How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband 47


Here’s what you need to know about getting back together after a separation. Reconciliation is common for many couples who have separated or divorced, but is it a good idea for you?


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“My husband is desperately trying to reconcile our marriage after we separated,” said Lynda on Emotional Disconnection in Marriage. “I feel he has changed for the better, but I don’t know if men ever change from what he did. I feel so guilty that our daughter is split and she loves her daddy. But I don’t know if I ever could love him again. If we got back together I could possibly have the life I always wanted, and be able to stay home with my daughter and have more children. But how do I know if he would do everything all over again (mental and verbal abuse, an affair)? I wouldn’t want to put my daughter through that! And would I survive it the second time? Any advice or insight you might have about getting back together would be appreciated!”







There is no formula that will tell you if getting back together after separation is a good idea for you and your family. So how do you know if reconciliation is a better choice than staying apart and rebuilding a new life without your ex?

You must listen to that still small voice, and trust your intuition. Below are several things you need to consider before deciding if getting back together after separation is a good idea. This article was inspired by my many readers who don’t know how to decide or even start reconciling after a separation. You are not alone – and you may see yourself in their comments below. Reading through the situations of other women may help you see your marriage in a different light – and this may help you make a decision about getting back together after separation.

Research on Reconciliation After Separation

Research from the Personal Relationships journal shows that reconciliation after separation is surprisingly common. Ending a marriage or long-term relationship is difficult emotionally and socially, yet a high percentage of couples break up and then renew their relationship with the same person.

One study found that as many as 40% of the sample had reconciled after separating, with 75% of the respondents reporting at least two reconciliations with the same partner. Most separated couples think about reconciliation, and getting back together after separation is a healthy plan for some people.

But, is getting back together a good idea for you and your family? Here are a few things to consider about reconciliation after being separated….

How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband

Try not to take anyone’s advice about whether you should reconcile after a separation.

Reconciliation After Separation

How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband

Rather, focus on your own inner wisdom and true self. What do you really want to do? It’s scary to trust your intuition or gut feelings, but in the long run you are a better indicator of good decisions than all the advice in the world.


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Here, I share a few thoughts about getting back together after a separation, inspired by my reader’s question about reconciliation after separation. Your situation is different, but the questions I pose may help you decide.

What caused the separation?

Some couples end their relationship because of unresolvable differences or conflicts that can’t be accepted. Others decide to get separated because they simply need time and space to think.

Consider the reason for your separation. Does getting back together make sense to you? If the point of separation was to take time and space to re-evaluate your marriage — and if you and your ex are both leaning towards getting back together — then perhaps reconciliation is a logical next step.

Reconciliation is more complicated and sensitive than getting together in the first place. Rebuilding a marriage or relationship involves getting over a broken heart or disappointment in your ex-husband, which requires forgiveness and hard work. If you know your reconciliation will be rocky, consider seeing a counsellor who specializes in getting back together after a divorce or separation.

If your husband has a drinking problem, read How to Help an Alcoholic Husband.

Take a step away from your emotions

At this point, it’s important to take a deep breath and put your emotions aside. You may feel guilt, love, fear, hope, dread, confusion, anger, frustration, concern – you may feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of emotion! But your emotions shouldn’t make the “getting back together after separation” decision for you.

In Should You Try to Get Your Ex Back? 16 Questions to Ask Yourself I offer a list of healthy reasons to reconcile after a separation. The best reason for getting back together after separation is to assess whether something has changed in your relationship or marriage. How do you know if your ex-husband has changed? You date him.

Re-establish your relationship without formally getting back together

Who says reconciliation after separation means moving back in together? Why do you have to decide today or tomorrow to rebuild your marriage?

Use this time – the in-between time and space – to get to know your ex-husband again. Reconnect with him as if he were a new man and you were a new woman (because you’re both different, right? If neither have you have changed, then what’s the point of getting back together after separation?).

If your husband balks at, criticizes, or ridicules the idea of dating, then you’re one step closer to knowing if you should get back together.

Go slow – don’t let your husband push you into reconciling after a separation

Here are a few signs you should not reconcile after a separation:

  • Your husband isn’t giving you time to think
  • He is desperately trying to get back together
  • He’s pushing you to move back in with him right away
  • He’s jumping from one relationship to another
  • External parties (in-laws, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, etc) are pressuring you
  • You’re getting back together out of desperation, guilt, or other unhealthy reasons
  • You’re not being true to you if you get back together with your husband
  • Your gut instincts are telling you not to reconcile with your husband
  • You feel better and happier without your husband in the house
  • You feel emotionally manipulated or controlled by him
  • You like your life the way it is, without your ex-husband

Getting back together after separation is a big decision, and you need to take your time. I repeat my suggestion to date your ex-husband. If he doesn’t want to take six months to re-establish your relationship, then he’s not serious about building a strong foundation for your marriage.





Attach conditions to getting back together after separation

What do you want to see happen in your marriage, if you were to reconcile? You have the power to set conditions – you need to assert your strength and set the tone for the future of your marriage (or divorce). Stand up for yourself; don’t let your husband push you around.

Figure out what you want your new marriage to look and feel like, and tell your husband. Be specific and clear: I want to know I can trust you, so I want access to your phone, email, etc. Don’t be afraid to tell him what you want. If you’re scared to talk to your husband, then perhaps you should stop thinking about getting back together.

Get counseling – especially if your husband was abusive

In How to Know if Divorce is the Best Decision, I describe why counseling should not be a last resort, but rather a healthy step to take when problems first arise. If your husband abused you, then you absolutely definitely need to go to counseling as a couple.

Do not reconcile with a husband who abused you, but did not get help for it. Do not believe his words that he has changed! Believe his ACTIONS. How has his behavior changed? Is getting back together after separation a good idea for you, or are you running back to the same old problems?

Listen to your intuition

The most powerful source of wisdom and truth that still, small voice inside of you.

How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband

Reconciliation After Separation

Maybe it’s intuition, or God, or the Universe….whatever you call it, it really is the best source of advice you could ever ask for. You need to get quiet and listen to it, for that voice will tell you what you need to know. That voice will tell you what the next step is. Get out of your head and away from your emotions, and connect with your inner self. Your still small voice knows what decision you need to make about getting back together with your husband.

Here are some questions to help you work through the decision process. Coming up with your own answers has a much greater effect than asking for advice.

  • How did your marriage affect your behavior, thoughts and emotions?
  • How did the separation or divorce affect your behavior, thoughts and emotions?
  • How does reconciliation protect you from being vulnerable or hurt?
  • What is the purpose of getting back together with your husband?
  • What would it take to make your marriage painful enough that you would leave him for good?

Which path (reconciling with your husband and rebuilding your marriage, or proceeding with life without him) leads to more life, possibilities, and purpose?

Go where the life is. Find ways to clear noise and clutter of unhealthy attachments, bad relationships, unhappy people. Listen to the still small voice of God – of divine wisdom and power! Be quiet so you can hear. And, own up to the choices you’ve made and aren’t making. Don’t let past decisions ruin your future…you may grieve your loss, but you will be alive and growing a healthier future. You will be Blossoming.

In the comments section below, feel free to write the pros and cons of getting back together after separating with your husband. Take this opportunity to freewrite reasons you should and shouldn’t get back together with him.

Help for Getting Back Together After Separation

separating and getting back togetherMarriage on the Mend: Healing Your Relationship After Crisis, Separation, or Divorce was written by Clint and Penny Bragg. They’re a married couple who knows what it means to get back together after a separation – and divorce – of 11 years.  After their divorce and after living 3,000 miles from each other, they were remarried. That’s when the difficult work of restoration and rebuilding their marriage began.

The Braggs know that couples who reconcile after separation or divorce face a unique set of challenges, including unresolved arguments, poor communication habits, unforgiveness, and betrayed trust.

In Hope For the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed, Gary Chapman offers insights and hope for couples who have separated and wish they could be reconciled. When doors slam and angry words fly, when things just aren’t working out, and even when your spouse has abandoned your trust, there is hope.

I welcome your thoughts on getting back together after separation below, but I can’t offer relationship advice or counseling. Sometimes it helps to write about your experience, even if you don’t get feedback.

If financial problems are a factor in your separation – or your reconciliation – read How to Make a Difficult Decision in Your Life.

My prayer is that you make the right decision about getting back together separation, for both you and your family. May you go slow, listen to the still small voice, and make a decision that has positive consequences for the majority of your loved ones.

xo


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47 thoughts on “How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband

  • hloni

    Hi,I’ve been in separation with my husband for 5years now.3 years back my first born told me that her father is dating someone.So I decided to move on with my life.I tried to file for divorce but our process is very slow.I’m starting to feel jealous about the partner that he is with.He also asked me to reconcile with him,he left that woman.He wants to see his family back together.He will never sign those divorce papers.I’m now feeling something for him,yet I still have someone I’m still dating.I don’t know what to do.I don’t know how to tell the person I’m dating that I’m ready to try to make my marriage work.The sad part is that this man tried all he can to put food on the table for my kids.He tried so much to make my kids happy,but my heart miss my house now.Should I tell him how I feel or should tell my husband we can take it slow while I’m still trying to end this relationship.My husband doesn’t know about this person.

  • Leona Masson

    I just found out 5 weeks ago My husband after 15 years has been unfaithful 7 times in our marriage and before this also. I thought he was a loyal man and utterly shocked by this behaviour. He portrayed himself so well until i found evidence of past infidelities! I asked him to leave, no second chance. He has since had a breakdown and in counselling. We have 3 beautiful children. What a waste. As much as i see his pain now i told him i cannot take him back as i have to much respect for myself. I continue to be amicable for the childrens sake as he is a good dad but my small inner voice says walk away with your head held high which is what I’ve done because i deserve better and i am strong!

  • Kristen Brown

    My husband suddenly left our family months ago for another woman, who we both knew from our neighborhood association. He filed for divorce and immediately moved to another state with her. Now my husband wants to reconcile, after a year apart. I’m struggling to decide but I think I can’t be with him again. Some bells just can’t be unrung.

    • Mara

      Wow sorry to hear that. I agree it would be difficult to ever trust him again after the betrayal and abandonment, unless you could see that he has significantly changed and was completely remorseful and seeking forgiveness, realized what an awful decision he had made, etc. but could he guarantee he would never think to do that again !?

  • Mike

    My wife and I split 9-15 we both cheated on each other and That was the main cause for the collapse of our marriage. I worked to much and neglected we feelings. When I found out about what she was doing I was so hurt I turned off emotionally completely. We went on for another 6 years and I started to cheat on her. In my mind I blamed her for the problems. I was to short sighted to see what my actions did to her. During the divorce process we spoke about trying again and, and again I shut her out. I started to see a counselor 8 months ago and he’s helped me to see how a lot of the problems we had were mine. I grew up in a very bad home with abuse and mental abuse as well. I didnt know how to have a loving relationship cause I never saw one. I realize now How lost I truly am without her. I spoke to her about my feelings but she is dating now. I feel hopeless cause I feel I threw away the best thing in my life and don’t know what to do.

  • Cheryl

    Hi. Married for 23 years. Mentally and emotionally abused for most. Separated for 1.5 years…. divorce in progress. Husband wants to reconcile. He’s been in therapy for 4 months. Claimed ownership for his part. During the separation I met a man that i like. I am now conflicted. It is very tumultuous- i am agonizing over which path to take. Monetarily, things were great with my husband. I never had a want. This new guy has made my decision to give my marriage another try more complicated.
    I am going back and forth in my head, and the stress is intense.
    Long history with husband, children together, he knows me so well, the comfort level etc….
    But what if it goes back to the way it was????
    I am stuck!

    • Mara

      Sorry for your difficult situation. I don’t have advice, but I wish you clarity and confidence as you decide if you should reconcile with your husband. I completely agree with your worry of him being abusive again/returning to the same situation. That is what I am most scared of in my own situation. Things were so incredibly bad the two times I had to separate from my husband that I wanted to die (I don’t otherwise have a problem with depression, but the abuse was so bad that I saw death as the only way to end it). Now, we’ve been separated for 7 months and I resonate so much with the “reasons you should not reconcile.” I feel better and happier without him. But maneuvering divorce is such a overwhelming and scary thought. We have three young children and I fear most for their safety and not being there to protect them if he were able to get some kind of custody. His parents also are abusive, toxic people and I fear not being able to protect my kids from them either. I’ve been a stay at home mom for six years now and I can’t imagine being able to find a job to support my children and myself on my own.

      • Cheryl

        Hi Mara, I understand completely. Fortunate for me, my 3 children are grown, so it’s only me I have to worry about – and I still worry!
        Like you, I am not a career woman. I have just completed a medical coding course, and hope to become certified soon.
        I ask myself this question a lot….. if I had a crystal ball, and I knew I would succeed and not fall…… would I go back to my husband? My answer usually is probably not.
        Most of my conflict is due to fear. False Evidence Appearing Real!
        Sure, I can go back to him. I would have security, money problems would be gone, but will I truly be happy?
        My husband has been my safety net for many, many years. He knew that too…..
        I cringe at the thought of being under his thumb, but yet I still entertain the thought of a reconciliation……LOL

        • Mara

          Good Job on taking steps to be able to financially support yourself! From reading what you said, it seems like the main reason you would reconcile is the financial security that your husband provided, which he also took advantage of to control you. My situation hasn’t changed since my last writing. I feel like I only see “the life” if I reconcile With my husband. I feel my love and trust in him has been completely destroyed and I don’t want to make myself vulnerable to that intense kind of hurt ever again. I believe mature love is a choice, but I don’t know if choosing to love him is a wise choice. His mental illness (bipolar with psychosis) compounds the problem, and he is still not completely well either. My kids and I were ripped from our home and our lives and I still don’t feel we have a life or a future where we are. I just don’t know where to go from here. I am so fearful of the legal process of divorce and custody and what is best for my children and also how can I support them on my own?

          I honestly feel if my children were grown up it would be a lot easier to make the decision to separate for good, which is what I feel I would choose at this point.

          i can understand how divorce rates have increased as women have been empowered by the financial freedom that a career brings. You don’t really have freedom to leave if you don’t have the means to support yourself…

  • Mara

    Thank you for writing this, it is very helpful! My husband is pressuring me and rushing me to reconcile but I am not ready. Our young children and I had to leave because it wasn’t healthy or safe for us (he has been in a manic episode with psychosis which results in him being extremely irritable, emotionally abuaive, aggressive, and make many irresponsible, impulsive, destructive decisions). I am happier and healthier without him, but Getting divorced scares me (worrying about custody of the kids and their well being). I also don’t know how I could rebuild my life apart from him since I haven’t worked outside the home for six years now.

    One of the things that scare me
    Is that he still isn’t back to his baseline. He seems okay won’t our limited contact, but I can tell he is putting on a front. The one time I was alone with him , he started the angry verbal abuse just like before.

  • Mara

    Thank you for writing this, it is very helpful! My husband is pressuring me and rushing me to reconcile but I am not ready. Our young children and I had to leave because it wasn’t healthy or safe for us (he has been in a manic episode with psychosis which results in him being extremely irritable, emotionally abuaive, aggressive, and make many irresponsible, impulsive, destructive decisions). I am happier and healthier without him, but Getting sicorved scares me (worrying about custody of the kids and their well being). I also don’t know how I could rebuild my life apart from him since I haven’t worked outside the home for six years now.

    One of the things that scare me
    Is that he still isn’t back to his baseline. He seems okay won’t our limited contact, but I can tell he is putting on a front. The one time I was alone with him , he started the angry verbal abuse just like before.

  • Laurie Post author

    Hello Rachelle,

    I don’t give advice about reconciliation after separation, or relationships, or life – so there is no way to contact me! If you need marriage advice, please follow the Mort Fertel Marriage Coach link in my article – he gives free advice to couples.

    If you are in distress, please call a local women’s helpline. I’m not a counselor, and I can’t tell anyone what to do with their lives – nor do I know how to counsel women through crisis situations. Please, call a local organization for in-person help — or get in touch with the marriage coach I listed if you need help with your relationship.

    I wish you all the best – I hope you find the help you need. If you’d like to share your story here, I may be able to give some thoughts — but I don’t give advice and can only share what the Spirit whispers in my ear.

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Amy,

    I hear your confusion about your husband’s behavior – why does he want to spend time with you and your kids as a family, when you are separated from him and don’t want to reconcile? He may not want to talk about reconciliation either, or perhaps he’s reluctant to bring it up because he’s scared of rejection.

    It seems to me that your husband is having a hard time letting go. He really does love you and his kids, and he knows your family life is over. I think he loves the idea of you all as a family together….but he doesn’t want to be faithful. I think he’s having a hard time saying good-bye to his family and spending time together. It actually seems to make a lot of sense to me; he loves you all but doesn’t want to be married and faithful. He wants the family part, but not the “fidelity to the wife” part.

    Your husband may also be processing his grief and loss about the separation and upcoming divorce. He may not want to talk about reconciliation – or not know how to reconcile – but he is sad that your marriage is over. He’s finding it difficult to just walk away. Maybe he even regrets his actions.

    I can’t continue to guess what your husband might be feeling, but I encourage you to take time to think about what you want in your relationship with him. When you figure that out, then set your boundaries so you can protect and take care of yourself.

    Questions for you:

    How do you want to see your relationship with your ex-husband unfold? Start making decisions that take you in that direction.

    What does “family life” mean to you now that you are separated? This may be an ongoing process that changes as you all do, but for today and this week…how do you want to live as a family?

    Who is someone you trust that you can talk through your separation with? Processing your thoughts and feelings is really important. Writing is especially important, because it’s healing and it can help you figure out what you really think and need.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best as you move forward in your life. Feel free to come back here anytime and let me know how you’re doing!

    xo
    Laurie

  • Amy

    My husband and I separated about 4 months ago. The main reason was that he was cheating and showed no effort to change. While I was staying with him he cheated and lied and there was no reason for me to trust him. I stayed with him for about 2 years after I found about the affair but he continued to lie about ending it. Finally I asked him to move out. Since we have separated i am very clear to him that I dont want to be friends with him but he behaves as if everything is normal. He will spent time with the kids every week, take them out. He even insists i accompany them. He got me gifts on my bday and celebrated our anniversary and took me and the kids on vacation as well. Niether of us have spoken of reconciliation nor I am interested. What I dont understand is if he is involved with someone else (the reason for separation) then why does he wants to spend time with me and celebrate bdays and anniversaries? Should I clarify? Or let it be…has any one experienced similar situation?

  • Laurie

    Dear Shad,

    It sounds like you need to give your husband another chance. You want to save your marriage for your family, for yourself, and even for him…and that is an honorable and understandable desire. Unity and connection is in our nature! We were built to be together, to experience life together.

    When you’re trying to decide if you should reconcile with your husband after a separation, you really need to know that you have given your marriage every chance of surviving. You need to know that you did everything you could. If you walk away too early, you might regret it.

    It’s very wise to go slowly. Give your husband time to really settle into the changes he said he’s made. It’s easy to say “I want to work on our marriage” or “let’s save our relationship”….but it’s more difficult to actually do the things that save marriages.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you listen to that still small voice that is always there to guide you. May you be strong and courageous, and not swayed by fears or insecurities. May you take your time as you decide if reconciliation is the best step for you and your family.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Shad

    My husband and I were married for 7 years when we separated. This year, One year later, I filed for divorce but when I was about to have him served he reached out to me and told me that he would like to work on our marriage. When we were married there were no issues relating to abuse or infidelity, but there were issues relating to commitment to family, and putting family first, which had always come very easy for me because I had a much different upbringing than my husband. I felt like I was both the man and the woman of the home , I felt alone, single most times, and very unhappy. I worked from home, so I would stay on my computer much later past the end of the work day. In many ways I blamed myself, as I let some of the issues go on for much longer and allowed my husband to make excuses for him not pulling his weight in the home. We took vacations at different times in the year, because I planned mine around the kids schedule and he did not. I hated my life after a while, I would get upset when he came home, and I just wanted to be alone, since this was how I felt in the relationship. We tried counseling, but the pastor was inconsistent and so was my husband. My husband would not move out of our rented home, so I took the kids and left. After months apart we have been in communication because of our 3 year old. We have been open about dating other people during the time that we were apart, as I felt there was definitely someone out there that could be a better man to me. At present we are no longer dating other people, and I feel like I owe it to him to see how he has changed and to see if there is a chance for us. I know sometimes it is said that we should not stay in a relationship for the kids, but I feel like I have an obligation to try, to see if we can reconcile to make our family whole. We live separately, and I do not feel that this should change at this point. He has asked me out, and comes to spend a few hours with us, and we plan on starting counseling. I want to take things slow, I feel really confused about everything and the reconciliation process, I am just taking baby steps at this point. Any advice?

  • Marie

    My husband and I separated recently. We’ve been married for 16 months now and it’s been an abusive relationship in all types of way. I want to figure out myself and fix my own issues so I can be a great mom and wife but I feel like is a waste of time to try to fix my marriage because it’s broken down and I’m emotionally drained and I just want to focus on my kids. And I feel it’s unfair for me to try to fix something that I’m the only one that’s putting effort into. I’m so confused.

  • Dee

    Ive been divorced for over a yr now im miserable an so is he but he has been sick for about 10 yrs of our marriage we were married 25 yrs he was verbally abusive at times an to our 3 children they are all grown now he wants to reconcile ive tried 2 other times but we end up fightin because he says stuff to offend me. I still love him an he really needs me he doent have anyone else that voice I hear it sayin try but I dont know my kids are upset that I even talk to him still. But I know its not their decision to make its mine

  • Anonymous

    I neglected my spouse of love and affection, let her down, used her past against her. She put me down, didn’t value the little things I’d do for her while she was studying, told me I wasn’t good enough that I didn’t deserve things because I didn’t make enough to cover our monthly expenses. through our 5+ years of marriage my mother never accepted her and my parents were going through some martial problems also. Instead of finding a balance and keeping my foot down to protect my wife, I lashed out and didn’t prevent anything from happening. She has asked for a divorce and I agreed. But deep down inside it doesn’t feel right, she feels it’s the right thing but wants to remain friend’s and hopefully if I turn hell inside out for her she’ll take me back. I had not seen her since June. We met so she can tell me her divorce decision, she returned only to pack her things and we talked, cried and held each other tight. I feel like we’ve bonded even more than ever. Yet continues with the divorce proceedings and told me she needs time to heal. I will do everything I can to make things right. I love her very much and ever day I must carry my cross, the burden of hurting my wife. I hope and pray that she takes me back so that we can achieve the goals that we once shared. I dearly miss her.

  • Laurie

    Sometimes outside opinions only complicate matters and make things more confusing. The only person who knows you, your partner, and your relationship is you. That’s why it can be a mistake to ask for advice about reconciling after a separation — because only you know the details that other people can never know.

    So, I ask you….what is holding you back from reconciliation? What is the block, the obstacle, the thing that is stopping you from giving this relationship a second chance?

  • Tina

    I am just so confused. My husband & I have known each other 18 yrs, 13 of which he ‘chased’ me, together a yr & now married almost 4 yrs. Last yr I found him talking to other women online, after a lot of fighting both due to that & him not holding a job, we seperated for 8 mos. I have moved back thinking we need to give each other another chance, he has now got a stable job, telling me I can stay home. Well, I am staying home since I did take care of him for years but he promised counseling, take care of even my petty things, like keeping my hair nicely cut (petty). I’ve been back almost 2 mos now & still no counseling, haven’t had my hair cut since moving back, I just internally am questioning my decision to come back. I notice my happiness was mostly during our seperation which leads me to ask myself ‘Did I make the right decision?’ I do love him, as he does me BUT am I crazy to say that sometimes love just isn’t enough. So, I guess I post this looking for outside opinions/knowledge. Please help.

  • natalie

    Hi, I am so conflicted about my marriage! Have been with Michael for 5 and a half years and we’ve been married for only 10 months 9 of which if been pregnant! We fell in love and moved in together really quickly sex was good we argued a lot but we was passionate. This all faded after time and due to money worries and stress at work we drifted apart and became more like friends. We were still in love and knew we had to work these long hours to survive. We had a lot of really good holidays together then he proposed and we got married. He always messed up and did things to hurt me but I always forgave him I guess he’s always been a little immature but everyone has told me he’s a much nicer person since meeting me. He always wanted kids and had asked me for years for them but I was never really ready. After the wedding we decided I’d come of my pill and if it was meant to be it would be. Literally a week or two later I was pregnant! We was happy but also very scared and shocked because I dont think we was truly ready 🙁 then Michael spiralled out of control he removed himself from the marriage and gave me no love or attention he was hurting me everyday. If had an awful pregnancy and been so depressed and alone. Then he racked up a huge gambling debt and started flirting any hanging out with a girl in work. Finally I pushed him to tell me what was going on and he told me he didn’t love me anymore and wanted to meet someone else. I was heartbroken and heavily pregnant facing life as a single mum! I was devastated and begged him not to leave. We’ve been split up for over a month maybe 2 and I no longer beg him to stay I have accepted it. At the beginning I hated him and a lot of things were said and a lot of arguments were had. He moved into a bedsit he didn’t want to move out until after baby was born but I forced him into it. He said to me he wants a divorce but he has also once said he’s not 100% sure. I’m now 5 days past my due date so if let him move back in to help me with baby for the first 2 weeks. We’re being friends and talking only of everyday things or the baby not the relationship. I don’t know if I want to fight for my marriage or let it go? I’ve realised my worth and me and the baby deserve better then him but I still love him I’m so conflicted on how I feel. Any men out there that can she’d some light on his actions???

  • Laurie

    Dear Thomas,

    I am so sorry for your loss. The death of your wife is a terrible grief to bear, and regardless of how your marriage unfolded, it’s still incredibly painful to lose someone you love.

    Please, go talk to someone in person. A grief support group would be ideal – you need to process your grief and learn how to resolve your feelings of pain and regret. It would help you immensely to hear how other widows and widowers are healing, and to share your experience with others.

    A grief group that focuses on addictions – similar to Al-Anon – would be so helpful, I think.

    Here’s an article to help you learn about grief:

    How to Survive the Grieving Process
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/how-to-survive-the-grieving-process/

    You might also consider getting one-to-one counseling. There are so many difficult feelings to process; I really believe you’d benefit from in-person support. Seeking help online is a great start, but it’s so important to get in-personal guidance and support!

    I will keep you in my prayers; I’ll pray for healing and strength for you.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  • Thomas

    I have a problem I don’t know how to resolve, but it’s not about getting back together after a separation. My wife had a drug program. Her parents didn’t realize it. We we’re inseparable so she stop using drugs. We had 14 good years together. But the I got sick. I needed a kidney transplant. Things changed, she stopped coming home. We’d fight, but she was clean. We’d test. She went to live with her parents bc she said I was become way too upset and depressed over my upcoming kidney failure. After a few months sh’d came back but in that in that time So much changed.
    She spent her paycheck on drugs. Guys would text at 3 am and she’d take her phone in the bathroom. So the last 2 years she moved back home and hung out with druggies she got fired for stealing Xanax and other drugs.
    So almost under 2 weeks, she committed suicide she was hanging out with her friend talking about it. They found her she hung herself next morning.
    So this is it, I don’t even think she loved me anymore. I miss her more then I could think anything possible. Why didn’t she call me like when she left. Lucky I talked get town a called EMS. WHY COULDNT SHE CALL ME. Did she just really stop loving me? I know people say their marriage is special but ours was. She accepted me even thou I contracted HIV through hemophilia. She said everyone need love. And we loved each other. Or I thought she did. she did I love her more then my own life, more than anything possible. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.

    She was smart a avid reader & not just chick lit. She loved movies and going to concerts and living no near to NYC, we saw great shows and had great experiences. We loved the museums she always found these great unusual things we could do. She broadened my horizons.

    Finally this is it. I’m not divorced, not separated. I’m a widower. Can I wear my wedding ring?

    I don’t know if is the right forum, but please help

  • Willow

    It has helped me tremendously that I have always had a clear idea of what was necessary for us to get back together. This has never changed since day one of making him move out. He had been drinking, turned into a couch potato, and was lying about it constantly so that I wondered if I had lost my mind. But day one I told him that because I could no longer trust him by his words, I would need to judge him by his actions. He needed to take care of himself financially, physically, and treat me well for a period of time before I would consider reconciliation. Because I have not wavered on this it has made it much easier for both of us to know where we stand. He seems to be doing better. But more time is needed and more time together (dating) to know if this is true. This time I am honoring my instincts.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Rodel,

    The idea of getting back together after a separation after almost 10 years is quite romantic! It would be a lot more romantic if you and your ex-wife weren’t married to other people, and didn’t have children with those other people.

    I can’t tell you if you should reconcile with your ex, but I do have a few questions for you to think about. I encourage you to write your answers in a private diary or journal. Working through your thoughts in writing is a wonderful way to decide of getting back together after separation is a good idea for you, your ex-wife, and your children.

    How will your current wife respond to the news that you want to get back together with your ex-wife?
    What will your children say? How will they be affected?
    What has changed in the past 10 years? You and your ex-wife haven’t had much contact. What makes you think reconciliation after separation is a good idea?
    Who is your wife today, and how has she changed in the past 10 years?
    How have you changed in the past 10 years?

    I encourage you not to follow your emotions — such as the warm sentimental feelings of love you have for your ex-wife. Of course you feel love for her! You were married to her, and your thoughts about her are idealized, warm, and comforting. It’s much easier to love a woman when you haven’t been living with her and doing the hard work of raising kids together.

    Please consider the effect a remarriage to your ex-wife will have on your children and wife. Please don’t follow your emotions and whims without considering the consequences on your family.

    I wish you all the best as you consider getting back together with your ex-wife. I pray for wisdom, guidance, clarity, and insight.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

    • Rodel Capellan

      Thank you for a warm response.. 1st I thought that we were going to talk about our separation and closure of our relationship but when the days goes buy everyday talking to to each other. I can’t hide the love which I have to her and as she said same feelings that we have.. I hate her because of what she did but I love her and nothing changed because we’re married and she’s the girl I wanted in the rest of my life.. but what she did is is too painful it’s a surprising… but still until this time I can’t hide my feelings that still I love her… its difficult for me to to decide because there is one girl I know that she loves me and that is my current wife today.but still I cannot say she’s my wife because we’re not married..Thank you for a giving me a great advice…

    • Rodel Capellan

      We haven’t talk to each other for the last 10 years… just 2 months before when we start to talk to each other.. and we found out after talking to each other lots of emotions and forgiveness of what happened.. suddenly we are saying still we love each other.. Please pray for me God hive me wisdom and guidance thank you very much…

  • Rodel Capellan

    It’s been 9 years almost 10 years this coming March 2016 when me and my wife are almost separated.. We don’t have any closure about our relationship being husband and wife.how do you reconcile after a separation when she didn’t give a chance to get my side, she didn’t talk to me and she throw me away and don’t want me anymore. But i try to talk to her and and keep our relationship being husband and wife and being a good father to my daughter. it didn’t work and after 2 months she went abroad and when I saw her on a social site she’s having a relationship to other guy and I decide that she don’t love me anymore.
    My wife had a child with that guy, after years passed I met one lady and am having a relationship with her. we have 2 kids, but four months ago i talked to my first wife again. she was always on my mind even though I have already my family and she also has her own family. we still love each other and we both want to reconcile. I thought we are going to talk about formal closure of our marriage but instead we are talking about how to fix our families so we can be together again. still I love her and she loves me…. can you give me the counseling regarding reconciliation after separation for so long? thanks.

    Rodel Capellan

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Samantha,

    I can’t tell you if you should reconcile with your abusive, critical, angry husband. Only you know what’s best for you, and only you know what you have the strength and courage to do.

    I’m curious, though…is it possible to go back to your family for help? It really is difficult to make it as a single mother with small children, and it’s definitely easier if you have support. Living in a new place doesn’t offer much support, financially or emotionally.

    Can you return to the place you were living? Are there resources or support systems there, that might be able to help you?

  • Samantha

    Hi myself and my husband has been seperated for 3 months now, he has been abusive throughout our marriage and we have 3 small children. He says he wants to reconcile but phones me up late at nite to tell me everything i do wrong. But if i do he gets upset and says lets just leave everything. Im currently unemployed as he brought me to a different province. My heart cant handle the pain but im a bit worried financially. Please help

  • William

    I found your tips on how to know if you should reconcile after a separation very insightful. My only major comment is that it is written as if only the woman in the relationship should be making this choice… these same questions face men in these situations as well. I would prefer if this was written to address the situation from the point of view of the husband or the wife…

    But thank you for this! Well written!
    God bless you all in your journey!

  • Paul

    This is something that I have been struggling with for way way too long. It has caused me a great deal of anxiety and stress. I am quite conflicted about it. I am quite content living separately from her and she seems to be content away from me, though both of us are lonely. I hope to resolve this soon and gain some peace about the whole situation. Wush me luck.

  • Jay Kelly

    My stbx and I have been separated now for a year. I do miss him from time to time. It was VERY hard when we first separated, but I am enjoying living alone. In the past he has physically abused me but I decided to stay with him. The abused stopped a long time ago but I still feel the inner pain.. I thought I was over it but my oldest son talks about it sometimes.. he was around 10-11 at the time he is now 38. I stayed because I had 2 small sons and did not think I could make it on my own. Him and I married pretty young and we each had a lot of baggage. Not blaming him for everything, I had issues myself. I have been in counseling for several years and I have asked him over and over to go with me to counseling which he felt he did not need counseling. We separated because he was not paying the mortgage and we were left with the decision to sale the home or it go into foreclosure. We put the house on the market.. At that point we decided to go our separate ways.. he left the house first and I left about a month later. He wants to reconcile but I am enjoying living alone and I am now talking to a friend that I have known for over 30 years and we get along great. He has been divorced for over 10 years. He lives in a different State therefore we are not physically seeing each other – We enjoy talking to each other over the phone.. We are getting to know each other all over again. I will be divorcing my stbx not because of my friend but because for several years my stbx and I were basically living as roommates instead of husband and wife.. we made GREAT roommates..but not husband and wife. I had to pretty much keep my feelings to myself and could not express how I felt because it sometimes made him angry and defensive… he was not the one to talk things out in a mature, settling manner. For all of you that are thinking of reconciliation, don’t think of the years you were married, think of the marriage itself. Follow your gut instinct.. it will not steer you wrong. I have been with my stbx for 30 years but I cannot tell you how many of those years I was ACTUALLY MARRIED.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    If you want to reconcile with your spouse after a separation, you need to follow your heart and listen to your spouse. By “follow your heart”, I mean contact your spouse and say you want to talk about reconciliation. Ask her out for coffee or on a date, and forget about how it “should” happen. What do you have to lose? After all, you’re already separated! Reconciliation is possible only if you take risks and be vulnerable.

    By “listen to your spouse”, I mean truly HEAR what is said about getting back together. If your spouse says reconciliation after separation is only possible if you go for marriage counseling, then off you go to marriage counseling. IF your spouse says reconciliation after separation is only possible if you quit your job and move to Timbukto, then it’s time to start drafting a letter to your boss and looking for places to live in Timbukto.

    My prayer is that you take a deep breath, and listen to your heart. What do you want from your marriage? Why do you want to reconcile? How can you ensure a separation doesn’t occur again? Those are important questions, and answering them will help you move forward and save your marriage.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Logan

    Help here I have readed but have so questions. me and my wife are separated it has not been long and I want to be with her every minute. I have not be abusing her but I have not been a nice husband. I would love to work things out. but she and I have cheated on each other. mine was pronography and talking to other women on dating site. and she went out and physically cheated close enough to having an affair. so what do I do?

  • Angela

    My husband and I have been separated for 3 months now.He has been verbally abusive to me,he drinks,he doesn’t want my oldest kids around,he won’t get counseling and always act as if his life is miserable because of me,O and when he does things or say things to me he says that he hasn’t done anything and that I’m crazy.Well I left and I am so happy without him but want my marriage to work.I’m a Christian and believe that God can do anything but not sure about going back to him because he hasn’t changed.I moved back home to California and hes in Texas I love it here in California and don’t know if I want to stay in Texas again but he won’t move here with me a so I have a lot on my plate to think about.

  • Cecile

    I found your article very I interesting and was wondering if you could give me some advice. I found out that my husband has been cheating on my for 2 years, I gave him a second chance on the basis that he would stop contact with the OW. He did for 2 weeks and when she contacted him he resumed his affair. I found out about it 2 weeks later and kicked him out of the house. We have 2 young children. We have been separated for 6 weeks and he sees the kids often. Since the separation, the only difference I have noticed is that he’s around in the evening, so I know I can leave on my own. The question is I still have very strong feelings for him and you advice to date, so should I do the first step and set up a date or should I wait for him to do it?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I wish you all the best as you reconcile with your husband after separating! May you find peace, joy, and hope in your marriage – and may you both work towards the common good of your family. I pray for wisdom, healing, and faith. May you find joy in each other, as well as the love and acceptance that is the foundation of all healthy marriages.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • mel

    I am in this situation right now. We have been “separated ” for 5 months he was here all the time and when he started dating and stopped coming it drove me insane with lose fear greif and jealously , so we are reconciling i figure after 22 years and 3 children its worth a shot. Wish us luck

  • Lisa Marie

    I think all couples should consider reconcilation after separation, because divorce is terrible for the whole family. I know each situation is different and not all married couples are happy together but I believe they should at least try. My parents divorced after two years of separation, and I wish they reconciled.

  • Laurie

    Thank you for your comments – they are helpful to people who are struggling to decide if they should reconcile! It’s a huge decision, but I think it helps to read perspectives from others who have been in the same situation.

  • Bonnie Gean

    When the time came for me to decide to reconcile, I evaluated how I felt when he wasn’t around versus when he showed up at the doorstep.

    Eventually, I opted to end the marriage because I was clearly happier without him than I was with him.

  • Tola

    I think the advice you’ve given here is solid especially for a woman suffering abuse. When there’s abuse involved it’s important to spend a lot of time in prayer, take one’s time and also go with one’s gut feelings.
    I hope she makes the right decision at least for her daughter’s sake who’s fond of her Daddy.

  • Charlotte Henley Babb

    My husband did try to reconcile, but since I left him, I did not consider it. It turned out well, as he married someone more compatible. I’ve often wondered if we could have worked things out, but I never learned how to communicate with him, and now it’s a moot point. Still, now I’m single, as my second husband died, and I’m pretty happy by myself.