By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from wives who aren’t sure what to do when their separated husband announces that he is now ready to come home. Some wives are overjoyed at this news and some are not sure how they feel. Many have feelings that change from one day to the next. On the one hand, they do want their husband to come home and work on or save their marriage. But on the other, they worry if anything has really changed so that saving the marriage is actually going to be possible.
I heard from a wife who said: “when my husband approached me about a separation, I fought him hard on it. I wanted to go to counseling and save our marriage and I didn’t understand why he had to move out for all of these things to happen. But he moved out anyway. And this was devastating for me. But I have coped and I’m doing OK. We never did counseling and not a lot has changed. But when we saw each other during the separation, it was clear that we missed each other and that there was still some love there. Then last week, out of the blue, he called me and told me that he was ready to come home. I asked why he made this decision and his answer was ‘it’s time.’ I’m very conflicted about this. On the one hand, I want my husband home. But on the other hand, we haven’t changed or addressed anything. Nothing has changed. And I worry that he is only coming home because he’s lonely or bored. Plus I’m a little resentful that I begged him not to go in the first place and here he is getting to make all the decisions and dictate how things are going to go once again. I feel as if I am at the mercy of his decisions. He wanted to move out and I had no choice to go along. And now he wants to move back and I’m just supposed to roll it. What now? I am just unsure as to what happens when he comes home and how I’m supposed to react.”
I understood how the wife felt. She wondered if she was just getting pulled around by the whims of her husband. And she wondered if their marriage even stood a chance when nothing had really changed. She didn’t know what type of outcome to expect. She wanted to have a good attitude, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up only to have them slashed when her husband’s next move was a divorce because he could then say that he came home and tried to make it work but was unsuccessful. The thing is, the wife had no way to know what was actually going to happen. She was assuming that she was going to have a difficult road or a bad result, but who was to say that was true? Many marriages recover quite well when a spouse moves back after a separation. Below, I will offer some tips to help make the transition a little easier and the outcome a little better.
If You’re Not Sure How You’re Supposed To React Or How You Really Feel About Him Coming Home After The Separation, Make It Clear That You Want To Move Slowly: The wife feared that the husband expected her to fall back into his arms and act as if the separation never happened. She wasn’t sure if this was realistic or even fair.
Nothing said that she could not gently set boundaries. And I always feel that it’s best to share your feelings rather than allowing them to fester or potentially become a problem. She might tell her husband that although she was very happy that he wanted to come home, she was afraid that they were going to struggle if they didn’t set get some help or ease into the new living arrangements. She might suggest that they set an upcoming date for him to move home and ask that they get some counseling prior to that date. That way, she would feel more secure in hoping for the outcome that she really wanted – which was to save her marriage. And, she could get her feelings and her fears out on the table so that they wouldn’t come back to bite, haunt, or damage their marriage in the future.
Know That Your Husband Coming Back After The Separation Truly Can Be A New Beginning: I think that this wife had built a wall around herself to keep herself from becoming hurt again. She had become so devastated when her husband moved out. And, she wanted to avoid repeating the pain, so she refused to have any faith in the outcome. The problem with this is that in order to truly save your marriage after a separation, it helps greatly for both of you to work equally as hard and to hold nothing back. When you place a wall around yourself so that you don’t get hurt, you run the risk of that same wall keeping you from feeling the love that you really want. This isn’t the best way to start the recovery process.
I know that it’s scary to go all in. But it’s the only way to know that you gave it your all. Not only does this give you the best chance of a happy and lasting marriage after the separation, but it gives you the peace of mind to know that if you just can’t make it, that you did every thing you could and that you can have full closure. Besides, let’s not go to dark places. There is every chance that your husband has done some soul searching and is 100 percent sincere. Get the help that you need, follow your heart, and expect nothing but the very best.
When my husband moved back in after our separation, I was elated. But I also knew that we had to find some resources to help us if we were going to make it for the long term and have a happy marriage. And this is what I did. Eventually, my husband got with the program. If it helps you can read that very emotional story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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