It’s not over … even when it’s over

This is the ninth part in a series for men facing divorce. See parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and ten.

Fat lady singing © David Spieth |

Even if your wife does not change her mind and a divorce is granted by the courts, it is not over. There are plenty of stories of couples who have divorced and remarried; it does happen. The key to this being a possibility is being decent to her even if all you can think of is getting back at her. Making life difficult for her might make you feel better, but it won’t give her any reason to think about getting back with you.

Women do not go back to the man they divorced because life it just too difficult without him; women go back because they see in him something they thought he no longer had, or something they never saw before. If she feels she must have a man to survive (not a common feeling among newly divorced women) there are plenty of men out there; driving her to a man is almost certainly not driving her to you. Your approach should be all carrot, no stick.

If you want to win her back, start by making sure you are not doing anything to drive her away. Don’t bad mouth her or try to turn mutual friends against her. If you have kids, go out of your way to make joint parenting as easy as possible for your ex. Go the extra mile by doing most of the driving required to move the kids back and forth. When she is running late, assume it was not intentional. If she wants to change from the set plans, do all you can to accommodate her (keeping whatever records are wise). Don’t pump your kids for information, or get them to carry messages, and don’t do anything to make their mom look bad (even if she has been bad).

If you want to win her back, work on you. Make changes, grow, become someone she will find attractive. She left who you were, or at least who you presented yourself to be; if you want her to return you need to show her something other than what she left.

If you want to win her back, don’t fall into bed with her, no matter how much you want it or how hard she presses you for it. If her desire for sex is nothing but physical, you are only helping her live without you as husband. If her desire is more than just physical, holding back will allow her desire to grow and become stronger. Lovingly refusing sex while trying to win her love also tells her you want her for more than sex.

There are a number of “standing for your marriage” type groups out there (feel free to leave links in the comments). Some of them are great, and some of them tend more towards blame shifting pity parties. Be discerning about those you open up to, and those with whom you share intimate details. If you want to restore your marriage, people who talk down your ex are not helping, no matter how much you like to hear it. This is also true for counsellors and pastoral ministry – if the person who is “helping” you is not all about seeing your marriage restored, they are not helping you.

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3 Comments on “It’s not over … even when it’s over

    • My husband has just filed for divorce. I don’t want it. He had to move to another state about 2 years ago because of job problems. I stayed hoping the house market would get better, and also I had a son in college. Now my son is out and living in China. I have been getting the house ready to sell. Then I get this in the mail. He just tells me he wants to move on with his life. That hurts me I want to move up there with him and buy a house. I am so broken, I really don’t want to live anymore. I cry all the time.

  1. i will pray 4 u donna.
    my wife of 17 yrs moved in w her boyfriend and wants a divorce

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