My husband wants me back! What should I do? My first thought about getting back together when my own husband wanted to come back after months and months of lying and betrayal was, “How can I possibly take him back after all of the pain he has put our whole family through? Could I ever feel safe with him again?”
But the truth was, I desperately wanted him back! I wanted with all my heart to have our relationship back! Even with all of the pain his extended affair caused, I wanted to fix our marriage and make it stronger than ever. I had prayed that God would change his heart, and he would come back home. And now here he was, telling me he wanted to come back.
Every divorce situation is different. When our husband leaves our marriage for whatever reason, and we go through all of the agony of adjusting to that reality, it is very confusing when he says, “I want you back … or I want to come back home.”
In my own case, that first happened when we had been married 10 years with children and a young, growing family. My ex had a short affair with a waitress when he was out of town. I was heartbroken and furious. He said it meant nothing to him, but it was a deep wound to me. He asked me if I wanted him to leave. I said “No, but that better not happen again! Ever!” We healed, and as far as I know, it didn’t happen again until we had been married 30 years.
Beginning in our 30th year of marriage, he had a three-year relationship with a woman at his work. Three different times, my ex-husband convinced me that he was finished with her (like she was a new car he was testing out!), and that he wanted to reconcile. Each time that I let him come back, within a few weeks, he had broken my heart all over again!
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Why Does He Want You Back?
During and after a separation or a divorce, most of us are physically and emotionally drained. The end of a marriage, especially a long-term marriage, is damaging to us personally in so many ways. We doubt our worth. We lose our self-confidence. We wonder “What’s wrong with me?” Our life is turned completely upside-down. Slowly, we figure out how to keep breathing in that new universe.
Then suddenly, our husband or ex-husband says he want to come back home. He somehow thinks, I guess, that what he wants is the only important thing. He thinks that we should immediately take him back with open arms. But that is usually not how it works.
You have to ask yourself, “Why does he want me back? Why does my estranged husband want to come back home?” There are several reasons he might want to come back that don’t speak well of him. Below are some of the main motivations when our ex wants to come back home.
New Interest Flamed Out
Often, the new woman gets tired of staying “in the closet.” She gets tired of waiting for him to divorce us like he has promised and sets an ultimatum. He might suddenly see a side of her that she had kept hidden.
He also might discover that not everyone thinks it’s cool having a girlfriend closer to his children’s ages than to hisl Maybe your grown kids let him know she is not welcome at their homes. If it’s a workplace affair, things get complicated.
Sometimes, after the adrenaline rush of the secret affair fades, he’s loses interest. Most of these guys don’t care how many lives they ruin in the process of getting what they think they want. They leave destruction in their wake for our family, friends, extended family and for the girlfriend’s family. For him, all that matters is what he wants. For us, it’s a huge question: Should I take my ex-husband back?
He Wants What He Can’t Have
Sometimes men are turned on by having two women (or more) vying for his love and affection. The other woman is doing everything she can to make him choose her. I am desperately hoping he chooses me and our family. Both of those scenarios are embarrassing and sick, especially for us.
A wise woman in one of my RADiCAL Divorce Recovery classes said, “Just remember this: If he is dumb enough to leave, we have to be smart enough to let him go!” That really stuck with me. I didn’t want to have to beg and plead for him to love me. It made me feel worthless and ashamed.
He Misses You
When the separation is over and the divorce is near or has already happened, often these guys think, “Hey wait a second! This isn’t as wonderful as I thought it would be.” Maybe the new woman starts making demands and doing things that make him wonder if he has made a mistake. He may suddenly realize that he is going to take more of a financial hit than he thought.
He may miss the good things you did to make things good for him. He misses your great cooking and how you remembered birthdays and made the special dinners and made sure your parents were well cared for when they came to visit. He may miss your financial help. He misses being with the kids.
He’s Never Satisfied
Because some guys are never satisfied, they try to have the best of both worlds … a good, solid, fun, loving primary family with a good wife and great kids … and then they want some little honey on the side They want something more, but they are not willing to make that excitement and adventure happen in their own marriage. They see divorced friends with sexy, adoring new women, and they think they need one too.
What To Do: Should I Go Back?
But, as I said, I desperately wanted not to be divorced! I wanted our family back. I wanted our life back. I wanted the traditions and the financial security and the fun and love back. So three different times I was willing to try again to make our marriage to work.
The third, and last, time I took him back, I found out he was still seeing her. That’s when I said, “That’s it! I can’t be the woman I was created to be and stay in a toxic, abusive relationship like this!”
We sometimes try reconciling for our children. But often, when they see us being hurt over and over again, the children want us to move on.
One RADiCAL woman’s daughter said, “Mom, what more do you need to see?! Stop this! It’s embarrassing!”
A RADiCAL son asked his mother, “Don’t you ever think that God might have something better planned for you?”
Another woman’s son asked the counselor when the whole family was trying to figure out how to do Christmas when trying to reconcile, “How are you going to advise my Mom when he betrays her again?”
Things to Think About When Trying to Decide Whether to Reconcile after Separation or Divorce
Remember Why You Divorced
Sometimes we take him back to keep that Loneliness Lion from devouring us completely. We think, “Anything would be better than this devastating loneliness!”
Being lonely in your marriage is worse than being lonely after your divorce. The loneliness after divorce will eventually end. The loneliness in your marriage never will, if you can’t fix the things that caused the divorce in the first place.
Whether it’s porn, addiction, adultery, abuse, lack of intimacy, lack of tender loving care, or whatever, remember the reason your marriage ended or separation happened. Those things will not magically change because he has had a change of heart. They take time and effort.
Has He Changed? Is He Trustworthy?
My wasband (my term for ex-husband) was not trustworthy. Every single time he promised that he was done with the other woman, he was not. Within a short time, he was back to contacting her … giving her gifts … and lying to me. I was sick at heart to know he still could not be trusted. I finally decided that I could think of nothing worse than wondering if the man beside me in bed really wanted to be in someone else’s bed!
Will It Last? Will You Be Happy?
One of my counselors said that once someone crosses that line of infidelity, they are likely to cross it again. Rebuilding a broken relationship is a long process and many men (or women) aren’t willing to do what is necessary to make that happen.
If you reconcile, you will not be happy if the problems that caused the divorce are not faced and fixed!
(You can set up a confidential, complimentary conversation with me about the three things that MUST happen for a reconciliation to work.)
Get Strong Yourself
It takes courage to finally stand up and say “Enough is enough!” It also takes courage to give your marriage another chance. I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I had given my ex-husband every chance to change. He didn’t. Even though it broke my heart, I filed for divorce myself.
It takes time to grieve and heal, especially from a divorce you didn’t want. But, speaking from experience, my life after divorce is rich and fun and full of all kinds of good things! Yours can be, too.
We can help. We have a practical road map of recovery with tools, resources and services to help you do the grieving and healing you must do after divorce. But we also make sure you rediscover who you are and what you want as you move forward after divorce.
We only have this one wild and crazy, but very precious life! WE are in charge of our own future. Midlife Divorce Recovery can help you create a life that is better than you ever imagined it could be!
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