I Don't Want It To Be Over: How To Get My Wife Back When She Wants A Divorce

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 23, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Dr. Natalie Feinblatt, PsyD

Few things can catch you off guard as much as hearing that your wife wants a divorce. Whether you knew that your marriage was going through a difficult time or you thought things were going along smoothly, the word "divorce" can bring your world to a screeching halt. And, it can leave you trying to figure out, "how to get my wife back when she wants a divorce?".

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Find Out Why She Wants A Divorce

The first thing that you need to do if you want to get your wife back is to determine why she wants a divorce in the first place. There are many reasons this can be. And, while you may think that the reason is obvious or that you would see a divorce coming, that's not always true. A four-year study conducted by the Marriage Foundation found that 60 percent of couples were happy and fought little or not at all a year before getting divorced. So, there's a good chance that you were at least a little caught off guard by the fact that your wife wants a divorce.

If you spend a little time thinking through the past year or so of your relationship, you may be able to determine where she stands. But it might be something that you don't understand. Some of the most common reasons for divorce, according to one study, include:

  • Lack of commitment
  • Infidelity
  • Arguing too much
  • Getting married too young
  • Financial problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Health problems
  • Lack of support from family
  • Religious differences
  • Little or no premarital education

How To Determine Where The Problem Is

The most obvious way to find out what the problem is is to be direct. If you and your wife are still on speaking terms, ask her why she wants a divorce. This is a conversation that you'll want to approach carefully. Your wife could be upset that you don't understand why she's reached the point that she has. But if you really don't know why and honestly want to work on repairing your marriage to win your wife back, try to talk to her about it.

If she is unwilling to talk to you, you might be able to determine where the problem has stemmed from by looking back at your past conversations. What has she asked for? What has she desired? Are there problems that she pointed out time and time again? Spend time thinking through your relationship and try to figure out where it started going wrong.

What To Do To Win Her Back

It would be nice if there were a one-size-fits-all plan for getting your wife back when she wants a divorce. But unfortunately, that's not how life is. Some things can help improve any marriage, but the exact steps you will need to take will depend on your marriage. Here are some things to consider as you try to win her back.

Take Responsibility

If you are used to blaming your wife for the problems, it's time to take a good hard look at yourself. Very rarely are the problems within a marriage completely one-sided. If you want to get your wife back, it's time for you to start looking at what areas you need to take responsibility for. Now, if your wife wants a divorce because you were unfaithful to her, then you know exactly what you need to take responsibility for.

When you know what you are responsible for within your marriage, it's also important that you apologize to your wife. This needs to be a sincere apology. It doesn't mean that she will forgive you at this time, but it's a good place to start. But remember, your wife may not believe that you right away that your behavior will change.

Show Her The Difference

If there are areas of your life that you need to improve, it's time to start showing her that you're doing it. This doesn't mean that you need to be perfect, but it does mean that you need to show that you're serious about making changes. This is not the time for empty promises. Don't tell her that you're going to do something differently if you don't plan on making changes.

Respect Her Boundaries

If she tells you she needs space, respect her needs. Please take a few days, and then show her with your actions how you've changed. Respecting boundaries is key and will show her that you're worthy of respect as well. By respecting her boundaries, you're also demonstrating your maturity and how much you care for her.

Think Back To The Beginning

Think about what you did to get your wife over when you first met her. She was probably the focus of all your attention. You most likely went out of your way to do things for her because you wanted her to know that you cared about her. As relationships progress, this tends to change. Couples settle in, and those feelings that used to rise in you when she entered the room might not be there anymore. However, you can bring some of that spark back into your marriage with a little effort and attention.

Focus On Yourself

There is only one person that you can control in your relationship-yourself. That means it's time to shift your focus. It doesn't matter if you'd like your wife to work on a long list of things. If she wants out of the marriage and you are the one that wants to make it work at the moment, you need to focus on the things that you can control.

Look at the areas that you can improve about yourself. What can you do to be a better husband to your wife? Is there anything that she has been hinting at or flat out asking you to do that you've been avoiding? Even if she tells you that it doesn't matter anymore, if you want to win her back, then these are things that you're going to want to do anyway.

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Show Her Love

With the threat of divorce on the doorstep, it's easy to allow your emotions to get out of control. This could result in you doing things like begging her to stay or yelling at her in your frustration. Instead of allowing your emotions to take control, it's time to take purposeful action. If you want her to stay, focus on loving her the way she desires to be loved.

In his book The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman explains that not everyone feels loved the same way. So, while you might think that you've been showing your wife love for years, she may feel completely unloved by the things you're not doing. The different languages include:

  1. Acts of service
  2. Physical touch
  3. Gifts
  4. Words of affirmation
  5. Quality time

There's a chance that the way you naturally show love isn't the way that your wife naturally feels loved. If you can pinpoint her love language, you can start to do things that will help fill her love tank. This can help pull your marriage back from the brink of divorce.

Talk To A Therapist

Couples counseling can help you and your wife to salvage your relationship. Like those at ReGain, a licensed therapist can help you get to the bottom of where the problems are coming from in your relationship. During counseling sessions, you can also work through what skills you can develop to improve your relationship going forward. For example, learning how to improve communication can help you to build a stronger marriage.

If your wife is unwilling to go to therapy, you can go to counseling sessions independently. Working with a licensed therapist can help you learn what areas to improve on to help your relationship. Even without your wife attending sessions, you may be able to turn your relationship around from what you learn and the change in your thinking and actions towards your wife and relationship.

What If She Won't Take You Back?

Unfortunately, there is a chance that your wife will decide to move forward with the divorce regardless of what you do to try to improve the relationship. The divorce rate in the United States is still hovering around the 50% mark. Divorce is a challenging time for everyone involved. This is another area where talking to a therapist can help you. A therapist can help you learn how to recover from your marriage's hurt and adjust to your new normal after divorce.

But remember that just because your wife is saying she wants a divorce does not mean that your marriage is over. It's worth fighting for your marriage and your wife. You can use the tips provided in this article to help you win your wife back. Take time to think about your situation and what you know about your wife. This can help you personalize your efforts in getting her back. Make sure you stay calm to keep the lines of communication open with her which will help give your marriage a fighting chance.

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