I often hear from wives who are looking for any successful way to save their marriage or make their husband love them again. Many have tried counseling, talking things out, or spicing things up. But seemingly, very little of these things have worked well enough. So, many wives explore the idea of a separation or at least some time apart in the hopes that absence will make the heart grow fonder. In other words, they hope that if their husband is away from them, he realize how much he misses them and how good he really did have it.
I often hear comments like: “I have tried everything to get my husband to love me again and save the marriage. Nothing has worked. I’m pretty desperate at this point and am considering a separation as a last ditch effort. Is a separation a valid way to save the marriage or to make him love me again? Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?”
In my opinion, this tactic can work. I have seen it work and I have experienced it when it finally did work for me. But, I also think that there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, which I will discuss more in the following article.
If You’re Going To Try A Separation To Bring His Love Back, Make Sure You Present Yourself In The Right Way During It: Here’s one of the biggest mistakes that I see wives make. They gather their courage to give or suggest a separation and then they second guess themselves or they let fear take over. So, they have a tendency to cling, call too much, hold on very tightly and basically just not let the time and space do it’s job.
There is a very delicate balance between showing yourself in a way that will peak his interest with coming on too strong and being so present that there’s not really any room for separation at all. I know that being separated from your husband, even for just a little while, can feel extremely scary and odd. There’s a real tendency to want to have constant contact so you can gauge what he’s doing or how he’s feeling. But, sometimes it’s best to use a bit of restraint.
And, when you do see or speak to him, you want to make sure that you’re being very deliberate about who and what you allow him to see. You don’t want to present yourself of someone who is frightened he will find better or that you can’t live without him. You want him to know that although you love him and feel the separation is a last resort, you care enough about yourself to conduct yourself with self respect.
And, you want to remember what has always attracted him to you. Because honestly, when things go badly, it’s so easy to abandon this woman who could turn this around. People tend to focus on and cling to the negative emotions and fears when they should be doing the opposite. I completely understand that it be nearly impossible to put on a happy face when your heart is broken. No one would believe this is possible anyway. But, to the extent you can, try to put one foot in front of the other and show him who you know he’s been waiting for this entire time.
If you know he loves your sense of humor but they two of you haven’t laughed in months, then you’ll want to find a natural place where you can make sure this happens. Your real goal here is to change his perceptions so that he begins to think that things really can change enough so that he’s willing to be open to the idea of more.
Try To Establish Some Understanding As To How The Separation Is Actually Going To Work: Another omission that I see in this situation is that people sort of take a “wait and see” approach. They don’t check in with one another or establish at least some boundaries and so people tend to think the worst and resentment and fear begin to take over.
So, people worry that the other spouse is seeing other people or is blissfully happy alone with his freedom when they may not even be the case. Although sometimes husbands are resistant to defining exactly how the separation or time apart is going to work, you can usually set up at least some general guidelines. You can suggest checking in once a week or more if he’s receptive to it. This can be via a phone call or a meeting (which is nice if you have children.)
Whenever these check ins happen (and they may not always be elaborate or extensive) it’s important to keep them as light hearted as you can. You don’t want to make things so heavy that he wants to avoid them. You don’t want to press about any decisions that he has or has not made. The whole goal is really to very gradually improve how you are communicating and getting along. Because if you can do this, you can build on each improvement until you’re both feeling loving toward each other and the marriage once again.
I wish I had known these things in my own life. Our trial separation went very badly until I figured out that my actions were pushing my husband further away. Fortunately, I was able to change course and save the marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/.
Profile of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.