My Husband Who Left Is Coming Back For The Kids Only

When you are a separated wife who wants your husband back more than anything, you will often make bargains with yourself that you will take him back in any way that you can get him.  You might tell yourself that this is not the time to picky.  Even if there are remaining marital problems between you, having him home can seem like enough.  That is, until he tells you that he’s “only” coming home because of his love for his kids, not because of his love for you.  Suddenly, your resolve to take him any way that you can get him is tested and you wonder what you should make of his loyalty to the kids only.

Someone might say, “my husband and I have been separated for a very long six months.  Honestly, it has been absolute hell. Every day of it has been somewhat heartbreaking. I miss my husband.  I don’t want a divorce, but my kids are suffering horribly.  We’ve had behavioral issues from my youngest child, which I think is why my husband has agreed to move back in. After we had a humbling parent-teacher conference, we went out to dinner and my husband begrudgingly said that he should move back in for the sake of our children, since it’s obvious that they aren’t handling the separation very well.  He never said anything about me.  Of course, I’m going to take him back because I don’t want a divorce and things have been really, really hard with him gone.  And we have made some improvements in the last couple of weeks that I am really excited about.  But it hurts my heart quite a bit to hear him only mention the kids as his reason for coming home.  My mom says that if he is only coming home for the kids, then it is never going to work.  Is she right?”

Not necessarily.  I think that it really depends on what you do and are able to accomplish while he is home.  I believe that my husband had a few reservations when we reconciled (and I definitely had some concerns as to whether the same old problems were going to plague us,) but we worked very hard to iron them out.  I also worked very hard on making progress while I suddenly had access to my husband again.  Without any doubt, several of my friends thought we would never make it.  But we’re still married today, so you just can’t predict these things.

I had the same thought process as you did – I wanted my husband back any way that I could get him, but I did have the luxury of doing this in a gradual way. I was so paranoid of anything going wrong, so my solution to this was that my husband began spending weekends at home. Eventually, we worked up to days at a time.  And then finally, he moved back in permanently.  (There’s more about that at

I am not sure if this is possible in your situation, but it worked well for me because it allowed us to take some pressure off of reconciling.  If things went south, we could easily take a break and regroup. Once things went well, we increased the time that he was home.  You could have your husband spend some weekends at home initially to sort of ease your way back into it if it would help your confidence.

Speaking of confidence, I know that it’s hurtful to think that your husband is only open to a reconciliation because of your kids.  But I believe that someone who was totally opposed to a reconciliation probably wouldn’t allow himself to be lured back in, no matter what the reason.  There is no question that he probably is thinking about the well being of your kids, but if living with you was completely distasteful and unthinkable to him, I doubt that he would sentence himself to this unless it was something that he really wanted to do. In his heart, he must not be THAT opposed to moving back in, because he’s willing to do it.

Because of this, I would try very hard to focus on the fact that he is there and not to dwell on the fact that the reason may not be what you wanted.  At the end of the day, this really is an opportunity, no matter how or why it is occurring.  Having proximity to your husband is an advantage that you should definitely pounce on.  That said, I don’t think that you should expect for your marriage to pick right up where it left off.  Don’t put too much pressure on the situation.  Hang back some and allow your children to be the focus at first.  Just try to craft an open and supportive relationship where conversation easily flows back and forth.  Don’t worry about romance initially.  Just worry about getting along well so that you minimize the awkwardness.  Once you set this foundation and things are hopefully going well and your husband is receptive, then you can worry about working on your marriage.  But don’t rush there right away.  Focus on your kids.  Allow the close proximity to improve your relationship.  And only after you have a comfort level and a receptive husband should you worry about any more. At least that was my experience.

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