How can I convince my husband that I have changed my behavior so that he will give me a second chance?

How can I convince my husband that I have changed my behavior so that he will give me a second chance?

It’s a terrible feeling to look back on your marriage with a negative flashback. Sometimes we don’t see things clearly enough until we face the actual loss of them forever. I recently heard from a woman who experienced this first hand. Her husband had left her after finally getting tired of her constantly twisting the truth, not treating him with respect, acting irresponsibly and taking him for granted.

She said in part: “I was furious with my husband when he left me. I was mad that he would give up on our marriage without warning me first. But after I started to think clearly, I realized that he did give me many warnings, but I didn’t always pay attention. I spent the money he mostly earned like crazy and got us into big debt. I would twist the truth about my activities so that I could continue to do exactly what he wanted. He worked hard while having fun. If he mentioned he wasn’t happy about it, I’d call him a stick in the mud or ask him if he was my father. I flirted with other guys and didn’t show him the respect he deserved. He was nothing but loving, loyal and good to me, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until now. So now I’m at the point where I’m fully aware of my mistakes and I’m committed to changing my ways. I got a better job and stopped spending, lying and partying. But when I tell him this, he looks at me suspiciously and makes no further attempts to see me. If only he would give me a second chance, I could and would prove to him that our marriage could be different. Will you give me a second chance? How can I make sure it does?” I’ll try to answer these questions below.

Usually, for your spouse to give you and your marriage a second chance, several things must happen at once: As time went on, it became quite obvious that this wife was sincere. It’s been months since her husband left. And in that time, she had found a job, adjusted her thinking and behavior, and truly embraced a new way of life that her husband had encouraged and urged all along.

The wife was disappointed that she had made all these changes and yet, despite repeatedly describing her mistakes and how she had changed them, her husband was still not receptive enough to give her another chance or return home. In fact, he had started talking about divorce, which upset her especially.

What this wife failed to understand is that in order for your husband to give you a second chance or be open to reconciliation, several things must happen as follows:

1. Your spouse must fully believe that not only have you truly changed, but that you understand why you acted the way you did and are completely remorseful for it. He needs to believe that you now see the qualities in him that you missed before so that you don’t continue to take him for granted.

2. Your husband needs to believe that the changes you have made are permanent and that you have not “changed” just for his benefit. Many husbands suspect that as soon as he agrees to give you another chance or returns home, you will eventually get comfortable again and go back to your old ways, so he has to deal with the same behavior again and again, without any escape.

3. Once your husband believes that you have made lasting realizations and changes, then he must realize that continuing a relationship or marriage with you will be better for him (or make him happier) than moving on to be alone. Of course, he may believe that you may have changed. But sometimes he still feels that too much negativity has happened between you to really save the marriage. Or doubts whether things can ever really “be the same” again.

Identifying and addressing any doubts your spouse may have about giving second chances. Where does his reluctance and his resistance come from? Admittedly, I didn’t personally know either the husband or the wife in this scenario. So I could not determine which of the above 3 factors prevent a husband from believing his wife or giving her a second chance. But if the wife was really watching her husband’s behavior and listening to the clues he might be offering her, then she should be able to figure out what is really standing in her way.

Most of the time, this is a gradual process because you have to hold out for long enough to overcome what is usually considerable resistance and doubt from the spouse. In truth, this couple had been married for years and yet the changes in the wife had occurred only a few months ago. The husband probably still had doubts that the changes were sincere or that they would really last. And maybe he also had doubts about whether the two of them could be happy again after he left her and gave up on the marriage.

The best way to deal with those doubts was to just keep doing what he was doing and give the process time to work. Because over time, the husband would probably see that she really was sincere and really meant what she said. It helps if you can somehow let your husband know that you’re making these changes, even when he’s not looking. Having a mutual friend or family member comment on the changes in you without you being present can help.

Here is another point I would like to make. It is quite possible that the husband is slowly warming to the idea that his wife might change, but still has doubts that the marriage can really be easy or happy. My wife admitted that sometimes things are tense when they are together because she is frustrated that her plan doesn’t seem to be working. This was something to be avoided in the future.

It is vital that your spouse sees that you are light-hearted, fun-loving, and very easy-going. Communication and conversations should be light and should not feel awkward or forced. I know this sometimes takes time, but if every interaction feels or reads negatively, then it will often only reinforce the spouse’s belief that the marriage is too far gone to be saved.

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