It’s very common- searching for exact words to say (and exact words not to say) in order to keep your spouse from leaving- or to win your spouse back. In fact, many things out there claim there is “one word,” or there is “one phrase” you can use to win your spouse back.
Here’s the hard truth: there is no exact word or phrase. But here’s the good news: there are things you can do if you’re in this situation, there is hope!
We know the situation you are currently in is extremely difficult. Wherever you find yourself, you may want to focus on the fact that your spouse is gone, or is leaving. However, the focus point needs to move onto the “why.” Is your spouse feeling pulled out of the relationship by something else? Is there something pushing your spouse away from you, from the relationship?
Whatever it may be, here are five things you should avoid saying if your spouse is thinking about leaving (or has already left.)
First, avoid doing behaviors that actively “push” your spouse away. Crying, yelling, and begging are natural reactions when we feel like we’re losing someone we love. However, these are not the best reactions for the long term. Showing them the levels of our emotional pain doesn’t “guilt” them toward coming back. What can you do? Be strong, calm, and gentle. This is NOT easy, but is invaluable.
Second, do not threaten your spouse, or give ultimatums. You want to shock your spouse to get their attention- but it won’t lead them back to you.
Third, do not make empty promises. Do not say “I’ve decided, all of the sudden, to make changes,” in order to keep them to stay. Rather consider these questions: Do you agree that you need to make these changes? Are these changes against your beliefs? Are you going to actually make the changes? Focus on long-term changes.
Fourth, do not bring up an emotional situation or what they’ve done in the past in order to change the current circumstances. It won’t work.
Fifth, do NOT (and do not hire someone to) snoop, track, or follow, your spouse. If you focus on what your spouse is doing/where they are, you are focusing on the WRONG thing. What’s happening right now is not what led to him/her leaving, it’s what happened in the weeks, months, and years up to now.
We aren’t saying you are the one to blame. There are many reasons a person may want to leave a marriage. However, it’s wise to admit that no marriage is perfect and there is no “perfect spouse.” We are not perfect. We still correct our own wrongs. This is why it’s important to focus on what you can do to become a better person, husband, wife.