I often hear from wives who are emotionally devastated after their husband has left them. But, because of strategic reasons, they aren’t sure if they should show him this reality. Many ask me if they should try to tone down their emotions or to portray themselves in a certain way in order to increase the chances of him coming home so that they can get him back or save their marriage.
I heard from a wife who said “my husband left me. There was no real warning. I knew that we were having some problems with our marriage but never in my wildest dreams did I think that he would take it this far. I came home from work to find a note on the kitchen table saying he thought we should live apart for now to evaluate our marriage and our lives. I am devastated. I am sad. And I am furious at him for doing this to us. But I’m not sure how to act. I’m afraid to show him how mad and scared I truly am. I feel like I need to be careful of who or what to show him right now. How should a wife act after her husband leaves, especially when she wants him back?”
To me the keys words in that last question are “when she wants him back.” Because if you don’t care if you ever see him again or if you remain married to him, then it really doesn’t matter how you act. You could act in whatever way you wanted in accordance with your feelings without worrying about the repercussions.
But if you do want him back and your marriage is still very important to you, then how you act or react can be very important and can make a different in the outcome. So, if you still want to save your marriage, I’ll offer you my opinion on what I think is the best way to act. This is based on my own experience, my research, and from all the stories and experiences I hear about on my blog.
Know That If Your Husband Is Trying To Get Your Attention By Leaving, So Completely Ignoring Him Probably Isn’t In Your Best Interest: Many times, a husband leaves because he doesn’t know what else to do. Often, the two of you keep going round and round with the same old issues and problems but are not making much progress. So often, rather than continuing to talk but not really getting anywhere, a husband will leave in exasperation or in an attempt to get your attention.
But many wives will try to shift the power back toward them because they don’t want to give their husbands the satisfaction of seeing them get upset. So they will act as if they don’t care or will try to ignore the situation. But knowing that he’s trying to get your attention, ask yourself if this is really the best call or if it’s going to make an even larger problem.
In my opinion and experience, there’s always a middle ground. Of course you don’t want to go to either extreme. You don’t want to show yourself as someone who is desolate and who can’t cope. But at the same time, you don’t want to act as if you don’t care when nothing is further from the truth.
Finding The Middle Ground: Setting It Up So You Have The Best Chance Of Him Coming Back Home To Save Your Marriage: I know that it’s hard to not get carried away with your emotions. You have your pride. You have your fear. And you may well have your resentments and misunderstandings.
But if you are going to make progress so that you can eventually get him home and save your marriage, you’ll often need to put those things aside and place your focus on coming to the table with a spirit of cooperation. Admittedly, he likely made a hasty and selfish decision that has probably hurt you deeply. But you can’t dwell on that because doing so does nothing to help your marriage or to move you forward.
Behaviors That You Want Him To See After He Leaves: Now that I’ve discussed how he’s trying to get your attention and you should, as part of your strategy, come to the table with a spirit of cooperation, let;s talk about how that looks in real life.
The wife knew that the husband would eventually contact her because they had business dealings that would have to be discussed. So when he did, she might say “it goes without saying that I’m disappointed that you left. I was shocked and devastated when I came home. But right now, what is more important is us moving forward. There’s obviously some things that are bothering you or you wouldn’t have left. I haven’t been one hundred percent happy either. So, now that the decision has been made, maybe we can both use this time to evaluate what we really want and think about how we might help each other to get what we both want.”
Hopefully you see what attitude I’m going for here. In the above dialog, the wife was able to tell the husband she was hurt and disappointed, But she didn’t dwell on it, nor did she break down and beg him to come back. But she made it clear that she wanted to work with him to find a way so that they could both be happy. And when you can set it up so that you are working with your husband rather than against him, you’re much closer to the right path.
You Matter Too: I’ve stressed that you should make it clear that you still care about your husband and want to make him happy. But at the same time, you matter too. It should not be all about what he wants and what he is thinking. You should make it very clear that you are using this time to consider what makes you happy. He should wonder (at least somewhat) how you are spending your time. And every time you are together or you speak, you should appear that you are coping, that you are reflecting on your own wishes, and that you are focused on making your life a happy one. Make sure that you are upbeat and easy to be around. This ensures that your husband wants to see more of you so that you have a continuous foundation on which to build.
Sometimes when I discuss this with wives they say that they feel as if they have to act a certain way. I guess that’s one way to look at it. But I chose to think of it this way. You are showing him the best side of yourself. You are allowing him to see the woman he fell in love with and to remember you at your best so that he misses you, wonders if he was wrong for leaving, and eventually wants to come back.