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How to Decide if You Should Reconcile With Your Husband

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?

“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.

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.

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

  1. In 1987 my husband loaded me on a bus at the amtrack station and sent me home to my mothers with a guardianship to be assumed the savings account, and a letter telling my mother because I would not have sex with him or keep my word about a promise I had made two months before going to Rome on vacation. My promise was if he stayed home and worked for a 22 year old so they could go marry in Rome that upon my return I would be a willing sex partner and travel companion any time any where and any way he wanted his vacation.

    The problem was he was taking off right after taking everyone to his fathers when we came back on a three week western road trip without regard for any of the hundred with less seniority than he had, over 100 were going to be set back in their plans by three weeks.

    I put my foot down about it telling him we would figure something out for the time we decided after the first of January 1988. If nothing else he could take a stay cation and just rest. He blew up saying he had not had a day off in nearly six years, he had done everything asked of him the last two years then asked me was I going to keep my word. Crying I told him I could not let him use his seniority in the UAW to harm other plans. 30 minutes later I was on the bus him his father and tw deputies that were serving him with an order to go to work. Hes punching his father to the ground and chasing the deputies as his brothers held him back.

  2. Hi everyone, My husband who has left me for 7 months because of his new found mistress is back, We have been married for 14 years with 3 beautiful kids. I love my husband so much but I could not stop him. I need our marriage to work, I have read countless books on how to please your husband but none worked.

  3. I absolutely agree with majority of the reasons why one needs not reconcile after separation, but your portrayal of a “husband” in this case is extremely negative . You place more emphasis on “the man” as if he is a monster.

  4. Pros:
    1. Not having to split my children from their step-grandparents and step father whom they love
    2. Financially more stable if he’s able to keep a job
    3. Get a little bit of help from him with the house and perhaps the kids and house
    1. Never know when he may do drugs again
    2. I may have to separate the kids and myself from him again if he goes back to using
    3. Never know when he’s lying about paying bills, rent, etc.
    4. Financially supporting him, myself and my children
    5. Having to constantly stand up for myself and justify why the children come first

  5. Hello,

    My name is Jorgen . I am a Canadian citizen currently residing in Vancouver. My family (wife and son) and I relocated from Toronto to Seoul, South Korea in January, 2017. My wife left me on April 27, 2018 and took our son. Ever since my now ex wife left me (April 27, 2018), I have not been able to see or talk to my son.
    My wife filed for a divorce in Korea which was granted to her in my absence on March 15, 2019. I was informed of this decision through a Korea friend in Seoul, South Korea. My wife and I got married on 28 December, 2012.

    I am new in Vancouver and came here as I was offered a position as an academic manager in a school. Besides, I had no other choice but to leave South Korea, because my sponsorship visa expired. I have been trying to open a way to communicate with her; however, she has completely blocked me. I have tried to send child support to our son, Daniel, asking her via numerous emails and even through a friend to provide me with a bank account number. There has been no reply at all.

    I need to add that once before, a few months into our marriage, my now ex wife disappeared, citing arguments and misunderstandings. A couple of months later, she surfaced in South Korea. This was back in 2013.

    In January 2017, we decided to relocate to South Korea. I found re-adjustment to the new environment quite hard. In the meantime, my wife became more and more distant and less supportive. We had arguments like any other couple; however, I grew more and more emotional and anxious, due my sense of isolation and loneliness, and our arguments became more frequent. I even broke things a couple of times. Unbeknownst to me, she had been collecting evidence to get divorced and win full child custody.

    Ever since she left, she and her family have stone walled me. I know that she reads my emails and sometimes forwards them to her older brother (I have installed an email tracking program on my computer). My ex is not rich and her brother has his own wife and kids. Her mother is not rich either. Her brother emailed me a couple of weeks ago about my Korean credit card debt asking me to respond the notice from the bank. I thought that it could be away to find a way to contact her or to at least know about my son. Several times I offered to send child support, but she never gave me her bank account information. I sent clothes for my 5 year old son, which has been received.

    I am now working on myself and am doing my very best to change, not just for her, but for my life. I am truly tired of my old self and am determined to change. I have been emailing her almost every day, which I admit, is obsessive. I am truly remorseful and I hope that there is a way to make amends and look after my son, and if possible, my ex. I can’t give up.

    I would greatly appreciate your advice.

  6. Hello everyone. I hope some of you can help me with my dilemma. I have been married to my wife for 6 years and been together 12. We have 2 beautiful kids. 10 and 4 years old. We have been separated for almost 2 months. The way things started was when I walked out on her. I packed up my things and left. After we had gotten into an argument the night before. I was done with her trying to control me and with everything I did. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I drink but just to have one or two. I work my butt off. I’ve even worked 2 full time jobs for 2 years. Just so my family can have everything they wanted. Yes I admit that they way I did things by leaving was not the best idea. The first week I left she was begging for me to get back with her. She was doing everything to try for me to go back. The thing is that we lived with her parents. And they had told me that if I had left then I wouldn’t be able to come back. So they had a big part on us not getting back together even if I wanted to. She had suggested on us getting our own place. And I was still mad and annoyed by her on insisting on us getting back together that I would reject anything she would try. The second weeks come and my eyes open up. I was staying at my brothers apartment cuz he told me I could stay there until I got on my feet. But that second week it was my turn to have the kids with me. It hurt me that they didn’t have their own bed like they did when we were together so that made me have a change of heart. And the fact that I missed her so much. By the second week she was over it and she gave up. She was over me. I’ve been begging her for us to get back together and save our marriage but she doesn’t want to. I was never violent with her but I do have a bad temper and raise my voice at times. But never put my hands on her. I did do a lot of things like neglect her. I wasn’t that affectionate with her like she wanted. Or communicate with her. Whenever she wanted to talk or have a small conversation I would just say that we had nothing to talk about. I was very naive and prideful. But honestly if I wouldn’t of left like I did. I would of never of opened my eyes and seen how much she was worth. And how much she helped me. She always put me before her. She was a very good wife and mother and I never noticed it until it was too late. When our 2 child was born we had our own place. We were very happy. No fights. Nothing. Happy to have had a very healthy babygirl. But then a year later her parents asked us to move to their place so we can save for a house. They’re the type of parents that butted into our relationship. They always had something to say but didn’t help. We always had to tiptoe around them. To this day I stay trying to get back with her. Our kids are suffering the most. My daughter which is 4 now. Cries and says that she wants us together. My son cries as well. Telling her to give me one more chance. I applied for an apartment and got approved and waiting till next month to move in. I didn’t get the place for me. I got the place for them. My wife and kids. She lives 45 minutes from where she works. The kids school and babysitter live in the same city she works. I got the apartment in the same city so it can easy for her. Everything is literally 5 minutes from the apartment. I’m trying everything. I have no more anger in me. Or fights. I want my family back. I want my wife back. I want to give her her space but I don’t want her to move on. Cuz I don’t want to move on. I know she has people telling her what to do. Because she would never do this. She’s a family person. Please I need advice from a girls point of view. Thank you

    1. My husband and I have been married 5 years. My husband left insisting that I was controlling I just wanted more than the life he kept wanting to live I wanted a home and a vehicle to be added to the bank accounts and have access to the money and car and to see check Stubbs and bills he worked an hour away I knew no one in our town and we had moved multiple times due to him spending and not letting me have part of the finances to make a budget his debt caught up to him and he would blame me for not having money when he was spending it. I did not want to be trapped all day long inside an apartment he moved us away from family and kept us secluded from people and we only went out went he wanted us to. All that you described yourself is how he is. How you described your wife wanting conversation and you would say there’s nothing to talk about is how we were. We’ve been separated 6 months now. I have 3 children ages 3 and under. We lived with my parents for a while to save for a home too but my mother was controlling. Even if we wanted to get back together she is against it and my relatives. My husband was not physically abusive and worked a lot. Work caught up to him we did not ever see him he worked holidays birthdays. He is repeating exactly what his dad and mom did to him he abandoned us. He is not showing any effort to reconcile or restore our marriage. He controlled the finances vehicle bills credit cards and was messing around he lied and manipulated and we have grown apart no matter how much effort I have put into our marriage. I am willing to reconcile And heal and restore and forgive. Everyone is saying it’s a lost cause. I keep praying and believing. I believe in the vows I made so I am going to do all I can to be satisfied that I know I did all to save my marriage even if it means just to give him space knowing he said he had moved on and wants a divorce but since we have no communication I don’t know if he’s changed his mind recently. I wonder and hope that he wants to come back and restore our marriage and be a father to our kids. He has a lawyer the day he hired him he had a car wreck,racked up insurmountable amount of medical debt and terminated our health insurance and sent his grandparents to our home to harass us. His family i do not trust with our kids they drink party gossip and are part of destroying our marriage . There has been multiple court reset dates. I’ve hired a lawyer but he recently passed away at age 65. So everything is put on hold I can’t help but feel like God is saying be patient I’m working on him. This whole situation is a nightmare and is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. It’s made me rely on God only. I put my faith and trust in my husband I relied and depended on him more than God. Only God can restore and reconcile my husband and my marriage. He can change his heart and remind him of the love we had and what he gave up and what he has to loose. My advice to you is pray nothing is too big or small for God he can move mountains don’t give up. But rely solely on God where people say it’s impossible nothing is impossible for God. Whatever happens believe that God has this and thank him.

  7. Rhonda – I would talk with her about why she won’t accept it and why she is against it. Maybe she has wise points for you to consider. But you are all adults and in the end, this is your decision to make. If this is the direction you’ve chosen to go even after considering wise counsel, then she will need to come to terms with it.

    1. Thank you Roxanne. I’m not really a religious person just because when I was younger it was forced on me by my mother. (Jehova’s witness) but I still believe in God. I’m not gunna say I pray because I don’t but I do have faith that we will be together once more. I know she’s enjoying her single life right now cuz she never really had one. We got together really young. I know where I messed up and I know what to do to make things right. This separation has made me a better person. Better father. And if we got back together I’d be a better partner/husband. In a couple months my career is gunna take off and I want her to be a part of it because she’s the one that got me into this field. I was too stubborn to admit it before. But thanks to her I have this job. And I’m working my ass off for her and my kids. I’m happy right now being by myself. But I wanna be happy with her. I wanna be happy in love with her. I miss all the small things she would do before. I’m trying to give her her space. I don’t like it but I don’t have a choice right now.

      1. What you’re saying answers a lot of questions I have for my situation and is similar to the thoughts I have. I’m not religious either just relying on God instead of myself this whole situation has drawn me closer to God.a lot of what you’re saying is what I want my husband to wake up and realize if he hasn’t already I want him to what that for me. He’s a security guard and I did all I could to help him pursue a career in criminal justice but he got stuck at a place where committing adultery is common. I just wish I knew why he left maybe it’s like what you said if you didn’t leave you wouldn’t have realized how much your wife meant to you. I’m hoping you get back with your wife and it strengthens your relationship and I’m praying that God blesses you with abundantly more And health and all blessings for you and your family and just like you I’m enjoying being single and hoping and waiting that my husband comes back.

      2. You said you’re trying to give your wife space and you don’t like it but you don’t have a choice. I am feeling the exact same it is difficult especially when you want to fix it and miss that person so much more than they could imagine. I miss my husband I love him and miss his smile and laugh but I’m praying that being patient and giving him time will help and he will come back.

        1. Thank you for your prayers. Personally I left because I was tired of getting accused of adultery. I mean I would give her reasons to but I never did anything. I’ve made mistakes but I’ve always been there for my family. But it wasn’t right of her to be throwing it in my face every time she got upset. I left mad and I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t leave her for no other woman. I’ve tried to talk to her. She doesn’t want to speak to me. Every time I try and get a conversation she says “Don’t start”. And I back off because I don’t want to get her mad. I know she’s unhappy at her parents house. She calls me for help whenever my kids aren’t behaving and to straighten them out by talking to them. I want to tell her to handle it by herself since she wants to be by herself but I don’t want to fight with her anymore. I wanna give her all the support I can give her even tho I’m not there. I know she can’t do it by herself. But she wants to struggle. She can live here in my apartment whenever she opens her eyes. I hope she opens her eyes soon. I can’t say that I’m over her because I’m still in love with her and I want to love her the way I never did when we were together. She wanted attention and affection and I never gave that to her. And now that’s all I want to give her. I wanna do all the things she wanted. To hold her hand. Kiss her. Hug her. Cuddle with her. The small things I took for granted. Roxanne, my eyes opened up the moment she started not caring anymore. I’m not telling you to do that. But kinda back off and give him space and he’ll come around. I’m rooting for you.

  8. What if your grown (25yr) daughter would be upset if you reconcile with ex husband ( who isn’t her father). What if she won’t accept it?

  9. I have been married for 28 years and have seperated from my husband for nearly two years.

    I still feel very guilty as he has no friends and his family are very distant to him
    Because of his personality.

    I have left him before a couple of times but always ended up going back to him.

    I do not earn that much but just abt managing to make ends meet.

    He also is a hoarder and that really makes me angry as I like my house to be clean.

    I have suffered mentally and physical abuse and I know if I had not taken this step I would have ended up being depressed.

    I am lonely but I feel I am at peace.
    I am 58 years old and I work full time but sometimes I feel I also want to leave the working world
    But cannot do that as I am own.

    My husband wants me back for the company as he is lonely and also in years to come I would have to end up nursing him as he suffers from Atrial fibileration which eventually leads to a heart failure.

    I all most see him most weekends and we go out as well.
    But sometimes he iratate me so much and I lose my patience with him.

    I just don’t know what the right thing to do.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

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