In certain circumstances, I do not find it unusual for married couples to threaten the very thing that they fear the most. In other words, it is not uncommon for a wife who dreads a separation to threaten that very thing in order to get her husband to reassure her that there will be NO separation. I know that this sounds weird, but I guess in times of fear and anxiety, people can come to believe that reverse psychology is a sound strategy. However, when that strategy fails, the person who initiated it can wonder what happens now. And of course, they fear the separation that they never wanted in the first place.

For example, a wife might get tired of her husband complaining about how unhappy he is or about how un-fulfilling the marriage has become. She may begin to fear that he is going to initiate a separation. So she may decide to be proactive and to call his bluff by telling him that she is unhappy and just might move out. Her hope is that he will tell her that she is being hasty and that they can work it out. When he takes the opposite approach, she is lost.

A wife might say: "about six weeks ago, my husband began threatening to move out. Some of what he said made sense and was true. He said that we had grown apart and that even I had admitted that we were not happy in the way that we used to be. I agree with these things. However, I don't think that they are horrific, insurmountable things in the way that my husband seems to believe. So, I decided to see where he really was on this and I very mistakenly said 'well you don't have to move out. I can just go stay with my mom or sister.' I expected him to say that he didn't want that or to suggest that perhaps we go to counseling before either of us moved out. But he did not say that. He basically shrugged and all but insinuated that he did not care. So now I am stuck knowing that my husband doesn't care if we live together or not. And he's offered me no solutions as to how we can be happier before either of us takes this drastic step. I don't want to go to my mother's or sister's. I just want us to be happy again. But now I don't know how to proceed."

Certainly, no one can make this decision but you. However, in your shoes, I think that I would look at it as if I had two choices: I could go to my mom's / sister's for a short time only (say, overnight) and then say that I changed my mind. Or, I would just come clean and say that I exaggerated or reconsidered and have decided that I don't want to leave my home after all. From my own experience, I do know that it can be challenging to save your marriage when you live in two different places. So, I would not recommend that route unless you have no other choice. That said, some people do believe that space actually helped to save their marriage. (I agree with this and believe that space helped my marriage also. However, I believe that my husband could have gotten space without needing to move out in the long term. But I could not get him to agree with this. That story is here. ) In your case, you may still have a chance to reverse your husband's thought process.

You might try something like: "I have reconsidered. I said what I did because I was frustrated. I know that you are frustrated also. I feel like there is so much potential between us since we used to be so happy. One of us moving out is such a serious decision. I regret making that decision hastily and I'd like for us to give a fair try to being happy again before one of us actually has to take the drastic action of leaving our home. I feel like we haven't given saving our marriage a fair try before we just throw in the towel and leave our home. I'm willing to do counseling or to change my focus. I'm willing to work with you to make some positive changes. I will listen to whatever suggestions you have about what might make you happier. I think we've grown apart because we are not investing as much time on our marriage. This would not be too difficult to remedy. I'll listen to anything you have to say, but I think that us living apart might force our hand and I don't feel like I'm ready for that yet."

Then, listen to what your husband has to say. He may be a little taken aback by your abrupt change of heart and you may not get his entire reaction all at once. If he's not receptive (as my husband was not initially) there are things that you can do and change for yourself that might make a difference. I honestly worked on saving my marriage alone, especially at first. But I ultimately did save it. And thankfully, my husband eventually got on board once he saw the changes that I made.  There's more about that at

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