Marriage Separation Do’s And Don’ts: What Not To Do (And Do) When You’re Separated And Want To Save Your Marriage

I often hear from people (usually wives) who are going through a separation (or considering one) and want the whole process to be over as soon as possible so that they can save their marriages.  Many agreed to the separation because they saw no other way.  It was clear that their husband was dead set on the separation so they figured this was better than a divorce. But now, they are in a situation where they need a plan to end the separation and save their marriage.

I completely understand how this feels as I was in the same situation once upon a time and I remember it as one of the worse times in my life.  And, because of my blog I hear from people in this situation on an almost daily basis.  So I believe I have a good handle on what works and what doesn’t during the separation.  In the following article, I’ll be covering what I think are the dos and don’ts while you are separated – or those things you definitely should and should not do when you’re trying to save your marriage during a separation.

Do Not Bug Your Spouse Too Much:  Give The “Time Apart” The Chance To Work:  I know that it feels very scary when you’re away from your spouse.  You worry that they’re moving further away from you if they’re happier being separated and may eventually want a divorce.

So you can feel “under the gun” so to speak to do something fast.  And you worry that the phrase “out of sight out of mind” is indeed true so if you’re not in contact with them constantly, then you’re really losing some ground.

But if you contact them or are “in touch” too much, then you really run the risk of annoying them.  More than that, you miss out on the chance to have them miss you, long for you, and remember you in a positive way.  If you are calling, texting, or “checking up” too much, then he may well think of you in a negative way when he’s evaluating you and the marriage and wondering what he wants to happen with the separation.

Don’t “Ignore Your Spouse” During The Separation:  This leads me to my next point.  There’s a lot of advice out there that tells you that you should ignore your spouse, pretend that you don’t care, or make them think that you’re having the time of your life or going out with someone else.

I DO advocate creating some mystery and painting yourself in the best possible light.  You want them to think that you are keeping busy and handling your life just fine. However, people take this too far.  If you’re trying to make your spouse feel like you can turn your feelings on and on at the drop of a hat or that you’re commitment to your marriage is something that is fleeting, you’re likely sending the wrong message.  And frankly, this message might make your spouse follow your lead and shut you out.  This isn’t what you want.

Don’t Place All Of Your Focus On Changing His Mind About The Separation Or Getting Him To End The Separation Before He’s Ready To Do So:  I completely get that you want the separation over as soon as possible.   But if you’re constantly pressuring him and he’s not ready to make a decision, he’ll either be annoyed or more inclined to make a decision that you wouldn’t like.

Instead, you should focus on improving your relationship – and appearing not to worry about where that leads.  Notice I said “appearing?”  This is important.  You want him to know that what and who you really care about is him, his happiness, and your happiness as a couple.  OK, so maybe your relationship is going to evolve.  (Your plan is that it’s not going to but he doesn’t have to know that.)

You’re whole message should be that you’re respecting his needs but you want to maintain the relationship, no matter what definition that might take at the time.

DO Make Him Think You Are Coping Just Fine During The Separation:  Always remember the things that are attractive to your spouse.  Someone who is so filled with fear and a lack of confidence that they’re not willing to give their spouse the time to miss them is not considered attractive to many.

Sure, you might get his pity but this strategy won’t likely give you his desire.  You need his desire.  You need him to want you again. This can’t happen if you’re a mess.

I know that maybe you can’t help how you’re feeling.  And there’s nothing wrong with acting on those feelings if he can’t see you.  But when he does see you, then you need to present yourself as someone who is coping just fine.  Of course, you don’t want to pretend like you are happier without him.  But you don’t want to make him think that you are coping, partly because you are confident that things will work out the way that they are supposed to.  I know this is a delicate dance and I messed it up during my separation so badly at times.   But if you always ask yourself how you are being portrayed, this can help.

Show Him A Woman Who Is Easy To Fall Back In Love With (Hint: He Already Knows Her Very Well🙂  You actually have an advantage very close by that you don’t even realize.  You know what it takes to make this man fall in love.  You have accomplished then once.  Do not lose your confidence now when you need it the most.

If you know he loves that fun loving, happy go luck part of you, then you have to bring that forth when you see him, even if it’s so difficult.  I know it may feel like you’re playing a game sometimes.  But this is your life and your marriage.  You do what you have to do to get it back.  And you’re much  more likely to get it back if you focus on the positive.  Bringing about positive feelings draws him to you.  Negative feelings will do the opposite.

You can do this.  I know you’re separated.  But a separation doesn’t have to mean a divorce.  Separated people get back together every day.  I did.  People who email me did.  Stay positive.  Have a plan and stay the course.

You can read about how this played out in my own life (and how I lucked into doing right finally.  On my blog on http://isavedmymarriage.com.  And, if you haven’t watched T Dub Jackson’s free save your relationship video on this topic, it’s excellent. I agree with a lot of his points.

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