I spend a lot of time with men who are just now discovering the possibility of separation or divorce.

Every man wants the same thing.

He wants his wife back.

He wants her to love him again.

He wants to “save the marriage”. He wants a second chance to prove things can be better and he can be different.

He would give anything if she would just change her mind and decide to stay with him and not break up the family.

Many times he gets his wish.

And, oddly, he is conflicted when his wife comes knocking again on their door. He isn’t so sure he wants her back, at least, not the way things were before.

Why is that?

Because he has made serious changes in himself and his outlook. He has changed what he expects of himself no matter what she decides to do.

He has also changed what he expects for himself…and he realizes that he’s not the only one who needs to make some changes.

About a Woman’s Trust

For the wife who has been sadly and quietly planning her departure for two years, there is almost nothing you can say or do that will impress her or change her mind. She is done with the current version of this marriage and can’t imagine taking the risk of trying again.

One woman colleague explained it this way. “The only thing worse than trusting someone and getting hurt is trusting them again and getting hurt a second time. We will avoid that at all costs.”

It’s not that she doesn’t want to trust. She can’t trust.

Think of it as an incurable physiological reaction. The current version of her, you and the marriage is a horror movie – as stupid as that may sound to you. But to her it’s the only logical, self-preserving move possible. Move away from the “horror”.

The only reason a disconnected, untrusting and unhappy wife will want you back is if she sees real, unquestionable and authentic changes in you. They can’t be changes she wants – they must be changes you want.

When I see a wife who moves past her fear to attempt a reconnection, it’s because something dramatic has happened. It is something so shockingly unexpected that she becomes interested or, at least, curious again.

Shocking Changes

You’re probably wondering what these shocking changes are. Some of them are things you must stop doing and others are things you must start.

Some of these may seem fairly simple, but they are extremely hard to implement for many guys.

Here’s a sample of shocking things you can stop. If you actually learn how to stop these and feel great about it…she will notice. She won’t say anything – but she will notice.

Stop asking questions and demanding explanations

Stop initiating long, heavy conversations over and over again

Stop interrogating her about everything she says and does

Stop trying to impress her and make her pleased with you

Stop reacting to everything from a place of resentment and anger

Stop texting her about anything emotional or relationship related

Stop talking to her friends and family about her

Bonus: Stay the hell off of Facebook!

Yes. If you do all 7 of those and find a way in your manly mojo to become comfortable and confident in doing so, you will feel amazing. You must want to do these for you – not her. And you will be noticed.

Feeling amazing at this point is more important than being noticed.

Here are some shocking things you can start doing. If you actually choose to do these from a place of non-negotiable commitment to yourself and feel great about it…she will be curious. She still probably won’t say anything – but she will be curious.

Start spending quality time with quality men doing quality things

Start learning about male confidence and insecurity and how to increase one and reduce the other

Remain kind, considerate and compassionate toward her at every turn

Be cooperative but not a push-over

Calmly lead conversations about how the separation or divorce will go

Confidently lead the difficult process of discussing finances

Gently guide the uncomfortable conversations about child custody

Start the process of imagining your life as a happily divorced guy

Yes. This sounds like the process of giving up and letting go.

Exactly.

The most significant and shocking change a man can make in himself at this point is to give up his need to control and his need to maintain his death grip on her.

And you have to mean it. You must reach a place where your desire to save yourself is more than your desire to save the old version of your marriage.

You must be more invested in the process of realizing your value as a man than the result of saving your status as a husband.

There is nothing more simultaneously intriguing and unsettling to a wife than a husband who has become clearly aware of his own value as a man.

What to do When She Comes Back Knocking on the Door

Hey, you’re the one who wanted her back. I can’t tell you what to do next.

I’m just saying that I’ve seen it happen way too many times to not warn you it could happen.

And if it does happen it will only be because she knows your changes had no expectation of her. You were not playing a game. You were not trying to manipulate an outcome.

This is only possible when you decide to make changes to your core way of thinking and way of being as a man.

The changes must be for you without an attachment to her reactions.

Yep, it’s not easy. But in my humble (but accurate) opinion, this is the very best time of your life to learn this lesson. For most guys, it takes this much pain to motivate them toward change.

When you make these changes you will become very clear what you expect of yourself. You will also get clear about your expectations for another go at a relationship with her or anyone else for that matter.

And you won’t be afraid to say so.

My new book Straight Talk Tools for the Desperate Husband will help you to lead yourself and your relationship back to good health. Understand why your partner acts the way she does toward you and learn how to lead your life in the direction you want it to go. You CAN have the relationship you want, fulfilling all your desires while maintaining love and respect.

I wrote a free e-book to help men learn how to lose their fear and be more bold in their marriage to create the love and connection they want. Get The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage HERE

If you want to learn more about how to take a bigger step toward being a clear-headed, confident man of action, then find out more here. I would be thrilled to help you get there – our first discovery call is always free and always gives you a BIG boost of confidence.

You WILL become a clearer, stronger, more confident man only through other men. Your woman cannot take you there – and she doesn’t WANT to…trust me on that.

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Photo: Tina Leggio/Flickr