By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from people who don’t have a real sense of how much progress they are making while they are on a marital or trial separation. Often, while they are relieved that they aren’t relentlessly fighting with their spouse, they also aren’t sure if there is any real and meaningful improvement.
I heard from a wife who said: “we’ve been separated for about five weeks. My hope was always that this would improve our marriage so that we would reconcile. However, I’m not sure if this is going to be possible. My husband and I are getting along fine. We see one another about twice per week. We no longer dwell on the problems that lead to the separation. However, we aren’t really connecting either. We just seem to be in a holding pattern. When I told my husband this, he said he feels that the separation is going as well as can be expected. I’m not sure if I believe him. How do you know when things are going well during your separation? How do you know if you’re making any progress at all?” I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.
I understand where this wife was coming from because I have been there myself. You often fantasize that you’re going to actually improve your marriage because you’re going to miss one another so much that you can hardly stand it. When this doesn’t turn out to be the reality, it can be quite disappointing.
But sometimes, I think that we expect too much too soon. When we’re disappointed in the pace, we put pressure on our husbands or we insinuate that we aren’t happy and this just makes things worse. So in the following article, I will discuss things to look for that might indicate that the separation is going well enough.
No One Has Filed For Divorce Or Made An Attempt To Make The Separation Permanent.
I know that this probably doesn’t sound all that reassuring. But honestly, if he hasn’t mentioned a divorce, you’re a bit ahead of the game. Because I get lots of correspondence from wives who started out separated but who are now facing a divorce. So if this isn’t your reality. be grateful for that and know that this is cause for reassurance.
Things Are Cordial (Or Somewhat Better) Between You:
I know that the gold standard is flirtation or dating one another regularly during the separation. This is what we all hope for and this is the ideal. Ultimately, you want to reignite the romance. You want to flirt with your husband. You want for him to pursue you. You want for things to become so good and intense between you, that he wants to come home immediately in order to reconcile.
Of course, you can’t expect for this to happen immediately, but it should be your ultimate goal. And you have to realize that sometimes this happens gradually. As long as each week is a little better than the last, this is progress and this is a reason for hope.
What Can You Do If You Don’t Feel That Things Are Going Well?:
First of all, if you’re seeing any of the signs I mentioned above, know that if you’re feeling down or pressuring your husband, you may consider backing off a little. Because you want for things to feel very natural and light between the two of you. So if things are going reasonably well, don’t push too hard.
But if you’re not seeing these positive signs, ask yourself if there are a few issues that keep coming up that you could either reevaluate or shelf for a while. Ask yourself if there is a way that you could get back on track. Evaluate if changing your responses or your attitude (even just a little,) could also change the outcome.
I know that this probably sounds simplistic, but anything that you can do to make sure that you are upbeat, receptive, and easy to relate to is only going to help you. Because ultimately, you want for your husband to have a very easy time reaching out to you and you want to build upon this over time.
If you do this successfully, you will likely notice that your husband begins to reach out to you more and more. You will notice that he is calling, coming by, and being very receptive to you when you are together. It’s not really that difficult to tell if there is tension or ease between the two of you when you are together or are interacting. If there is tension, that’s your cue to ramp back whatever negativity is present. If there is ease, then that’s your cue to keep doing more of what is already working.
So to answer the question posed, you can often tell a separation is going well when you notice that both people are still trying and no one has attempted to make the separation permanent. Of course, it’s ideal when it’s obvious that you both want to be together, but you have to understand that this sometimes takes a bit of time.
It was pretty obvious to me that my separation wasn’t going well because my husband avoided me at all costs. This lead me to be clingy which made things even worse. It wasn’t until I changed strategies and adjusted my outlook that I saw a vast improvement and we were able to save our marriage. If it helps, you can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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