I sometimes hear from wives who are starting to realize a vital truth during their marital separation. You know that old phrase “you get more bees with honey than with vinegar?” Well, often, when it comes to getting your husband back, this phrase is absolutely true. And what it means is that you will generally have more success when you are able to lure your husband back with positive actions instead of trying to make him begrudgingly come back because of negativity or feelings like guilt, shame or obligation.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize this important truth until after we have already done quite a bit of damage with a bit of negativity and desperation. And by then, we hope that it’s not too late to try something new.
I might hear a comment like: “for the last three months, I have tried very hard to appeal to my husband’s sense of commitment in order to get him to come home to me. I have tried to make him feel as if he’s hurting our children and being selfish. This hasn’t worked. If anything, it just makes him more hostile. The other day, I was so tired of the whole charade. My husband came to pick up the kids and I was so discouraged that I just made jokes and acted silly. I didn’t mean anything by this. I was just trying to do something – anything – to break the tension. I was stunned when this seemed to work so well. My husband ended up staying and having dinner with us and he called me the next day. So now it’s clear to me that I need to act nice. But what I really want to do is to entice him to come home. But, I’m not sure how to go about this. It’s not in my personality to entice anyone. But I’m willing to go outside of my comfort zone. I want my husband home. How is the best way to go about this?”
I am glad when I hear from a wife who realizes that she will generally have more success when she moves toward positivity. I know that this can be a challenge when you are feeling scared and unsure, but it almost always makes the situation better, at least in my experience. And enticing him is much better than trying to shame him, show him his selfishness, or make him feel guilty.
Be Careful That You Don’t Overdo This Strategy. Stay With What Has Worked and Build: If I am being honest, I have to caution you that sometimes, this whole “enticing him home strategy” can be tricky. Here is why. Much of the time, you will find that when you are lighthearted and upbeat, he will respond favorably – and almost as if he is relieved. Why? Because he is relieved. He’s glad that he doesn’t have to avoid you anymore so that you won’t try to make him feel guilty. He’s glad that the kids won’t get caught in the middle. Of course he would prefer it if the family could have some fun together again rather than fighting. In short, things feel much better once all of the pressure is off.
Don’t Make Any Strategy Obvious and Overdone: Here’s the rub. If it is obvious that you are trying to “entice” him to come home, then you the run the risk of him feeling pressured (or manipulated) once again. Many wives are quite confused when they start to see him be receptive after she exhibits positive behavior only to see him back away again when she tries to entice him. Why does this happen? Because he sees what is happening. And he doesn’t know if he is ready for that yet. Even worse, he starts to wonder if this new attitude was just a ruse all along. See what I mean about treading lightly here.
I’m certainly no expert, but in my experience, you have to be careful here. In my view, the best way to entice him is to not try too hard. If something is working for you, by all means do more of it but be careful not to cross the line. In this scenario, I’d suggest that the wife try to get many more family dinners under her belt and make sure that this all goes well before she decides to take it a little further.
Lure Doesn’t Mean Seduce: Take care that you aren’t confusing the phrase “lure” with “seduce.” Entice can mean being playful and positive. When you entice, you are making your husband want to spend quality time with you because it is such a relief and frankly, it’s pleasurable. He likely misses you. He likely gets a pay off from being with you in a low pressure way. There are times when things are going well and it’s clear that it’s time to take it to the next level. But I believe very strongly that you are almost always better off allowing your husband to give the signal that it is time. It’s best to allow him to take the initiative. Because if you take it too far and he backs away, it can be quite a challenge to restore that sense of a low pressure situation once again.
I think that the best way to “entice” is to just keep things fun and low key. Allow him to flirt with you (if it is going that way) and flirt back. But when it is time to take it even further, allow for him to take that first step and respond in kind. Make the anticipation great. Make him wonder sometimes. Don’t come on too strongly or he may suspect that this is all an act.
In my own life, I learned that luring my husband to come back to me was a very delicate balance. If I did it just right, I made great progress. But if I pushed it too far, I had to start over.