Relationships have a way of running in directions that you never expect.
Today we are going to hear from a guy named Clint, whose wife is threatening to leave him due to his anger problems and maybe even divorce him.
We will hear out his story and then explore some of the typical things you should consider doing when the wife is making threats of leaving you. I am not talking about casual threats, but really intense threats that have the appearance of possibly coming true.
So I hand you off to Cliff to get a piece of his story….
Hey there, I am Cliff and Chris asked me to write some lines.
My wife has never threatened divorce before. I know she is mad at me and she has good reason. I am not the perfect husband, though I have never threatened to divorce her when I get upset or grow bitter.
I guess I suck at the marriage game. I move through life pretty quick and am really independent, so I know I step on her toes sometimes.
We have known each other for six years and married for two years. I can kinda go crazy when I don’t get my way. The other day I just started yelling at her and I guess that was the final straw, once again.
That’ our other problem. She keeps blowing up at me. Almost weekly now.
She is telling me that she should get a lawyer and is threatening to sue me for emotional abuse. I don’t think you can do that unless you are parting ways.
I sure am not ready for that to happen and I know she still loves me. But she is pissed at me and I know that because she is pulling out all the stoppers.
What exactly is she saying you ask? Let me give you a rundown.
First my wife threatens to leave with our child. I know she doesn’t mean it, but the sound of her voice tells me she is serious and I need to get my act together.
Then my wife threatens to cheat on me. Now that is just her trying to get me upset. My wife is a looker and she could have anyone she wanted. But that is not the kind of woman she is.
But look, I know our marriage is a bit messed up, but it works. Neither of us have cheated on the other. Our sex is great and I am not going to lose her. But she is starting to scare me with her talk.
Now my wife is threatening to call the cops and make me leave.
I am kinda getting tired of this. Now that I think about it, my wife likes to throw this stuff in my face. She freaks me out with these baseless threats in the moment, but then later I realize she is not going ever follow through. But I never really know if this time it’s going to be a different outcome
I mean she gets so upset, all red in the face and it sounds pretty real to me at the time. It’s like we are on some endless merry go round. When we argue about whatever, she throws divorce in my face. I am seriously getting sick of it. It’s like she uses me as her relief valve. I do little something wrong and if she is stressed she take it all out on me dredging up every single thing I may have done wrong in the past. There is no fair fighting in this house.
I am not such a bad husband but if you listen to my wife, she will have you convinced I am some kind of bully. But look man, she is winning most of these battles. Huffs and puffs, lets me have it, then leaves for most of the day making me wonder if she will come back.
Yep, that’s what’s going down here.
So what I am looking for is some advice or some steps on how to make sure my wife does truly leave or divorce me. Better yet, if there is some way to just get her to stop making these threats.
Look, I am not a menacing or frightening husband. I don’t beat my wife. If anybody is hostile, it’s my wife.
So shoot me whatever good advice you got.
5 Things You Need To Do To Ensure Your Wife Won’t Be Leaving You
As you can imagine, I had a good amount of advice for this individual. Part of challenge was helping him get more in touch with the moment from her perspective. I will explain what I mean by this later.
As you can see from his description, he is far from the perfect husband and I when I got into the down and dirty of all their problems, I told him he needed to clean up his act.
I didn’t tell him that to side with his wife because there are some issues there. But mainly I wanted to give him a wake up call that somebody needs to lead the way. And right now, both spouses were acting like victims.
After I cut through a lot of his crap, it turned out most of the threats from his wife were levied more from a defensive posture. Sometimes it is helpful to be frank with certain guys who struggle with understanding how their treatment of their wife could be the origin of their troubles.
This particular individual seemed to think it was OK to keep doing things in his normal fashion. But good marriages don’t work that way. There should be give and take and growth. But if one makes no effort to solve the underlying problems….and both of them had faults….then little progress will be made.
You see, marriage improvement does not stem from practicing the same behaviors because not all behaviors are healthy. If you act like a bully and think you can get away with it without consequences, then you can expect that your wife is going to strike back.
So I started talking to him from a 3rd person perspective.
If you find yourself wondering why she is so hostile towards you, ask yourself if it is possible the entire problem does not necessarily stem from your wife freaking out, I told him.
Just maybe, the husband bears some of the responsibility of the deteriorating marriage. This was the challenge I had when I was coaching this gentleman. He had little motivation to accept that he was part of the problem and could be part of the solution.
When all that exist is mainly finger pointing, with each spouse blaming the other; then the couple are both playing a zero sum game.
So I told him, “you are a wonderful and faultless husband and it is beyond me why you married such a witch“.
Of course I was being sarcastic to try to get him to see that there was little to gain in playing victim. He didn’t want to hear that but sometimes it takes a neutral party to show someone how they are being perceived.
I told him the husband bears some responsibility when the wife is having a meltdown. It is never as simple as the wife is all wrong and the poor husband is the victim.
And vice versa.
There are plenty of women who want to blame their husband for all that is wrong with the marriage, but are reluctant to take a look at their own behavior and how it contributes to marriage unrest.
So let’s say you are in a situation that is rather hostile. Let’s say your wife is becoming unglued or often directs her rage at you and you are worried sick that she is going to do something rash. Like leave you forever.
Here are 5 things you should try doing to regain control of the environment if you find yourself in the midst of a marriage meltdown.
1. Try Telling Your Wife Calmly That You Love Her Completely and Don’t Want Her to Leave – Then Shut Up
Sometimes all your wife needs to hear is some nice, soothing and loving words. And you better say it with measured, deadpan honesty or she will see right through it.
Sure, if she is really upset with you and making threats of walking out, you probably won’t see her calm down immediately. Particularly if you have taken a defensive verbal posture.
But trust me. Those words of yours will make a mark. It will make an impression on her in that very moment, but you won’t see it. She will hold it in.
It will also make an impress in her subconscious. There can be a million things that can arouse her anger. Some of us can be really moody. Some of the issues a couple may have with each other could even be petty. And some of these angry thoughts your wife is having could be very much justified.
Working through all that is for the immediate future. But right now, you and and your wife are in the here now. You are in the present moment and are facing a very angry wife, right?
So what I am saying is if she hears with her own ears you telling her in person, to her face, that you love her dearly and want her to stay, it will register.
But it is critical you stop talking after you say this. Any more words from you will waste the moment. Let her unwind. Give her a chance to have her say and listen to every word she utters. Empathize.
Show positive body language demonstrating with earnest that you care about every utterance of your wife and every syllable she is speaking.
This approach to communication may not solve everything in that moment, but it will give you and your wife a platform to launch an effort to try to work things out.
Don’t forget, in the here now, you are trying to put the flame out.
Remember, your goal is not to cure the marriage right there, right then. You are trying to talk your wife off the ledge and get her to come back down to earth and open up so she can see you listening about her concerns.
2. Calmly Tell Your Wife You Understand Her Plight and You Will Be Willing To Leave For a Spell
Again, use a calm voice when you talk to your wife about whatever is going on. If you mirror her anger or frustration or rage, you both are going to meltdown and all you end up doing is hastening her desire to leave you….to walk out.
If things have gotten so bad that the talk in your house has spilled over into, “Honey, I am leaving you. I am sick of you. I can’t stand to see your face again”, The sooner I leave the faster I can divorce you.”
If your communications have descended to that level of discourse and you feel your wife has declared war and wants you out of her life come hell or high water; then you best oblige. But only for the short-term.
Think of it as a reprieve. You are leaving but by her staying in the house, you still have some control of eventually getting the marriage back in some type of working order in the future.
That is a lot harder to do if she has rushed out of the house, muttering obscenities and talking about lawyers, separation, and divorce.
3. Set Aside Your Pride and Tell Your Wife Bluntly That the Marriage is in Intensive Care and Ask for a Reprieve
Sometimes a husband’s biggest vice in working through problems with their wife and marriage is their pride.
Sometimes it can be hard for any of us to accept their is trouble in paradise.
Living inside your pride can cause you to ignore the problems that are all too obvious to your wife. It can also blind you to the real problems with the marriage.
So if the meltdown of your marriage is occurring right in front of you, don’t waste another moment. Acknowledge out loud, without blame in the tone of your voice, that the Marriage is in big bad trouble. It’s like you are speaking in 3rd person.
Tell her in the most calm and supportive voice you can muster that the marriage is beyond sick and is serious need of emergency help.
Tell her you think outside help is needed because neither you or her are able to render a cure or solution to the marriage yourselves. For whatever reason, you have both lost your way. Tell her you want to find a Marriage Counselor you both can visit and start a process of ending this nightmare.
Your wife needs to see you “get it” and that you understand the problems between the two of you have risen to a point where you are afraid you both are going to lose each other and that there could be a lot of collateral damage.
Only then will you be able to shock her out of the notion of throwing in the towel and leaving you. Acknowledge to your wife that all of her threats of wanting to leave were warning signs and now you see you waited too long to take them seriously.
4. Try to End The Chaos of the Moment By Slowing Everything Down
So what the heck does all that mean, you might be wondering?
It’s simple and pretty deep and works at a psychological level. If your wife is irate and is threatening to end the marriage and you are fearful that she might actually go through with it, then you need to act, but do so in a certain unusual and interesting way.
How do you expect you will normally act?
Well, most husbands freak out when they are in such a situation. Most people do. Typically a guy will start getting excited and then frantically try to talk their wives out of leaving them. Bear in mind, in many cases, it takes a lot to drive a woman to a point of making threats. So we are already on some shaky and troublesome ground. The angrier the wife gets and the more accusations that get slung at you, the more defensive you will likely be.
And when your wife’s anger meets your defensiveness, guess what happens?
Nothing good, right!
The entire environment becomes combustible and the two of you stand a really good chance at blowing apart the marriage in that moment.
So you need to act against your nature.
You need to use the technique of mirroring. If you talk slow and walk slow and choose your words carefully, speaking quietly and in measured ways; then your wife will subconsciously start to slowly, over time mirror your behavior and demeanor.
Your goal is to bring the level of intensity down a few notches. Little is solved in moments of great passion. But a lot can be ruined in such an environment.
Nothing good will come of the two of you allowing things to become all twisted up. So take the lead and slow things down. If your wife insists that she wants to leave, then you need to call upon the inner yoga that is inside you and bring calm back into your world and hers.
5. Buy Some Time – You Can Make Progress If you Encourage Your Wife To Simply Wait.
Sometimes things are moving so fast than it is a blur. You have got to slow things down.
Start off first with using a little reverse psychology by agreeing with everything she is saying. I know it sounds crazy and may go against the current of truth. But your most immediate goal is to find a way to reach into the rationale side of her mind.
Most likely, if she is throwing threats at you, she is living in right side of her brain…the emotional side.
Now I know some of what she is saying could be hogwash and simply not true or at best misleading. But remember, you just need to try to buy time for the best interests of the marriage.
Then tell your wife that You have it coming.
Maybe you do.
Maybe you don’t.
But say it anyway. Take the sword. You are a tough guy. And once again, I warn you, if you are going to eat your words and take the sword, it better pass her truth detector.
Tell her you are not going to fight her on what she wants. Don’t try to talk her into staying. So now you are taking her side.
You understand the angle here, right?
So then simply tell her that she should wait until tomorrow before she packs and leaves or wants you to pack and leave.
Explain to her you understand she is physically and emotionally exhausted, just like yourself. So let tomorrow be the dreaded day when their marriage officially ends. Put it that way, using words like that.
This may have the effect of actually causing your wife to (1) become less angry and intent on leaving you that very moment and (2) start to doubt if separating or divorcing you is really the best thing to do.