If you are willing to focus on a step by step approach, you can reconcile with your wife
If I asked your wife if she loved you, she would probably tell me that she loves you, but that she is not in-love with you. Regardless of what has gone on in your marriage up to this point, this is the main obstacle to your reconciling. Because she does not know how to turn that feeling on again, she will not believe that anything you can say or do would change that. That is why, instead of spending your time trying to apologize for your mistakes, trying to convince her to change her mind, you need to work on switching on that in-love feeling in her again. I know that’s something you can do because I help men do that every day.
Your Initial Reaction
If you are like the men that I work with, you probably did all the wrong things at first. You begged and pleaded with her to change her mind, to give you another chance. You argued with her. When she didn’t give in, you got mad at her or got depressed. In short, your actions were geared toward getting her to see that she is making a mistake and that she should change her mind because it’s what you really want. These behaviors made you look both selfish and needy. There was nothing attractive about them.
What You Didn’t Know About Your Wife
When your wife told you she wants to end your marriage, it came as a surprise, didn’t it? But for her, it was just one of the last steps of a long process. Women don’t decide to leave quickly. For a long time–maybe years–your wife wanted to be attracted to you, but there was something missing for her in your marriage. It was a very painful time for her. She continued to struggle to improve her marriage with you until her love ran out. For a while she was depressed, but as she began to anticipate leaving you and making a fresh start, she became more positive. Because you had no clue, it seemed to you like the marriage was going along pretty well. She may have even have continued to have sex with you. You thought she was loving you, while what she was doing was verifying that her love for you was gone.
Why Working To Convince Her Just Gets You Rejection
As her husband, you need to ask yourself the question, “If I had been feeling depressed, hopeless, and empty in my marriage, and now feel hopeful about a fresh start, how easily would I change my mind?” Every attempt you make to convince her to come back will just make her remember that painful place she was in before. And, she doesn’t want to think about that anymore. If you persist, she will have to ask you to give her space and won’t respond to your messages. She doesn’t want to have to keep remembering that again and again. You may have noticed your wife being puzzled about your wanting to save the marriage and your persistence. The most she can figure out about it is that you need her for your own reasons and don’t really care what happens to her.
Stopping the Damage
When men start reconnection coaching with me, they are usually on their way to total rejection from their wives. Our first session is spent working on stopping the damage they create every time they talk with their wives. The convincing has to stop. Arguing has to stop. Jealousies and insecurities need to be kept in check. Attempts to make her feel guilty also need to stop. Any show of being depressed and needy must also stop. False compliments must stop. The reason these behaviors must stop is because not only are they not attractive, they are actually repulsive. You know you’re doing damage if she wants less and less contact with you rather than more and more.
Don’t Even Think About Other Women If You Want to Reconcile with Your Wife
Some men have the misguided notion that they can make their wives jealous by dating other women. Dating other women could actually be the death blow to your marriage. You can’t repair a marriage by being unfaithful to her. Even if she is dating or looking, your dating would be the WORST thing you could do if you want to save your marriage. If you date, she will actually feel happier about her decision to leave you. Some wives even encourage their husbands to date for this very reason.
Work on Your Relationship and Not on Your Marriage
Your wife won’t want to work on your marriage because in her mind your marriage ended at least two years ago, when her feelings ended. Instead, you will need to start to get to know her again, just as if you were interested in her for the first time. For many men, this is hard because they have forgotten what it is like to woo and date a woman, especially a woman who has no interest in them. Because women cannot consciously control their feelings (neither can men for that matter), using the right skills, you can gradually move her feelings in the right direction.
Helping Her to Be Less Guarded
In my work with men, what we do after stopping the damage is help their wives defenses to come down. To do that, it’s important to empathize with her and to help her feel her needs and desires are important, that she is not doing a terrible thing, and that she has your support. And, you need to do that in a way that does not say, “You are right about leaving/divorcing.” The main reason that must never be said is because it is rejecting (just as dating another woman or not wearing your ring would be rejecting). Once women feel like their husbands are no longer trying to convince them, they become more approachable. They have less need for space. But, they are still far from in love. At this stage, some men use my book, Connecting Through “Yes!” to help them to be agreeable without being needy.
You can’t reconnect by talking about yourself. The most common word that I find in men’s communication to women is “I.” “I did this,” “I did that,” “I was thinking,” etc. It’s a really big communication mistake with a separated wife because at this point she is still not interested in what you are doing or thinking. She is interested in herself, her life, and her future without you. To re-connect, I teach my clients to step in, initiate, step back, and listen. It’s a verbal dance that men initiate, but women lead. If you fight her on her ideas for the future, all you will do is shut her down when you need to open her up. If you do it well, it will increase her interest in talking with you, although she will still not want to reconcile with you. Her enjoying talking with you is a good sign, but mentioning reconciling with her now will make her guard go back up.
Meet Her, Date Her, but Don’t Become an Unconditional Friend
After the re-connecting has been going well, we continue to focus on building the relationship and adding more face to face contact. It’s still a tricky time. Saying the wrong thing can set you back to square one. It’s also at this time that she is likely to say that you can be friends, but nothing more. That is a good sign, becoming friends is an important basis for a deeper relationship. You have to be careful about being an unconditional friend, however, who would just be happy to hear about how her dates with other men are going. If she is dating or talking about it, you need to make it clear that a continued friendship with her would be too difficult for you. If you have re-connected really well, it will cause her to have doubts about leaving you—something that wouldn’t happen if you agreed to be friends no matter what.
Rejection and Unpredictable Behavior Are Sometimes Good Things
When your wife starts to doubt her decision to divorce you, it will create terrible tension and anger inside her. She will treat you badly and try to provoke you. Why is that? Because she wants to feel good about what she is doing. If she can provoke you into behaving like your “old self,” it will reassure her that she is indeed on the right path and she can again feel good leaving you. This is often a confusing time for my clients because they interpret their wives’ behavior as something going terribly wrong when actually it’s going terribly right. What they have to be very careful not to do is to have some kind of bad reaction to their wives’ behavior. That could kill the whole reconciliation process. Men who can successfully handle this transitional time will once again have the interest of their wives.
Working on Yourself
Reconnecting with your wife is only half of the work of reconciling. The other half is working on yourself. What this does not mean is becoming what you think she wants. What it means is becoming a better man for yourself. That’s why I give men two assessments—one for what’s going on between them and their wives, and the other about how much they have their own lives together. Women are attracted to men who are successful, have good self esteem, and who have a passion for something in their lives. These are biological triggers for women, just as young, fertile women are biological triggers for men. Women can’t turn off their attraction for such men any more than men can turn of their attraction for such women. Submissiveness and subservience don’t trigger attraction in women. Neither does being overbearing and controlling. You need to be happy and in control of your life. If the only way you can be happy is to have the love and attention of your wife, you are way too needy to attract her.
Recapping How to Reconcile with a Separated Wife
I hope you have learned from this article that never should there be talk of reconciling until your wife wants that. If you have worked through these steps, you will have long ago stopped saying and doing damaging things. You will have learned how to help her feel important and have been becoming more attractive to her by becoming a better man for yourself. She will once again be enjoying doing things with you and her desire for you will be strong. She will be passionate with you and be continually checking out her feelings to make sure that she really is doing the right thing to be with you again. Because you will have weathered her rejections and internal struggles without being needy or reactive, she will see you in a different way. She will love you again. And, she will be glad she separated from you because she will realize that your marriage could not have gotten this good without doing that. And you, will naturally agree with her.
How Long Does It Take?
If you don’t go through this process, you may not be able to reconcile at all. So, in that sense, this is the fastest way to reconcile. How long it takes will depend on a few key factors: how much damage has already been done to your relationship, how well you and your wife can talk to each other, and how consistent you are in building the relationship. Moodiness, neediness, or old behavior on your part can create significant delays or prevent reconciling altogether. Won’t you let me help you successfully reconcile with your wife? To work with me, you just need to have two things. First, you need to have regular contact with her. We will need that so we can increase her desire to talk with you and be with you. Second, she must not already be committed to someone else. You can find my re-connections coaching package here.