By: Leslie Cane: I sometimes hear from wives who aren’t sure what to do with themselves when they are struggling with their feelings during a trial separation. Often, they miss their husband so much that they can think about little else. But they often intuitively know that acting on this is not really in their best interest. They don’t want to seem desperate or out of control. But, they are often not sure how to stay in control when the overwhelming feelings come.
I heard from a wife who said: “we’ve only been separated for two weeks. But already, I’m struggling. I miss my husband more than I can express. Almost every waking thought that I have is about him. I’m having trouble concentrating at work. I constantly want to call or text him. Sometimes, I have to literally sit on my hands. I find myself pacing all of the time. How do I get control of myself when these feelings come? Because I feel as if I am not in control.” I will try to address these concerns in the following article.
Sometimes, You Just Have To Force Yourself To Think About Or Do Something Else:
I know how difficult this is. I have been there and I went through some very dark days. I know that sometimes you feel as if you are going to crawl out of your skin. I know that during this time hearing his voice feels like the cure. But I’m sure that you also know that if you show him this, it reads as desperate and that can hurt your chances of saving your marriage.
So it is very important that you don’t give into temptation and call too much or to come on too strong. It can feel as if you have no control over your urge to call or text, but this isn’t literally true. You have to force yourself not to give into it until it passes. I found it helpful to force myself to do things that required my undivided attention. I would chose things that required a lot of concentration so that it wasn’t possible for my thoughts to drift. I took very difficult classes at school so that I literally had to put in a lot of time, which left less time for me to dwell on the separation.
I also eventually realized that if I was going to distract myself on a regular basis, that I should chose distractions that enhanced my life and increased my chances of saving my marriage. So I took up exercising. When missing my husband felt overwhelming, I would jog, do yoga, or ride my bike. Sometimes, I would literally be dragging my feet on the way out the door, but once the endorphins would hit me, I began to feel some relief.
Make Sure You’re Not Unintentionally Isolating Yourself:
It’s very normal to not to want to be around people when you are going through this difficult time. You often will just want to be by yourself. You worry that people will ask you about your husband, your marriage, or the separation and then the waterworks are going to start.
So I do understand why it sometimes seems easier to just stay home. But in my experience this is mistake. Because when you are isolated, everything feels magnified and you don’t have perspective. But when you are other caring people, your attention is diverted and you feel more supported.
Chose Who You Surround Yourself With Carefully:
Sometimes, good friends can help you to stop living in your own head. That said, you have to chose these friends carefully. You may not want to chose the friend who just got engaged or who can’t stop talking about how happy she is in her new relationship. Nor do you want the bitter friend who has just gone through a divorce and who is going to tell you to just accept that it’s over.
You want friends who are willing to listen when you need it and who are willing to just have fun with you without a lot of discussion. Frankly, when I started going out with my friends again, I suddenly became a lot more interesting to my husband. I think that this is because he saw that I respected myself enough to stop moping around and he also saw that I could be upbeat and sociable again. This vastly improved the way that we related to one another and it was one of the turning points in saving our marriage.
So to answer the question posed, I advocate doing anything that will distract you and lift you up. This is going to be different activities for different people. I know someone who read almost non stop during her separation. When her husband lived with her, she never made time for recreational reading. So she used that time to her advantage and this made the time bearable for her. This wouldn’t work for me because my thoughts were all over this place and I couldn’t concentrate enough to read for recreation.
But I could put one foot in front of the other to run. So you may have to experiment to find what works for you. But don’t give up. Keep moving forward and surround yourself with people, activities and things that give you comfort and make you feel more positive. Because doing so will often not only make you feel better, it will also not be lost on your husband and it might improve your situation.
I do understand that sometimes you get caught up in an endless loop of negative feelings. But you have to break the cycle because if you don’t, it’s so easy to get stuck in the negativity and this can hurt your chances of saving your marriage. Realizing this (and actually acting on it) made all of the difference for me and my marriage. If it helps, you can read about how I was able to force myself out of my rut during the separation and save my marriage on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
Filed under: Uncategorized by admin