I often hear from people who are already separated or being pushed to “take a break” from their marriage at the insistence of their unhappy spouse. Often what these spouses want more than anything is for something to change so that they can reconcile with their unhappy spouse. But when a reconciliation happens seemingly out of the blue without much effort, then they may understandably question the validity of this.
Common comments are things like: “My husband left our house about three weeks ago to seek a trial separation that I never wanted. I was able to convince him to go to therapy because my goal was always to not only maintain our marriage, but to improve it as well.” Well, every time our appointment came up, my husband would find a reason to cancel. I always knew he didn’t want to go to counseling, but I didn’t anticipate that he would slip away the way he did. Last weekend, my husband and I went out to dinner and had a great time. By the end of the night, we started hugging and one thing led to another. The next morning, my husband alluded to wanting to try to reconcile. Don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted with this. But when I talked to my mother about this, she said that this reconciliation is never going to work because nothing has changed between us.She says that because we never actually went to counseling, we are going to suffer the same old problems again. itals. Oops this is not true. I hope my husband realizes that he took me for granted. One of our biggest problems was that our little arguments would quickly turn into big fights. I’m not sure if this is going to change. I am concerned about this, but I would never refuse to reconcile with my husband. I love him too much and this is what I’ve been waiting for all this time. But am I just setting myself up to be disappointed? Can we really reconcile if nothing has changed?”
He didn’t want to ruin this wife’s hopes. Some couples can do this as long as they make the necessary changes after the reconciliation has occurred. I know it’s very tempting to want to put this all behind you as quickly as possible. I understand wanting to pretend it never happened. But if you do those things, you run the real risk of allowing problems to take over again. And when this happens, it’s sometimes harder to reconcile once more because one or both people may start to assume that nothing ever changes. So, below, I’ll offer some advice on how to make sure that things really turn around gradually so that you can enjoy a long-lasting and successful reconciliation.
Know that sometimes a break can put things in perspective: People in this situation often confess that they may actually question why their previously miserable spouse is suddenly willing to come home and reconcile. He often worries that he has found out how much it will cost him to live alone or get divorced. So they suspect that he returned because of money concerns or maybe loneliness, but not for legitimate reasons.
I understand why you might have these concerns. But it’s also true that your spouse may really miss you during the separation. And often having a break can make you see how much you took someone for granted and how inflexible you were in your views. Try not to worry so much because there are very legitimate and common reasons why people want to reconcile. And since you now have this opportunity, you can take steps to strengthen your marriage so that your worries never have to come to fruition.
Address your most troublesome issues as your marriage can withstand the process: It is understandable that many people want to solve their problems as soon as possible. In this scenario, her wife was understandably very concerned and she was taking her mother’s words to heart. But there is a risk of trying to do too much too soon. You don’t want to dampen your husband’s enthusiasm for reconciliation by examining all that is wrong with your marriage instead of celebrating what is right. I advocate addressing his issues. But I suggest doing this very gradually and tackling more and more once your marriage is back on solid ground. You need to make sure that you are deeply connected to your spouse before attempting to tackle very difficult issues.
This couple had a problem with fighting or disagreeing in a negative way. The mother was right that this is a problem that needs to be solved. It is unrealistic to think that you will never disagree with your spouse again. So it’s vital that you learn to disagree in a healthy way. But you can do this in a very positive and fun way without creating a lot of additional conflict. The key is to make sure that the process brings you closer instead of driving you apart again.
But to answer the question posed, yes, I think you can try to reconcile when nothing has changed. And I think the excitement of reconciliation can be a good place to start the healing process. But I also believe that if you don’t ultimately address the issues that led to the separation in the first place, they will only come up again and potentially hurt your marriage even more. So let your reconciliation be the catalyst that inspires some change and improvement.