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When Your Husband Says He Is Done

4 Ways to Convince Him to Fight for Your Marriage

When your husband says he is done or, worse, leaves you, it is devastating.

If he has left and you still love him, it’s easy to feel hopeless. It seems like there’s nothing you can do since he has clearly made his mind up.

But what if the breakdown in your marriage is actually a doorway to a breakthrough?

Here are 4 ways to win back your husband’s heart, no matter what he has said.

1. Delight Yourself at Least 3 Times Today

While it may not seem like it right now, your happiness is his drug.

But if you’re anything like I was when my marriage broke down, you’ve probably forgotten what being ridiculously happy feels like.

Or what made you so playful, joyful, and irresistible back when you attracted your man.

Losing touch with that fun side of yourself kills the intimacy.

So how about trying something different?

Self Care in Marriage

Put self-care #1 on your agenda. Do what makes you feel most you, whether it’s crossfit, cross-stitching, or just hanging out with your BFFs.

The more frivolous, the better!

When Connie’s husband told her he was no longer attracted to her, she knew divorce was on the horizon.

She took matters into her own hands by becoming the queen of self-care.

Not only did her husband follow suit, taking care of himself and even lowering his blood pressure, he noticed how attractive his wife had suddenly become.

He wanted to spend devotional time together–and sexy time!

She was only hoping he wouldn’t divorce her. But today Connie says it’s hard to believe her marriage is better than it ever was.

It’s no wonder she reignited the spark. Men are visual. When you do things that make you feel good, your smile and open body language show him that your marriage can be playful and passionate again. Nobody wants to get away from that!

2. Get the Magic Words

How did your marriage come to this tipping point? Even if it wasn’t your fault, consider what you can do to make the road ahead smoother.

Make these two words central to your vocabulary: “thank you.” Express gratitude for the little things he does, whether taking out the trash, being affectionate with the kids, or going to work to support the family.

Appreciate Your Husband

Maybe you’ve overlooked everything he does to make you happy because it was so much easier to see all the things he wasn’t doing.

That’s where another vocabulary adjustment comes to the rescue: apologizing for the times you’ve been disrespectful.

Did you dismiss his thinking when he wanted to stock up on ammo for the apocalypse and tell him what a dumb idea that was?

Did you demean him, joking to your friends about having an extra child to take care of?

Did you criticize him for failing at his job search?

Did you try to control him? Maybe you were just trying to be helpful about his diet or asking a leading question about his wardrobe (“You’re wearing that?”) or telling him what you would do about his annoying boss (i.e., the right answer, which he wouldn’t come up with left to his own devices).

Yeah, I didn’t realize those were all forms of disrespect either.

But cleaning up your side of the street by saying “I apologize for being disrespectful when I tried to control your spending” has a way of melting his iciness.

Now that you’ve cleaned your side of the street, do your best to keep it that way.

When you next talk to him, hold back any critical thoughts. Putting him under attack will only drive a bigger wedge between you.

Let him have the floor. When he feels heard, he’ll be more receptive to your verbal and nonverbal cues.

Keep conversations light. Reminisce about old times, share inside jokes or playfully ask him to do something that you did in your courtship days.

Also keep your side of the conversation brief, as I share about in “How to Get Your Husband Back.”

3. Get a Strong Support Base

Your biggest cheerleader?

You!

Start by changing your internal monologue. Wallowing in self-pity and recrimination only reinforces all the hurtful things you want to say the next time you see him.

Halting that mental loop can seem impossible when you’re feeling so heartbroken. If that’s the case, go back to step 1 and pour on the self-care!

The biggest detriment to taking care of yourself–and to saving your marriage?

Naysayers.

They’re easy to find. Even your well-meaning friends and family may say things like “You deserve better” rather than standing for your vision for your relationship.

Listening to those voices is the surest route to your marriage hitting a dead end.

Marriage Support

So be extra careful to surround yourself with people who are genuinely rooting for you and your relationship. Try to avoid heart-to-hearts with anyone encouraging you to leave him.

Express to your closest friends your desire to save the marriage. This will remove the negative dialogue in your life.

Join a Facebook group like The Adored Wife (Free!) to fill yourself up with positivity and possibility.

4. Get Back Your Dating Spark

Approach every meeting with him as if it were a date. Get dressed, get flirty and turn on the charm.

Keep non-physical contact short. Texts and phone calls should be a teaser so that he wants to see you even more.

How to Make Your Husband Feel Like a Man

When you see him, he loves it when you make him feel like the man. Ask for his help opening the pickle jar or replacing that light bulb.

Restore your physical connection by hugging, hand holding or cuddling. It might feel really vulnerable right now, but a kiss on the cheek or resting your hand on his during conversation shows you’re open to being intimate.

If he’s in the doghouse, break him out. Intimacy in the bedroom is incredibly important to repair a fractured marriage.

When Stella’s husband fell in love with another woman, moved out and asked for a divorce, she was a sobbing mess.

But when he came over, that’s not what he saw.

Instead, she lit up when he walked into the room. She flaunted new lingerie in the kitchen, reaching into the highest cupboard so he’d get a little peepshow.

Before long, he started initiating sex. She was all in. Instead of punishing him and blocking the intimate marriage she wanted, she received his physical affection.

She then started receiving dinners and movies, flowers and cards. And, ultimately, him moving back to their bedroom.

If your marriage feels like it’s falling apart, you might think it’s too late to apply these 4 secrets to winning back his heart.

But when women on our campus find the courage to experiment even when they think it’s completely hopeless, to quote Thomas Wolfe, “Miracles not only happen… they happen all the time.”


14 thoughts on “When Your Husband Says He Is Done”

  1. but what if he has said he wants us back, but he’s still with another woman his mom and family love. they love me too, but his mom lives with him and he doesn’t want to upset her, lost Dad in November, alot of his stuff is still here and he won’t take it and says he’s content and doesn’t know what to do. I gave him a bible, but he’s prideful, on top of that we were raising our 7 year old granddaughter, who keeps hoping

    Reply
  2. Laura, thank you so much.
    Your blog and then reading Surrendered wife were eye opening to me. Who knew I went that far (for my standards) in controlling and hovering over my husband, not cleaning up my side of the street, being dismissive, bossy, impatient, etc. in short, pretty disrespectful to him. And yeah, I considered myself to be a perfect marriage material, very feminine and sensitive… before the marriage.
    I’m quite slow in implementing what I learned from you. My old patterns have a strong grip. That’s where I find your podcasts helpful to keep me on the right track.
    I also can see that the problems you describe are very typical here, in the States. Women might be really abusive to their significant ones without realizing what damage they do to their relationship and themselves, their true feminine nature.

    Big thanks from the bottom of my heart,
    Katerina

    Reply
  3. I’ve been married for 28 years. He left me in December 2019. I’m in the house but he’s trying to force me out. I’m still madly in love with this man. I have tried these requested things- but he says it’s too late.

    Reply
  4. I’ve been trying for years to be happier and less anger/nit picking in my marriage. I’m scared there has been too much hurt on both sides of this marriage since I was diagnosed with PND 8 years ago. When I fall off the bandwagon and fight with my husband, he withdrawals. I’m feeling so alone, unloved and exhausted. It’s now to the point I am thinking it would be better to separate, but we have 2 children. I’m scared it’s going to take years to gain my husbands trust in my behavior/emotions.

    Reply
  5. good morning,
    wonder how you showed up in my email? Did i click on your site? praying for a husband that will communicate daily. He even goes on facebook and ask women to talk to him.Very disturbing – about 3 years ago we spent way too much money for marriage counseling at the Nat’s Instute of Marriage, God spoke to my husband and told him to stop hurting me..but that only lasted a year and now he is continueing to hurt me… I pray for guidance and many are paying as we../ God is good

    Reply
  6. LD, Thanks for in my email. I am doing extensive SC and have apologized. When we meet I treat it as a date. However, there is no intimacy in over 1 1/2. To be honest I’m hesitant to be intimate sexually. He may pick up on it too. In one of our conversations he said “the sex wasn’t good” and “ he shouldn’t have married me”. Then the next day he’s nice. Since then he’s been calling and coming by. But those words left an imprint on my mind. I could also have a blind spot I’m unaware of.

    Thoughts!

    Reply
  7. How can I even try when he is living with the other woman? Takes her everywhere with our kids & still cries to me saying he loves me and misses me – just “knows” we won’t work? He met her online when our fighting was at a peak, I found out the week before he moved out and she moved in with him a week later. He says he feels nothing for her, still loves me and is having a hard time, and feels badly because she is “a nice person” and he would be a jerk if he sent her away. Says we need time to work on us but how is that possible when she is here? How can I apply intimacy skills when he is always with her & I am devastated by it?

    Reply
  8. I am a total mess… I have made so many mistakes in the 13 years I have been with my husband… been married almost 4 years now… I was the dominant one and always wanted things my wayi am so sad each day and pray constantly just for strength and hope and for my husband to find peace and healing and soften his heart towards me… he is the worst version of himself now and i want to help him heal and show him i am all in for the rest of our lives for better or worse because we are in the worse now and i am not bailing, i want to carry burdens and i want to help him succeed in life. i truly have forgiven so much in him and actions he has done but he cant forgive me… i truly love him Unconditionally. Please could anyone just give me any form of guidance or motivation or advice please.

    Reply
  9. I am reading the Empowered Wife and listening to your podcasts. I can see that I’ve been disrespectful which has hurt my husband. He doesn’t prioritize me in his life and really never has. I struggle with some of the advice. Are you supposed to stay quiet when his actions hurt you and stick your head in the sand, pretending like it’s not happening? Are you supposed to let him make all the decisions? I’m smart and educated. I also want to be respected. I want us to be a team, I don’t want to blindly follow while keeping my mouth shut.

    Reply
    • In my situation, I’ve not been disrespectful, but certainly “feel” the need to “voice” my thoughts & feelings esp. when he makes it seem he’s all good & has done no wrong, which is untrue. I, too, have never been prioritized esp. since becoming a Mom (at 41) and after 16 years of marriage. I gave up a good career to raise our daughter and he hates that I did that. Money is a big part of his life & self-esteem. I’ve budgeted over the years, shop consignment, to save for private school. Since things have gotten worse (early January), I have been less vocal…in hopes that he will express his feelings/emotions more to me. I’m an emotional being (extrovert) & feel it’s important to be candid and open about my feelings, esp. about the future we have planned together. . more good than bad over the years, he’s 60, me right behind. Add in, he’s a recovering alcoholic (23 years) so has a mindset that is F up to begin with. I, too, don’t want to blindly follow while keeping my mouth shut.

      Reply
  10. Hi
    I met my husband in my early 20s . We fell in love and got married. Things seemed normal to me . Yes we would have arguments like regular couples did , but it did get progressively worse . He was always finding faults in everything I did . Never appreciated me no loving words no kindness nothing . But coz I loved him I always thought we could get over our issues . We also had done good times so I will not say they were all bad . We have been married for 10 years. We have also been trying to have a baby too . 4 years ago he bought a young woman to our house introduced as a female friend who needed to stay at our place since she lost her job . I was annoyed that I wasn’t in the decision making process. But he said it all happened in a rush he didn’t get a chance too . Initially it all seemed alright I was in the mindset of helping a person out . Eventually I started noticing things like a recipe for a gift ( female watch ) that wasn’t for me . It wasn’t even delivered to our address as we normally do with online purchase, it was to be collected from the store. I also eventually found out that the girl living in my house had the same watch . I was so angry I accused my husband for having an affair with her and for lying to me . He denied everything and said it would be stupid to bring a girl to the house if he was having a relationship with her . He even said the watch was a gift for his mother who lives abroad . He also said it’s possible two people can have the same watch . I believed the story but my guy instinct told me otherwise. I kept noticing little stuff and started noticing patterns like he won’t be at home if she isn’t , she would be in the kitchen when he would and when I would question or argue with him regarding that he would just say since we all live together he is bound to run into her . She lived with us four years and still does . This only led to more arguments and more issues between us . I would accuse him but he kept denying . I was also angry he didn’t care how upset her presence was making me . We were also trying to have a baby during this time and nothing was happening. Decided to go for iui and the day before the procedure he said he is also with the other girl and that she is his wife too and he wants to be with the both of us . Again he didn’t care I was upset. All he said was the “ signs were there “ but no remorse for lying and betraying me or the pain he caused. I thought he was someone who I could trust completely and would have my back no matter wat . I am angry , hurt , in pain , I went for the iui procedure crying my eyes out thinking of all the time he could have said he decided to say it a day before the procedure. I just wish this pain would go away. Clearly he has emotionally detached coz he has someone else to go to and find comfort somewhere which being inconsiderate of the pain he caused me . How do move away from the pain caused ?

    Reply
  11. Mine also did something similar. My husband loaned my old car to a woman that I later found out that he’s been texting since we went to his high school reunion back in 2009. I also found out he’s also had a similar relationship with a female co-worker. He feels these relationships are important to him and because he’s not having sex with them (so he says) that it’s not cheating, but agreed that he wouldn’t like it if I had these same “friendships” with other men. How do I respect that? How do I ask myself “ I feel, I want” when I feel hurt and angry and I want him to stop being “ friends “ with them without being a controlling wife? Do I express my feelings and wants and end it with “Do whatever you think is best?” What if he really thinks it’s best to keep having these women in his life? How do I give myself self-care and self-respect? He thinks he’s got the green light to keep hurting me.

    Reply
    • Michele,

      Thanks for sharing what’s going on. That sounds hard. I admire your vulnerability and hear your desire around wanting transformation.

      My students have fixed their marriages in similar situations (and worse!) and become happy wives.

      I know it seems hopeless right now, but when you get the right structure and support, there’s every reason to be hopeful. I invite you to put your name on the waitlist for my Ridiculously Happy Wife program.

      Reply

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