go on to tell him that if he feels he needs to spend some time alone, you will support that. Reinforce that you too need time to be alone and away from his confusing signals. Avoid arguing. You might end up getting a strange reaction from him. And that is OK. Just let it play out and follow your instincts as to your next move.
Why is Begging For Your Husband To Stay Such a Bad Idea?
It is seldom a winning strategy when your husband sees you as someone he has wrapped around his finger.
Here are a few cases from women illustrating that when you resort to desperate measures, nothing good usually comes from it.
“Hi Chris! I so much need your help with what is going on with my husband. He says he doesn’t want this anymore, meaning he is through with me. I think it is terribly unfair so I told him so and begged him to stay. The more I pleaded for him not to leave the more he pushed me away. I cried. He cried. But then he got angry with me like it was all my fault and said I was keeping him from doing what he wanted. I can’t believe I am even having to reach out to you for help because I never thought this kind of thing would happen to us in our marriage. It seems none of my assurances to do things better on my end even phased him. It seemed to make him turn it all around on me, using my vulnerabilities against me and telling me he hates being around a weak woman and that we are not meant for each other. He said he is getting his own place and will be packing and leaving me as soon as things get squared away. How should I handle the next few days?
“What could I have done differently, Chris? I have worked so hard to please my husband and now he says he doesn’t like being around me. I know I can get insecure about things and you say we women should not cling and hold on too tightly to our husbands. You talk about being independent and able to stand up. But I thought I was just showing him how much I cared. I love him and all I want is him to love me too. I tell him these things over and over again and ask him to please give us another chance but he acts like he despises me. He covers up his ears and tells me to shut up. What kind of husband tells you to shut up when you beg him to stay. Am I ruining everything?”
In both of these cases, my clients are reacting as many of us would in a time of emotional stress. All of your worst fears are realized when your husband utters those awful words that he doesn’t love (or even like you) anymore and wants out of the marriage. So what people naturally do is to try to grab a hold of what it is you want to keep and not let it go.
But unfortunately, in the world of love and lost, a husband will usually react in the opposite way in which you would hope for. As you tell him verbally or even physically reach out and hold on to him to stop him for walk out of your life, it can only serve to agitate your spouse further.
Whether he is right or wrong or even fully knows what it in his heart doesn’t matter a lot in that moment. All that your husband knows and feels is the desire to escape.
He wants to get away from you. And try as you might to change his mind or even physically try to detain him, it only serves to embolden his desire to quit the marriage and get out the door even faster.
And when things between the two of you go sour and you come off as needy and begging and pleading, it just results in a big turn off for your guy and encourages him to make a beeline out of the relationship.
So as we discussed earlier what you should do is not give in to the feelings churning up inside of you.
In those moments when emotions are running in every direction, just know that your husband may not be in his right mind. Whatever he is feeling (e.g, anger, resentment, outrage, resignation), it is best not to do or say things to ratchet up his intensity.
The thought here is to maintain your dignity and to live to fight to get your husband back another day, if that is truly in the cards.
Trying to hold on to something that is wiggling to get away in that moment is a losing strategy. Let him go, even if it goes against everything you feel is right.
Tomorrow is another day so to speak.
There will be other opportunities to explore getting the marriage back on track.
By clinging to your husband, you risk alienating him further and hurting your chances in the future to reconcile.
Men (and women too) have a psychological desire to retain their freedoms. And if your husband is convinced he wants out, it usually pays in the long run to not stand in his way.
Remember, emotions are fleeting and unpredictable. So avoid contributing to the chaos negative emotions can often bring into your life.
Chances are if you employ the right tactics, your man will learn that he acted prematurely and should revisit his earlier notions.