At-my-wit’s-end writes: Hi! I need some advice on reconciling with my husband. We have been together for 3 years now and married for two, and have a one-year-old son. We got married a month after I had a miscarriage and right before I was pregnant with my son. About halfway through my pregnancy, I began pushing my husband away, and it only got worse leading up to our separation, right after our son’s first birthday. I initially wanted out of the marriage, but he is the one who called the divorce and I just went along.
About a month after we separated, I realized I had played a huge part in our problems in our marriage, and wanted to get back together and work things out. Unfortunately, my husband was not interested. He has a dating profile, parties every weekend, is talking to different girls, and I don’t know what else. I have custody of our son, so my husband sees him maybe once a week for a few hours.
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I have done the begging and pleading and crying to get him to want to work things out, which obviously didn’t work. About two weeks ago, I begged for him back for the last time and told myself I was going to give him the space he is asking for. I stopped contacting him, and he started being the one to contact me, but not about anything important; just more about seeing our son or if I got home safely.
The other day, we agreed to be friends with benefits, and agreed we wouldn’t sleep with anyone else or date others. But I’m pretty sure he is starting to have feelings towards some girl. He also told me he wants to wait 3 years until he gets out of the military to finalize our divorce and he sees us back together in the future, but still wants to proceed with the divorce. I am in counseling and working on myself and my personal problems that caused some problems in our marriage. What else can I do to save our marriage and how do I win him back from his newfound freedom and party life? Please help.
Response by our expert Psychologist:
We are indeed sorry to read about what you are going through with your marriage.
Going forward, we commend you for taking a forthright and honest outlook at your current issue by taking a large part of the responsibility, although it would have helped us tremendously in guiding you better if we had known how exactly you contributed towards this breakdown. Whatever it was, it has certainly had a big impact on your husband for sure, as he has clearly decided that he wants very little do with you. It also looks that you have not fully understood, that for any relationship to survive, trust, respect, and maturity are hallmarks, which have been broken either due to your suspicious or impulsive nature – we are sure your counseling sessions would have helped you realize that. From the looks of it, you are now repenting your actions and want to reunite with your husband, who might not necessarily be on the same page as you.
At this time, what we would recommend is that, crying and groveling might just push your husband away even more. If having a frank conversation with him is possible, please do so at the earliest as that would cover a large ground towards mending the relationship. As you are aware, communication is key to resolving most issues. If that is not possible, then your actions at this time would speak far louder than words. Show him through your mature and stable actions that whatever happened in the past was a response to your emotions and that with time and your love for him, you have changed into a far more calmer person who wants the past to be rectified. Remember that the more genuine and heartfelt your actions would be, the more convinced your husband might get.
With time, he will realize that, indeed, your new side is far more appealing and he might consider being good friends as a testing ground, and later, this might develop into something permanent, which is what you want. Additionally, you are parents now, and have the responsibility of your son, who should not be made to suffer for his parents’ actions. He needs the influence of both of you and a stable environment to grow to his full potential. Please regard this as most important: As parents, it is your duty to provide those for him. Since you are already in counseling, I am sure your therapist would assist you in guiding you how to put forth your actions.
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