Marriages are supposed to last forever…. But that is not always the case. Nearly 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even the strongest of relationships can shatter.
She’s issued you with divorce papers or said she wants a separation. What’s your next move?
Your wife’s behavior might appear sudden — especially if you weren’t looking for the signs — but it’s not. Chances are, she was plotting her departure long before you knew about it.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re safe! She might wake up one day, realize she needs something new, pack her bags, and leave.
Where does that leave you? The short answer is lost. Without the woman you love by your side, you have nowhere to turn. Overnight, she decided that she was done with you.
Learning how to win your wife back after separation is possible. But let me be clear — I am not here to give you secret hacks or tips to manipulate her into coming back. There’s no honor in conniving your way back into her arms and gaining affection.
Both you and she are feeling raw right now. But to get her back, you need to work toward a healthy relationship.
Frankly, you need a fresh start and do everything it takes to become a better husband. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but there’s a reason she decided to leave.
As a relationship coach, I help men rediscover their masculine power and build the high-quality romantic relationships they deserve. Getting her back won’t be easy, but there are strategies you can use to prove you’re worth her time.
1. Give Your Wife Space to Cool Off
If the wounds are fresh and bloody, let the healing process begin. You might want to rush into winning her back, but you both need time to cool off.
Visit a marriage counselor. Give yourself some space to recover emotionally. Let her have the time to start missing you.
By no means should you do any of the following:
- Call and/or text her multiple times a day
- Speak to mutual friends and ask how she is
- Stalk her on social media and interact with her posts
- Ask her to meet you just “to talk”
- Write her a long, meandering email and/or letter
You must show her that you have taken your marriage seriously to win your wife back.
In the wake of a separation, your gut feeling will be to beg her to return to you. However, that approach will only make you look needy, clingy, and pathetic.
Your ultimate goal is to show her that you are worth a second chance. That means taking responsibility for what you do next. Give both of you the time you need to breathe.
How long depends on the situation. I suggest giving her at least a month to cool off. You can use that time to spend some quality time with yourself.
2. Become the Man She Wanted All Along
“I had a course in Latin, and one day the word ‘divorce’ came up. I always figured it came from some root that meant ‘divide.’ In truth, it comes from ‘divertere,’ which means ‘to divert.’ I believe that. All divorce does is divert you” — Mitch Albom
You need to change yourself before you can win your wife back.
Women don’t communicate as directly as men. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what they are trying to say.
Before you separated, your wife would have let you know where you were lacking — or what was going wrong in the relationship. If you claim that she didn’t… you’re only kidding yourself.
Living under the same roof makes it easy to miss simple messages. For example, she might have commented on how you never do the dishes. She might have complained that you never get “alone time” anymore. She may have said that she was feeling drained — in the hope that you would start to help out with the kids.
Now that she’s left, she’s thinking she was right about you all along. She believes that you will never change and she feels vindicated. Prove her wrong!
To win your wife back, you must become the man she was asking you to be all along. Show her that you have what it takes to become the perfect husband.
The secret to being a “better man” is remembering the arguments you had. What was she trying to tell you? How did she ask you to improve for her? You weren’t open to listening back then, but you can make the right moves now.
Let her know that you want to make the marriage work. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are some solutions you can adopt:
- If your ex-wife was constantly worrying about financial problems, show her that you have got on top of your money. Take charge of your spending habits and make more of your income. Be prompt when paying for things like the kids and any other money she might need. Don’t make a fuss — do it.
- Make yourself available if she complained that you never spent time with her. Make it clear that you are ready to sit down and speak to her when she needs you to do it. Don’t beg her. Just tell her that you are here for her now.
- If she said you had no sense of adventure, show her a new side of yourself. Let her know this is a new beginning and you are a new person. Book vacations, plan trips, make new friends, and break outside of your comfort zone.
- Flip the narrative if she swore that she was the best parent and you weren’t pulling your weight. Show up for your kids. Be on time for sports games, parent’s nights, and any other time they need you. Make them the center of your world.
- If she said she couldn’t trust you, rebuild that trust now. You might be tempted to go meet someone new — a hot, younger woman — to make her jealous. Don’t make that mistake. Wait for her. Show her that you want to tackle your problems.
These examples don’t cover all of the ways you can change, but they are an excellent place to start. You need to break the toxic cycle you were in to win your wife back.
Think about the marital problems you had. Think about the things she would complain about. Each of them gives you an insight into who she wanted you to become for her.
3. Start Communicating with Her
“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.”— Friedrich Nietzsche
Effective communication is the foundation of a solid marriage. Men and women so often miss the mark when speaking to one another. If you’ve suffered a separation, there will have been a break in the line. To win your wife back, you need to reestablish it.
Here’s where a marriage counselor, expert coach, or mental health professional comes into the picture. It’s smart to get professional help to rebuild your lost connection.
If she’s not speaking to you, you can get the help alone. See a specialist and talk openly about what you think went wrong in the relationship. I will warn you that you will have to dig deep here. Scratching the surface won’t give you any answers.
Once you have given your wife space to cool down, ask her to meet you for a coffee. You don’t want to be pushy about this. And — to be 100% clear — this is not an opportunity for you to beg her to come back. If you do that, she will panic and get defensive.
You can suggest a neutral place. Say that you want to understand better what went wrong and hear her story. When you meet up, you will find this advice helpful:
- Don’t speak over her. Ask her questions and give your wife the time to answer them. Avoid the urge to jump in and correct her (even if you think she is wrong!).
- Never retaliate. She might have some tricky emotions she wants to bring up. Let her speak about the marital problems without biting back. You might feel defensive but there’s a reason that she wanted a separation. Let her tell you what it is.
- Use open, friendly body language. Don’t fold your arms or close yourself off from her. Instead, show her that you are listening by giving her your full attention.
- Allow her to speak about herself. This divorce is likely more about her than it is you. Don’t fall into the trap of telling her how much you have changed. She doesn’t care and she won’t believe you. Listen to what she needs from you to move forward.
When you learn how to communicate effectively with her, your wife will see a new side of her. It might be what she has been missing from the relationship. If the first coffee goes well, ask her when it would be appropriate to meet again. She should take the lead.
4. Begin to Date Her All Over Again
At the start of the relationship, you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. You wanted her. She wanted you. And neither of you had your clothes on for very long at once.
To win your wife back, you must remind her of that fact. I can bet that you started putting less and less effort into the relationship after you got married. Most men feel like they don’t need to try to keep their wives after the wedding ceremony is over.
Rewind and offer her a new beginning. You might not want to ask her on a date immediately — that could be too soon! — but start to woo her. Tell her that you are interested in what she is doing and want to learn more about the woman she is now.
For example, if she has started a new cookery class (and you’ve heard about it via the kids), ask her how it’s going. Take a genuine interest in her. Women cannot get enough of this type of affection and attention. Most of the time, they want to be seen.
When you have started to rebuild the trust there, you can ask her out. Be clear that you want to make the marriage work, and you want a second chance. Don’t beg for this. However, there is something attractive about a man who knows and says what he wants.
You will know when there is an opening to ask her out again. Women have ways of showing that they are interested in you. She might spend longer than she needs to when speaking to you on the phone. She might linger when dropping the kids off. You might have a “moment” when you hold each other’s gaze for longer than you expect.
Each one is a good sign. Pay attention to them!
If she shows you more interest than before, get that quality time in. Ask her for a date and start rebuilding the relationship from the ground up. Don’t take anything for granted but keep working with her to become a better husband and regain your marriage.
Fixing broken marriages takes time. Your wife won’t come back if you are not willing to put in the effort and show her that you are a better husband than she thinks. Will you put your hurt feelings behind you and work on changing to win your wife’s heart?
Whether she’s left you for someone else, got tired of your lack of respect, or needs something new, you can’t count on unconditional love.
Take the first month to evaluate where you stand. Cut off contact and let her heal in this period. Then — with some effective communication and hard work — you can show her that she is your number one priority.
The next chapter starts now.
My elite coaching program transforms men into the strongest version of themselves. If you are on the brink of divorce or undergoing a separation, know that it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Learn what you did wrong, commit yourself to positive changes, and then win your wife back.