I speak with wives who know that their husband wants a divorce because he has either told them of his intentions directly or filed divorce papers. Sometimes though, the panic that they feel about this (especially when they don't want a divorce) gets a reprieve because the husband one day just stops talking about the divorce. Perhaps things begin to go a little better between the couple. Maybe your husband even begins acting slightly affectionate. This can leave you very confused. But often, you don't want to say anything or ask your husband what is the status of the divorce because you're afraid that he's going to tell you that nothing has changed and that the divorce is still on as scheduled.

A wife might say, in part: “last month, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. He said that after the kids got out of school for the summer, he was going to break the news to them and proceed to file. However, since that time, we've been getting along better lately and he hasn't said anything since then. He actually grabbed my hand briefly at my son's awards ceremony last week. But that only lasted for a second. We still haven't been having sex or anything like that, but he hasn't filed as far as I know and he hasn't mentioned the divorce anymore. Does this mean I'm in the clear? Does this mean he's changed his mind about the divorce?”

These weren't questions that anyone could answer except for this wife's husband. However, I understand why this wife was reluctant to ask her husband directly where things stood. She didn't want to remind him and if he was going ahead full speed with the divorce, she didn’t necessarily want to know.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Has Stepped Mentioning The Divorce And You Don't Know The Status: You can handle this one of two ways. You can sit him down and just tell him that you notice that things are better and hope that this means that the divorce is off, or at least delayed. There's a risk with this method, though. Or you can say nothing and continue to build on the improvements that you are seeing. Whichever method you choose, it's so vital that if things continue to go well, you don't just drop everything and go on in our marriage as if nothing ever happened.

It's absolutely normal to be so relieved that you never want to revisit this again, but if you just ignore why your husband wanted a divorce in the first place, you leave yourself very vulnerable to this happening again in the near future. And when it does, you may not be so lucky to see the improvements that you are seeing right now.

Don't Just Let This Blow Over If You Get A Reprieve. Improve Your Marriage So You No Longer Have To Worry About This: Saving or improving your marriage doesn't need to be a miserable or undesirable process. When done correctly, it can actually be a lot of fun because you get to rediscover what you love about your spouse. It's sort of like falling in love all over again when it's done right. Sometimes, (depending on how unreceptive your husband is to talking about or going through this process,) you may want to start (at least at first) on your own without needing to make a huge announcement to the effect of “honey, we're going to save our marriage now.” Or “honey, I'm going on a one-woman campaign to prevent our divorce.” This can sometimes be a turn off to a husband because he usually sees the process as one that's going to make him reveal the depths of his soul or talk endlessly about his feelings, which men tend to want to avoid.

It truly doesn't need to be this way. That's why I often tell wives to start with only themselves. Begin by just being the type of partner that you want. Listen more. Reach out and touch when it's appropriate. Let your husband know that you hear, understand, and appreciate him. Let him see that you are still a lot of fun to be around. You still make him laugh. You are still easy to talk to. Don't make the process so heavy that he wants to avoid it at all costs. The last thing that you want to do is make him think that getting a divorce is preferable to going through the uncomfortable process of saving your marriage. (Unfortunately, I learned all of this the hard way - after I made some horrible mistakes trying to save my own marriage during a separation. More on that here.)

He doesn't even have to know that you're attempting to save your marriage if you think that he's going to resist you. Sometimes, the most effective thing that you can do is to begin to make changes on your own. Then, when he responds positively to your changes, you'll often begin to notice that he is on better behavior as well. When this happens, you should praise him and make him want to continue on. No one has talked about the seemingly unpleasant process of improving or saving your marriage, but it's happened just the same and you no longer have to worry about asking him if he still wants a divorce or continuing to tiptoe around the topic because you are too afraid to bring it up.

Of course, it's everyone's hope that the husband's not mentioning the divorce means that he's completely dropped it and that it's never going to come up again. But why not take this opportunity to make sure that it doesn't? Having to constantly worry about your marriage and how your husband is feeling is so draining. It's so much nicer to have the confidence that your marriage is solid again.

I went through this when my husband and I were actually separated. I saw that things were drastically improving, but I was so afraid to ask him about the divorce. I just continued to work on our marriage by myself and I let him bring it up. And when he did, it was to tell me that it was off. If it helps, you're welcome to read about how I saved my marriage on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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