If you're trying to figure out how to get your husband back after you've separated, that's a good sign in itself. But there are specific steps you can take to better your chances of a reconciliation.
Sometimes, well-meaning friends and family assume that separation is just another step toward divorce, but take heart. A seminal study of divorces concludes that about half of all separations end in reconciliation. When you consider that some of these separations were by mutual agreement, in which neither party had an interest in resuming the marriage – and you do – the odds of your getting your husband back are better than half.
Some factors that improve those odds include:
- You have children;
- You initiated the separation;
- It's early in the divorce process;
Both parties are open to marriage or reconciliation counseling
(although not all relationship professionals believe talk therapy substantially helps); and
* Statistically, men are more inclined than women to want to resume marriage after separation.
Bettering the Odds
Authorities agree that if you're trying to get your marriage back together, accepting your responsibility for the breakup is essential. Another important factor in healing the rift is forgiving your spouse. If you broke up over your spouse's drinking or drug problem, hard as it may be, you'll need to forgive him for these failings if you want to move forward.
Specific Steps to Take
In addition to acceptance and forgiveness, two essentials for reconciliation, some recommended steps you can take are:
- Facilitate communication between you and your spouse. When you're hurt – as nearly everyone is when a marriage goes wrong – it's easy to miss cues that suggest your partner is open to communication. Make a point of initiating communication yourself.
- At the beginning of the repair process, communication needn't be more than a resumption of the friendship that brought you together. The tough stuff can come later. Take it one step at a time.
- If you're at least talking, don't rush the process. To move forward, accept the situation as it is now.
- Try very hard to avoid bitterness and be as loving as you can.
- Be consistent. You're understandably emotional, but try to remain calm and avoid flare-ups when you talk or meet. Meditation and religious counseling can also help. The first step in making a marriage whole again is repairing the damage.
Another Important Step to Take
Twelve-step programs have a good track record for getting people off drugs and alcohol. These same programs, can be very useful when you're trying to repair a marriage. In the event the marriage doesn't resume, the program can help you get through the awfulness of a divorce. One of the benefits of the 12-step approach generally is that it puts you into a community of others who've chosen to be together. When a marriage is in trouble, knowing you're not alone can be comforting – and your group can provide the tough love you'll need to address the separation honestly and with less fear.