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Save Your Marriage: back from the brink
26th April 2016 • Your Family Matters • Naomi Douglas
00:00:00 00:11:45

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The big mistake people make when their spouse decides to leave:

As a marriage coach, I have worked with many clients right after their spouse decides to walk out. Something I have witnessed again and again is that while they would do anything to fix their marriage and get their spouse back, they actually, at that pivotal moment, without meaning to, convince their spouse they made the right decision by leaving!



The reason for this is that in the highly agitated and emotional state that being left by your spouse causes you, your behaviour is likely to be reflective of the negative habits that you have unconsciously gotten stuck with.

Let me put it another way. You have some blindspots. You have some aspects of your personality that aren’t as well developed as they could be. (We all do!!!!) You will have developed habitual patterns of behaviour that reflect the unrefined or unhealed parts of your self. Those patterns of behaviour will have over time pushed your spouse away because one way or another your spouse finds your behaviour unpleasant or hurtful.

When your spouse walks out, this behaviour is likely to escalate.

This will most likely cause your spouse to run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.

​Not what you want, right?

Some examples are the person who gets angry and tries to point out that it’s all their spouse’s fault. Or the person who gets desperate and tries to win their spouse over but actually is acting crazy. Or the person who harasses their spouse, becoming possessive and jealous and won’t leave their spouse alone. Or the person who plays the victim, possibly even to the point of threatening suicide. (please note: if you are genuinely suicidal contact Lifeline immediately).

Step One: Free yourself from negative patterns of behaviour

I know that this is a crisis of mammoth proportions. I know how upsetting this is and how stressful this is. However, you cannot let yourself spiral out of control.
Because of the magnitude of the situation you are going to have to make a concerted effort to calm down and stabilise. This is going to take determination and intention. You need to get serious about this. Rather than channeling your energy into your reactions and into carelessly aimed attempts to convince your spouse to stay, put that energy into getting yourself into a better frame of mind.
I know how tempting it is to ignore this advice. I know that you think it is a lost cause because in the state you are in, there is no chance of calming down.
What I can say is that you are underestimating how important, how crucial it is, to regulate your nervous system and emotions in order to get yourself on a course for success.
You will need to take a good look in the mirror because now is the perfect opportunity to have a direct confrontation with what needs fixing. As I said, your negative patterns of behaviour are likely to escalate at a time of stress. and so it is an opportunity to see them more clearly.
With my clients, I provide step by step advice into what to say to their spouse, how to say it and when to say it. I will speak more about this in the podcast.
In the podcast I also speak about whether to save a marriage and why, and the biggest mistake people make when it comes to saving their marriage.

About Your Family Matters

In Your Family Matters I discuss the issues that you raise on matters relating to marriage, coparenting and divorce.

As a Marriage and Divorce Coach, my job is to help people lead happy and productive lives despite the considerable challenges that marital difficulties and/or divorce present.

Both marriage problems and divorce can wreck havoc in people’s lives. Children are vulnerable to getting hurt and parents need to learn the skills to protect their children and become good coparents.

Marriage problems are at the root of an enormous amount of struggle, loss and unhappiness in our society.

It is my job to provide all the guidance I can to help people turn their problems around, get on the right track and lead the lives they really want to live.

Relationships are complex and filled with emotions that are rarely understood. Communication breakdowns are the norm and there is not enough being done to support people to learn and grow and heal when they face the tremendous and confusing challenges of marriage and relationship difficulties.

Divorce is an area that is messy and often causes more damage and loss than is necessary. It is a terribly confusing and volatile time and I am committed to providing the best support possible to make these transitions much easier, safer and more productive.

Marriage is an area that is filled with the most difficult issues in our lives and sadly most people are in the dark about what to do to make their marriages work when problems arise. I am committed to helping people to make their marriages stronger, healthier and happier.

We all love our children and want what is best for them and yet it often happens that we cannot find our way through the devastating experience of divorce without causing unnecessary hurt to our beloved children. It is possible to protect our children and give them what they deserve. I am committed to helping parents learn the skills and get the support they need to do what is best for their children while coping with their own personal crisis.

Your Family Matters is a podcast about all of these issues. Please send in your questions and if I make a podcast episode about the question you send in you will receive a free coaching session.

Contact me at and use the subject line: Your Family Matters.

I wish you the very best. Thank you for being a part of this project, it is all about creating a better world for everyone.