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How to Ask For a Second Chance in Your Marriage

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I don’t know the specifics of your situation. Perhaps your spouse is only frustrated in the marriage. Perhaps he or she has taken it further already asked for a divorce or break. Maybe you’ve simply made a mistake and want to ask your husband and wife for forgiveness, to start over, or for another chance. Whatever your circumstances, I firmly believe (from my personal experience and research) that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach your spouse about this.  This article will discuss what I feel is the best way, (with the highest chance of success), to talk your spouse into giving your marriage another chance.

The Wrong Way To Plead Your Case Or Ask For Forgiveness From Your Spouse: No matter what you’ve done, the absolute first thing to remember is not to panic or act in a desperate way that pushes your spouse further away. It’s absolutely understandable that you don’t want this pain, misunderstanding or marital damage to continue or go on for any longer than is necessary.  It makes sense that you would think that the longer your spouse is angry or hurt, the longer it will take to mend, save, or get the marriage back on track.

However, it’s important to remember that acting unstable, desperate, or in an exaggerated way (examples are bugging, berating, and making excessive attempts to communicate with your spouse (repeatedly calling, texting, begging, etc.)) is probably only going to make you appear more unattractive and out of control. 

Instead, every chance you can, present yourself as a genuinely loving spouse who respects both herself and her spouse enough to communicate with him / her in a dignified and honest way.

The Right Way To Ask Your Spouse To Give Your Marriage Another Or Better Try: Maybe the problems in your marriage are genuinely your fault. Maybe they aren’t. I really can’t or don’t know the specifics or your situation. No matter what got you here, I believe there is a right way to get you out. 

First, if you haven’t already, put yourself in your husband or your wife’s situation.  How do they feel right now? What do they really want to resolve this situation? What can you do to accomplish this while maintaining your integrity and dignity?

(Hint: What most spouses truly want is for their spouses to empathize with them, understand how they feel, and care deeply about those feelings.)

So, if you are going to apologize and ask for a second chance, do it in a very specific way. Address exactly why you are sorry. Tell your husband or wife that you have thought a great deal about the marriage and situation and you suspect that they feel (you have to fill in the blanks here with your honest assessment of how your spouse is feeling.) Ask them if this is accurate and ask them to share their feelings with you. Listen without interrupting or correcting them in any way. Apologize that they feel this way and tell them that you, too, are feeling pain and are going to do everything in your power to end that pain. Then, outline your plan. (This is going to vary based upon your unique situation. Remember when you put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and thought about what they wanted? Consider this when formulating your plan.)

If your spouse is not receptive, or wants to argue or strike back, diffuse the situation. You don’t want to allow more negative emotions into the situation. Your goal is to begin introducing positive feelings.  Understand that this may take a while.

What To Do After You’ve Asked Your Spouse To Hear You Out: Your spouse may not be receptive at first and you should not push them or lose your patience. Forcing your hand or begging for a definitive answer will likely weaken your position.

The best thing that you can do is, every chance you get, present yourself as a patient, loving, understanding partner who fully understands that your spouse is worth any aggravation and wait.

On an extremely regular basis, you want to present your husband or wife with the best version of yourself – the person that he or she likely first fell in love with. Whether you believe it or not, you likely have an advantage here. Your spouse fell in love with and married you once, so you do know what it takes to win their love and devotion. You just have to accomplish this again, in spite of your current situation.

Later, if you need to, educate yourself on what is necessary to make a marriage strong and lasting. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes and, once your marriage is back on track and strong enough to handle it, you’ll need to address any reoccurring or major issues that may keep coming up and weakening your marriage.

By Leslie Cane

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