If you sense that your husband or partner is having doubts about this marriage, if you worry he may want to leave, I have some insight for you. I know personally what it’s like to be unsure of wanting to stay in one’s marriage. I have been where you fear he may be.
From both my own experience and those of my many clients who, before working with me were in the situation you are in now, this is what we’ve found:
It’s not you the real-deep-down-you he is questioning or not loving.
What he's not loving (and he may not clearly understand this himself) is some way you are hiding the real you, some way you aren’t opening up and allowing your loving self to fully show up.
Take my experience to illustrate what I mean. If my first husband had not shut down over time, and buried himself under piles of stress and negativity; if he had fought for me by working on himself, then we may have turned our marriage around and made it even stronger than it was before (like my clients keep doing).
If he had said to me: “You matter to me. I’m willing to do the work on myself to grow and show up more wholeheartedly—because you are worth it. Because I believe in us. Because I want this to work.”—if he has said and done those things, I may not have left.
If he had gotten to work to shift his funky patterns, found support to address his depression, work on his chronic frustration—in short, work on regaining access to his good-hearted self— then I would have been so willing to wait, to give him that chance. And it likely would have changed everything.
But he didn’t. In fact, it was only after the end of our marriage that he started to actively address his depression, his stress levels, his unhappy mindset towards life. (Which heartbreak can motivate us to do.)This was too late for us.
Back to you. I know it's super scary and painful to be unsure if your partner wants to stay with you. But what if you take it as your chance to address the ways you aren't showing up in your marriage how you really want to?
What if you step up and take this as your opportunity to become the woman you really want to be in your marriage? The one who is confident, lit up about life, full-hearted, who knows who she is, and isn’t bothered by things like him not picking up his socks? Who doesn’t get upset at him so often. The one who he fell in love with — but even more-so.
My bet is— like I’ve witnessed with so many of my clients who’s husbands were one foot out the door —within a few months he’ll be telling you how different things feel, how thankful he is for you, and how he loves coming home again at the end of the day to see you. And that he’s so glad he gets to keep doing so into the future.
How would that feel for you?
Here’s my guess (because my clients tell me all about it, overflowing with wonder at themselves):
It won’t just change how your husband feels about you, it will change how YOU feel about you. You will feel so good about yourself, it will blow your mind.
Please take heart, my friend. A decision to leave is a big one. Most of us don’t make it overnight. You likely still have time to do your part to heal your marriage. But the work must be done. Doing nothing right now is the biggest risk you could take. Why wait to do the work yourself until you are in true heartbreak?
So hear me: this pain you are? It’s an opportunity to heal, to grow in ways you’ve actually wanted to deep down, and to someday, not far-off, blow your own mind with how good you feel about yourself.
I’m cheering you on and so excited to witness you do it. And if you want some help, you know that's what I'm here for.