Most people who value their marriage see their spouse leaving them, initiating a separation, or filing for divorce as the worst-case scenario. No one wants to be abandoned by their spouse or unsure about the future of their marriage. And, if you think that any of these things are possible, then it's normal to worry about them. But sometimes, the worry becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and it can stop or delay you from doing the things that need to be done in order to avoid this reality in the first place.

An example of a concern in this situation is something like: "About two months ago, my husband announced that he was going to leave me. He said that he wasn't completely happy and felt that having a break might renew our commitment to our marriage. I decided right then and there that I could not let this happen. I do not want to raise my child by myself. I don't want to stay alone at night and feel so vulnerable. And I had a horrible feeling that if my husband left me and moved out, then I might not ever see him in this house again. So I admit it. I begged him not to leave. After several days of this, he finally agreed to delay leaving, but he told me that this was just a temporary reprieve. He said there would probably come a time when he would need to go regardless of what I said or did. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells. Every time we disagree, I am worried that I will come home and find him gone. This morning, we got in a huge fight. I am so afraid that when I come home from work, he won't be there. I just can not seem to stop thinking about what if he leaves me? What if he does? Our marriage is in serious trouble and I feel like this is the beginning of the end."

Putting It In Perspective: I hear from a lot of wives with this exact same concern. I do understand it - although when my own husband left, he didn't give me a lot of warning. If he had, I probably would have spent most of my time worrying about when the shoe was going to fall. As it were, once he left, I spent my days worrying about how I was going to get him back. I can tell you something that might help you to feel a little better. First of all, you don't know if he's going to leave. (And it's probably a mistake to assume that he is.) However, you should know that his leaving doesn't mean that he will never come back or that you will get divorced.

When my husband left, I absolutely panicked. And this was the absolute worst thing that I could have done. Because my panic caused an overreaction that made me act in ways that were actually detrimental to my marriage and more likely to end it rather than to save it. (You can read that story by clicking here.) That's why I strongly recommend that you not panic right now.

Understand That Your Worry Can Actually Make What You Fear More Likely To Happen: I absolutely understand being motivated by fear. My fear drove me during my own separation and it almost cost me my marriage. Worry doesn't solve problems. Action solves problems. Instead of worrying about whether he will leave, it's best to take action so that you can have the confidence that he won't. Take an honest look at your marriage and ask yourself if there is anything that you can do or any obstacle that you can remove to make it more likely that he won't be motivated to leave.

Know What Kind Of Image Your Worry Is Projecting: I don't want to give you yet another thing to worry about. But here is another very legitimate reason not to allow your worries about his leaving to take over. If your husband sees you spending most of your time and emotional energy worrying that he's going to leave you, then you should know that this projects an image that you may not be proud of. It says that you might not be enough. It says that you are dependent upon someone else to be OK.

I'm going to be honest. Confidence is attractive. Fear is not. If you are projecting a woman who thinks that she can't possibly be OK with herself on her own, then I'd suggest re-evaluating what you want to project.

Of course, you don't want your husband to leave. But, you should know somewhere deep inside that you would get by if he did. Honestly, the real concern is getting your marriage back on track and to a healthy place and this can happen without him leaving. But it can also happen after he has already left.

My honest answer to the question "what if he leaves me" is that you would likely be OK, but you can and should cross that bridge when you get to it. Don't allow the fear of it to actually contribute to it happening. In the meantime, control what you can - which is yourself and the decision about what proactive steps you can take next.

I wasted a lot of time worrying about my own separation when what I should have been doing was taking decisive action.  This cost me a lot of time and caused a lot of pain.  I'd highly recommend avoiding my mistakes.   If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at

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