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What You Need to Know About Reconciling After a Separation

Reconciling or moving back in after a separation (or divorce) isn’t always an easy or clear decision. Reconciliation is surprisingly common for many couples who have separated or divorced, but is it a good idea for you?

There isn’t an easy-to-follow formula that will tell you if getting back together after separation is a good idea for you and your family, especially if staying together because of the children is important to you. So how do you know if reconciliation after separation is better than rebuilding a new life without your ex?

Give yourself time to listen to your “inner voice” or gut instincts. Trust your intuition. If you’re a woman of faith, spend time with God. Remember that even though the Bible says God hates divorce does NOT mean you’re required to stay in an unhealthy or unloving marriage. If you’re a Christian and confused about reconciling or moving back in after separation, read What Does Jesus Say About Divorced Christians and Remarriage?

This article was inspired by one of my readers; her husband wants to move back in together after leaving her. You may see yourself in her situation, which may make it easier for you to decide about getting back together after separation.

“My husband is desperately trying to reconcile our marriage after we separated,” she says. “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 moving back in after separation would be appreciated!”

Research from the Personal Relationships journal shows that reconciliation after separation is quite common. Ending a marriage or long-term relationship is difficult emotionally and socially, and 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 good idea for some people.

But, is getting back together a good idea for you? Here are a few things to consider about reconciliation after being separated.

7 Things to Consider About Moving Back After Separation

Consider my ideas, but think carefully about your own situation, marriage, and future hopes and dreams. Never blindly take anyone’s advice about whether you should reconcile after a separation. Instead, focus on your own inner wisdom, true self, and guidance from God. It can feel scary to trust His still small voice – or your intuition or gut feelings – but you have to be the one who makes this decision.

Here, I share a few thoughts about moving back in after a separation, inspired by my reader’s comment. Your situation may be different, but the issues may be the same.

1. The cause of your 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. What has changed? 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 cheated on you with someone from work, read When Your Husband Still Works With His Ex Affair Partner.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Don’t let your husband push or bully you into reconciling after a separation

Here are a few signs you should not move in after 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.

5. Attach conditions to getting back together

If you moved back in, what do you want to see happen in your marriage? After a separation is the best time to start fresh!

What You Need to Know About Reconciliation After Separation
What You Need to Know About Reconciliation After Separation

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.

6. Get counseling – especially if your husband was abusive

In How to Get Your Husband to Go to Marriage Counseling 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?

7. Listen to God’s still small voice

Take time to pray. Build your faith, get to know Jesus, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and head. Don’t blindly follow pastors or fellow Christians who say that believers should never get divorced! Don’t let anyone guilt or push you into a marriage (or divorce) that you know isn’t healthy or good for you and your family.

What do you think? Your comments and stories are welcome below. Writing the pros and cons of reconciliation after separation can be a helpful way to gain clarity and insight into your marriage.

Help for Getting Back Together After Separation

separating and getting back together

Marriage on the Mend: Healing Your Relationship After Crisis, Separation, or Divorce was written by Clint and Penny Bragg, a married couple who moved back in together after separation – and a 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.

If financial problems are a factor in your separation – or your reconciliation – read How to Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money.

May you find peace, hope and love as you move forward in your life. May you be guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the love of Jesus, and the grace of God.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

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40 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Reconciling After a Separation”

  1. This commentary is absolute nonsense. Believers should steer away. The author tries to sound biblical in her reasoning at times, but then goes totally against reconciliation because of what your inner-self speaks to you, but throws around the Holy-Spirit as sport. God’s voice is not “SMALL” by any means and He wants to heal you, your family and your marriage. If infidelity is a cause for troubles, yes, God provides a way out, but He is the author of forgiveness as well. Remember the father of all lies, Satan, wants to destroy you and your marriage. First, if you do not know God, through a relationship with Jesus Christ, as you Lord and savior, ask Christ to come into your life. If you are a believer, then put your marriage back into God’s hands and ask Him to heal your marriage! Get professional marriage counseling from a licensed therapist, or even seek a Christian Marriage Counselor (most pastors are ill-equipped for this). And if you are a believer ask your self this, “Do I feel God has released me from the covenant I made with Him and my spouse?”. If you have been separated and want to return back to the family/marriage home come to that determination through prayer, professional help, and the decision – together!

  2. We have been divorced for a year and 6months now and my husband couldnt get over it. He had several relationships since then. And asked be back frequently. But we never connected emotional..maybe a little at the beginning of our relationship. We were married for 17years. Our biggest problem as that i wasnt attrackted to him any more..because of our lsckmof emotional connection..and sex was a big issue. Now i felt sorry for him and guilty. So im back for3 weeks now but we agreed to only be friends at first…but now the physical is becoming a problem again even though we agreed to only be friends at first..He wants me to touch him and kiss him but i just cant get myself to do it from my heart. I dont think i ever will be able to be intimate with him again…as this was the problem from the start. And during our time apart i came to love someone very deeply -it didnt work out but i know hoe i felt and will never feel like that towards my ex…i feel so quilty and selfish but also that i will damadge myself if i do it out of pretence…i wanted to do the right thing by goetting back and i was very lonely as well….but my heart is not in it. All i feel is the pressure i felt when i first had to make the decission to divorce.
    My x is a good person and he loves me but i cant get my heart to change towards him and the idea of the other woman thats been intimate with him, puts me off…as well as the relationship that i had which was more intimate and passionate than me and my husband ever were.

  3. We have three kids,we separated I was the cheating one,one day she took a taxi and travelled 45 km to near where I stay I was with my last born at that time just the two of us,one day when I was with a friend whome she was visiting I heard by him that my wife came to collect stockvel money it was her opportunity to collect the money,the distance from where she was collecting money was 2km to my house rented not counting the 45km two taxis and to my place is 20 minutes by foot when I confronted her about it she said I should keep quiet it does not consern me what she does or where she goes we habe three kids I support them,one day she came to my house a week ago I gave her the chair to sit right after relaxing she says we can’t have sex she is involved in communicating with her ancestors she can’t have sex with me not that I wanted it or asked for it one month ago I got hit by a car near the robots I was coming out of a taxi I knew always I had to look out for cars approaching imidietely as I close the door behind me I hear voices screaming behind my back as I turn and move a step forward just one step I turn around to see the car as if I’m hugging someone near like two centimeters I tense my body I didn’t do it my body just stoodstill not moving then I got hit I sprung and landed on my feet all the cars stopped everyone asked me if I was alright I said I’m fine as I walk away I PRAY EVERYDAY AS I LEAVE THE HOUSE GOD IS ALIVE if I happened not to have seen that car a centimeter away it would have killed me I didn’t fall just because I saw it before it hit me my left arm and the wrist born were painful and very painful after one day I’m scared of hospitals as a child I was admitted to a hospital something to do with the bones i couldn’t move,I told here that ancestors don’t use whatsapp until 1 midnight on her last seen she tells me that I don’t have a say about that I accept and tell her to follow her heart she is the mother of my three kids I have to keep her sanity on the level by accepting everything she is doing on her life she tells me when she has already starteD it you can’t have a say on something that someone has made a decision about especially if they live alone she took all the garments and packed them to follow the dead worshiping, most husbands of these belivers come from that realm of rituals, my first born child”s mother I think she is speciall to me in many ways I remember her birthday I only stayed with her for 2 years I remember her birthday like it’s mine,but the wife whome I stayed with for more than ten years I can’t remember her birthday at one time she asked me if I knew her birthday I told her the date of my first wife, it has always been like this and I can’t do anything about it,she is married now my first wife but she never managed to give him a child she couldn’t conceive not anymore she is young 36 now, she only has our child a baby girl now 15 years old,she is a Christian,I’m too,I’m trying to build a bridge over troubled WATERS I’M NO ANGEL AT ALL BELIVE ME I STRONGLY BELIVE THAT MY EFFORTS TO BE A BETTER MAN WILL WORK OUT FOR ME MY CHILD AND HER I thought I had an idea about the true meaning of love no no no no I will die without the knowledge of it but I tell myself everyday that if I could just just humble myself I will be rich in love I’m too sensitive LORD I DONT NEED IT TAKE IT AWAY,things like these don’t require riches it requires guidance of the Bible it is a weapon THE BIBLE, LORD LET ME LIVE THIS LIFE THAT YOU LEFT FOR ME TO READ

  4. My wife has been having an affair since about March of this year. I just found out in the middle of June by checking her cell phone. She has told me she wants a divorce. We have been living separate for a few years because of her job and she would come home on weekends.We haven’t been getting along for a long time. A few weeks ago she sends a text asking ” Is it to late for her to come back” I didn’t respond. a few weeks later she called and said she was sorry and she had messed up and wanted to know if I still loved her and I told her I didnt know. She asked if we could meet and talk and I said yes. This past weekend I didnt hear anything from her and I would like to know If she does really want to get back together ? I think she is still seeing the same guy and probably spent labor day weekend with him.

    1. It sounds like she isn’t sure about her decision. Let God Guide you. Give her more time. If she really wants to restore your marriage she will continue to ask you if you can speak to her

  5. Oh my goodness best and most helpful article. I really needed guidance. We just divorced and I have only been out of the house for three weeks, but my ex and I are starting to see each other. We are taking it very slow. Not even sure if we will reconcile down the road. I am still hurt, lost, and confused, especially with his intensions.

  6. There are so many factors to weigh when you’re considering reconciling after a separation – as you well know! It’s a fine balance between listening to your heart, staying true to you, and using your intellect to make a wise decision.

    At this point, what do you think you would regret more in five years: reconciling and trying one more time, or giving up on the marriage and getting a divorce?

    Another consideration is the emotional health and physical safety of you and your family. Would reconciliation cause more harm than good? What is the trade-off of trying again?

    Only you can answer those questions – and sometimes the best way to untangle your thoughts and emotions is by writing. Answer these questions in your private journal, or here in the comments section. Work through your thoughts and feelings, and you will eventually find clarity!

    May hope, healing, and love be yours. May God give you wisdom and guidance, and may the peace that surpasses all understanding fill your heart…even if your decision is difficult.

  7. My husband and I were married for 7 years when we separated. This year, One year later, I filed for divorce but when I was about to have him served he reached out to me and told me that he would like to work on our marriage. When we were married there were no issues relating to abuse or infidelity, but there were issues relating to commitment to family, and putting family first, which had always come very easy for me because I had a much different upbringing than my husband. I felt like I was both the man and the woman of the home , I felt alone, single most times, and very unhappy. I worked from home, so I would stay on my computer much later past the end of the work day. In many ways I blamed myself, as I let some of the issues go on for much longer and allowed my husband to make excuses for him not pulling his weight in the home. We took vacations at different times in the year, because I planned mine around the kids schedule and he did not. I hated my life after a while, I would get upset when he came home, and I just wanted to be alone, since this was how I felt in the relationship. We tried counseling, but the pastor was inconsistent and so was my husband. My husband would not move out of our rented home, so I took the kids and left. After months apart we have been in communication because of our 3 year old. We have been open about dating other people during the time that we were apart, as I felt there was definitely someone out there that could be a better man to me. At present we are no longer dating other people, and I feel like I owe it to him to see how he has changed and to see if there is a chance for us. I know sometimes it is said that we should not stay in a relationship for the kids, but I feel like I have an obligation to try, to see if we can reconcile to make our family whole. We live separately, and I do not feel that this should change at this point. He has asked me out, and comes to spend a few hours with us, and we plan on starting counseling. I want to take things slow, I feel really confused about everything and the reconciliation process, I am just taking baby steps at this point. Any advice?

  8. My husband and I separated recently. We’ve been married for 16 months now and it’s been an abusive relationship in all types of way. I want to figure out myself and fix my own issues so I can be a great mom and wife but I feel like is a waste of time to try to fix my marriage because it’s broken down and I’m emotionally drained and I just want to focus on my kids. And I feel it’s unfair for me to try to fix something that I’m the only one that’s putting effort into. I’m so confused.

  9. Ive been divorced for over a yr now im miserable an so is he but he has been sick for about 10 yrs of our marriage we were married 25 yrs he was verbally abusive at times an to our 3 children they are all grown now he wants to reconcile ive tried 2 other times but we end up fightin because he says stuff to offend me. I still love him an he really needs me he doent have anyone else that voice I hear it sayin try but I dont know my kids are upset that I even talk to him still. But I know its not their decision to make its mine

  10. I neglected my spouse of love and affection, let her down, used her past against her. She put me down, didn’t value the little things I’d do for her while she was studying, told me I wasn’t good enough that I didn’t deserve things because I didn’t make enough to cover our monthly expenses. through our 5+ years of marriage my mother never accepted her and my parents were going through some martial problems also. Instead of finding a balance and keeping my foot down to protect my wife, I lashed out and didn’t prevent anything from happening. She has asked for a divorce and I agreed. But deep down inside it doesn’t feel right, she feels it’s the right thing but wants to remain friend’s and hopefully if I turn hell inside out for her she’ll take me back. I had not seen her since June. We met so she can tell me her divorce decision, she returned only to pack her things and we talked, cried and held each other tight. I feel like we’ve bonded even more than ever. Yet continues with the divorce proceedings and told me she needs time to heal. I will do everything I can to make things right. I love her very much and ever day I must carry my cross, the burden of hurting my wife. I hope and pray that she takes me back so that we can achieve the goals that we once shared. I dearly miss her.

  11. Sometimes outside opinions only complicate matters and make things more confusing. The only person who knows you, your partner, and your relationship is you. That’s why it can be a mistake to ask for advice about reconciling after a separation — because only you know the details that other people can never know.

    So, I ask you….what is holding you back from reconciliation? What is the block, the obstacle, the thing that is stopping you from giving this relationship a second chance?

    1. She does not trust in me. Whoever, we are leaving together in the same house. We have separated rooms. We agreed to do this for our eleven year young son. She is doing it for her convince. She works, and goes to school. She trying to finishing her degree in Sacologist. We are holding on the house. We are just pleasent to each other. She does whatever she pleases to do. She does not love me at all. Her love for me died long ago. I am retired, and confused.

  12. I am just so confused. My husband & I have known each other 18 yrs, 13 of which he ‘chased’ me, together a yr & now married almost 4 yrs. Last yr I found him talking to other women online, after a lot of fighting both due to that & him not holding a job, we seperated for 8 mos. I have moved back thinking we need to give each other another chance, he has now got a stable job, telling me I can stay home. Well, I am staying home since I did take care of him for years but he promised counseling, take care of even my petty things, like keeping my hair nicely cut (petty). I’ve been back almost 2 mos now & still no counseling, haven’t had my hair cut since moving back, I just internally am questioning my decision to come back. I notice my happiness was mostly during our seperation which leads me to ask myself ‘Did I make the right decision?’ I do love him, as he does me BUT am I crazy to say that sometimes love just isn’t enough. So, I guess I post this looking for outside opinions/knowledge. Please help.

  13. Hi, I am so conflicted about my marriage! Have been with Michael for 5 and a half years and we’ve been married for only 10 months 9 of which if been pregnant! We fell in love and moved in together really quickly sex was good we argued a lot but we was passionate. This all faded after time and due to money worries and stress at work we drifted apart and became more like friends. We were still in love and knew we had to work these long hours to survive. We had a lot of really good holidays together then he proposed and we got married. He always messed up and did things to hurt me but I always forgave him I guess he’s always been a little immature but everyone has told me he’s a much nicer person since meeting me. He always wanted kids and had asked me for years for them but I was never really ready. After the wedding we decided I’d come of my pill and if it was meant to be it would be. Literally a week or two later I was pregnant! We was happy but also very scared and shocked because I dont think we was truly ready :( then Michael spiralled out of control he removed himself from the marriage and gave me no love or attention he was hurting me everyday. If had an awful pregnancy and been so depressed and alone. Then he racked up a huge gambling debt and started flirting any hanging out with a girl in work. Finally I pushed him to tell me what was going on and he told me he didn’t love me anymore and wanted to meet someone else. I was heartbroken and heavily pregnant facing life as a single mum! I was devastated and begged him not to leave. We’ve been split up for over a month maybe 2 and I no longer beg him to stay I have accepted it. At the beginning I hated him and a lot of things were said and a lot of arguments were had. He moved into a bedsit he didn’t want to move out until after baby was born but I forced him into it. He said to me he wants a divorce but he has also once said he’s not 100% sure. I’m now 5 days past my due date so if let him move back in to help me with baby for the first 2 weeks. We’re being friends and talking only of everyday things or the baby not the relationship. I don’t know if I want to fight for my marriage or let it go? I’ve realised my worth and me and the baby deserve better then him but I still love him I’m so conflicted on how I feel. Any men out there that can she’d some light on his actions???

  14. Dear Thomas,

    I am so sorry for your loss. The death of your wife is a terrible grief to bear, and regardless of how your marriage unfolded, it’s still incredibly painful to lose someone you love.

    Please, go talk to someone in person. A grief support group would be ideal – you need to process your grief and learn how to resolve your feelings of pain and regret. It would help you immensely to hear how other widows and widowers are healing, and to share your experience with others.

    A grief group that focuses on addictions – similar to Al-Anon – would be so helpful, I think.

    Here’s an article to help you learn about grief:

    How to Survive the Grieving Process

    You might also consider getting one-to-one counseling. There are so many difficult feelings to process; I really believe you’d benefit from in-person support. Seeking help online is a great start, but it’s so important to get in-personal guidance and support!

    I will keep you in my prayers; I’ll pray for healing and strength for you.

    In sympathy,

  15. I have a problem I don’t know how to resolve, but it’s not about getting back together after a separation. My wife had a drug program. Her parents didn’t realize it. We we’re inseparable so she stop using drugs. We had 14 good years together. But the I got sick. I needed a kidney transplant. Things changed, she stopped coming home. We’d fight, but she was clean. We’d test. She went to live with her parents bc she said I was become way too upset and depressed over my upcoming kidney failure. After a few months sh’d came back but in that in that time So much changed.
    She spent her paycheck on drugs. Guys would text at 3 am and she’d take her phone in the bathroom. So the last 2 years she moved back home and hung out with druggies she got fired for stealing Xanax and other drugs.
    So almost under 2 weeks, she committed suicide she was hanging out with her friend talking about it. They found her she hung herself next morning.
    So this is it, I don’t even think she loved me anymore. I miss her more then I could think anything possible. Why didn’t she call me like when she left. Lucky I talked get town a called EMS. WHY COULDNT SHE CALL ME. Did she just really stop loving me? I know people say their marriage is special but ours was. She accepted me even thou I contracted HIV through hemophilia. She said everyone need love. And we loved each other. Or I thought she did. she did I love her more then my own life, more than anything possible. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.

    She was smart a avid reader & not just chick lit. She loved movies and going to concerts and living no near to NYC, we saw great shows and had great experiences. We loved the museums she always found these great unusual things we could do. She broadened my horizons.

    Finally this is it. I’m not divorced, not separated. I’m a widower. Can I wear my wedding ring?

    I don’t know if is the right forum, but please help

  16. It has helped me tremendously that I have always had a clear idea of what was necessary for us to get back together. This has never changed since day one of making him move out. He had been drinking, turned into a couch potato, and was lying about it constantly so that I wondered if I had lost my mind. But day one I told him that because I could no longer trust him by his words, I would need to judge him by his actions. He needed to take care of himself financially, physically, and treat me well for a period of time before I would consider reconciliation. Because I have not wavered on this it has made it much easier for both of us to know where we stand. He seems to be doing better. But more time is needed and more time together (dating) to know if this is true. This time I am honoring my instincts.

  17. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Rodel,

    The idea of getting back together after a separation after almost 10 years is quite romantic! It would be a lot more romantic if you and your ex-wife weren’t married to other people, and didn’t have children with those other people.

    I can’t tell you if you should reconcile with your ex, but I do have a few questions for you to think about. I encourage you to write your answers in a private diary or journal. Working through your thoughts in writing is a wonderful way to decide of getting back together after separation is a good idea for you, your ex-wife, and your children.

    How will your current wife respond to the news that you want to get back together with your ex-wife?
    What will your children say? How will they be affected?
    What has changed in the past 10 years? You and your ex-wife haven’t had much contact. What makes you think reconciliation after separation is a good idea?
    Who is your wife today, and how has she changed in the past 10 years?
    How have you changed in the past 10 years?

    I encourage you not to follow your emotions — such as the warm sentimental feelings of love you have for your ex-wife. Of course you feel love for her! You were married to her, and your thoughts about her are idealized, warm, and comforting. It’s much easier to love a woman when you haven’t been living with her and doing the hard work of raising kids together.

    Please consider the effect a remarriage to your ex-wife will have on your children and wife. Please don’t follow your emotions and whims without considering the consequences on your family.

    I wish you all the best as you consider getting back together with your ex-wife. I pray for wisdom, guidance, clarity, and insight.


    1. Thank you for a warm response.. 1st I thought that we were going to talk about our separation and closure of our relationship but when the days goes buy everyday talking to to each other. I can’t hide the love which I have to her and as she said same feelings that we have.. I hate her because of what she did but I love her and nothing changed because we’re married and she’s the girl I wanted in the rest of my life.. but what she did is is too painful it’s a surprising… but still until this time I can’t hide my feelings that still I love her… its difficult for me to to decide because there is one girl I know that she loves me and that is my current wife today.but still I cannot say she’s my wife because we’re not married..Thank you for a giving me a great advice…

    2. We haven’t talk to each other for the last 10 years… just 2 months before when we start to talk to each other.. and we found out after talking to each other lots of emotions and forgiveness of what happened.. suddenly we are saying still we love each other.. Please pray for me God hive me wisdom and guidance thank you very much…

  18. It’s been 9 years almost 10 years this coming March 2016 when me and my wife are almost separated.. We don’t have any closure about our relationship being husband and wife.how do you reconcile after a separation when she didn’t give a chance to get my side, she didn’t talk to me and she throw me away and don’t want me anymore. But i try to talk to her and and keep our relationship being husband and wife and being a good father to my daughter. it didn’t work and after 2 months she went abroad and when I saw her on a social site she’s having a relationship to other guy and I decide that she don’t love me anymore.
    My wife had a child with that guy, after years passed I met one lady and am having a relationship with her. we have 2 kids, but four months ago i talked to my first wife again. she was always on my mind even though I have already my family and she also has her own family. we still love each other and we both want to reconcile. I thought we are going to talk about formal closure of our marriage but instead we are talking about how to fix our families so we can be together again. still I love her and she loves me…. can you give me the counseling regarding reconciliation after separation for so long? thanks.

    Rodel Capellan

  19. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Samantha,

    I can’t tell you if you should reconcile with your abusive, critical, angry husband. Only you know what’s best for you, and only you know what you have the strength and courage to do.

    I’m curious, though…is it possible to go back to your family for help? It really is difficult to make it as a single mother with small children, and it’s definitely easier if you have support. Living in a new place doesn’t offer much support, financially or emotionally.

    Can you return to the place you were living? Are there resources or support systems there, that might be able to help you?

  20. Hi myself and my husband has been seperated for 3 months now, he has been abusive throughout our marriage and we have 3 small children. He says he wants to reconcile but phones me up late at nite to tell me everything i do wrong. But if i do he gets upset and says lets just leave everything. Im currently unemployed as he brought me to a different province. My heart cant handle the pain but im a bit worried financially. Please help

  21. I found your tips on how to know if you should reconcile after a separation very insightful. My only major comment is that it is written as if only the woman in the relationship should be making this choice… these same questions face men in these situations as well. I would prefer if this was written to address the situation from the point of view of the husband or the wife…

    But thank you for this! Well written!
    God bless you all in your journey!

  22. This is something that I have been struggling with for way way too long. It has caused me a great deal of anxiety and stress. I am quite conflicted about it. I am quite content living separately from her and she seems to be content away from me, though both of us are lonely. I hope to resolve this soon and gain some peace about the whole situation. Wush me luck.

  23. My stbx and I have been separated now for a year. I do miss him from time to time. It was VERY hard when we first separated, but I am enjoying living alone. In the past he has physically abused me but I decided to stay with him. The abused stopped a long time ago but I still feel the inner pain.. I thought I was over it but my oldest son talks about it sometimes.. he was around 10-11 at the time he is now 38. I stayed because I had 2 small sons and did not think I could make it on my own. Him and I married pretty young and we each had a lot of baggage. Not blaming him for everything, I had issues myself. I have been in counseling for several years and I have asked him over and over to go with me to counseling which he felt he did not need counseling. We separated because he was not paying the mortgage and we were left with the decision to sale the home or it go into foreclosure. We put the house on the market.. At that point we decided to go our separate ways.. he left the house first and I left about a month later. He wants to reconcile but I am enjoying living alone and I am now talking to a friend that I have known for over 30 years and we get along great. He has been divorced for over 10 years. He lives in a different State therefore we are not physically seeing each other – We enjoy talking to each other over the phone.. We are getting to know each other all over again. I will be divorcing my stbx not because of my friend but because for several years my stbx and I were basically living as roommates instead of husband and wife.. we made GREAT roommates..but not husband and wife. I had to pretty much keep my feelings to myself and could not express how I felt because it sometimes made him angry and defensive… he was not the one to talk things out in a mature, settling manner. For all of you that are thinking of reconciliation, don’t think of the years you were married, think of the marriage itself. Follow your gut instinct.. it will not steer you wrong. I have been with my stbx for 30 years but I cannot tell you how many of those years I was ACTUALLY MARRIED.

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    If you want to reconcile with your spouse after a separation, you need to follow your heart and listen to your spouse. By “follow your heart”, I mean contact your spouse and say you want to talk about reconciliation. Ask her out for coffee or on a date, and forget about how it “should” happen. What do you have to lose? After all, you’re already separated! Reconciliation is possible only if you take risks and be vulnerable.

    By “listen to your spouse”, I mean truly HEAR what is said about getting back together. If your spouse says reconciliation after separation is only possible if you go for marriage counseling, then off you go to marriage counseling. IF your spouse says reconciliation after separation is only possible if you quit your job and move to Timbukto, then it’s time to start drafting a letter to your boss and looking for places to live in Timbukto.

    My prayer is that you take a deep breath, and listen to your heart. What do you want from your marriage? Why do you want to reconcile? How can you ensure a separation doesn’t occur again? Those are important questions, and answering them will help you move forward and save your marriage.


  25. Help here I have readed but have so questions. me and my wife are separated it has not been long and I want to be with her every minute. I have not be abusing her but I have not been a nice husband. I would love to work things out. but she and I have cheated on each other. mine was pronography and talking to other women on dating site. and she went out and physically cheated close enough to having an affair. so what do I do?

  26. My husband and I have been separated for 3 months now.He has been verbally abusive to me,he drinks,he doesn’t want my oldest kids around,he won’t get counseling and always act as if his life is miserable because of me,O and when he does things or say things to me he says that he hasn’t done anything and that I’m crazy.Well I left and I am so happy without him but want my marriage to work.I’m a Christian and believe that God can do anything but not sure about going back to him because he hasn’t changed.I moved back home to California and hes in Texas I love it here in California and don’t know if I want to stay in Texas again but he won’t move here with me a so I have a lot on my plate to think about.

  27. I found your article very I interesting and was wondering if you could give me some advice. I found out that my husband has been cheating on my for 2 years, I gave him a second chance on the basis that he would stop contact with the OW. He did for 2 weeks and when she contacted him he resumed his affair. I found out about it 2 weeks later and kicked him out of the house. We have 2 young children. We have been separated for 6 weeks and he sees the kids often. Since the separation, the only difference I have noticed is that he’s around in the evening, so I know I can leave on my own. The question is I still have very strong feelings for him and you advice to date, so should I do the first step and set up a date or should I wait for him to do it?

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I wish you all the best as you reconcile with your husband after separating! May you find peace, joy, and hope in your marriage – and may you both work towards the common good of your family. I pray for wisdom, healing, and faith. May you find joy in each other, as well as the love and acceptance that is the foundation of all healthy marriages.


  29. I am in this situation right now. We have been “separated ” for 5 months he was here all the time and when he started dating and stopped coming it drove me insane with lose fear greif and jealously , so we are reconciling i figure after 22 years and 3 children its worth a shot. Wish us luck

  30. I think all couples should consider reconcilation after separation, because divorce is terrible for the whole family. I know each situation is different and not all married couples are happy together but I believe they should at least try. My parents divorced after two years of separation, and I wish they reconciled.

  31. Thank you for your comments – they are helpful to people who are struggling to decide if they should reconcile! It’s a huge decision, but I think it helps to read perspectives from others who have been in the same situation.

  32. When the time came for me to decide to reconcile, I evaluated how I felt when he wasn’t around versus when he showed up at the doorstep.

    Eventually, I opted to end the marriage because I was clearly happier without him than I was with him.

  33. I think the advice you’ve given here is solid especially for a woman suffering abuse. When there’s abuse involved it’s important to spend a lot of time in prayer, take one’s time and also go with one’s gut feelings.
    I hope she makes the right decision at least for her daughter’s sake who’s fond of her Daddy.

  34. Charlotte Henley Babb

    My husband did try to reconcile, but since I left him, I did not consider it. It turned out well, as he married someone more compatible. I’ve often wondered if we could have worked things out, but I never learned how to communicate with him, and now it’s a moot point. Still, now I’m single, as my second husband died, and I’m pretty happy by myself.

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