When you and your spouse decide to go through a separation, it indicates irreversible deterioration in your marriage. You could have settled on having a personally agreed trial separation, or a court invoked legal separation.
At that time, your partner has to grapple with intense emotions such as fear, loneliness, and uncertainty. That’s because your relationship lies between marriage and divorce, with the worst outcome more likely.
As much as it may seem like your marriage is doomed, a separation can be a blessing in disguise. On a positive note, it could be what you need to take a break from the relationship and ponder about things. Who knows? You might end up realizing how much you want to make your relationship work.
Here is how to fix a broken marriage after separation:
Identify and Work on The Underlying Issues
Do you want to know how to fix a broken marriage after separation? Then it would help if you strived to identify and deal with the underlying issues in the relationship. Remember now you have all the time to get an outsider-looking-in perspective of your marriage.
So, invest your time identifying the underlying problems that could have driven the two of you to separate. You are likely to have fought with your spouse about infidelity, addiction, lack of communication, or lack of affection.
However, these are just peripheral issues that indicate something more profound and invisible. So, think about the underlying causes of behaviors such as infidelity.
It could be that you are dealing with unaddressed negative childhood experiences that can’t allow you to have meaningful relationships. After identifying the underlying root causes, both of you should work together to address them.
In Marriage Counselling and Anxiety in Relationships, Ester Novak says seeking help from a third party can help. However, both partners must willingly take responsibility for their behavior and offer forgiveness.
Don’t Be in A Rush
Separation is a perpetual process that sometimes takes too long, resulting in reconciliation or divorce. That’s why you shouldn’t be in a rush in trying to fix your broken marriage.
Whether there will be a change of heart largely depends on how you decided to separate. In case of an acrimonious separation, the partners may take a long time before considering reconciliation.
Both of you should take time to think about what they say and do. By all means, avoid making hasty or impulsive decisions, which can lead to regrets. Make sure you thoroughly think things through to avoid regretting the decisions you make.
Remember, this isn’t the time for a quick reconciliation that cannot stand against the underlying issues. In the end, the healing effects of time will thaw your hearts and help the two of you rebuild your marriage.
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Stop the Anger-Driven Blame-Game
Angry outbursts can be counterproductive to any efforts to reconcile with your spouse. How will you live with someone who you cannot stop hating or blaming for the separation? If anything, the anger-driven blame game will only push you further apart.
It will increase the hostility and resentment between the two of you, diminishing the chances of getting back together. In “Get My Marriage Back,” Ola & Lola Abitogun advise you to end your anger at some point. Only then will you be able to start working towards reconciliation.
As an alternative to unbridled anger, you should reach a place where you can talk about your feelings constructively. The purpose of these talks should be co-operation and bringing understanding to overcome issues in your relationship.
It is only by seeing things from a positive perspective that you can fix a broken marriage after separation. Otherwise, you will go round in circles and never achieve any results.
Exercise Kindness and Compassion
As you start reconciling and coming back together, you should start exercising a little kindness and compassion. It may not seem like much, but it is essential to strengthening the glue between couples.
A 2017 study appearing in the journal Emotion identifies compassion as the crucial ingredient of a happy marriage. It is much about sharing things about your behavior towards each other, incredibly when angry.
By embracing kindness, it will be possible for you to overcome the problems that caused the separation. As a result, you will reconcile, come back together, and resolve future conflicts more amicably.
So, it would help if you stopped being overly critical of your spouse. Similarly, you should avoid speaking with mean remarks or in a condescending way. Finally, it would help if you got rid of exhibiting annoyance, irritation, or tone of disapproval when speaking or looking at your spouse.
Also Related: 25 Ways to Fix Your Marriage Problems Without Counseling.
Start Dating All-Over Again
After living separately for a while, the two of you will start feeling ready to meet each other.
In Rules for Dating Your Ex, Piper Rayne says you should start going out occasionally. Ask your spouse to a lunch or dinner date in a fancy restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere. While at it, strive to remember why you fell in love in the first place. Rekindle the pleasant memories of your relationship before separation.
When you meet, treat your spouse with respect. Be kind to them in different ways to show that you still care. On special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, purchase unique gifts for each other.
Slowly but surely, strive to bring back the intense feelings that once defined your marriage. These acts will not only get the two of you closer but also help you rebuild your self-esteem. After reconciliation, you should continue with the actions of kindness to strengthen your relationships.
Be Honest with Yourself That This Is What You Want
Before you start struggling with how to fix a broken marriage after separation, you should be clear that’s what you want. Where you still have doubts, seeking help from a marriage therapist is the way to go.
An expert will help you to clear any persistent doubts and invest your time and resources to make it work. When you make up your mind to reconcile, don’t look back. That’s because the time you spend apart can help you reassess the relationship and renew your commitment towards each other.
After all, the distance enables you to avoid living in a hostile, antagonistic, painful environment. It also makes it possible for you to look back at the marriage like an outsider and discover the underlying issues. You can then lay down a strategy to talk about and overcome the problems plaguing your marriage.
Learn to Respect Your Partner
For you to fix a broken marriage after separation, you should be ready to learn how to respect your spouse all over again. It is not the time to plow your anger, resentment, and other negative feelings.
Instead, you should learn to love your partner with all their weaknesses and foibles without being judgmental. That way, it will be easier for you to work on your differences and build a more amicable and peaceful relationship.
Respect is essential in marriage for various reasons. First, mutual respect is a sign that you trust and are ready to support each other.
It helps you overcome the current conflict while helping you avoid any future disagreements. Without respect, it also becomes impossible for the two of you to have intimate moments. And without intimacy, your marriage sits on shaky ground and can break without much of a warning.
Unwaveringly Look to The Future
You can only fix a broken marriage after divorce by forgetting about the past and looking to the future.
Remember, you are starting a brand-new relationship, albeit with the same person. That’s because the old relationship effectively died when you signed up for separation.
If you get together, you will be in a significantly new relationship, and you shouldn’t allow the past to interfere with it. Both of you should be willing to learn new, positive patterns to relate more positively and happily with each other.
Make sure you learn how to control your thoughts and emotions to avoid referring to the past. If your mistakes led to divorce, forgive yourself and learn from them. Also, you can forget about the past by finding comfort in the good times you have together with your spouse.
In Breakup Recovery, Dr. Kim Chronister advises you to allow your partner to improve themselves. While it is hard to forget the past, realize that nothing is permanent in life. Lastly, show good acts towards your spouse to forget about the negativity of the past.
Express Yourself Without Inhibition
If you fix a broken marriage after separation, then you should be ready to express yourself without inhibition. That means letting your spouse know how you feel about the relationship in a bid to rebuild the broken trust.
Besides, self-expression brings back real intimacy into the relationship, helping you to grow closer together. It also brings out the best in you and your partner, encouraging personal development and greater marital fulfillment.
You can express yourself in many ways, including sharing light or humorous moments with your spouse. Laughter plays a vital role in marriage by creating positive psychological effects on the two of you.
Besides, you can show each other physical affection or non-sexual touching to reassure each other of your commitment. To build trust in your marriage, you should allow a sense of vulnerability that shows you trust your spouse.
Similarly, let your spouse be vulnerable with you in all aspects of life. Finally, it would help if you talked about essential experiences, your day, and your opinions.
Also Relate: How to Fix and Save A Broken Marriage: A Complete Guide.
Share Fun Moments
As you work to fix a broken marriage after separation, make sure you have some fun together. Forget about the drab, boring, stale, tedious, dull, and lifeless relationship you had before.
It is time to breathe life into your marriage by infusing some welcome adventure. With that, you will improve bonding, communication and resolve conflicts in your relationship.
Fun activities can also introduce spontaneity into an otherwise drab relationship, reminding you of the good old days. In the end, you will have greater relationship satisfaction and want to be together for longer.
What can you do if you aren’t used to having fun in your relationship? First, you should schedule a time to have some fun. Stop expecting things to happen by agreeing on a particular date when you will go out.
Second, you should be open to new things, especially if that’s what your spouse wants. Importantly, you should work together as a team, budget for fun activities, and prioritize having fun together.
After one fun activity, don’t stop there. Keep the fire burning by arranging for more happy moments in the future.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
You have just separated from your spouse, and you’re living in different cities. As you try to reconcile, you should set healthy boundaries to ensure things don’t go overboard.
In Survive Marriage Separation, Nancy J. Wasson says you should set the new relationship’s ground rules. What are your expectations during the reconciliation period? For instance, you might have to refrain from sexual intimacy as you try dealing with your emotional turmoil.
If you have kids, you should also set boundaries concerning contact and visits. How often will the children visit the other parent? Defining that will ensure that there is no alienation between the kids and one of the parents.
How you plan to handle finances is also another element for which you should set boundaries.
Restoring a broken marriage after separation isn’t rocket science, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. However, it would help if you didn’t do it in a rush, even as you strive to identify the underlying issues.
Instead of engaging in the blame game, learn to exercise kindness and compassion. The best way to rekindle love is to start dating all over again. You should be honest about what you want and respect your partner.
Even as you look to the future, you should learn to express yourself, share fun moments, and establish healthy boundaries. With time, you will be able to rekindle your relationship and make it stronger.
David Smallis the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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