The majority of wives who visit this blog desperately want to save their marriages but feel that they are the only ones who want to. So often, I get emails that go something like: "Help! I want to save my marriage, but my husband doesn't.  How can I prevent a divorce when I'm the only one who wants to?  He's distant and uncooperative.  I will be trying any strategy alone." Well, there are a few ways, but they all require you to change your mindset and your tactics a bit until you can get your husband to a receptive place again.  (Because you will need his cooperation eventually, but you can definitely start without him.)  I'll explain how you do this in this article.  I absolutely believe that you can save a marriage when you are the only one who is interesting in doing so, because I've done it myself. (More on that here.)

The Biggest Obstacle You Must Overcome When You Husband Doesn't Want To Save The Marriage: Before we go any further,  I need for you to understand what your biggest hurdle is.  Typically if your husband doesn't want to save your marriage, it's because he has come to believe that nothing ever changes and that things can't get better.  Perhaps there have been attempts at new ways of doing things or "fresh starts" or "starting over," which end with you eventually falling right back into the same old patterns.  So, at this point, your husband may be tired of this repeating scenario and wants an end to it.  Your job, then, is to show him that yes, things are going to be different.  That yes, he can trust what you're saying. And that no, you're not going to eventually fall back into negative emotions and experiences.

Pushing Past His Defense Mechanisms:  The problem you face is that even though your intentions are good and you sincerely want real changes, he's made up his mind that he's going to block you as a defense mechanism.  And, typically the harder you push, the more he will pull away.  I see so many wives get panicked by their husband's inattention that they feel they are forced to act in ways that will ultimately hurt their marriage even more.  They engage with their husbands They push buttons. They give ultimatums.  And, when these things don't work, they go to the other extreme.  They try to be too loving, too desperate, and too compliant.  The husband doesn't buy either one of these tactics because he knows that they are just meant to get him to change his mind.  So, he's ignoring or resenting most everything that you are doing.  Trust me when I say that there's a better way.

The Better Way To Get Your Husband To Want To Save The Marriage: So, we've talked about what doesn't work.  Let's now talk about what does.  First, I want you to understand what most men want in a partner, a wife, and in a marriage. I firmly believe that almost all of them want the same thing.  They want to feel appreciated. They want to feel desired.  They want to feel understood.  And, they want your time and attention.

These things were likely not a problem at all when the two of you first fell in love.  When a relationship is new, it's typical that both people can't do enough for the other.  You want to spend all of your time together.  You enjoy long talks and intimate and loving gestures and you make the time for shared experiences.  The result is a feeling of "being in love," and that the two of you are the only thing that matters in this world.

But, once a few years have passed, we all let this slide (both husbands and wives.) So many things compete for our attention and most of them need to be addressed.  But, this leaves our husbands disappointed and our marriages vulnerable. This cycle needs to be broken, and it will be, but first, you need to get your husband receptive again.

Hopefully, I've already established that it's likely your husband is blocking you due to defense mechanisms, the fact that he doesn't believe anything will really change, and his strong resentment of being manipulated.  So, you're going to need to come at this from a new angle.  You're going to need to encourage him to let down his defenses by showing him that he doesn't need to put them up anymore.

It goes something like this.  At a time when you are both calm, you sit your husband down, look him the eye, touch him if he will allow it, and tell him that you've noticed a troubling shift in your relationship and are hurt by it because he is the most important person in your life.  Admit your part in that and tell him that, no matter where the relationship is headed, it's your first priority to restore positive feelings between you.  Even if you can't save the marriage, you don't want this relationship to end with misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or wondering if either of you left anything on the table.  Reassure him that you aren't going to do anything or act in any way that will deteriorate the relationship.  Tell him that you would like to step back, with no pressure, and just see if you can create positive feelings between you.  Tell him that, right now, you aren't trying to bring the spark back or fall back in love (although this will be your plan later).  Right now, you're just wanting to take tiny baby steps so that you can preserve some of the affection between you.

Hopefully, after your husband sees that you mean what you say, some of the tension will abate.  They'll be no need for him to continue to block you.  And, as this happens, just focus on bringing fun and laughter into the relationship.  Nothing heavy. No deep discussions. Just shared experiences that make things better.  Don't put any pressure on him or push too hard.

After a while, the whole idea is that he will start to see little glimpses of the two people who were so deeply in love.  And, he'll see that he was wrong, that things can get better. That you do have time for him and you do appreciate him and value him.   And, he will want more of this because it's what he has wanted all along.  At that time, you'll likely find that he is then on board and wants to save the marriage as much as you do.

Unfortunately, I almost waited too long to change my actions when my husband wanted out of our marriage and thought he was no longer in love with me. Making things better took a lot of effort on my part, but it was so worth it. I was eventually able to return the love and intimacy, and save the marriage. You can read my that story on my blog at

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