Getting Your Marriage Back Together Obstacles

I hear from a lot of people who are trying to get their marriage back on track.  Many of them are dealing with a spouse who is very resistant.  However sometimes, they are their own worst enemy.  I know this because I was my own worst enemy when what I wanted more than anything in the world was to have my marriage back.  Yet, most of my behaviors were obstacles to a reconciliation.  To be fair, my spouse contributed many behaviors which were also obstacles, but I quickly learned that the only person who I had control over was myself.   This article is going to focus on common obstacles that I see which keeps separated couples from reconciling.  Hopefully, if any of these seem familiar to you, then you’ll be motivated to address them rather than lamenting how unfair they are, which is what I did for far too long.

Not Seeing Yourself As Any Part Of The Problem:  My husband was the one who wanted a separation, so in my own mind, I thought that he was going to have to be the one who made the ultimate decision to come back.  Because so much of the outcome depended on his mindset, I will admit that there were times when I felt helpless.  When I was thinking this way, nothing changed and my marriage did not move forward.  I learned that if you wait for your spouse to make all the moves, you will potentially be waiting for a long time.  Even when it feels like you are waiting on your spouse to make up his or her mind, there is PLENTY that you can do in the meantime.  You can ask yourself what you might have done to contribute to issues with your marriage and you can work on yourself to erase those issues. Now, I know what you are thinking because I had the same thought.  You are probably thinking: “but my spouse won’t even know that I’m working on myself because he’s not interested in what I’m doing right now so he won’t even know and I’ll be wasting my time.”  His lack of knowledge may be true, but you are not wasting your time when you work on yourself.  A reconciliation has a much higher chance of success if two healthy people who have worked on their issues are attempting it.  While it’s true that you can’t necessarily force your own spouse to do the work, he may be inspired to do so when he sees the progress that you are making.  Even if he doesn’t, in my experience you can never go wrong taking time for yourself and your own improvement.

No One Is Willing To Bend Or Attempt Change: Often both spouses sort of wait for the other to apologize or to bend.  The mindset really should be to meet in the middle.  Sure, you could strong arm or win your spouse over initially without really giving anything in return.  But that’s very short sighted.  Because although you might think that you’ve won in the beginning, you may find that in the long term your spouse is resentful or still unhappy because no real change has taken place.  Ideally, each person really does need to meet their responsibility for making vast improvements to the marriage and also to contribute to its maintenance.  It requires care and attention to not only save your marriage, but to keep it continually healthy even after the reconciliation.  Ideally, both people are willing to do this – and not just the spouse who is perceived to be most to blame or who wanted to separation to begin with.  The very best marriages have a team mentally.  The people in these marriages don’t necessarily see themselves as individuals with their own agendas and egos.  They see themselves as part of a greater cause or as a communal team that is family.

Caring Too Much About What Other People Think Or Taking The Wrong Advice:  I will admit that when I was first separated, I depended on a certain core of friends very heavily.  I did not like to be alone.  These friends understandably were angry with my husband because he initiated the separation.  So when things would go well for us, they wouldn’t necessarily be happy about it.  This would cause me to second guess myself or to second guess my husband’s motivations.  Or, I’d get nervous that things were going to fall apart, just as my friends had predicted. It took me far too long to realize that this was MY marriage and that the only people who matter in the outcome of OUR marriage was my husband and myself.  Yes, my friends love me and want what is best for me.  But they do not live in my marriage.  Incidentally, now that my husband and I are happy, he is in their good graces again. But had I listened to many of them during my separation, I would have started seeing other people and I would not be married today.  Listen to what YOU think and what YOU want.  It is your marriage.  Your friends can give opinions, but their opinions should not hold the same weight as your own thoughts about your own marriage.

An Inability To Allow The Past To Stay There:  Some of the same friends that I mentioned above will still sometimes ask if I’m still hurt by my husband initiating a separation.  I suppose that I would be if I wanted to dwell in the past. But ruminating on past pain only hurts your future.  I have seen so many reconciliations fail because one or both of the spouses were ultimately not willing to let go of the past.  You have to ask yourself what is most important – hanging on to your indignance (which can’t keep you warm at night) or hanging onto your marriage. Honestly, it’s sometimes easier to be angry.  But in the long term, it does not get you any closer to what you ultimately want.  Always keep your eye on the end goal.  From past experience, it is easier to focus on pain, anger, and the injustice of it all.  But these things don’t get your back your marriage – honestly, change, and meeting in the middle do.

I hope I’m not coming off as a know-it-all, but these lessons were learned the hard way.  And I’d like to help others avoid making the same mistakes.  I did save my marriage.  But I made many mistakes that contributed to my separation and made it last for longer than it should have.  Had I known these things earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of pain. You’re welcome to read more at

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