Here’s your classic save your marriage catch 22. The marriage is in real trouble and there are some serious things that need to be repaired quickly and things have been left unsaid. You know that you could patch things up if your husband was receptive to you. If he would just give you his undivided attention for a very short period of time, you could work this out. The longer the tension remains, the worse things get. You’re itching to move in and fix this mess. But, he’s indicated that he needs space, wants some time alone, and needs to fly solo for a while. So, how can you possibly handle this? If you give him the space he’s asked for, things will seemingly only get worse. But, if you press him, he just gets angrier and moves further away. It may seem like there is no “right” or perfect answer, but there is a compromise that will seemingly allow for both of you to get what you want. You’ll need to have a bit of patience and you’ll need to follow the plan to the letter, but it can be done. I’ll explain below.
Annoyance Is Not Endearing: Before I go any further, I need to caution you that hounding your husband endlessly is not the answer. Many women will take what I call the “wearing him down tactic.” You think that if you just keep right on bugging him eventually he is going to give in just to quiet you. (This is the same tactic that toddlers use, by the way.)
Even if he were to “give in” and throw up this hands, he’s going to have a lot of anger and resentment. You’ve just hurt your cause rather than helped it. He’ll pretend to be listening just because he doesn’t want the hassle, but he’s only hearing background noise. He’s not internalizing anything that you say, not really. He’s only pacifying you. So, if you want to REALLY save your marriage, (where it sticks and he’s honestly into it), annoying him is not the way to do it. In truth this is only making him associate everything about you with negative emotions. You want him to smile or feel positively when he thinks of you. This is not the way to do it.
He Wants To Be Alone, So Give Him What He Wants (At Least Short Term): Your husband has made it very clear that he wants to be alone for a while. So, take him at his word. He’s honestly expecting you to cause a huge scene and to do everything in your power to change his mind. Don’t. Because if you continue to act in the same old way, then the same old, unsatisfying cycle continues. You can do better.
Now, I believe that allowing him to leave the home should be avoided if you can help it. (I know that sometimes you can’t.) However, it’s better for you to leave and stay with friends. (If this isn’t possible, at least give him his space at home.) Many people will passionately resist this. But, this step is very necessary. Because you’re proving that you’re trying to help him get what he wants and you’re giving him time to miss you. You want for him to remember the classy, and loving way that you handled this when he plays it back in his head (and he will, I promise.)
However, before you go, you need to correctly set up your exit. Sit him down and tell them that you love him and you want him to be happy. Assure him that you’ve heard his request to be alone, so you’re complying. Assure him that you’re going to use this time alone for your benefit as well. Agree that a break could do both of you good. Be upbeat and matter of fact. Don’t be overly dramatic or emotional. State it as plainly as you can without engaging in debates or tears. Come at him from a place of compassion, but make sure that he realizes that you’re doing this as much for yourself as for him.
What To Do While You’re Giving Your Husband Space: This is the part that many women are afraid of. They worry that he will go out and behave badly, that mistakes will be made that can’t be taken back. This may be true if you had put up a huge fight and handled this incorrectly, but many women are surprised that the “break” or “alone time” turns out to be much shorter than they expected.
The husband becomes quite intrigued by the sudden changes in you. This compels him to want to determine what is going on. And, now he plays right into your hands. See what you’ve done? Now he’s approaching you. He’s the one who’s initiating the contact now. This is exactly the position you want to be in. You’re moving from a position of weakness to one of power. What you do next is the most important step of all.
The Final Step: This is where so many women overstep. Once their husband begins to be receptive again, now they suddenly want to stop holding their tongues immediately. They’ve been dying to talk things out and to set thing right, so all of these words and emotions begin to pour out of them. What happens? The husband immediately thinks “OK, well here it is. Here I thought she was actually coming around, but she was only delaying what I knew would come.”
You can not have him thinking this. What you want to show him instead is an extension of the woman who just intrigued him. Continue right on with this upbeat, calm, open woman who began to turn things around. There will be time to say what you want and need to later, but first, you need to make you that you have a husband who is completely on board and who absolutely wants to be there.