There had been alarms you couldn’t hear.

There had been signs you couldn’t see (or ignored, or chose to ignore).

But when it is out in the open, it is impossible to ignore the inevitable.

But is it completely inevitable? Could you possibly stop your spouse from wanting a divorce?

The answer is, yes you could. Saving a marriage when he wants out might be the hardest thing you have ever done. However, you first must have grounds for wanting to do so. It will inevitably take some time and a lot of patience also.

He might have done the talking and it might be over for him with only a series of paperwork left, but for you, it is not over yet. You haven’t done your share of making it work out. You can’t just call it quits, as yet. The challenge, then, is: how to save my marriage when he wants out?

1. Don’t Smother Him

Not literally of course, and not figuratively either. When you as the partner are faced with the fact that your spouse is ending the relationship, very easily and quickly you begin to get into a position where you feel desperate. You might get all dramatic and play victim, or you could do something unusual such as showering affection on him and smothering him with sweet nothings and all that had been missing from the marriage for a very long time.

Your spouse will know it is temporary and an effort to change his mind. It works much better to have some sensible strategies. A clingy partner who hasn’t been working on serious matters would make it easier for him to leave.

2. Be Prepared

You need to be prepared for what might come forth. He might come up with as lousy reasons as possible because he can’t share his heart with you. On the other hand he might start pointing fingers at your flaws in the marriage which he states lead to his decision to leave. Please try not to blame him or argue unnecessarily. Instead if he wants to talk, it works best just to listen patiently and show compassion, at least at the basic level. Take time to think things through, if you can. It is possible that some of what he says may be helpful in getting clues or triggers as to his thoughts on what lead him to this decision even though you cannot go back and do things over.


3. Take Charge, You’re Not a Victim

Nothing annoys a man more than a woman who plays victim all the time or tries to do so for his attention. Of course, you may believe there are valid reasons to cry your heart out and ask him, “Why, after all this time?” or “How could you?”

However, what you could do instead is, take responsibility for your actions and for the relationship and start working on what you know to do immediately. Your actions for sure speak louder than words. Be consistent and let him see that you’re investing in your marriage rather than bragging about the things you only did last week.




Following are tips to help strengthen your marriage. But first, check out my products related to marriage health.

4. Clean Up The Mess

The past hurts such as negative remarks, unnecessary criticism and much of the same nature might have built up an entire pile of garbage. These are probably some of the things which could have led to your partner’s decision of divorce.

It’s a good idea to clean up this mess as much as possible. If you can, find out about the resentments festering. Next, ACT upon improving the situation as much as you can. Do APOLOGIZE sincerely for the mistakes on your part and bring up the moments when you’ve felt hurt or rejected in a suitable manner if it is appropriate to do so. If you do that, you are not groveling but keeping your head up to prove you want it to work and you want it seriously!

Be gentle in your manner, patient and attractive in your appearance. Take charge of what you can do to improve the atmosphere. Think about the things that used to be enjoyable to him and to the two of you together.


5. Check on Your Spouses Willingness to visit a Marriage Friendly Service

There are times when finally your spouse will agree to go see someone with years of successful experience in helping other couples. Sometimes they are willing to do it for the children or out of guilt.

There are times that making the point that they are stuck together for life, married or not, because of the children is enough to help. Often just knowing that communication will be just as important in order to co-parent the children helps the willingness.

Also it can help to face the fact that later there will be celebrations, graduations, weddings and probably even grandchildren in the future. This makes a great case for the importance of making the effort to be better in communicating and working together whether or not you stay married or end up divorcing.


I would love to hear what is working for you as a couple or hear your questions. This helps me to furnish more articles and materials that address the topics that encourage and help you!

I do faithfully try to respond to every email I receive. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

After 25 years, I am still awed by being a part of what I consider miraculous turnarounds with hundreds of couples.


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    Waverly Hanson

    Waverly Hanson

    Marriage Counselor & Author

    In my personal life, I have had a long successful marriage and have remarried following my husband's death.  I have had three sons and helped raise a niece for three years and have seven grandchildren.  I have loved spending time with them as they were growing up.

    I also enjoy getting together with family and friends, ATVing in the mountains, photography, hiking, and traveling. I also enjoy reading, creating art, decorating, and serving others by volunteering. 

    Assisting couples in rebuilding their marriages has been so rewarding as I've had the privilege of seeing hundreds of couples reunite and get back to being positively connected to one another. 

    I also work with personal development and those who want to move forward by making positive improvements such as goal setting, self-care, boundaries, behavioral improvements, overcoming procrastination, conflict management, etc.