Sometimes, you are fully aware that it is going to take a whole lot of work to save your marriage and you take responsibility for that.  You are prepared for that.  And you fully intend to follow through with any promises that you have made to your spouse.

Perhaps you have gotten to a point where you can objectively see your part in any issues and are fully prepared to take action in order to fix the same.  Maybe you are stepping up to spearhead a serious effort to make things right again. You may even feel some sense of accomplishment for trying to move forward - until your husband informs you that your efforts have just not been enough.  You may ask for more time or promise that you will do better.  But this might not seem to matter to him.

A separated wife might recount this unfortunate scenario:  "If you were to place the blame for my marital separation, I have no problem saying that I would get most of the blame.  I was pretty immature when we got married.  I never cheated on my husband, but I did not take my vows as seriously as I should have.  I was not the kind of wife that my husband deserves.  Frankly, he has never been anything but supportive and sweet to me, while I cared more about my social life and having a good time to return the favor.  The only thing that I can say in my defense is that I was so young.  My husband told me that he was unhappy with our lifestyle and that he did not want to live like we were still in college.  I told him that I would change and he agreed to give our marriage another chance.  I honestly did think that I was making an honest attempt to make things better.  I used to go out almost every night and now I limit that to mostly the weekends.  However, my husband says that this is not enough.  He says that even if I am present at home more, I am not emotionally present and I am not invested in the way that he is.  He says that he wants to see me caring about our future instead of just living for today like I am still 18. I see what he is saying and I have told him that I can change even more.  He says it is too late and that by the time real change happens for me, he will no longer care because he will have moved on.  This panics me.  How can I get him to wait for me to change?"

Be Clear On What Your Husband Really Wants From You: I know that this is tricky and that it's likely tempting to try to beg, manipulate, pull strings, or plead. However, let's try to think about this rationally - just for a second.  What does your husband really want from you?  What has he told you or outlined for you in this regard? He's told you that he wants to see someone who is mature enough to think about the long term.  He wants to see the actions of a mature adult rather than a young adult. He wants to see you follow through on what you have promised.

In my opinion, the best way to accomplish this is to act in a very calm and deliberate manner.  Whereas you might have pleaded and tried to get him to listen to YOU, instead show him that you are listening to HIM.  Give him a very thoughtful and mature response.  Here's a suggestion.  Try something like: "I hope that your moving on doesn't turn out to be the case.  But I can't control your actions.  I can only control my actions.  I'm very sorry that it took this kind of heartache for me to see reality and to understand how I need to mature and grow up some.  But I do understand and accept that now.  I hope that you will be around to witness and benefit from my growth, but again, I can not control that.  I can only tell you that no matter what happens, I'm going to move forward and focus on my own maturity and integrity.  My future has become very important to me. I sincerely hope that it includes you and our marriage.  That is what I want more than anything and I'm willing to work tirelessly to make that happen.  But either way, I am very serious about a different, and new, path."

Make Sure That He Sees You Living Your Words: After this conversation, live your words.  Despite your husband's intention, a divorce does not go through immediately.  Hopefully, he will not move out or pursue a separation, but even if he does, you still have the opportunity to live your words.  And there's a pretty good chance that this change is going to get back to him.  Frankly, it is more effective for him to see this on his own rather than your just putting on a show for his benefit. (I had to do this during my own separation. You can read that story here.)

So tell him the absolute truth about your intentions and then follow through.  He may say that it is too late, but hopefully, your actions will be so sincere and so transformative that he pays attention and eventually gives you that second chance.  But be mindful that you do not waste it and that you do not make him regret it.  Make sure that this is absolutely genuine.  And then continue to follow through.

I had to show my husband real change and convince him that the change was genuine and that it would last.  I didn't always do things in the right way and this cost me time and heartache, so I'm hoping to keep someone else from making the same mistakes.  I did get him back, but it was quite difficult at times.  You can read more about that at

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