I often hear from wives who want to know when it’s too late to get their husband back. Some tell me that, in their minds, it is too late because their husband has seemed to “move on.” I often hear comments like “We’ve been separated for six months. I think my husband has started seeing someone else. I’m starting to think that this is the end and that it’s too late for us. If someone has moved on, does that mean the end of the marriage?”
Another example is something like: “My husband keeps telling me that we’re over and that it’s too late to do anything to save this marriage. Yesterday, he told me that he was moving on and that I should do the same thing. But I’m not sure how I can do this when it’s never going to be over for me. What can I do?”
The common denominator in all of these questions and comments is that what the person asking really wants to know is when is it too late to save your marriage. Do you reach that “too late” point when your spouse tells you they have moved on? Do you have to take their word for it?
Of course, I can’t definitively answer these questions for anyone because the answer depends on the specific people involved and the situation that they are in. But, I can offer you a perspective from my experiences and observations, which I’ll do in the following article.
Sometimes, Couples Do Reconcile After One Of Them Has “Moved On”: If there’s anything that I know for sure in this situation, it’s that it is possible for things to change. Feelings change. Perceptions change. Situations change also. Just because someone is proclaiming or insisting something today, this doesn’t mean that they can’t do a complete about face tomorrow.
I have seen divorced couples reconcile. I’ve seen couples who have been remarried to other people (sometimes for decent periods of time) decide to get back together. This doesn’t happen in every case, of course. But it most certainly can happen. Sometimes, there’s a change in circumstances which bring about a change of feelings. Other times, it happens spontaneously. But, much of the time, it’s part of a master plan meant to bring about small, gradual, and yet dramatic changes.
Why Hanging On Too Tightly Can Sometimes Backfire: Wives in this situation often tell me that they just can not accept that it’s over or that he has moved on. I do understand this as I was in these shoes and I know how frustrating and painful this whole process can be. However, I can also tell you that I hear from husbands in this situation too and it’s my experience and opinion that clinging too tightly or “refusing” to accept what he’s telling you will often make him feel less loving or receptive toward you rather than more so.
I know that it can be difficult to take step back or to pause when you’re so afraid that the second you do, he really will be gone. But sometimes, you just have to ask yourself if clinging so tightly has been working for you. Take a long look to see if your previous methods have really gained you anything.
Sometimes, if you are honest and can maintain a little distance, you can see that actually, you’ve only been making things worse. It’s really important to ask yourself if the attempts you’ve been making have been bringing him closer to you or improving things or if they’ve been pushing him further away and deteriorating things. If this is the case, sometimes, you come to realize that trying something new isn’t as risky as it may have first appeared.
Backing Off Or Taking Pause Is Not The Same As your Moving On: I sometimes have wives tell me things like: “maybe he’s moved on, but I will never be able to. I just can’t give up on our marriage or let go no matter what he says.” Another example is: “his moving on doesn’t mean that I have to.” All of these points are valid, but nothing says that you have to broadcast this to him. Because, when you’re asserting that you are absolutely not going to move on, then sometimes he will come to oppose you even more and think that he needs to ratchet up his efforts to change your mind. This of course, makes him move further away from you.
So, there are times when you are better off just telling yourself that, although you know full well how you feel, you’re no longer going to keep repeating this to him when he already knows it anyway. There’s nothing wrong with appearing to back off when you know all along that your plan is to gain some ground. And, sometimes you need a pause to gain some perspective and calm.
Taking time for yourself and taking a break from all of the drama can sometimes actually improve the situation. And sometimes, when you are suddenly silent or absent, your husband suddenly becomes interested again. This is what happened in my case, although it wasn’t by design.
No matter which way you chose to go, it’s my experience that you are almost always better off if you are able to maintain your respect and dignity. You want to portray yourself in the strongest way possible and this often requires you to act “as if” when you just aren’t feeling it or aren’t all that confident. Sometimes, it helps to remember the person your husband loved once upon a time and to show him that person when the opportunity genuinely presents itself.