The other day, I received an email from a very upset wife who told me that her husband had sat her down, indicated that he'd been thinking long and hard about their marriage, and had decided that she "deserved better so he wanted a divorce." Needless to say, she's very confused by this. She isn't sure if the whole "deserve better" statement is just an excuse that he's using for wanting out. She's not sure if he's guilty for (or hinting at) something that he wants to disclose and she isn't sure how to respond. Should she stress that she's perfectly happy and he's wrong about deserving more? Or, should she try to dig deeper to determine just what is behind these words and risk making the situation worse? I'll answer these questions in the following article.

How You Should Respond To The "You Deserve Better" Excuse If You Want To Save Your Marriage: Many wives get so caught up on proving to their husbands that they're wrong that they really miss the true point. The real issue here is that your husband is asking you for (or telling you) that he wants a divorce. He may be using this as an excuse or he may really believe it to be true. But, the fact remains that there is something so wrong right now that he wants to throw in the towel.

So, don't make the mistake of thinking so much about the reason behind it. Focus instead on fixing it. It's OK to ask your husband if he can share with you why he may feel this way. It's entirely possible that he feels remorse about something and is looking for a way to unload. And, he figures if he puts divorce out there, whatever he has to unload will seem tame by comparison.

But, if he doesn't disclose, then this may just be an excuse for his generally wanting out. So, you shouldn't repeatedly dwell on it or heap on more negative emotions or implications. What you can do though is focus on what is the cause behind almost all divorces that occur - a lack of intimacy, a loss of connectedness, and a lessening of affection and empathy. In truth, no matter what he is saying about this "deserving better" business, it's highly likely that other things are at play.

Your Goal Right Now (It's Not To Change His Mind): Don't mistake your goal as convincing your husband that he is wrong. I did this and it was a big mistake.) Your real goal should be to build the relationship up through positive interactions and exchanges. You're better off showing him that things can be lighthearted, upbeat and happy again rather than repeatedly trying to tell or convince him that he should change his mind immediately. Once he sees that the two of you can connect again in the old, positive, and fulfilling way, then it would no longer make sense for him to assume that you would want or deserve anything else.

What it always comes back to is reigniting and reintroducing the two people who first fell in love. Yes, I know that times have changed from when you were dating. I know that you have more responsibilities and issues that take up your time. But, in truth, everyone wants the same thing out of their marriage. They want to feel understood, worthy, competent, desirable and admired. These things can't happen if you don't give your marriage and your spouse the time that they deserve.

And look at it this way. You really already know what connects the two of you. You've already fallen deeply in love before. Take a moment to remember how you accomplished this. It was probably through shared fun, intimate times between two happy people who were focused on one another. You can get back to this place and when you do, neither of you are going to be worrying about whether the other is getting everything that they deserve and are entitled to.

Don't focus so much on the semantics at hand. I know that "deserve" is a loaded word but don't dwell on it. Almost always, the underlying situations that precede a divorce are lessening intimacy and connectedness - no matter what excuses are offered up or what is said. Focus on these things. You may have to move slowly and break it down day by day. This is OK. But, if you can address and fix these things, the rest will usually fall into place.

There was a time when my husband was absolutely sure our marriage was at its end. I suspected it wasn't. Thank goodness I listened to my heart. With a bit of effort and trying new things, I was able to save the marriage. You can read that story on my blog at

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