Some couples can reconcile after a separation, despite the odds. Separation may be what is needed to work on a marriage, or it may result in a divorce. If you want to increase your chance of getting back together after a separation, certain steps are essential.
- Be honest and transparent
You have to address the issues that lead to the separation. If you can’t be honest about the problem areas, the likelihood of being able to make the necessary changes to make the marriage work are slim.
You need to be able to talk honestly and openly about what went wrong with your marriage during the separation, or it will lead to more distance between you. Discuss with your spouse what needs to change between you. Ask specific questions so that you get specific answers. Speaking honestly is the very first step towards getting a relationship back on track.
You need to share your desires, feelings, and hopes. Being transparent is very important, especially if the trust has been eroded. You will need to be open about all aspects of your life and show a willingness to change if you want to rebuild trust.
- Acknowledge your mistakes
If you want to make your marriage work, both parties have to acknowledge what they did to contribute to the breakup. If you want to reconcile, you both have to be willing to say you’re sorry. Forgiveness is one of the main ingredients that can save your marriage. It means that you’re prepared to set aside mistakes for the sake of saving your relationship.
- Make every meeting worthwhile
When so much has gone wrong, it may be difficult to focus on what is right. Saying thank you with a smile for every effort made such as picking up the kids, will make you more focused on the positive than the negative. When you see your spouse, even if it’s just to hand over the kids, make sure you look your best and act confidently instead of coming across as needy and insecure. Instead of using every opportunity to tell him how upset you are, keep communication short and sweet and give him space to talk without tears, anger or judgment.
- Prepare for changes
Accept that your relationship can’t go back to where it was before you were separated. It will only fail again if there are no changes. Speak openly about what you expect to change and be prepared to make changes yourself for the sake of your partner.
Think about changes that may have occurred in your own behavior since you got married. You may have changed a great deal since you first got married, and some of the changes may not have been for the better. You may have allowed yourself to get out of shape. You may have become very stressed by your work and hard to be around. These are issues that can be addressed. If you are battling with anger, you may need to see a therapist. Issues such as addiction will also need to be addressed with a therapist.
- Give it time but don’t get too comfortable
It may take some time to rebuild your relationship. Sometimes both partners need some time and space to work things out. This time gives each party an opportunity to realize what matters, what hurts, and what helps. Giving time and space does not build a relationship, but it provides an opportunity to reflect and prevents further damage from happening. It is better to give space to a spouse having problems than being needy, argumentative, and attention seeking. This behavior will damage the chances of reconciling.
Some people linger in separation limbo for years. If you are not working on your relationship in any way during separation, it is highly unlikely to result in reconciliation.