Saving Your Marriage On Your Own

April 8, 2009 | Leave a Comment

One of the most frustrating aspects of saving marriages is when one partner refuses to participate in the process. Communication, cooperation, and respect for each other disappear as each person retreats into themselves and act as individuals. Your husband or wife no longer participating in the relationship. He or she will not do anything that may be seen as exposing vulnerability or taking responsibility for their part in the marriage crisis. Your spouse refused to talk about what he or she felt the issues were, refused counseling, says he or she is not in love, and that he or she does not want to try to save the marriage. It’s heartbreaking, but there are things that you can do if you are in the same situation.

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Hi,

Thanks for your email.

Your husband has indicated quite clearly that he is not willing to participate in the marriage or in counseling, and that he is not prepared to discuss with you his reasons for ending the marriage. That’s because he doesn’t know himself what the issues are!

You need to accept the fact that your husband is not at a level where he is able to communicate, and leave it at that. I understand that you have tried to encourage him to go to counseling, and that at every step along the way he has opposed you vigorously, however, that doesn’t have to stop you from participating in counseling and getting some meaning out of all of this. If he chooses to be angry and not learn anything from this process, that’s his choice. He will take that baggage and it will carry through into his next relationship.

You are being called into an opportunity for growth. Your husband is not participating, so you need to do this alone. Go to counseling. Get meaning. Gain understanding. Forgive yourself, both for your part in this process as well as the things you cannot change.

You don’t have to file the divorce papers. If he wants to end the relationship, he can be the one that does it. He wants the relationship to end but he doesn’t want to be the one responsible for actually ending it. That’s childish. If he is the one that is motivated to give up on the relationship, he can be the one that finalizes it and deals with the emotional consequences.

I want you to focus on your love for your husband, even at a time when he is pushing you away and is unable to reciprocate. This is what we call unconditional love. Unconditional love is realizing that even when he doesn’t want to be with you, you still love him. Your love for him is going to be what helps you make the effort for your children’s sake, and it is going to give you peace of mind, and it is going to absolve you of the guilt associated with his actions. Your husband is set on torturing himself and others. Don’t allow yourself to be affected by his behavior and be drawn into it too much. That’s where counseling comes in, which can offer you a grounding perspective as well as ways of channelling the stress..

You aren’t in fantasy land. This isn’t false hope. This is about you not letting him be the one that ruins you. He can end the relationship but how you let him affect you is YOUR choice.

You cannot choose the people you love, and despite everything that this man does to you, you still love him. That shows a strength of character that is a credit to you. Be proud of loving him, even when he can’t allow himself to love you.

Stay strong. Identify what you can learn from this and what ways you are being called to grow. You will look back on this time and see it as a defining moment in your life. Make sure it is for the right reasons.

Andrew Rusbatch
Co-author of Save My Marriage Today

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