I recently heard from a wife who felt that the bad shape her marriage was in was all her fault. Some destructive behavior, bad decisions, and indiscretions had hurt her husband very much. The husband was so hurt and upset, that he wasn’t sure that he wanted to be married anymore. The threat of losing her husband made this wife realize that she indeed loved her husband and did not want to lose him. She now realized that she had been taking him for granted. But the husband had become so angry and distant, that the wife was afraid that she was going to lose her husband once and for all.
She wanted my advice as to how to get her husband back and fully committed to her when she had hurt him so much. I will tell you what I told her in the following article.
Make Sure That Your Husband Understands How Sorry You Are And Don’t Make Insincere Excuses For Your Behavior: Sometimes, I suspect that this goes without saying, but I hear from many spouses who tell me that their partner does not seem all that sorry for their actions. It’s so important that you swallow your pride, sit your spouse down, and tell them in a very genuine and heartfelt way how very sorry you are. Lay out for them the fact that you know that you’ve hurt them deeply, love them very much, and will follow up these words with the actions that will show them over time how sincere you really are.
And, do not make any excuses for your behavior or insinuate that your husband is in any way to blame. This will only dig a deeper hole. He will likely respect you so much more if you just own up to what you did, apologize, and then begin to follow through on your promises.
Settle For Small Victories. Do Not Push For Too Much Too Soon: It’s very tempting to want to push for forgiveness right away. This is because knowing that might lose him is hurtful and scary. But, he will often need some time to calm down and to process his feelings. You will appear to be much more sympathetic and he will usually perceive you in a much more positive manner if you give him some patience and time. In fact, it never hurts to stress that you love him and don’t want to add to his burden by pushing him to do something that he is not ready to do.
People often hesitate to give their spouse time and space out of fear. They worry that if they give this time, the husband is going to decide that whatever transpired was a deal breaker and leave. But, they don’t understand that he’s likely going to resent your impatience and his feeling pressured is only going to contribute to his negative perceptions that you just can’t afford right now.
You’re much better off limiting your demands and just settling for small victories and positive outcomes. Let your husband set the pace and be thankful for even a little progress. Know that this might take some time, but be willing to give your spouse the time that he needs. If you keep allowing for him to become more and more comfortable, you are building a stronger foundation and friendship.
Try to keep things light hearted and not filled with pressure and tension. You want to basically leave each encounter on a positive note so that you both will want to repeat the process.
When The Time Is Right, Offer Your Husband A Workable Plan: If you’ve been successful in communicating how sorry you are and you’re beginning to reestablish good communication and trust, tread very carefully when you ask your husband for his commitment and reassurances. You want to make sure that you show and not tell him how and why things are going to be different. You have to show him the exact person that you’ve been promising him.
It’s not enough to tell him that you’re going to change and that your marriage can improve so that you are both happy. Your behavior and your new actions must show him this. Otherwise, he’s likely going to be very reluctant to believe in any plan that you propose. You will have to show him over time that you’re not going anywhere, that you will make good on your promises, and that your actions are going to prove over time that he’s going to be happier with you than without you.
It was my husband, not me, who felt that our marriage was really over. I knew that it wasn’t over for me and I refused to give up. But, for a long time I drew on negative emotions rather than positive ones. This seriously backfired. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but to change the dynamics of our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/.
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