A Letter To A Spouse Who Might Want To Reconcile. What Should It Say?

By: Leslie Cane: There is no question that it can be hard to contain your excitement when you think that it might actually be possible to reconcile with a separated spouse. If the separation has been volatile enough or has gone on for long enough, you may have started to worry that you were going to end up divorced.

And yet, somewhere along the way, the tide begins to turn. A reconciliation may not look so impossible after all. And it’s normal to want to share your excitement about this or to cement it in some way.  But, because you are separated, you may not be able to see your husband the second that you want to. Or, you may worry that the words about the reconciliation may come out all wrong.

And so you come up with a plan to write him a letter. But then the worry sets in about what could go wrong here. While a letter can work great during times of harmony, things can be misconstrued when the other person can’t see your facial expressions or hear your tone of voice. Not only that, but what do you say to make sure that you express what you want or need to say?

Someone might have this sort of concern: “after seven months of a trial separation, I feel as if my husband and myself have started to make some progress.  For the first few months, we barely spoke. Then, very slowly, we started to email. Then we started to text. Then came the phone calls. Finally, we have progressed to seeing each other once per week. Things are going well. And last weekend, I finally got up my courage to ask my husband if he would be open to a reconciliation. His answer was that he would be open to it ‘eventually.’ I’m a little disappointed that he doesn’t seem to be as enthusiastic as I am. But I am happy that it appears that he might be willing to reconcile nonetheless. When my husband and I were first dating, I used to write him letters all of the time. We would go on a wonderful date and I would come home so excited and pour my heart out in words. I would like to do that once again. I would like to write him a letter about a possible reconciliation. But I do not want to mess anything up. Many of my friends have cautioned me about this because they are afraid that I will scare my husband off. That is not my intention. But I want him to know that I’m very excited to reconcile with him. What’s wrong with that?”

I understand the enthusiasm. I felt the same way. I also understand why your friends are telling you to be careful. My enthusiasm did make my husband hesitate when we had FINALLY made some progress during our separation, so unfortunately, I know first hand that this risk is real.

Take An Honest Inventory About What Contributed To The Progress: I do understand that it can be hard to temper your enthusiasm. But let’s look at the facts quickly. As was the case with myself, all of your progress has been made GRADUALLY. I am not telling you this to rain on your parade or to hurt you. I am telling you this because I am trying to keep you from potentially making a very common mistake. I can’t tell you how often I hear from people who have gotten a bit too enthusiastic or excited when the potential for a reconciliation presents itself. And suddenly, overwhelmed and a little afraid, their husband backs away. It’s difficult to regain the ground once this happens. Which is why it’s better to keep your enthusiasm manageable so that it doesn’t overwhelm or scare your husband.

Showing Is More Effective Than Telling: Honestly, I think it is better to SHOW your husband your stance with your behaviors instead of with your words. Separated spouses can be very wary of empty promises. However, I do understand the wish to write a letter.

Understand The Importance Of The Letter’s Tone: If you are going to write a letter, I would keep it very light. I would simply tell your husband that you have enjoyed the recent time with him and that you’re glad that you are regularly seeing one another again. You can also tell him that you hope that there are many enjoyable days ahead. But you want to stop short of saying anything that makes him think that you’re assuming that you will reconcile or that he will move back in tomorrow.  And you don’t want to paint a negative picture by saying that you will need to “work hard” or “buckle down” in the days ahead to make a reconciliation happen.

I know that this is your husband and it is hard to stop yourself or to temper your excitement when this should all come so naturally. But a reconciliation can be very delicate. There can be worries and doubts that can be magnified when you apply pressure. Sometimes, husbands can misinterpret enthusiasm for pressure.

Since a steady, gradual pace has worked for you so far and has allowed you to continue to make progress, I would keep right on with that. I would move forward as comfort levels allow, but I would not make assumptions or be overly enthusiastic. I would try to have fun and enjoy the time rather than overanalyzing it or allowing it to wither under the pressure.

Of course, this might seem easy for me to say since my husband I reconciled. But I only offer caution because I almost ruined my own reconciliation with my own over-enthusiasm and assumptions. Once I decided to let my husband lead the way sometimes, things improved. You want this process to feel fun and exciting.  It’s not meant to feel pressure-filled or awkward. You can read more about how I finally brought about a successful reconciliation on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How Do I Need To Act During A Trial Separation If I Want My Husband Back

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from people who have only agreed to a trial separation because it’s what their spouse either wanted or insisted upon.  They don’t have any intention of making the separation permanent or of allowing things to deteriorate so badly that the separation eventually leads to a divorce.  But, they know that their wishes won’t just automatically become reality unless they take control and make it happen.  To that end, they often want to know how they should act during the separation in order to have the best chance for a reconciliation.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband has been wanting a divorce for the last seven months.  After a lot of discussion and pleading, I finally talked him into a trial separation instead. My greatest wish is to save my marriage because I still love this man and I know that having an intact family is the best thing for my children.  But, since he’s left, things have gotten even worse between us.  He says that he feels like I pressure him too much and that I try to keep tabs on him.  Of course I want to communicate with him regularly because I’m fighting to keep him.  But my friends say that my strategy is all wrong.  They say that I need to give him space and not be so suffocating.  Are they right?  How do I need to act in order to have the best chance of getting him back?”

I understood the wife’s actions.  Her descriptions reminded me so much of how I acted during my own separation.  You want to hold onto your husband so badly.  You want to know that he misses you as much as you miss him.  And you feel as if stepping back even slightly would allow him to slip straight through your fingers.  But, this wife’s friends did have a valid point.  Often, the more you cling to your separated husband, the less he wants to allow you access to him because he feels pressured.  And very often, he envisioned having some space during the separation.  And when he doesn’t get this, he can blame you and take his space by force by distancing himself from you.  This isn’t what you want.  So below, I’ll offer some tips on what I think is the best way to act during a separation when your primary goal is to get him back.

Don’t Act As If You’ve Already Lost Him:  When separated wives tell me that they want to get their husbands back, I often remind them that he is still their husband.  He hasn’t yet left the marriage because there has been no divorce.  Yes, being separated is scary and it certainly doesn’t imply that you are blissfully married without any problems.  But it doesn’t mean that a divorce is imminent either.  Many separated couples do reconcile and avoid divorce.

It’s very common for wives to panic in this situation and act as if they have already lost their husband.  This contributes to clinging which can make an already difficult situation even worse.  So ask yourself if you’re acting like you’ve already lost him.  If you are, now is the time to change that and to portray some confidence even if you have to force yourself to do so.  Often, your husband is going to follow your lead, even if neither of you realize that he is doing so.

If you give off the vibe that things are just dreadful and you are just weeks away from one of you filing for a divorce, then whether you intend to or not, you make this more likely.  But if appear to be confident that it will all work out because you are determined to make it so and you know that the two of you really do love one another, then you make a reconciliation more likely.

Don’t Look At It As Acting:  When wives ask me how they are supposed to “act” in order to make something happen, I have to remind them not to see any part of this process as acting.  The last thing that you want to do is to allow your husband to think that you are manipulating him.  Any actions that you take and any feelings that you display must appear to be absolutely genuine.

If you think of this as acting, you may be sabotaging yourself.  You want to show your husband your true, authentic self when that self is at it’s very best.  If you feel as if you are acting, then take a step back and reevaluate what you are trying to portray. You always want to make sure that who he sees is you and not a role that you are playing.  Because if he even suspects that you are not being genuine, then he will not be even remotely receptive to your words or actions.

Don’t Create Additional Drama.  Be As Approachable As Possible:  I understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and fear right now.  So, I do completely get that it’s hard to be upbeat and approachable.  And yet, that’s exactly what I am suggesting.  Because if every time you and your husband are together you debate tough issues or try to make him come home, he’s just going to start to avoid you.  You’ll start to hear excuses as to why he’s busy or can’t communicate with you.  And the face to face meetings may become rare.

In order to save your marriage, you need to gain some ground.  And in order to do that, you must spend quality and enjoyable time with your husband.  To make that happen, you are going to need to be approachable and agreeable.  This goes back to being the best version of yourself.  Always try to be positive and upbeat so that he enjoys your time together.   If you do this correctly, he will naturally want to continue interacting with you and this should naturally lead to an improvement in your marriage.

So to answer the question posed, you shouldn’t see this in terms of “acting” in a certain way.  But you should take a very positive and open approach that should make your interactions feel effortless instead of forced.

I learned this first hand during my own separation.  At first, I acted out of fear and desperation and this almost costs me my marriage.  I had to take a huge step back in order to truly make up for my past mistakes.  This wasn’t easy, but it made all of the difference and it allowed for us to reconcile.  If it helps, you can read more my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Trial Separation Tips: How To Best Handle The Marital Trial Separation When You Want To Save Your Marriage

By Leslie Cane:  I often hear from people (usually wives) who are trying to successfully navigate a trial separation.  Many go into the trial separation as a last resort in the hopes that this will save their marriage rather than hurt it.   I often have wives email me and ask me for some tips on handling the trial separation so that it makes saving your marriage more likely than a divorce or a continuous separation.  So, in the following article, I’m going to be offering some tips on the best way to handle a marital separation when you want it to ultimately save your marriage rather than to end it.

Understand That Time And Space Can Actually Be Beneficial To Your Marriage During The Separation: I completely understand fearing a separation.   The last thing I wanted when my own husband told me he needed “space” was to give in and agree to a separation.  But sometimes, it becomes obvious that your husband is going to accept no alternative and you realize that when you are looking at a separation or a divorce, the separation is the most preferable of the two.   And, if this is unavoidable, it can truly help to understand that, when done correctly, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage.  In fact, sometimes, it can actually help.  When played correctly, the time and space can actually be beneficial.  It allows your spouse to miss you and it allows some of the drama and the immediacy of the situation to fade.  Things calm down.  Things are put into perspective.  Anger fades.  People realize how much this void affects them and they hopefully eventually decide that it’s better to try to save the marriage than to just let the marriage go.

No Matter How Lonely, Scared, Or Panicked You Feel During The Separation, Don’t Allow This To Affect Your Interactions With Your Spouse: When you are separated, every interaction counts.  This is the time when you and your spouse are making life long decisions about how you want to move forward.  So, it’s very important that your spouse perceives you positively right now.  That’s why sometimes,  you’ll need to put your best foot forward and save any fear, loneliness or panic for when you are alone.  But when you are interacting with your husband, it’s important that you show him the best, most upbeat parts of yourself.

I know that I’m asking a lot.  And this was particularly difficult for me during my own separation, but once I literally forced myself to do this, things were much better between us.  Think about it.  In general, people don’t respond well to negative emotions that illicit guilt or confused feelings.  So if you display these things, you are likely insuring that this process works against you rather than working for you.

I know that this sometimes requires a bit of acting, but, in the end, it’s definitely worth it.  Remember that husbands will usually respond positively to your positive behaviors.   It’s human nature to be drawn to people who make you feel good about your yourself, and the situations in which you find yourself in.  If you can find a way to ellict positive rather than negative feelings during the separation, you’re likely going to find that you have an easier job in the end.

Navigating The Delicate Dance Between Making Him Miss You And Clinging Too Tightly: I encourage you to have contact with your spouse during the separation. I’d never advocate ignoring your spouse or pretending that you just don’t care.  But, with that said, you don’t want to go overboard and cling too tightly so that he feels that he needs to avoid you or even lie to you in order to get the space that he’s after.  Part of making yourself appear as attractive as possible is creating mystery.  And part of creating mystery is not being immediately available every second of every day. (I learned this the hard way but I eventually learned it.)

You want for your spouse to know that you respect yourself enough to stay busy, see your friends, and go about your day to day activities.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have any time for your spouse.  In fact, I suggest trying to create a schedule or understanding as to regular times to get together.  But, you also don’t want for your spouse to think that you’re going to jump every time that they call or make contact.  If you do, you devalue your currency with them. Once I understood how important is was the create this mystery, saving my marriage became a possibility.

Don’t Feel Like You Have To Solve All Of Your Problems During Your Separation.  In Fact, You Really Shouldn’t Place Too Much Focus On Your Problems: Many couples automatically assume that if they can’t work out their problems while they are separated, then they won’t be able to get back together.  But, if you focus on your problems so much that this separates you even further or makes things worse, then you aren’t helping your cause any.  And when you hyper focus on your problems, you almost give them more power.

I’m not saying that you should ignore real problems.  But sometimes, it’s better to wait until you’re back on solid ground before you try to work through the very difficult issues.  It’s always better to reestablish the bond and get back on solid ground before you try to tackle the really difficult stuff.  You want for your spouse to associate you with positive things right now.  But if they associate you with having to “work out” difficult or painful issues, then they might start to avoid you more or to subconsciously develop negative perceptions about you and this isn’t likely to help you much during the separation.

Instead, you want for them to have positive perceptions about you so that when they think of you, they question or want to shorten the separation rather than wanting to lengthen it or make it more permanent.  I can’t stress this enough.  It took me entirely too long to understand these principles, but once I did, this changed everything and helped me save my marriage.  If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How To Behave When Your Husband Wants A Separation And You Don’t

By: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from wives who are devastated to learn that their husband wants a separation.  And, they often know that how they behave and react right now might have an impact on whether their marriage will survive the separation.  So, many are looking for advice on the right way to behave or to act when he’s pushing for the separation that the wife doesn’t want.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband told me two weeks ago that he wants a separation.  I have tried to do everything in my power to talk him out of it.  But nothing has worked.  At this point, it appears to me that the separation is actually going to happen. So I need to know the best way to react and to behave.  I want to set it up so that we actually make it through this and remain married.  But I’m torn.  Part of me feels that perhaps I should play hard ball with him and pretend like I’m actually looking forward to the separation.  And part of me is tempted to play the guilt card to see if I can make him feel so guilty that he won’t leave.  What is the best way to play this?” I have a definite opinion on this, which I will discuss below.

Don’t Try To Force Negative Emotions Like Guilt Or Fear:  I know that trying to make him feel guilty may feel  like a no brainer.  After all, he should feel guilty.  But, as easy and as just as this strategy might be, it so often fails.  And the reason that it fails is that people have a tendency to want to escape negative emotions.  They also want to escape the people who cause the negative emotions.  So yes, maybe you could make him feel so guilty that he would hesitate to go.  But this likely would only be a temporary reprieve.  Eventually, he’s going to start thinking about how you didn’t allow him to get what you wanted and how, yet again, you’ve held him back in some way.

The same is true of fear.  It’s normal to consider trying to make him feel jealous or to hint that perhaps you will see other people during the separation.  But, again jealousy and fear are negative emotions that often eventually work against you.  Because he will ultimately associate these negative emotions with you or the marriage.  And he will want to escape them that much more.

Why Making Him Believe That You Want To Help Him Is Often The Best Strategy:  I know that the last thing that you might feel toward your husband right now is helpful.  I understand that the last thing you want to do is to cooperate with him.  But think about it this way.  What you really want is for him to come back and for you to be able to save your marriage. In order to do this, he’s going to have to think of you and the marriage favorably. And he’s going to have to eventually believe that he is better off with you than without you.  This isn’t likely to happen if you fight him every step of the way.

However, it is likely to happen if he believes that you are the person who is going to try to help him to get what he wants.  He needs to believe that you are on his side, even if you don’t like his actions or his methods right now. Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not asking you to pretend that you actually want the separation or are happy about it.  Your husband isn’t likely to buy this anyway.  What I’m asking you to do is to consider if that if you can make him believe that you love him enough to support his doing what he needs to do to be happy in his life, then he is going to see you as his ally.  And that is more important than I can possibly stress.

Make Sure That You Are A Positive Influence In His Life And That You Elevate Him When You’re Together:  Here is a very common thing that goes wrong during a separation.  The husband feels guilty and the wife is angry. The husband is afraid that interactions will be unpleasant so he wants to avoid this. As a result, he doesn’t come around much. The wife assumes that he’s not coming around because he never wants to come back to her.  And the situation deteriorates from there.

That’s why it’s vital that he knows being around you is going to be a pleasurable experience.  That way, he has no reason to avoid you and will actually want to seek you out. And this is the way that you begin to rebuild your marriage during the separation.  People often tell me that they think it’s impossible to strengthen or rebuild your marriage while you are separated but I’m living proof that it’s not.  So to answer the question posed, I believe from my own experience that your behavior should be cooperative, upbeat, and helpful when he wants a separation and you don’t.  It’s vital that he sees you as his ally right now.

I know that it may seem as if I’m asking a lot.  But I know from my own experience that this strategy can work.  If it helps, you can read about how I carried this strategy out on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Do Husbands Regret Leaving Their Wives?

By Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives who hope that one day, their husband is going to regret leaving them.  Often, these same wives will tell their husbands that leaving is a mistake that he will one day regret.  And often either the husband doesn’t buy this for a second, or any doubts that he might have override his need to leave and just see what happens.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “my husband has decided that he will be happier as a single man without the day to day responsibilities of a wife and family.  I think he has this romanticized version of a weekend dad in his head.  I have repeatedly told him that he is making a huge mistake that he will one day regret but he doesn’t listen to me at all.  A mutual friend of ours thinks that I might be wrong.  She says that he might think that he’s enjoying the best of both worlds – the weekends with his kids but freedom and peace and quiet during the week.  I disagree because I can’t imagine just turning your back on your family and then being happy with yourself afterward.  So, who is right?  Do men regret leaving their wives?  Or do they walk away and never look back with any regret at all?”

The answer to these questions depend upon many variables.  But yes, some men do end up regretting leaving their wives once they’ve had some time apart and the opportunity to reflect.  Whether they feel any regret or not (and how deeply they feel it) often depends upon why they left in the first place, what happens after they left, and what type of person they are in the first place.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

The Reasons A Man Has For Leaving In The First Place Will Often Influence Whether He Eventually Regrets Having Left: Men who leave their wives for other women often end up feeling regret once they figure out that the other woman or the relationship turned out to be an eye opening disappointment.  The whole process and sense of discovery can take some time, but it’s very common that eventual regret sets in.

Many men feel regret after they figure out that they left a woman whom they misjudged.  Or, they might later decide that they acted too swiftly.  Sometimes, they later look back with some honesty and decide that they were immature and made their own mistakes and therefore it wasn’t fair for them to place the blame onto you.

I’ve even had men tell with (with a great deal of regret) that they made the biggest mistake of their lives by leaving the one person who loved them unconditionally and who understood them like no one else.  And sometimes, it is too late to fix this because that wonderful woman chose not to wait around forever and some other man was able to see very clearly what the husband missed all along.

Of course, while some husbands feel varying degrees of regret, some men do not.   Some men will tell you that escaping their marital prison was the best thing that they ever did.  They’ll tell you that they were dying inside every day that they were desperately unhappy within their marriage or living for someone else.  So, what is the difference between the husband who is filled with regret and the guy who feels none it all?  Some of it is the personality and make up of the husband combined with the circumstance of future events that unfold.  And you can’t control this.  But a good deal of it is also made up of his future interactions with and perceptions of you, which you most certainly can control.

How To Act When You’re Trying To Make Your Husband Regret Leaving You: I often hear from wives who are hoping to make their husband feel some regret.  The first thing that you’ll need to understand is that you’ll often have better success with this process if you understand that it’s just going to take some time.  Feeling genuine regret often requires perspective.  And time is needed for genuine perspective.  There is just no way around that.

The next thing that you need to understand is that regret that is fueled by pity or guilt is often not all that genuine.  It’s often the kind of regret that makes him want to stay away rather than the kind that makes him want to come back.  So, while it may not be that difficult for you to make him feel guilt or pity, and then in turn feel some regret, this type isn’t the type that you want because it’s more likely to make him want to stay away, which is not your goal.

What you want instead is genuine regret that is born out of a realization that he was wrong.  He needs to believe that his doubts about you or the relationship were either misguided at the time or no longer exist today.   So how do you inspire this type of change?  You show him a self respecting woman who is loving but self sufficient.  You show him the genuine side of yourself who is easy to get a long and collaborate with.  In other words, you don’t want him to see the married woman with whom he always fought or just couldn’t make it work with.

Instead, you want him to see the woman he  courted and never wanted to be without.  I would understand if you had some doubt about this process.  After all, none of us have the ability to turn back the clock and pretend that our mistakes and misunderstandings never happened.  But, today is a new day.  You can either just accept those same mistakes and your new set of circumstances and start fresh, or you can try to pick up the pieces or rewrite the history of the past.  It’s my experience that you’ll often get better results by focusing on the present day positive because this allows your husband to willingly want to spend more time with you without worrying that you’re going to try to dredge up the past or point out his misgivings.  People just naturally are drawn to others who make them feel better about themselves and their own situations.

So while you don’t have to pretend that you are happy about the fact that he left you, acting on this unhappiness by trying to elicit negative feelings that fuel the regret will often just reinforce his decision to leave.  Instead, you want to give him positive memories and experiences which make him question his decision to leave.

There was a time when my husband seemed to feel no regret at all over leaving me.  I tried to inspire this regret by making him feel sorry for me, but I honestly think that my behavior made him feel relief instead.  I eventually, I decided to try a completely different approach, which worked.  If it helps, you can read more about the tactics that actually worked on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

 

 

My Husband Left Me Because He Wants To Prove His Own Worth And Make His Own Money. He Is Tired Of Me Supporting Him

By: Leslie Cane:  There is no question that it is an admirable thing when one spouse supports another.  This can be emotional, physical, or financial support.  The fact is, not every one who is married peaks at their career at the same time as their spouse.  Sometimes, they are just beginning on their career path or they are still in school while the other spouse is at a comfortable and prominent place in their own career.  Much of the time, the more financially stable spouse has no problem whatsoever with supporting the other.  That is what people who love one another do.  And the idea is always that improving one person’s career situation will eventually improve the financial  situation of the couple in the long run.  Most people see this as a “win / win” situation that is mutually beneficial.  Sometimes though, the spouse receiving the support can eventually find themselves uncomfortable with the arrangement.  And this is where the problems start.

A wife might say: “I had no problems supporting my husband through school.  I knew that once he graduated, he would have a much higher earning potential.  And I also knew that he would feel much better about himself.  I worked and supported our entire household throughout his entire college career and I was more than happy to do it.  My husband pitched in with running the household because he was home more than I was. So in my mind, it worked out wonderfully because I was freed up to just worry about my job and he felt that he was making a difference in our home.  I was completely fine with this arrangement.  And looking back on it now, I honestly don’t think that I ever did anything to make my husband feel weird or badly about this. But as soon as he graduated, I was still making three times the amount that he was.  I tried to tell him that every one starts out in an entry level position and that we had no need for him to make huge amounts of money immediately.  This didn’t seem to help.  He obviously felt pretty badly about himself.  I tried to build him up, but obviously it turned into a problem because he actually ended up leaving our home and telling me that he just needed some space and time.  He is staying with his brother and he tells me that he feels awful that he can’t afford a place for himself.  He said that he will feel more like a respectable person if he can live on his own and earn his own way for a while.  He said that he needs to do this for his own self worth.  Some of my friends say that this is just an excuse.  I am not sure if I buy that this is an excuse because quite frankly, if he didn’t leave me for his own self respect, then I can’t think of another reason.  I honestly feel that other than this issue, our marriage was really good.”

I only guessing here, but I would suspect that you have two major concerns.  You are wondering whether or not he’s being sincere about his motivations for leaving.  And you are wondering if this matters in terms of him coming back.

From my own experience, I know that it is very tempting to ask him a bunch of questions and to pressure him about why, exactly, he is doing this.  But often, this will make him clam up even more and he will get frustrated on top of this.  In my experience, you are better off trying to maintain a positive and open relationship with him so that you can watch him very closely.  Often, just observing what you see in terms of his actions and behaviors will tell you what you need to know about his motivations.

In terms of whether you can overcome this, I have seen separated couples overcome almost everything. If he truly is dealing with low self esteem and self worth right now, then know that although you can support him and encourage him, no one is going to be able to give him self worth except for himself.  Counseling may help him, if he is open to it.

It is my opinion that your best bet is to offer him support and understanding and allow him the controlled space that he thinks he needs.  Quite often, men in this situation will soon find that they do not feel nearly as happy or as free as they had hoped.  They often find that they are every bit as unsettled apart from their wives than with her.  And this is when they realize that their unhappiness or sense of unease has nothing to with their marriage or their wife.  It is something that they need to work on within themselves.

Once they realize this, you really don’t have to do anything.  And since you have been loving and supportive all along, then you will be in a very good position once this happens.  This is so much better than trying to tell him he’s wrong or being silly or asking too much when he’s already struggling with low self esteem.

I know that it is hard to support him when it feels as if he is rejecting you.  But it is understandable as to why his self esteem may have taken a hit.  If you are supportive and give this time and he is still distant and unhappy, then you may want to dig a little deeper.  I know that this feels awful.  I felt the same fears during my own separation.  But the time eventually worked for me and we eventually reconciled. You can read more on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Ways To Make Your Husband Regret Leaving You – The High Quality And Low Quality Ways

By: Leslie Cane:  For many separated wives who want to reconcile, the first thing that they may try is to get their husband to willingly want to come home. They may attempt this in a number of ways.  If these attempts don’t work, many will move on to another strategy.  One example is attempting to make a husband regret ever having left.  The idea is that if you can make him feel some regret, then he will naturally want to come home as a result.

People sometimes ask me the best ways to get a husband to regret leaving.  I firmly believe that some of the obvious or commonly-tried attempts actually do more harm than good.  Although they are tempting, normal, and easy, they often will only make the situation worse.  They are what I call ‘low quality attempts’ because they don’t require a lot of discipline to carry out.  Here are some examples:

Trying To Shame Or Guilt Him Into Regret:  Many wives will honestly try to make their husband feel like a selfish person.  The wife will say things like: “well, I hope that you are enjoying your precious space while your children cry for you every night and your wife takes care of all of the things that you left behind.”  The irony is that sometimes, everything that the wife says is completely true. But it falls on deaf ears anyway because no one wants to believe this type of truth about themselves. No want wants to face this harsh reality.  So as a result, the husband might turn on the wife even more, or just avoid her.

Trying To Make Him Jealous By Attempting To Make Him Believe That There Is (Or May Soon Be) Someone Else: I will be the first to admit that this one is a slippery slope.  Because my starting to go out with my friends during my own separation actually brought about improvement.  And it’s possible that my husband might have worried that I might see someone while I was out.  And yet, I was always straight on the fact that I truly had no intention of dating.

In my mind, I was still very much married.  I would never have acted inappropriately with any man – separation or not.  But there’s no denying that this can be an easy strategy to try.  The wife will try to arrange it so the husband knows that she’s getting all dressed up, going out on the town, and could possibly be attracting other men.  The idea is: ‘if you don’t want me, someone else is going to.’

Again, I understand why this is tempting.  It’s easy to try and it makes you feel as if you are giving him a little taste of his own medicine.  But, I don’t think it’s sending an optimal message.  I always felt that, ultimately, I wanted my husband to think in the same way that I did – which was that we were still married and therefore we should both still be faithful, even during the separation.  However, if I tried to allude that other men might be in the picture, then I was doing something that I was asking my husband not to do.  And this just isn’t showing integrity.

Admittedly, I did go out with female friends.  And I think my husband did worry about what might happen as a result of that. This may have worked to my advantage.  But again, I always stressed that I had no intention of seeing anyone else.  And that was the truth.  I was still very much invested in my marriage.

Now, let’s move onto what I call the high quality methods.  These are harder to carry out.  They require a high degree of integrity and discipline.  But they accomplish what you really want.  They make it so that your husband wakes up one day and he realizes that he’s made a mistake and that he hopes that it’s not too late.  He willingly wants to come back without negative games of trickery.

Showing Yourself As A Woman Worthy Of His Love And His Respect:  I know that this is asking a lot.  Because I know that it is so easy to become impatient, to become frustrated, to lash out, or to try some of those negative tactics I talked about before. But if you can delay, take the high road, and ultimately conduct yourself with dignity and grace, you will often be rewarded for it.

Sometimes, if you just focus on yourself, act in a way that isn’t detrimental to your family or your marriage, and continue to be the best version of yourself, then your husband will eventually look around and realize that his space is not all that he thought it might be, that he misses you, and that you are honestly not the problem.

At this point, he will likely feel some remorse.  This isn’t the same as regret. It’s better than regret.  Because generally speaking, regret is much more negative an emotion.  And you have to be careful forcing negativity onto him.  The reason is that sometimes, he will project this negativity onto you and he will think that in order to be happy and to avoid the negativity, he needs to also avoid you (and perhaps your marriage.)  This obviously is not what you want or need.

I totally understand wanting a husband to regret leaving you.  It’s natural and understandable.  But it doesn’t always ensure the best result.  I learned this the hard way.  I attempted regret and it backfired.  It was only when I conducted myself toward a higher standard that I liked the result. You can read more about how that played out on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

We’re Separated But I Can’t Stop Loving My Husband. What Can I Do?

By: Leslie Cane: A good deal of the correspondence that I get comes from wives who are going through a separation with their husbands. Many are struggling a great deal. Most tell me that they still love their husbands, no matter what the state of their marriage is or how their husband is acting at the time.

I recently heard from a wife who was struggling with her feelings when many people told her that she was setting herself up for more pain and disappointment. She said, in part: “my husband and I have been separated for about three weeks. The separation was his choice. I didn’t want it but he insisted that it was something he felt that we had to try.  He’s been pretty distant and hasn’t given me a lot of encouragement.  He told a mutual friend of ours that he wants to see other people.  Even so, I can’t stop loving him.  I love my husband as much today even though we are separated as I did when we were first married.  My friends tell me that I’m crazy and that I’m just asking for more disappointment.  But I can’t seem to help it.  Am I just supposed to turn off my love at will?  Because I can’t do it.  Part of me realizes that I’m fighting a losing battle but another part of me thinks that we are not divorced yet and he hasn’t told me to back off or that he doesn’t love me. As long as there’s a chance, I’m going to keep right on loving him because my feelings are my own.  It might be ill advised or silly, but I’m just not ready to let him go.”

I understood how this wife felt on so many levels.  Some of her story mirrored my own story when I was trying to save my own marriage.  And although I’m sure that her friends meant well, they probably weren’t telling the wife what she already didn’t know and what she needed was their support rather than them pointing out her vulnerabilities.  And actually, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with loving your husband while you are separated, even if things don’t always look that promising.  I’ll tell you why in the following article.

Sometimes, There’s A Reason That You Are Separated And Not Divorced.  And He Is Still Your Husband.  Why Wouldn’t You Love Him?: From the wife’s descriptions, it seemed as if her friends had pretty much written off her marriage.  They were giving her the impression that she should just give up.  But, this marriage was the wife’s and the wife’s alone.  I’m sure that her friends believed that they were helping her.   But a separation doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is over.  If both spouses chose a separation over a divorce, this truly says something, at least in my opinion.  Usually when the marriage is over, that means a final divorce that never recovers.  And that wasn’t the case yet.

I would also defend anyone’s right to love the person of his or her own choosing.  Is loving someone always in your best interest?  Maybe not.  But love isn’t something that you just decide to stop participating in because of logic or circumstances.  Your feelings and your heart make that decision.  Your brain does not.  Always using logical thinking when love and your marriage is concerned isn’t always easy or even advisable.

I know couples who still openly admit they still  love each other even when they are divorced.  There’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.  It’s not up to anyone to tell you who you should or should not love.  I know that I may sound defensive, but it bothers me when people tell others how they should feel.   Love, affection, and marital feelings are  deeply personal, and concern only the two people involved.

Tips For When You’re Separated, Still Love Your Spouse, But Want To Proceed In The Most Healthy Way That Is Possible: With all of the above said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this wife’s friends and family really did want to help her.  I am certain their hearts were in the right place.   They were likely reacting to seeing her hurting and they went into protective mode, which is certainly understandable.

I’m not denying that it’s a good idea to try to respond to your feelings in the most healthy way possible.  Although it was unrealistic (and a bit unfair) to expect the wife to just turn off her feelings or proclaim that she was going to try to not love her husband as much during the separation, it was understandable for them to want to handle it in a healthy way.  Her love for him didn’t mean that she shouldn’t focus on herself or to try to keep herself busy, positive, and active during the separation.

Because when we love someone that we are separated from (or when our relationship is struggling) it’s very easy to make that (and the pain that we feel as the result) our sole focus.  And this is where things can turn unhealthy.  When I was separated from my husband, I initially distanced myself from my support system and became quite depressed.  I withdrew from things that I enjoyed.  As a result,  I wasn’t all that pleasant to be around.  Needless to say, none of this made me more attractive to my husband.

It wasn’t until I forced myself to place my attention on other things, to try to focus on the positive,  and to live the best life that was possible for me at the time that things changed.  My outlook improved, my ability to cope was enhanced, and eventually, my husband started showing more interest in me.  Some time later, we reconciled.  I don’t want to claim that changing your focus means that things will always work out or that you can always save your marriage during a separation with your attitude alone.  Situations and marriages vary.  But I do think that there’s no reason to put your life completely on hold while you are separated.  And this is true whether you still love your spouse or not.

I completely understood and supported this wife’s love for her husband even during her separation.  But I hoped that she wouldn’t allow this love (and her complete focus on it) to allow her to feel pain or to put her life on hold.  In fact, I felt if she tried to do the opposite, her outlook (and possibly her situation and her marriage) might improve.

I certainly never stopped loving my husband during our separation.  But I think my husband had his doubts that he still loved me.  He had seemingly moved on and wanted me to do the same. I knew that, at least from my end, it was not yet time to call it quits. Thankfully, even though I had doubts, I lucked into trying one last thing and this eventually worked. If it helps, you can read more of that personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

My Husband Left, But I Think He Still Loves Me

By: Leslie Cane:  Separated wives often think that if they just knew for sure that their husband still loved them, then things would be OK.  They feel sure that if the loving feelings returned, then this marital issue could be worked out.

It might be surprising to know that love doesn’t always guarantee that a separation will end.  Some wives feel pretty sure that their separated husband still loves them.  And yet, it still doesn’t seem to be enough.  Here’s a typical comment in this type of scenario: “I was completely floored when my husband left me.  Because I know in my heart, without any doubt, that he loves me.  No, he doesn’t tell me anymore.  And during this separation, he hasn’t reached out to me all that much.  But when we are together and he looks at me, I see total longing.  I’m not kidding.  It is there in his eyes. And other people have noticed it also.  It does confuse me – how I can know without any doubt that he loves me and yet we are still apart?  There are some things about me that I guess my husband feels that he just can not live with anymore.  He thinks that I am spoiled and selfish.  He thinks that I only consider myself and that I have never really loved him just for himself – but for what he can give me.  I don’t know how to respond to these assumptions.  I am not as mature as him; I admit that.  And I have probably said and done some things that make him feel taken for granted.  But I do love him.  And I could be a better wife if he would give me the chance.  But I do know that he still loves me.  Why is that not enough?”

I wish that I could give you an answer that would be sufficient to answer this question.  But honestly, there probably isn’t one in existence.  Unfortunately, I can tell you that there are many couples who are undoubtedly both still in love with one another and yet, they just could not make it work.  Sometimes, there is conflict, lack of resolution, or deal-breakers between the couple that just keep them from being together.

Appreciating That There Is One Less Issue To Overcome: Knowing that love is enough would be ideal.  But love is only one piece of the puzzle.  I don’t want to discount love because it can make a reconciliation easier.  Many husbands leave and question whether they still love their wives PLUS they have conflict.  In these cases, there are many issues to overcome. So at least acknowledge that with the love still there, this is one less issue to worry about.

Don’t Become Complacent Because Of The Love: At least you do have the confidence in knowing that he still loves you, but I think that there can be a danger of assuming that there is no risk when love is present.  Don’t allow this assumption to cause you to not address the problems.  Sometimes, the problems win and cause a divorce in spite of the love.

Of course, I don’t know your husband, but from what you have said, one can assume that he would like to see evidence of your gaining maturity, your showing consideration for him, and your exhibiting less behavior that makes him feel taken for granted.  If the love is still there, at least it is more likely that he will be open to seeing and considering these improvements when they happen.

Allow Him To See Real Growth: I do think that it’s vital that he sees that you are taking this very seriously and are very sincere in your desire to show change and growth in order to save your marriage.  Ask yourself which of his assumptions have validity and then work very hard to address what is keeping you from having a strong and solid marriage.

Really make that change.  Don’t just tell your husband that you have – only to have him discover the truth and then lose all trust for you.  Sometimes, you can attempt to fool him, just to get him back quickly. But once this is discovered, not only can it ruin everything, but it can made it incredibly hard to get him back the second time.

So it’s important that you are very sincere about real and lasting change.  It’s important that you see the health and balance of your marriage as a priority.

Show Him That Having Most Of What He Wants Is Possible: I don’t want to discount the remaining love.  There is no doubt that it is an advantage because it may make him want to believe you.  It may make him think that your marriage is worth fighting for.  But, your job is still to make him see that, with a little tweaking, he can have BOTH the person who makes him happy AND the marriage that makes him happy.

Because the separation has shown that although he loves the person, he didn’t love how the marriage was shaping up.  You can’t have a mutually fulfilling marriage without both of those things.  The good news is that you only have one of these things to fix.  So it makes sense to get moving and to show him that you are serious.

In the beginning of our separation, I never doubted my husband’s love for me (although once he left, he rarely showed it.)  But as time went on and it seemed that we made very little progress, reality started to dawn on me.  I realized that my husband was considering our problems more than he was considering the love.  This realization almost came too late. You can read more about how that played out on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

How Can I Change Myself To Re Attract My Separated Husband? How Can I Make Him Attracted To Me Again?

By: Leslie Cane: There are times when you are dealing with a trial or marital separation where you don’t really know for sure why your husband pursued all of this. Sure, he may have given you very general descriptions about being unhappy or needing his space, but he hasn’t come right out and told you EXACTLY why he’s pushing for the separation or what would need to happen in order to change it. This can feel very frustrating.

However, there’s another type of scenario that is equally as frustrating, but also very painful. This is when the husband spells out what caused the separation with a very painful reason – the fact that he is no longer attracted to you. Not only can this hurt pretty badly, but it leaves you wondering what you could possibly do in order to get that attraction back.

A wife might ask: “I am wondering if it is possible to re attract a separated husband to you. My husband has been acting weird for a while – for the last two years, really. It started happening shortly after I gave birth to my second child. I gained some weight that I just could not shake. With two small children under foot, I admit that I do not have as much time to worry about my appearance. And it doesn’t make sense to get all dolled up or to dress up when the kids are going to mess up my clothing anyway. But my husband left and then said we were separated. At first, he didn’t really specify why he did this. But I kept begging him for explanations. Finally, he told me that he was going to be honest with me, but that it might hurt to hear what he had to say. I told him that hurtful honesty is better than not knowing. He said that he had lost his attraction to me. He said that I am not the same person that I used to be. I don’t get this. I am exactly the same person that I used to be. Sure, I’ve put on a few pounds and I have been wanting to take them off for a long time. I feel that with work, I can get those pounds off. But I am wondering if that is going to be enough to re attact him. How in the world can I change to get him attracted to me again? I know that I am the same person, so I guess I am going to have to change in order to save my marriage.”

I hear from a lot of folks who want to know how to change. And please don’t take this the wrong way. What I am about to say does not mean that I do not think change is possible. I do. I believe that it is possible to change your behaviors and perceptions. I believe that it is possible to enhance or to make the most of what you have. But I don’t believe that it’s possible (or advisable) to change the core of who or what you are.

Yes, it probably would not hurt to get as healthy as you possibly can and to make an effort to look nice for both yourself and for your husband. But completely changing yourself is likely not what he is asking for or expects. You have to remember that you are the woman whom he fell in love with. You are the mother of his children. You have a long history with him that you should not discount.

Know What He’s Really Asking Of You: I will tell you something that might be important. I sometimes hear from husbands of new mothers or mothers of young children. In no way is this your fault, but these husbands can sometimes feel discounted or ignored. If they are being honest, they will tell you that they feel their wife no longer has time for them. They will tell you that all of the attention, energy, and effort goes to the children. They will tell you that their wife is no longer the playful, laughing, vibrant woman that she once was.

Why am I telling you this? Because it may not be solely your looks that you are dealing with. You may focus only on the pounds and miss what is the core issue. Your husband may simply want more of your time, attention, and effort. So while I think it’s always wise to be as healthy as you can and to look nice for your own self confidence and well being, I also think that it’s equally as important to take some time for your spouse, for yourself, and for your marriage.

Yes, that may be more difficult now that you are separated, but it can be done. Cultivate the person that you used to be. Take some time to focus on yourself and your own interests so that you become your own person again. Don’t get me wrong. Men love their children. They want their wife to focus on their children and families. But they also want the wife who placed some focus on them also. They also want the wife who was vibrant, interesting, and captivating.

I know you might be thinking: “well this all sounds nice, but it’s hard to do all that with kids.” I know this very well. But it makes sense to at least try to strike that balance. Because having two involved and present parents is also very good for your children. So it makes sense to try very hard to get the balance right for their sake and without any guilt.

I’m telling you this because I firmly believe that getting a husband attracted to you again is only partially about your looks or your sex appeal. Honestly, I think that looks is only a small part of the equation. I think that the bigger part is being present, attentive, and enthusiastic. Men adore women who they think understand and prioritize them. In fact, I’d argue that they place a higher value on this than on looks.

I too assumed that I needed to boost my looks to get my separated husband back.  This wasn’t as effective as I had hoped.  It wasn’t until I changed my approach that I truly saw results.   You can read more about how that played out on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com