What Is My Husband Thinking While We’re Separated?

By: Leslie Cane:  I often hear from wives who wish that they could read their husband’s mind during a marital separation.   Often, he’s not being very transparent about his thought process and this is very frustrating for wives.

Common comments are something like: “my husband and I have been separated for a couple of months, but he’s not very forthcoming about what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling.   Some days, he is receptive to me and some days, he’s not.  So I can’t tell if he’s feeling particularly loving toward me or if he’s feeling like he might want to move back in and try to save our marriage.  When I ask him what he’s feeling or experiencing, he tells me that he thinks different things at different times and that, when he comes to a decision, he will share it with me.  This is breaking my heart.  I have no problem telling him how I feel.  Why can’t he do the same?  What do husbands think about while they are separated from their wives?”  I’ll try to answer these questions as best as I can in the following article.

Many Men Have Very Varied And Conflicted Thoughts During The Separation (Especially In The Beginning.) Obviously, I’m not a man who is going through a separation.  But I do dialog with many of them on my blog.   And many share a good deal of varied and conflicting feeling.  On day, they may miss their wife and wonder if maybe they should return home and put everything into saving their marriage.  And then the next day, they might actually enjoy feeling single or feel overwhelmed by all of your marital problems.    So, some of them are telling you the truth when they admit their they feelings can swing from one extreme to the other.

To be honest, these swinging feelings are sometimes nothing new.  In fact, many men want the separation as a way to sort out these fluctuating feelings.  The hope is that once they have some distance from their wife and their marriage, it will be easier for them to tell which feelings are the most sincere and frequent.  This doesn’t always become evident in the beginning of the process.  Many men feel a good deal of guilt about leaving and many find that they miss their wives more than they suspected that they would.

On the flip side of the coin, some men do find that they like the single life.  This can particularly be true if your marriage was a volatile one in which there was always a lot of conflict or fighting.  Sometimes, once they have a little peace and quiet, they find that they like it and they begin to lean toward making the separation more permanent or they consider pursuing a divorce.  Also, some husbands meet someone else during the separation and some of them can feel that it’s easier to just start over with someone new than to revive a marriage that might be damaged beyond repair.

Of course, I have no way of knowing what your own husband is thinking right now.   He may fall into either of these categories or neither one.  He may even be somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, he will give you little hints along the way. And other times, he might contradict himself, which I’ll discuss right now.

Tips For Deciphering Your Husband’s Hints As To What He Might Be Thinking During The Separation: As I alluded to, it’s important to understand that your husband might be experiencing a lot of different types of feelings.  That’s why you might be getting some mixed signals.  In general though, if he is receptive to seeing you on regular basis and things are going well when you are together, then you can reasonably sure that his thoughts about you or the marriage are positive.  But if he’s putting off spending time with you or always seems to be making excuses to avoid you, then the chances are good that there are some negative thoughts or doubts going through his mind.  And, if you’re seeing a combination of the two (which isn’t at all uncommon) then he’s probably experiencing those fluctuating feelings we’re been talking about.

Insights For Trying To Make Sure His Feelings Are As Positive As Possible During Your Separation: You can’t control your husband’s thoughts and feelings.  But you can attempt to set it up so that you have the best chance of him thinking positively of you.  Every time that you speak to one another or are together, try to be as cheerful as you possibly can.  Try to make sure that the time you spend together is pleasurable for both of you.  And, this might include not leaning on him about his feelings.  If he wants to share them, that’s great.  But if he’s reluctant to do so, don’t push too hard because if you do, then he might hesitate to spend time with you as often.   By being approachable and agreeable,  you decrease the odds that his feelings are negative ones and increase the chances that they are positive.

So to answer the question posed, men have varying feelings while they are separated from you.  But it is to your benefit to try to set up the circumstances that encourage positive thoughts and experiences.  It’s in your best interest to worry more about setting up positive circumstances and interactions instead of continuing to pressure him or question him about feelings about which he may changing anyway.

I do understand where you are because I constantly bugged my own husband about his feelings when we were separated.  I just could not help myself.   I needed to know if my marriage even stood a chance.  Unfortunately, my pestering him too much made him want to avoid me.  And so I had a much harder time saving our marriage in the end.  It wasn’t until I realized my mistake that I began to turn things around.  If it helps, you can read about the strategies that actually worked on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com


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