Since I often write about saving marriages, regaining the love and spark in your marriage, and restoring intimacy and closeness, I'm often asked what is the best way to react or proceed when you know that you husband wants to leave. The answer to this will greatly depend upon the situation, but I hope to give you options, ideas, help, and support in this article.

The Two Types Of Situations That Create Runaway Husbands: First off, though, let me say that I generally find there are two different types of situations when a husband wants to leave. The first is the most volatile of the two and often, the husband is being hurtful in letting you know or informing you that he wants to go. Usually, there has been some explosive situation like a huge fight, or the husband being mean or disrespectful in sharing his feelings. In these situations, the husband will leave no doubt that he has one foot out the door. This highly emotional situation may lead to name-calling or hurtful phrases like him telling you that he "doesn't love or find you attractive anymore," Or he may imply that he'd be better off without you.

I had one woman tell me that her husband told her he wanted to leave because she was overweight. In these situations, it's so important that you do not give your power away. The husband is being incredibly disrespectful, so before you attempt any communication or negotiations, I believe it is best to call him on it and insist that in moving forward, he treat you in a respectful manner. It is difficult to work things out in a lasting and long term way if he is going to act this way.

Thankfully, many situations I am asked about involve less explosive situations where the husband wants to leave because of distance created, a loss of intimacy (i.e. he's "fallen out of love,") or because of external factors that have caused severe stress and strain on the marriage. In these examples, the marriage at one time was a good one and somehow the way has been lost.

The Tactics To Avoid Like The Plague: In both instances, there are things that I have learned through experience and through research and counseling that you absolutely should not do, even when or if you desperately don't want your husband to leave. These things may seem natural and right at the time, but they will backfire in the end because you've given your power away and will ultimately make you appear less desirable. (I made these mistakes. They most definitely failed.  More on that here.)

I believe that you should not beg, stalk, engage, argue with, or constantly follow, text, or call your husband. You should not make false promises, appear desperate, or do anything which would elicit negative emotions or reactions.

It's important to understand that if you want your husband to stay or want him back, you have to replace the negative feelings between you with positive ones. This may seem overly simplistic but it isn't. Husbands who are experiencing loving, affectionate and empathic feelings toward their wives are much more likely to be receptive to what you have to say and to listen without already knowing the outcome.

The Tactics To Embrace: The way that you encourage receptiveness is to conduct yourself in a way that you can proud of and that you won't regret later. You don't want to act in a way that will push your husband further away from you. At the same time, you don't want to be a pushover either.

As you can see, this is a delicate dance. You have to strike a balance between communicating with your husband and making him understand that you love him, don't want him to leave, and want to make saving the marriage a high priority while having enough respect for yourself to not compromise your dignity.

The truth is, you will appear much more attractive to your husband if you retain your self-worth. You can still love your husband and go out and see your friends or do whatever it is that makes you happy and fulfilled without groveling. This will put you in a better emotional place.

Exceptions: Sometimes, I have women approach me and say their husband wants to leave and he just will not talk with them at all or has completely shut them out because of a major fight or issue. Believe it or not, the process is still the same. You conduct yourself in a positive manner, do the things that will invoke positive feelings in both yourself and your spouse, and take baby steps until your husband is receptive again.

In some instances - when it's clear the husband is dead set on leaving and is not going to change his mind, it's best to just agree with your husband that the marriage has problems and if he really thinks he needs a break, then agree that you'd like the time to work on yourself as well. This will help to minimize a lot of the tension and distance. Hopefully, as the tension lessens your husband will have no reason to avoid or reject you. You're also retaining your dignity and power, which is hugely important in this situation.

I didn't initially want to use a gradual approach, but it became necessary.  And it actually worked.  You can read that story at

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