Sometimes husbands are blindsided by their wives filing for divorce. “I had no idea there was even a problem!” they exclaim.
Here are 3 danger signals that may indicate your marriage could be in trouble.
1) Your wife has stopped complaining and/or asking for things. Many times husbands think when their wives stop complaining it means everything is ok. Often it doesn’t. It could also mean she has given up on you and has decided to leave you. She may be biding her time – waiting for your children to graduate, for example, before she tells you she is divorcing you. But she has decided things are hopeless, and in her mind she is already preparing to leave. If this describes your situation, think back to what she used to ask for and/or complain about and start doing it! Don’t assume it isn’t something small. It very often is. Let her know she has been heard. Let her know you care about her needs. Do everything you can to show her she is the most important thing in your life.
2) The arguments you have are always about the same thing, and they have become more intense. Perhaps hurtful things have been said. Once again, the arguments may be about something small. Even though your tendency is to become defensive when she attacks, try to hear her hurt and desperation. See if there is something you can do to show her she is not alone and that you care.
3) You are blaming each other. If you are experiencing this situation, the next time she tells you it’s your fault there is a problem, say “I’m sorry we are having a problem with this. How can I help make this situation better for you? I love you. I don’t want us to be fighting about this.” I understand this would be like trying to hug a porcupine, or pet a hissing cat, and you will probably get stabbed or bitten. Put your boots on and do it anyway.
Some of these suggestions may not be easy for you to do, especially when she is angry or distant. Resist the urge to withdraw, defend yourself or attack her. You need to decide what is more important – keeping her or winning your argument. Respond to these danger signals with love, patience and understanding. Even if it takes some time to make repairs, do what it takes to help your wife return to you and your marriage. When she finally looks at you and sees how lucky she is to have you, and that you are the best husband on earth, your reward will be well worth it.