I recently heard from a wife who knew that some major changes were going to happen within her marriage. Her husband had been very open in telling her that the marriage was no longer working for him and that he wanted out of it. For a while, he flipped flopped as he was trying to decide if he wanted a separation or a divorce.
Recently, he had approached the wife and told her that he had decided that he wanted a separation rather than a divorce. The wife was relieved. She didn’t want a divorce. But, she wasn’t thrilled that he wanted a separation either. And, she didn’t really understand what this all meant. She asked in part: “what does it mean when he wants a separation instead of a divorce? Is this is a good sign? Do I have a better chance of saving the marriage if there’s a separation rather than a divorce on the table?”
The answer to these questions will depend upon the situation. However, in general a separation will certainly give you more time to play with than a divorce. And, it can mean that your husband still holds out at least some hope for the marriage. But, saving the marriage typically requires real change and action regardless of whether it is a separation or divorce on the horizon. I will discuss this more in the following article. But, I won’t be discussing the legal ramifications to this. Instead, the information below is meant to help those who want to save the marriage and avoid ultimately having any legal issues.
Don’t Place All Of Your Focus On Figuring Out If A Separation Is Better Than A Divorce. Focus On Your Relationship Instead: In situations such as this one, the wives who I speak with often become very interested in figuring out if they have dodged a bullet because a separation is better or less devastating than a divorce. And while it’s true that this can mean you have more time and less ground to make up, both of these situations can be a serious wake up call and can turn out badly if nothing really changes.
I often tell wives it’s not necessary to split hairs in this situation. While a separation might feel better or seem to be preferable, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work as vigorously to make as real and as lasting changes as you would if there were a divorce on the table.
Now’s not the time to be complacent or indecisive. Whether your husband wants a divorce or a separation, it’s pretty clear that he wants a break or some time apart. So, if you’re in a situation where you want to save the marriage, it’s sometimes possible to make this break work for you rather than against you.
Making The Separation Work For You So That This Isn’t A Divorce: Many wives in this situation are looking for a way to save the marriage during the separation so that the divorce never happens. And, this is possible. But it often requires for you to take measured efforts over a gradual period of time.
It’s absolutely normal to feel panicked and pressured when your husband asks for a separation. It can feel as if you must do something quite dramatic quite quickly. And, this can contribute to your acting desperate or out of control. It’s important to remember that your husband likely perceives you and the marriage at least somewhat negatively right now. And this has to change. So, you have to be very careful of the type of behavior that you’re showing him during and before this separation.
It may not feel intuitive, but sometimes in this situation you’re much better off if you can attempt to draw on the positive rather than the negative. I know that this might be a challenge, but it’s often necessary when you want to change his perceptions. You want to show him the optimistic, vibrant, upbeat, and alluring woman he was drawn to in the first place.
You want for him to remember why he fell for you to begin with. And you want to show him that perhaps he’s wrong if he’s thinking that the woman and the feelings are both gone and won’t be returning. You want him to be pleasantly surprised to see that you’re coping, capable, and focusing on the positive. You want to keep things as upbeat as is possible, even when it’s difficult.
And, this all should seem quite natural. You don’t want for him to think that any of your actions are part of any master plan. You don’t want to push too hard or move too quickly. You want for him to think that everything is genuine and spontaneous. If he feels as though you’re manipulating him, he’s likely to pull even further away.
When my husband left me, his mind was made up. He was going forward with moving out, a separation, and then the divorce. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/