How One Husband Convinced His Wife to Give Him a Second Chance
I can’t tell you how many readers write and ask, “My spouse doesn’t want to be married anymore. What can I do to stop my spouse from leaving?” These emails pain my heart because I have so little advice on the matter. That’s why I’m thrilled to bring you this guest post from Alex Blackwell, the creator of The Bridge Maker and author of the recently released Saying Yes to Change. It should be obvious that I’m a big fan of Alex and his writing. I blurbed the back of his book. I believe everyone should buy and read it. I’ll tell you why tomorrow. For now, here’s how Alex saved his marriage.
My marriage to Mary Beth has seen the extremes over the last 27 years. In 2003, it was about to end. My focus had become too much on myself and on what I needed. My wife and children were somewhere in the background. It took the shock of seeing the people I loved becoming so unhappy to startle me into changing.
Motivated to save our marriage, I enrolled in a spiritual and personal transformation seminar, BreakThrough. It was at this seminar I realized that if my heart was to connect with my wife’s heart, then it was up to me to make the connection. I had withheld my affection for too long. So, I dug in and worked hard to begin making the changes that our marriage needed.
Mary Beth’s heart was touched by the changes she was beginning to see and she gave me a second chance – and we haven’t looked back since.
Five Simple Words
I love this blog (thanks for having me Alisa!). Most of the articles here obviously come from a wife’s perspective, so I’ve decided to write the rest of this article exclusively from a husband’s point of view.
Gentlemen – it’s never too late to save or improve your marriage. All it takes is the awareness to do it. So guys, it’s my pleasure to share a husband’s perspective, my perspective, and five simple words that may save your marriage, too.
Respect your wife. Give her the freedom to grow and build a life that doesn’t include you. Allow her to see the wonderful gifts inside of her and then celebrate as your wife shares these with the world. Respect the love she gives you. Soak it in. Let it cover you with its sweetness. Understand this is the best gift she can give anyone. Honor her gift with your love and fidelity – always.
Give without expecting anything in return. Give because your heart says to give. Give her the best you have to offer. When she asks what’s on your mind, give her an honest answer. When she needs comfort, give her more than she expects. When she needs to lift her head to see her mistakes, give her a tender nudge and then get out of the way. Give her a safe place to cry and to be weak. Give her the chance to be whoever she wants to be.
Share everything. From the last piece of cake to monitoring your children’s homework, take an active, equal role in the marriage. Resentment begins with a soft whisper before growing into a more demonstrative outburst. To share a life, the things in it must be shared too.
From the odd quarks to her radiance, and everything in between, enjoy your wife. Take her in. Watch as she sleeps, as she brushes her hair, as she sits next to you thumbing through a magazine. Watch her elegance, her tenderness and her expressions of joy, suspense, anger and fear. Bottle these moments in your mind and take them out whenever you want to enjoy a dose of her amazing beauty.
Managing finances, raising children, building a career, relocating, enduring a crisis, all contribute to the challenges every marriage faces. There’s only one way for marriages to thrive despite these circumstances: Persistence. Be persistent during the times when it feels like the light is being consumed by the dark; remain faithful and believe the good will eventually trump the bad; never give up when you feel like everything you are building is about to fall.
And what’s the source for this hope? Love.
Surrender to love.
Fall back into it and take your wife with you.
Alex Blackwell is the Founder of The BridgeMaker. His first book, Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is now available on Amazon. Connect with Alex on Facebook.
READERS: I neglected –one again — to pick a reader of the month in April. So here’s the deal. I have a $50 gift card to give away from Rental Car Choices. I will give it to one person who comments on this post by the end of the day Friday. Tell me: What are your marriage saving words? What words, qualities, and actions are important in saving a marriage and keeping it strong?
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.