Every marriage has its ups and downs. Many couples that are struggling but not wanting to take the drastic step of ending their marriage in divorce often make the choice to separate.
Separation has many negative implications, however, it does not guarantee that your marriage is over. There have been times that separation has allowed a couple to see the importance of working together as a team, as well as giving partners an opportunity to clear their minds and focus on what changes really have to be made to create a healthy relationship.
In many cases, being without your partner can lead to the realization that you don’t want to be without them at all.
If you and your spouse have separated but you are not ready to give up, here are a few tips for you to remove the line of demarcation and reunite your household as one.
Identify the underlying problem.
If your spouse has made the decision to leave, it is important to get an understanding of what has led to this decision. Some people separate due to infidelity and some for emotional neglect.
Whatever the issue, there were times prior to separating when you both dropped the ball. Instead of calling and begging your partner to return home, take some time to gain understanding through inquisitive conversation for the sake of becoming a better person.
Self-reflection is the best way to understand the role that you played in the disconnection and your partner can give you feedback. You are already aware of your partner’s role and you have most likely pointed it out and made it known to them.
This is a time to look at your role and take control of the only person you have control of…….yourself. Focusing on what you can improve about yourself as a partner and individual allows you to learn from the current circumstances in your relationship. Even if your spouse decides to never return, you can reflect on what you can do differently if you make the decision to try love again someday.
Focus on what you can control.
When love is not going the way we hoped it would, sometimes we tend to try to make it go our way. What you want to avoid is telling your partner how wrong they are and how they will never make it without you.
This will only influence them to desire to live independently from you and prove you wrong. Respect their need for space and suggest seeking professional couples counseling to help the two of you process what would be best for your relationship.
Try not to pressure your partner or attempt to manipulate them to come home. This can be difficult to avoid when feeling afraid and desperate to save your marriage. However, applying too much pressure could cause more damage than good.
Focus on controlling your actions and instead use resources such as prayer, meditation, exercise and/or attending an intensive marriage counseling weekend.
Suggest setting a deadline.
Let’s face it, separation is certainly not ideal but it is not a divorce. If the two of you can come to an agreement to attend a couples counseling intensive, discuss a possible agreement to reconnect with conditions.
For some people this will work with the assistance of a professional counselor. For others this may not be so simple. If you and your partner have separated before and trust is continually broken, you will have your work cut out for you.
The key here is to be realistic about your circumstances. If your marriage has gotten to a point where the two of you can no longer be under the same roof, understand that this could take time to mend. Your marriage did not get here over night and just like a deep wound takes time to heal, so does matters of the heart.
Sincerely Apologize as well as forgive
No matter what the outcome of your separation, purpose in your heart to forgive your spouse as well as offer a sincere apology for whatever hurt you have caused. Being sincere is quite different from saying whatever you think your partner wants to hear.
Sincerity is not manipulative or dismissive. Consider your spouse’s heart, their past, present and hopeful future. Remember why you fell in love and remind them of the plans and goals you planned to achieve as a team.
If you can visualize the hope and the love that was promised you can be sincere in not wanting them to hurt or be traumatized. Forgive your partner completely, understanding that neither one of you have the handbook to perfecting marriage. Forgive them for times that they fell short and caused you disappointment.
Marriage is no easy task. Conflict and disappointment are guaranteed to come. If you are separated and looking to reunite, try the tips listed above to assist you with re-connection. There can be reconciliation and healing even in the midst of separation.