”A couple of weeks ago my husband told me how unhappy he was in our relationship. I am 25 and have been in my marriage for 5 years. We also have a 2-year-old son. I know I did my fair share of screwing things up in our relationship, but I desperately want him to change his mind and to give our relationship another chance, not just for us but for our child as well. I can’t tell you how much I love this man! He did agree to go to marriage counseling with me, but he says that it is just to help me understand why he’s leaving. Is there any hope for us at all? Should I not talk with him about this subject anymore? Every time I talk with him about it he seems to get stronger in his feelings.”


First of all, realize that it took time for your marriage to break down and that your husband is feeling hopeless about the relationship right now. It is best to let the counselor guide you through this rather than talk about it without that help.

Keep off the hot issues for now. Don’t prod for motives or beg your husband to stay. You will lose his respect if you behave that way. In fact, begging or pressuring him to reconsider might actually make him more determined to end the marriage.

However, it can be helpful to let him know that you want to work on the marriage and that you are willing to do what you can to make it more satisfying for him.

Your spouse needs hope and evidence that your marriage can change for the better. Ask yourself: what has my husband been asking from me all these years? Start doing some of those things now without pointing out that you are making the effort to change.

Don’t suffocate him with letters and affection. Rather, show you care by being more considerate of his needs and by simply listening to him.

Many spouses do not know how to come to a deep understanding of each other, work through conflict, or connect emotionally and spiritually. Continual conflict and criticism can create a sense of hopelessness and resentment. This in turn can make it difficult to work through issues and sense the love you once had.

One thing you can do right now is make the effort to learn to communicate in a healthier way. Begin to use active listening skills. Learn to paraphrase what he says – this sends the message that you hear and that you are concerned about his opinions and what he has said.

Your marriage has been rocky for a long time; it will take time to heal. Your husband needs to see that you are determined to improve things and that those improvements will be permanent. It will take time to convince him there is hope for your relationship.

Even if your husband says he is only going to counseling for your benefit, he may begin to see things from a different perspective as he goes through the counseling process. But even if that does not happen, you will gain strength from it for the road ahead.

In addition to professional counseling, you could profit from having others journey with you through this hard time. If you would like to talk about your marriage in a safe and confidential environment, fill in the form below. One of our free and confidential mentors will connect with you soon.

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This article was written by: Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC

Photo Credit: Sophia Louise