I often write articles about saving marriages.  Perhaps it's because wives research this topic more than men, or perhaps it's because women are more proactive in their marriages, but I'm most often contacted by wives (and a few husbands too) who tell me something like: "Our relationship is in real trouble. We might be headed for divorce.  I want to save my marriage, but my spouse doesn't seem to want to.  When I attempt to, he pushes back. He's detached himself from me, tunes me out, and seems like he just doesn't care. I want to fight for my marriage, but when I try, he acts as I am being combative and trying to fight with him.  I'm not."  In this article, I will offer you POSITIVE techniques and tips to get your husband's (or wife's) cooperation in order to get him on board with saving your marriage.

Be Careful Of How You Communicate Your Marriage Saving Message:  Let's think about your situation.  When you want to rescue your marriage, if you could put your deep-down thoughts into words, you'd really be saying something like: "I love you and I value our marriage.  I don't want to lose you.  I'd like for us to work together to come up with a way to change what is happening. I want to feel close to you again.  What's happening is hurting me deeply."

But, this is so often not what people actually say with their words or their actions.  They become desperate, argumentative, or defensive. They try to guilt, manipulate, debate with, or strong-arm their partner. Think for just a second about the message your actions have been sending to your husband (or wife).

When I did this exercise myself, I was horrified. Because I would swing from one extreme to the other.  When I was desperate and scared, my actions were saying "Please please don't leave me. I can't survive without you.  I'm not strong or self-sufficient enough to be alone." Or I would take the opposite approach and say things or insinuate things like, "You expect too much of me and our marriage. I don't understand why we can't get along." Of course, now, when I am able to see this from a distance, I realize that it was not at all attractive and it was only pushing my husband further away, which was a disaster. More on that here.)

And, when this didn't work, I'd often move to another tactic that was equally flawed.  I'd become angry and threatening or just offer up ultimatums. My actions were saying "Go ahead and go if you're going to give up so easily. How could you do this to me? Who do you think you are to want better?"

Of course, these actual angry words would have never come out of my mouth, but they may as well have, because my actions were saying them for me.  My husband was hearing these messages even though I wasn't literally speaking them. Once I realized this, I stopped and from that point on, said what was really in my heart.  The thing is, so often our pride, our fear of failure or rejection, or our defense mechanisms keep us from telling our husbands how we really feel.

Don't Make The Mistakes That Will Allow Him To Tune You Out: If you've been able to identify yourself (even a little) in any of the above examples, know that these things pretty much guarantee that your husband (or wife) eventually learns to tune you out.  After we reconciled, my husband admitted to me that my desperate words used to sound to him like the teacher on Charlie Brown.  Just noise that he wasn't hearing.  So, how can you reverse this trend so that he really pays attention to you? Stop what you are doing and change course.  Once he sees that you are not coming at him in the same way, he's likely to let down his defenses a bit, and this is when you have your "in."

Show Him That You Mean What You Say: This is where many people fail. They are successful in finally changing what their actions are saying, they are able to get the spouses to listen, but then they show them the same old interactions. Instead, show him something that probably isn't new, but also is something that he misses very much.  I've talked with many men (and women) on the verge of divorce in my research. Almost all want the same things.  They want their spouses to appreciate them. They want their wives to show them affection.  They want to feel desirable, intelligent, and worthy.  And, they want to know that you will make the time for them.  They want their wives and husbands to look at them with adoring eyes in the way that she used to when they first met.

We are all so busy today.  We have so many responsibilities that we struggle to fulfill. I understand why things slip because I'm as guilty of it as anyone.  And, it almost cost me my marriage.  I am sure you know this already, but nothing is more important than marriage and family.  Everything else is secondary, really.  So often, we know this, deep down, but our actions say something else.

Just for today, take a look at what your actions are really saying to your husband.  Because if they are desperate, angry, or contradictory, step back and come at this from an honest, heartfelt angle. I'd be willing to bet you won't regret it. To me, THIS is how you fight for your marriage - you don't actually "fight" at all!

Unfortunately, I almost waited too long to change my actions when I called myself "fighting" for my marriage. Thankfully, I did a complete 180-degree turn and this changed everything so that I could save my marriage with a cooperative husband.  You can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

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