We have heard, “my wife wants a divorce, and I cannot figure out what happened,” so often, in one form or another, and it still breaks our heart. For various biological reasons, which are important to learn about, women tend to be secretive about their intentions to divorce their husband until the last minute. The fairly obvious reasons are understandable:
- Fear of reprisals— In many cases, men too easily lose their tempers and women are afraid of their husbands becoming violent. They know (right or wrong, accurately or not) he will take her desire to divorce as a personal insult. (Some men find this to be so obvious they cannot imagine another reaction.) So she will hide her intentions until the last minute.
- Strategic timing— Women have a great deal more divorce information at their disposal, and they do their research. They may collaborate with all kinds of “divorce for women” specialists who want to offer protection during a divorce. So it comes as a “sneak attack” to the husband.
- Hiding an affair— Women are typically more careful about affairs and less willing to reconcile once they decide to move on.
What you should do if you just found out your wife wants a divorce varies. Luckily, there are some practical steps which will help your life, regardless of what happens.
Maybe your marriage can be saved, though it is rare if the wife is the one having an affair. But if you don’t change the things contributing to the breakup, there is no chance to save your marriage. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
If your wife is “wrong” and you are “right” it doesn’t matter. You only have the ability to work on you—that is the full extent of your power in this problem. Some men try to talk their wife out of divorce, but that is futile unless there are major changes made on the part of the husband.
- Stop, evaluate, and act with wisdom. One of my clients dubbed this the S.E.W. method, which can be found in our book and in our online marriage help course.
Stop everything in your mind! Don’t let your anger, suspicions, and other negative thoughts take over your life. You need to calmly evaluate what is happening. You need to gain real objectivity about your situation so you can act sensibly, rather than allow your reactions to control you.
One of the important topics for a successful marriage, not to mention the success of life, is mind control. You can do this, but you need to learn how from a reliable source, maybe us.
2. Write it all down! Write down your suspicions for why your wife wants a divorce. Even if you have not heard them from her, you need to look at your marriage from her perspective. You must not brood, because that won’t help! You need to get serious about figuring out why she wants out. You cannot solve a problem unless you understand it, and it is not up to her to explain it. You are there. You can figure it out.
3. Fight your mind’s defensiveness! Truthfully, when wives want a divorce, it is much harder for men to understand than when husbands want a divorce. But, as a man, you have to still do all you can to heal your relationship, even if you cannot ultimately save your marriage. Because, unless you don’t have kids, you will need to maintain a loving relationship with your wife so your kids are not more damaged.
If you become defensive and angry, you will never recover. Now is the time to become as great a human being as you can!
Men are not taught how to understand women, and, frankly, women are not taught about men either. So, you can use this experience to go for happiness, or you can do what most men do and “fight” for their marriage; which almost never works.