“Help! I know my wife wants to leave our marriage, but I don’t know why.”
“If I knew what the problem was, then I could fix it – I’m willing to do anything for my wife!”
“Everything I’ve tried so far seems like it’s only made things worse. Please help me find out the real reason my wife wants to leave!”
I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received that open with statements similar to those above.
Whether your wife has already said she’s leaving or you can just feel it in your heart, you’re facing a problem and you know it. If you’re anything like most men, this problem has left you confused and frustrated with no clue how to move forward, much less how to repair your marriage.
As you continue reading, I’m going to ask you five concrete questions to help you discover the REAL reason your wife wants to leave your marriage.
By the time you’re finished with these questions, my goal is for you to have a clearer map of where your marriage needs to go to get your wife back. Ultimately, what you’ll learn will help you convince your wife not to leave.
Sound good to you?
Important! Make sure you take your time with each question to come up with honest answer.
– Question #1 –
How Long has the Distance Been Growing?
I’m talking about the emotional distance between you and your wife.
Reflect on the past weeks, months or even years… Really and truly, how long have you and your wife been growing apart?
When was the last time your marriage was completely free of major problems?
When was the last time your marriage felt warm and loving instead of cold and business-like?
Take a minute or two and reflect on the journey your marriage has taken you through and how you’ve gotten to where you are right now.
How long has this chasm been growing? Try and be as specific as possible; this step is important for identifying the root source of the corruption in your marriage.
So, seriously, set a timer for five minutes and think back on your marriage with the lens of an investigator.
When you’re done, we’ll move on to question #2…
– Question #2 –
Have You Neglected Your Wife?
Before you clam up and get all defensive on me, hear me out:
Neglect sounds like a terrible word, but remember that neglect can come in many forms. You may not even realize that you’re guilty of neglecting your wife until you’ve checked your 20/20 hindsight. Here are a few common ways I see husbands neglecting their wives:
- You never ask about her day. When you do, you don’t actually listen to her answer.
- You rarely do nice things for her, purely for the sake of making her feel good.
- You undermine her. Do you ever find yourself being critical about your wife?
- You make her feel like her time isn’t as important as yours, eg. You neglect your share of house work.
- You never do the “hard stuff” with your kids.
- You spend too much time at work, or you bring your work home with you.
Reflect again on the past few months of your marriage and this time really try to put yourself in your wife’s shoes.
Can you think of times in your marriage where she might have felt neglected (even if she didn’t say it) because of something you did or didn’t do?
Here’s another perspective you could use to answer this question:
Think back to the vows you made at your wedding. Have you upheld them to a T?
If you’re like most husbands, then the answer is no. Of course she hasn’t either, but the point remains.
Most husbands fail in at least one or two of these perspectives. Either you’ve straight-out neglected your wife, or you’ve somehow neglected your husbandly responsibilities. But, let me make this clear:
None of this makes you a bad person.
It just means that you have room to grow as a husband.
This is actually a good thing because it means you have hope. Wouldn’t it be worse if we couldn’t figure out the problem and there was nothing you could do to save your marriage?
– Question #3 –
Have Your Common Interests Slipped Away?
While it’s not at all true that you need to marry someone that’s just like you shares all of your interests to have a happy marriage, you need to have at least a few things in common.
These commonalities might range from similar world-views to similar hobbies. And even if you don’t have these common interests, you need to both show an appreciation for each other’s. You need to care about what your wife likes doing.
To help you find out where things might have slipped away, think back to when you and your wife were first dating.
- What things drew the two of you together?
- What was it that sparked your initial chemistry?
- In your own words, why did your wife fall in love with you?
I want you to think about your marriage now…
Where are those common interests? Where is that chemistry? Where is that man that your wife fell in love with?
While we’ll always be growing and changing as life goes on, maintaining a few common interests between you and your wife – or at least keeping them in perspective – will keep your marriage strong to the roots.
– Question #4 –
Do You Know What Your Wife Wants from Life?
This question is one that I know for a fact will take some deeper thought on your part. Please don’t just say the first thing that pops in your head! Take a couple minutes to think about each of these questions:
- What are your wife’s goals in life?
- What does she want from you and her marriage?
- On her deathbed, what is your wife going to look back on and remember fondly?
- Have any of these answers changed since you first married her?
Why is knowing the answer to these questions so important?
Because understanding what your wife wants out of life makes it easier to see her motivation for wanting to leave the marriage.
– Question #5 –
How Have You Changed Since Being Married?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with change. Change is natural and usually a good thing. However, sometimes things change for the worse.
Now that you’ve spent all this time thinking back on your marriage, you’re ready to honestly answer these 5 mini-question that’ll help you assess the difference between the You of today and the You your wife fell in love with.
- How have you changed physically? Mentally? Emotionally?
- How have your own life goals changed? How have your priorities changed?
- How has your wife’s perception of you changed?
- How has the way you act around your wife changed? What’s the difference in your attitude, demeanor and actions?
- How has the way that you treat your wife changed?
By carefully reflecting on each of the 5 questions above, along with all the other questions outlined in this article, you can achieve great insight into why your wife wants to leave you. More importantly, you’ll can begin to see what it will take to get your wife back and save your marriage.
I’m sure you still have a couple of questions left unanswered… Don’t worry, that’s normal.
To help you answer any questions you still have about husbandhood and getting your wife back, I wrote this free mini-ebook that I give away to all my readers:
Do You Have What it Takes to Make Her Happy?
The 9 Essential Traits of a Good Husband
I also have lots of other marriage resources available for you. Or, if you would like more advice on how to get your wife back when your marriage is on the rocks, then check out the related posts listed below this one.
Of course, whatever you decide to do from here, I honestly wish you the best.
Much Manly Love,
Image Credit: Ambro @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
With much manly love,
I'm Stephen, the guy behind Husband Help Haven. I'm not a marriage counselor or a lawyer, I'm just a guy on the Internet who has talked to a loooooot of men going through separation... Over 2,000 in the past 5 years. My goal is to give men the tools they need to save their marriage from separation. Read more here