I sometimes hear from wives who are desperate for some sort of plan to make their husbands stay with them.  Often, the husband has suggested a break, separation, or divorce.  This is usually the last thing that the wives who write to me want.

I recently had a wife say, in part: "I would do absolutely anything to make my husband stay.  I have thought of many options - including begging and pleading, and making threats and insinuations about myself or the kids.  When I have these thoughts, I know they're silly and degrading, but I can't seem to stop myself.  I'm basically living in fear of the day that he walks out the door.  I know that day is coming.  I dread it more than anything and I'm willing to do anything that I'd need to do to make him stay.  What are some ways that wives make their husbands stay when they want to go?"

The answer to this question is going to depend on many factors, including why your husband wants to leave in the first place and how firm he is on this decision.  However, in the following article, I'm going to discuss what I think are the best options when you're trying to make your husband stay.

Whatever You Do, Don't Literally Tell Him That You'd Do Absolutely Anything To Get Him Not To Leave:  Many wives tell me that they are tempted to just put their cards on the table and I very much understand this.  I have been there.  There was a time when I would have literally been willing to fling myself around my husband's legs as he was leaving and walking out the door - pulling me along behind him.

But this didn't work in the least.  It only made things worse because it made him think I was losing control and didn't have any self-respect.  Of course, this didn't make me attractive in his eyes and he just wanted to leave even more.  It took me entirely too long to realize I was going down the wrong path. (Eventually, I did, but by that time I had a lot of ground to make up. But more on that here.)

The thing is, your husband likely knows that you want him to stay.  So literally saying this and going on and on only weakens your position.  You shouldn't pretend that you want to pack your bags for him or can't wait for him to go, but there's a balance to be reached.  If you out and out tell him you'd do anything, then you're allowing this balance to get way out of whack.

What Is It That's Making Him Want To Go?: If you have a clear idea of why he wants to go, one option is to remove the obstacle that's standing in your way.  If there's a problem in your marriage that you can identify and solve, then, by all means, do it.  But fair warning - he's not always going to believe that it's that easy to just fix things that quickly.

By the time a man wants to leave, usually, the problem(s) have grown to the point where he's not listening to or believing what you say (at least completely,)  so know that you might not be able to fix everything before he goes, but you can certainly give it a try.  It's better than doing nothing but watch and panic.

Bring Forth The Woman That Your Husband Has Been Shown To Love:  If you proclaim that you'd be willing to do absolutely anything if your husband stays, let's think about who you are showing him.  You're showing him a desperate person who is in a desperate place.  Men generally don't find this all that alluring.

Instead, you want to show him a woman with enough self-confidence that she doesn't need to make these types of proclamations. You want to show him the woman he has always loved.  Whatever it was that attracted him to you (your sense of humor or love of adventure or your loyalty - you know what this is) this is what you want to show him right now.

Yes, it will take some effort on your part.  You might have to act in a way that isn't necessarily intuitive.  But it's my experience that doing this is MUCH more likely to give you the results that you want.

Part of the reason for this is people take for granted and devalue the things that are handed to them on a silver platter.  If you serve yourself up for the taking, then you don't seem all that valuable.  He knows that you're there should he change your mind so he has no incentive whatsoever to want to stay.

But if you draw on your strength and let him know that although you'd love for him to stay, you trust that whatever he decides, you will eventually work through this because you love each other and were meant to be together, he's more likely to be interested.

I can't tell you if he will still leave or not.  But if he does, he's more likely to want to come back if his last memory of you is of the woman he knows and loves rather than a clingy desperate one who is pleading and promising "absolutely anything' for him to stay.

I know it can be scary to step back and let go a little bit, but it honestly can be the best call for the long term.  Because you want for him to REALLY want to come back to you rather than to begrudgingly stay because of your desperation.

I know where you are right now, a couple of years ago, my husband left me and eventually probably would have filed for divorce.  And yes, I would have done ANYTHING to get him to stay or to get him back.  But telling him so turned out to be the wrong game to play.  He only became interested again when I backed off a bit.  You can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com.

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