If your partner says “I love you but, I’m not in love with you” or “I want a divorce”, it’s not surprising that you’re full of panic or despair and asking “is there hope?”
A thank-you letter to inspire and show it is possible to save your marriage
Hi Andrew – I read your book five years ago, after my husband of 26 years told me that he wanted to end our marriage.
I discovered your book by chance in a book shop – the title left me in no doubt that it would be worth reading! I wanted to say thank you for writing that book – it changed everything for us – it gave me an insight into the situation, I didn’t feel alone in it either and best of all it gave me the tools to change my perspective about the situation – the paragraphs outlining how to manage conversations and seemingly simple changes had an amazing, almost immediate effect.
Now, five years later we are happier now than we have ever been and able to relax and communicate much better and we are both looking forward to a long and living future together and our recent 30th anniversary was a true celebration and this was very much due to your book – I am very grateful to have just discovered your website, enabling me to thank you.
I am in a privileged position in that I am able to make someone’s life a little better through my work and I wanted very much to let you know that you have profoundly affected mine.
Is there hope? It depends if you can answer “yes” to these four questions
1. Are you prepared to be the big one?
If you have kids and they’re fighting or squabbling with friends, with each blaming the other, do you ever ask: can you be the big one? So rather than waiting for the other person to make the first move, you decide to make things better. I know it would be lovely if your partner stepped up but perhaps he or she doesn’t have the skills or is in such a bad place it’s not possible.
2. Are you prepared to change?
In thirty years of working with couples, I’ve always found the problem are six-of-one and half-a-dozen of the other. Of course, your partner might have done something horrible recently but if you take the frame back (and consider a longer view) how does the picture look now? What is your contribution towards this dark place? Are there things about yourself that you’d like to change or to approach matters differently?
3. Are you prepared to put in the work?
It’s easy to put your hands up and say: I’m no angel. But what is harder is to take a long look at yourself and identify specific areas to work on. Reading one of my books will give some suggestions. It’s better than making broad promises like “I’ll try harder” or “I’ll be nicer” which are hard to sustain.
4. Can you be patient?
It takes time to change and show your partner that you really mean it. Unfortunately, you’re hurting so bad that you want a magic solution to make everything better today or, at the very least, an admission from your partner to try. However, magic solutions—like booking a romantic trip to Paris—make your partner think you’re not taking the problem seriously. Asking for reassurance, makes your partner feel that you’re “putting pressure on me”.
My top tip is to keep a diary and write all your fear in there (instead of burdening your partner). When you read a book or a blog about turning round your marriage, you can put the best ideas in your diary (as it will help you turn good intentions into actions and provide inspiration when you’re down).
So be patient and review your progress every six weeks or so. Your diary will help you monitor your progress.
Why not post your positive experiences and cheer someone else up who has is having a tough day and asking: Is there hope?