It would be nice if reconciling a marriage was an easy task, with both parties committed and confident that it is possible to work things out. But, this isn't always the case. Most people who visit my site are wives (and sometimes husbands) who are either trying to save the marriage alone, or who are at the very least doing most of the work. This is often a difficult situation because emotions run high and you can start to feel that you're running out of time as you imagine (or actually feel) your husband slipping away from you. It's way too easy to allow this to be the perfect storm for actions that you wouldn't normally take or behavior that you wouldn't normally participate in -- actions that will eventually prove to do more harm than good. In the following article, I'll share with you things that I've seen work over and over again in reconciling a marriage. Fair warning though. At first, these things may seem to be a leap of faith or difficult, but they are, (at least in my experience), the only way to ensure that both parties are equally on board.

Understand That Sometimes Distance Can Be A Good Thing: It's perfectly natural to feel that you need to resolve the serious issues in your marriage immediately. When your marriage feels like it is in serious jeopardy, it's very common to want an immediate fix. The problem with this though is that often things didn't fall apart overnight so they aren't going to be repaired overnight either. So many people want to talk their problems to death until their spouse becomes so tired of hearing the same old thing that they begin to tune you out. Sometimes, when you just keep talking and making the same points, not only does your spouse stop listening, he begins to want to escape. This is the opposite of what you want. (This happened in my case and I was able to turn it around. That story is here.)

Instead, understand that sometimes an emotional pause and a rational calm are needed. Of course, knowing that your spouse wants a break or split feels awful and even final. But, don't allow this fear to make you panic and engage in negative behaviors that are only going to dig a deeper hole. Try to make sure that you are acting rationally and calmly in every interaction. Sometimes, this requires a pause in interactions. Whether that is agreeing that you'll revisit the issue after you both have had some time and space or whether that means that one of you will leave the home for a finite period, understand that a break doesn't always mean the end or that things are deteriorating. Sometimes, time and distance allow the tension to ease, allows both parties to miss one another, and allows each person to take a good look in the quiet of the storm to see the reality of the situation.

Make Sure Your Husband Knows That You Want The Same Things: Husbands overwhelmingly tell me that the reason they ask for a divorce often has the most to do with a lack of or a lessening intimacy. In short, he no longer feels that you understand, value, or appreciate him. So many men tell me that their wives put them at the end of their to-do list, behind the kids, behind the job, behind the friends. After a while, the connection disappears until your husband can no longer envision it returning. Thus, his need for space.

If you want to reconcile with your husband, you need to understand that your first goal will be to show him that you hear him clearly, that you very much care about what he is saying, that you are committed to helping him get what he wants and that the interactions that he has with you are going to be positive rather than negative. This may seem like a tall order, but you can break this down into smaller steps and take things day by day.

Your first goal should be to set the stage for positive things to come. You'll want to sit your husband down and explain that although you can't predict the future and you don't want to burden things with heavy expectations, you do have the ability to control the actions and reactions that you are contributing. Vow that you only want to engage in positive behaviors and interactions. Reiterate that your husband is one of the most important people in your life and you're committed to interacting with him in a way that you can both be proud of. Agree that things are in serious disrepair and you'd like to work with him to greatly improve the situation. You ultimately may not be able to save your marriage, but you can salvage the relationship and you want to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

Now, you and I both know that your whole goal here is to reconcile and save the marriage, but you don't want to lay these cards on the table and put too much pressure on your husband. All that he needs to know right now is that you aren't going to nag, argue, engage, or allow negative things between you. This will eventually help to greatly ease the tension. Once he knows that he doesn't have to be on full alert for all of the negative things that have been going down, he'll likely be much more receptive to what you have to say.

Always Keep Things Light And Positive: I know that it may seem backward when I say this, but now is not the time to have deep discussions about what is wrong with your marriage and how you're going to fix things. That will need to come later, but not now. Right now, all you need to worry about is keeping things upbeat, pleasurable, and positive. When your husband first fell in love with you, I'd be willing to bet that you were happy-go-lucky, laid back, and engaging. You want to show this person to him again, without the pressure of worrying about where it is all going. You want to have one positive encounter after another - where you're both left with open smiles on your faces and open to having more interactions with greater frequency.

And, you want to take things slowly. Don't ask where it is all going and don't demand reassurance or commitments right now. Just focus on allowing your husband to become reacquainted with the woman he first fell in love with. Don't thwart this by moving too soon, making demands, or allowing fear to take over. Just focus on rediscovering the things that drew you together in the first place.

How do I know all this? Because I have lived it. I had to use the same methods to save my own marriage. I made a lot of mistakes at first that almost cost me dearly, but I was able to change course. Luckily, over time (and by taking slow, calculated baby steps), I was able to reestablish intimacy and prevent the divorce, even though I was the only one who wanted to at the time. You can read that story on my blog at

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