I recently heard from a woman who did not know how to proceed in her marriage. About six months ago, her husband had decided that he wanted to divorce. And he had even gone as far to consult an attorney and had begun filing the paperwork. This had caused a great deal of turmoil in their home. The wife was very clear on the fact that she did not want a divorce but the husband appeared to be determined to move forward. Finally, the wife theorized that she was not going to change his mind so she might as well find a way to live with it.
Once she had begun to get used to the idea that the divorce might actually happen, the husband changed his mind and decided that perhaps he didn’t want a divorce after all. This left the wife very confused. She had to admit that she was a bit relieved, but she was also a bit skeptical. She just could not figure out what caused her husband’s change of heart and she was reluctant to fully commit to saving the marriage for the fear that the husband would change his mind yet again.
To paraphrase the wife, she said, in part: “If I’m being honest, I don’t want a divorce. But, I can’t stand this going back and forth all of the time either. I can adjust to and accept whatever comes my way. But it’s hard for me when he keeps changing his mind. I want to save my marriage, but I just don’t believe and trust that he really knows what he wants. How do I proceed with this?” I’ll tell you what I told the wife in the following article.
Why A Husband Might Change His Mind About A Divorce: The husband had been unable to explain his change of heart to the wife. She very much wanted a reason for his “wishy washy attitude” (as she called it.) The husband couldn’t seem to be able to articulate this. He gave her vague statements like “I just decided I want to give our marriage one more chance.” Or, “I just don’t want to make a hasty decision that I might later regret.”
I didn’t personally know this couple. But I could share with the wife what husbands sometimes tell me in this same situation. Often, they file for divorce when they are just so frustrated that they don’t know what else to do. They are often very much trying to get their wife’s attention or to make some dramatic statement. Sometimes, they don’t get the reaction that they were hoping for. Other times, they just come to realize that they were hasty or were wrong in some of their assumptions. And, there are times when, once this very life changing action is taken, they are suddenly able to look at their wife, their family, or their life with a fresh set of eyes and they realize that they aren’t ready to give up for good yet. A divorce is a major life decision. I know it’s frustrating when people change their minds, but it’s not at all uncommon and it’s somewhat understandable.
Deciding How To Proceed When Your Husband Changes His Mind About The Divorce: Once the wife was able to set aside her shock, her fear, and her frustration, she was pretty clear on the fact that she never wanted a divorce in the first place. To me, this was more important than trying to pin her husband down on exactly and precisely what he was thinking and why he was wrong to change his mind so abruptly.
At the end of the day, this is a difficult situation but within it was the chance to get her marriage and her husband back. In my opinion, this was the primary issue that had to be remembered. Now, with that being said, it was going to be eventually very important for the couple to figure out which things led up to him filing for divorce. They were going to need to eliminate these problems so that they weren’t struggling with them again somewhere down the road.
And, as I suspected, the wife wanted to immediately get answers and wanted to be given a VIP pass into the mind and the heart of her husband even though it was very obvious that he was resistant to this. To me, it made more sense to try to relieve some of the very destructive tension that was invading their home. Things were very awkward between them. There was a lot of anger and no one was really speaking freely or even making an attempt to improve the situation.
So, it was going to be quite difficult to gain any ground whatsoever in this type of atmosphere. Before they could make some real progress, I felt that it was probably advisable to change up and improve the atmosphere before any major changes or attempts were made. This process was going to be so much easier if they were able to restore some of the light hearted happiness that used to define their marriage. I told the wife to try to keep things upbeat and to try to just have some fun and to reconnect before she attempted to make any huge changes. There is nothing wrong with moving slowly and with taking things day by day. Sometimes, we put too much pressure on the situation and ourselves and in the end we risk what we want the most.
Lasting improvements to your marriage are much easier to make if both people are equally committed to making it work. Keeping things fun and lighthearted helps to keep the continuous pay offs coming so that both people actually want to move forward. Sure, there were no guarantees that I could give this wife to ensure that her husband wasn’t going to change his mind about the divorce again. But, she now had an opportunity to attempt to stop the divorce once and for all if she handled this correctly. This is what she wanted all along. I felt that it was best for her to focus on the situation right in front of her rather than driving herself crazy and becoming distracted about her husband’s changing mind.
At the end of the day, she had to ask herself what she really wanted and to then do her best to move toward that path rather than continuing to question the one that they had been on which was best left in the past.