I sometimes hear from wives who are fairly certain that their husband is going to leave them. Some of them just have a strong feeling or suspicion that their husband is unhappy. Others have husbands who have been very honest about the fact that he is considering moving out. Many of the wives do not want to accept this. Some of them concede that the marriage does have problems, but most don’t believe that the problem is serious enough to end the marriage. Most of the wives just want to buckle down, focus on the love that is left in the marriage, and try to salvage their family. The wife usually figures that if the love is there, everything else can be fixed. Sometimes, the husband clues in on this, begins to pull away, and starts to make the wife worry that he no longer loves her in the way that he used to. So, she puts two and two together and starts to believe that if she can just make him “love her more,” then he won’t want to leave any longer.
She might say, “I can tell by the way that my husband acts that he doesn’t love me like he used to. And I know that it’s not just my imagination – because, in the past, he has talked about moving out. First, he was going to do it in the fall, but then Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around, so he didn’t. Then he got really frustrated with me again in March and I am pretty sure that he was looking for another place to live, but his mother got ill, so he had to deal with that. At this point, I just want to make him love me more so that I don’t have to deal with this moving out threat every few months. I can’t keep waiting for issues to come up that are going to discourage him from moving out. How do I increase his love for me so that he won’t want to move out?”
Why You Don’t Want To Let Any Hint Of Manipulation Into This Mix: This situation is so tricky on so many levels. First of all, the second that you try to “make” someone feel or do something, then you introduce elements of both manipulation and desperation into the mix. Those things are never good. If a husband is already feeling somewhat annoyed, knowing that his wife is trying to “make” him do something is not going to bring about loving feelings. It is usually going to encourage him to do just the opposite – he might instead back away and retreat. Worse, he may then limit your access to him, which suddenly makes your job a lot harder.
Take Stock Of What Is Positive: I don’t know you and I know even less about your marriage. But it could be telling that your husband is still in your home. A man who was completely miserable or at the end of his rope would leave and would not let anything stop him – regardless of the holidays or his extended family. If the situation was truly intolerable, he would go first and worry about the timing or the details second. I’m not saying that he’s happy. I’m just saying that the situation may not be dire just yet. You may still have time.
I know that your inclination right now is to panic and to pressure your husband more. These are the last things that you should do. Think about what attracted your husband to you initially. It probably wasn’t a panicked woman who wanted to lay claim on him and to hold him in a tight grasp. No, it was probably a playful woman who listened intently when he talked and who expected the same from him.
Fixing What Is Fixable: One really good way to entice him to love you more is to take away the things that make him love the situation less. What I mean by that is that often, it is the circumstances surrounding the marriage that draws out the feelings within it. You can have a hard time feeling love when you are so stressed that you can’t even spend quality time with your spouse. It can be hard to feel love when you are fighting. The very best thing that you can do is to create an atmosphere that is conducive to loving feelings and then remove what pollutes that atmosphere. If you know that it drives your husband crazy when you are clingy, then stop. Control what you can – and this is normally your behavior, not his.
by Leslie Cane