You seem to have hit a wall in your marriage. There’s been ugly spats and words exchanged and the dreaded ‘D’ word has been spoken. Despair hangs heavy over your marriage and you’re wondering if this is the end. And then, there are signs. Signs of wife changing her mind about divorce. Or so you hope. Given everything that’s been happening, you’re still uncertain and you’re wondering, ‘do wives change their mind about divorce at all?’
Well, human nature is inconsistent, even about major life decisions like divorce, so yes, it is entirely possible that there are concrete signs your wife is changing mind about divorce. Counselor Sampreeti Das holds an M.A. in Psychology, along with a training certificate for REBT and a diploma in Transformational and Holistic Psychotherapy. With her inputs, we rounded up some signs your wife is rethinking divorce, and is open to giving your marriage another chance.
How Do I Know If My Wife Is Changing Her Mind About Divorce?
We get it, you’re no mind reader, and you probably don’t want to get into a conversation with your wife just yet about will she change her mind about divorce. Too much has been said, and too much has gone unsaid. You’re hoping for sure signs your wife changing her mind about divorce, but all you can do right now is wait, watch and wonder. We’re here to bolster your spirit a little with 9 sure signs your wife is changing her mind about divorce.
1. Better communication
It’s been said so often, it sounds like a cliché, but a true one! Communication truly is the key to a healthy relationship and communication problems and breakdowns are often the root of a failing or stumbling marriage. It’s natural that your marriage got to where it is due to poor communication. It’s also possible that of late, there have been cold silences, or fights, or snarky barbs exchanged, but that’s it. And then suddenly, it changes.
“My wife Elena and I had been at loggerheads for months,” says Logan. “We just weren’t talking, except to yell at each other or blame shift, or just generally be nasty. There was a complete communication breakdown, and divorce definitely seemed to be on the cards. But then, after nearly 6 months of this, there was a subtle shift in Elena’s behavior. And it got me wondering, ‘will she change her mind about divorce?’
Logan saw his wife starting to ask how his day had been. She would listen when he talked about work, she would talk about her frustration with her own job, a fight she’d had with her mom. Slowly, it progressed to a place where they could communicate about what had gone wrong with them, their love and their marriage.
If you’re looking for signs your wife is rethinking divorce, the fact that she has started communication better means that she cares enough to do so. This is certainly a positive step towards fixing your broken marriage and changing your mind about splitting up.
“Language conduct speaks volumes about one’s intentions,” says Sampreeti. If a partner’s communication content and tone are changing, it is entirely possible they are having second thoughts about their decision to get a divorce.
“They may not always admit to having second thoughts directly; instead, they could talk about common concerns such as the children, things to do with the household and so on, showing that they’re thinking of the things that hold you together.”
2. Sudden physical intimacy
Sexual overtures, touch and affection are some of the first things to go out the window when a marriage hits a rough spot. If things have gotten to the point where divorce is being brought up, we’re guessing you two haven’t had a whole lot of sexy time lately. Or even the simple gesture of holding hands or a touch on the arm.
Now, if that changes, it’s entirely possible that you’re wondering, ‘is my wife having second thoughts about divorce?’ Is she sitting closer to you on the couch when you’re watching TV after dinner? Does she place a hand on your arm when trying to explain something to you? Is there a lot of meaningful eye contact over the dinner table? And most of all, in bed, is she suddenly showing a lot of interest in making love?
Physical intimacy is one of the foundations of any healthy relationship, and the loss of it can be a root cause for a marriage to hit a major stumbling block. So, if after months of zero physical contact and affection, your wife starts making overtures, it’s a great sign she still desires you, is interested in making the marriage work, and therefore is reconsidering divorce.
3. She’s paying attention to your needs
It’s the little things, they always say. The little but oh-so-significant things that make up a relationship. And when a marriage is on the rocks and divorce is in the air, these little things are usually neglected, which only makes things worse.
For Will and Lorraine, it was almost like a return to the early days of marriage. “We’d been hit hard,” Will says. “Our marriage seemed to be getting more and more difficult to sustain by the day. We barely had anything to say to each other, let alone make any loving gestures. We didn’t even say ‘good morning’ or ‘goodnight’ any longer. We just went about our lives like two strangers who happened to be sharing a home. Divorce seemed imminent, and I didn’t know what to do about it.”
Related Reading: 15 Subtle Yet Strong Signs Your Marriage Will End In Divorce
But it seemed Lorraine was changing her mind about letting her marriage go. “She started doing things she’d do when we were first married,” Will says. “She’d make sure my vitamins were laid out on the breakfast table. If I had a big meeting at work, she knew I wouldn’t have time to step out for lunch, so she’d pack leftovers for me. She wasn’t saying much, but her actions were there for me to see. I actually dared to hope. ‘Is my wife having second thoughts about divorce?’”
Little things often lead to big decisions, or in this case, a reversal of a big decision. Sharing a marriage, and a home, is all about the small gestures and thoughtful things we do for our partners. If your wife has started doing these things all over again, there’s a good chance she’s rethinking divorcing you.
“Small changes in behavior can mean all kinds of things,” Sampreeti explains. Maybe they’re being more considerate, or they’re suddenly more adaptable to your routine. It’s also possible they start apologizing more naturally when they think they’ve messed up, rather than withdrawing into silence, or blaming their partner.”
4. She’s stopped bringing up the ‘D’ word
We talk a lot about love language, but there’s a lot of different languages in a marriage. There’s fight language and ‘our marriage is over’ language. Articulating that you want to separate from a partner, using words like ‘split’ or ‘divorce’, are not to be taken lightly. A lot of times, people don’t mention the word simply because they’re afraid of admitting that things have gotten that bad.
But on the flip side, when your wife stops saying it, when every second sentence she says doesn’t have the word ‘divorce’ in it, there’s a chance that things are getting better.
Listen carefully to your wife. If, in the past, the smallest thing you did set her off on a rant of ‘God, I can’t wait to divorce you!’ then divorce was obviously on her mind. But now, if she’s stopped bringing it up, or at least brings it up fewer times, she’s not seeing divorce as the only solution to every problem your marriage has.
We caution against wondering, ‘is she bluffing about divorce?’ because she could be seriously considering it instead of making empty threats. But not hurling the word, ‘divorce’ at you every chance she gets is a sign she’d rather stay and make things work with you.
5. She shows signs of jealousy
A synonym for love is care and to care about your partner is to care about being the only significant other in their lives. When love dies, you no longer care who your partner is spending time with, or wonder about late night phone calls, or why they’re working late so many nights a week.
“My wife, Sue, and I were pretty much estranged,” says Sean. “It was the usual – silences, screaming matches, and mostly, an utter lack of care about what the other one was up to. We’d stopped asking each other any questions about our whereabouts for months.”
When Sean took on a new project at work, there were several nights he had to stay late. Sue started noticing this. “One night, she texted, asking how much later I’d be. The next night, she asked if I’d be home for dinner. Soon, she was staying up till I got home and asking me all about the project and who I was working with. I think I made up some extra women’s names, just to see her reaction,” grins Sean.
Related Reading: Can Healthy Jealousy Help You Build Stronger Relationships?
Jealousy in extreme does isn’t healthy at all, but let’s face it, we all love knowing our partners hate the thought of us with someone else. It’s a sign we’re wanted, which is really all we want! How to get your wife to change her decision of divorce? Maybe rile her up with a little jealousy.
6. She wants to spend time together
Time is both a friend and an enemy where love is concerned. We want more of it, and never seem to have quite enough. When you’re fighting and convinced that you want to end your marriage, one of the first things you cut off is time with the other person.
In fact, if things have gotten really bad, you probably avoid spending time with your partner as far as possible, since being together only means yelling and blame games and other unpleasantries. So, what does it mean when your wife, who for months has been staying as far away from you as possible, suddenly wants to spend time with you?
This is your wife testing the waters of your fractured marriage, and hopefully realizing that she still can bear to be around you. This is her trying to reach out to you and communicating that she still likes being with you.
So, if she’s making sure you eat at least meal together every day, or she asks if you’d like to go grocery shopping with her, or maybe even get dinner together somewhere, it’s a sign she doesn’t completely hate your guts and is reconsidering divorcing you.
This could also manifest itself in social interactions, Sampreeti says. “If there were friends and well-wishers who had a role in the divorce plan, take note of whether your wife is pulling away from them. Changing dynamics in social relationships, a revised list of friends and well-wishers or a different pattern of engagement and social habits could be signs that she’s changing her mind about divorce.”
Do wives change their mind about divorce is a tough question to answer, but if she’s giving you her time and asking for yours, we think you’ve got your answer.
7. She remembers your preferences
A friend had been separated from her husband for a while, but they hadn’t finalized the divorce yet. A few weeks into their separation, I met her for lunch and noticed she’d left her hair open instead of in its usual topknot. When I commented on the new hair, she looked rather sheepish and said her husband liked it that way. She’d just met him to go over some papers, and well…
Needless to say, that divorce never went through, and she’s still floating around with her hair loose and flowing at the peak of summer! So, evidently, when a wife, even an estranged wife, suddenly starts wearing things she knows you like, or making your favorite dishes, or humming your favorite tunes around you, she’s probably not thinking of the best divorce lawyer in town.
In fact, she’s thinking about you, and what you like, and things that make you happy. She’s remembering things that make you smile and bring you joy. We’d say that’s a pretty safe bet and a sure sign that she’s rethinking whatever divorce thoughts she was having. Don’t take it for granted, though. Make sure you return the favor and pay attention to things she likes too!
Related Reading: Marriage Separation Advice: 11 Wise Tips
8. She wants your attention
Don’t we always want attention from our loved ones! Don’t we fight with them, buy new outfits and do so much more to get attention from our significant others? Don’t get us wrong, your wife wanting to divorce you doesn’t mean she’s just trying to get your attention, so don’t take it lightly.
But, is she suddenly asking your opinion on things that are important to her? Is she commenting on the news or telling you about a new restaurant that’s opened in town and very obviously waiting for you to respond? Is the TV always tuned to a movie channel she knows you hate and will comment on? Well then, she’s trying to catch your eye and your mind by wanting attention in the relationship.
If this is happening after a prolonged time of your wife ignoring you and making it clear that you don’t matter to her at all, you can take it as a sign that she’s trying to initiate a reconciliation. And she’s making sure you pay attention to what she’s doing. So, if she’s looking for a reaction, or just an opening to a conversation, we’d recommend you take it. Attention, the good kind, is an excellent tonic for an ailing relationship.
9. She’s paying you compliments
This is kind of an obvious sign. Let’s say for months your wife’s been telling you that she can’t stand your face, the way you breathe, and that the sound of your chewing makes her want to stab you. Then, things calm down, and slowly, she starts saying nice things about you.
‘That shirt looks great on you.’ ‘That stew you made for dinner was delicious!’ ‘That’s a great presentation you made – the client will love it!’ Yeah, you’ll probably be super suspicious at first, but if it continues, and if she’s being sincere, she’s appreciating you, and is changing her mind about divorcing you.
Appreciation and sincere compliments in a relationship are balm to the most wounded partners. It’s also her way of showing you that while there are lots of things she would like you to change (she’s probably yelled out a list at you by now!), she does in fact realize that you have some wonderful qualities that she’s ready to embrace all over again.
Divorce may have been very much on her mind, and maybe she’s still in two minds, but she no longer thinks you’re a complete tool with no redeeming qualities at all. That’s definitely progress.
How to get your wife to change her decision of divorce is a complicated question. There are marriages that are broken beyond repair and no amounts of apologies or olive branches will fix them. There are marriages where one or both partners have cheated, or where abuse has prevailed, or that were maybe just a mistake between two people who were never compatible in the first place.
But then, every problem has a root cause, and a lot of these problems can be resolved with patience, understanding and maybe some couple’s therapy. Your wife might have been contemplating divorce for a while without you even noticing, which means you weren’t paying attention to her or to your marriage. Maybe throwing divorce into the ring was her way of giving you an ultimatum, of saying that things need to change and she can’t take it anymore.
“Note if your wife takes the initiative to take on and share more responsibilities with you. Also, if she suggests seeking professional help or therapy, that could be an expression of hope for reconciliation,” Sampreeti says.
Whatever it is, it’s a boon when an unhappy partner decides to reconsider divorce and give the marriage another chance. Recognize this, read the signs, and ensure you do your bit to repair your relationship as well. Marriage is a two-way street, bringing it back from the verge of divorce needs all your strength as well.