My wife wants a divorce – what do I do?
So your wife wants a divorce, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change her mind? Did she tell you she is tired of talking, and that she doesn’t believe you when you say you’ll do anything to get her to stay? She is FINISHED, and you didn’t even know there was a problem. I am here to tell you your situation is not hopeless. Read on.
If you think back, you will be able to recall your wife telling you things –things she wanted you to do, things she wanted you to say. It is possible these things were very small, and something you did not think was very important. Perhaps she wanted you to pick up your socks. Perhaps she wanted you to tell her she looked beautiful. You may have filed this under the category of “complaining” and tuned it out. Your wife may have stopped “complaining” some time before she told you she was divorcing you. In her mind, she decided it was hopeless, and so she set about preparing to leave you. You may have to think back further than the recent past to remember what she said. Remembering these things will help you to do what needs to be done to save your marriage.
The first thing you need to do is to stop telling her you had no idea there was a problem.
To her that means you are completely unaware of her pain. It confirms in her mind that she is right to divorce you. Even though you are reeling from the blow, and you may be trying to share your pain – stop. From here on out, it’s going to be about her pain – not yours.
The second thing you need to do is to listen to your wife.
If your wife wants a divorce, let her know she is heard. Listen carefully to her pain, her sadness, her anger, her loneliness. You need to show her you care about her, and that you are sorry for not heeding her earlier. You are sorry you ignored her and did not listen. Don’t tell her she should have tried different ways to get your attention. Be sorry you were not attuned to her feelings. Tell her you are sorry you did not try harder to understand what she was saying to you. Let her know she is the most important thing in your life.
The third thing you need to do is to be patient.
You may have just become aware that there is a problem, but your wife has been frustrated for a long, long time. Now that you have changed and she is getting what she asked for, she may become even angrier. Don’t run away from her anger. Stand with her. Let her know you will not leave her alone with it. Don’t be afraid to keep apologizing. You may have to apologize a lot. Just keep doing it. Keep letting her know she is being heard.
If you remember the things she wanted from you earlier, start doing them. Pick up your socks. Tell her she is beautiful. Perhaps this would be the time for a grand gesture on your part. Was she mad because you spent too much time watching TV? Turn off the TV.