Tips For Transitioning Back Home After The Marital Separation

Tips For Transitioning Back Home After The Marital Separation

tips for transitioning back home after the marital separation

Tips For Transitioning Back Home After The Marital Separation

When you’re separated but you don’t want to be, having your spouse return home is probably your most frequent dream. It’s probably the thing that you want more than anything else, although there may be times when you don’t dare to hope for it because you fear being disappointed. Your spouse coming home is, for most separated spouses, that light at the end of the tunnel. Most of us just think that if we can get there, then it will be smooth sailing from that point on. And we anticipate that when we can see that day coming, we can finally start to relax.

Tips For Transitioning Back Home After The Marital Separation

The reality isn’t always like the dream though. When the day is approaching that your spouse might actually come home, things can be awkward and scary. You can worry that he won’t be comfortable or enthusiastic. You can worry that you’ve both developed new habits that won’t mesh together. Or you might have some anxiety about the conflict coming back again.

A wife might say: “my husband and I have been separated for about thirteen weeks. It has been awful. I have been so lonely and I’ve honestly been afraid that we were going to get divorced. The first three weeks were beyond awful. We barely spoke. We started to speak very sporadically about a month into it and then very slowly, we began talking regularly. From there, we transitioned into regularly seeing each other. This was a slow process, but we feel encouraged. My parents are having their golden wedding anniversary next month. I told my husband that it would be nice if he were moved back in by then so we could host the party at our home and have it not be so obvious that we’d been having problems. He said this might be doable. But I can tell that we are both somewhat worried about the transition. I worry that it won’t go well and that when it all falls apart, we will end up in divorce court this time. How do we successfully transition after the separation?”

I had this concern myself during my own separation. In fact, I was so afraid of something going wrong, that I waited for much longer than many people probably would have before I broached this issue. I figured that since I was seeing improvement after a long time of seeing nothing that would give me hope, I was going to sit on that improvement for a while to make absolutely sure that it was real and that it was right. As much as I wanted to ask my husband to move back home (and I wanted that desperately,) I forced myself to wait until he asked that question. And then I waited a little more to make sure that it was right.

We ultimately transitioned fine. And I think that there were a couple of things that helped with this. First, we did not make abrupt changes. You can imagine how awkward it would be if you hadn’t spent any nights, weekends, or extended periods of time with your husband and then had him just move in full time.

People develop new habits and get into new comfort zones. That’s why it’s a good idea to have him stay over weekends and for extended periods several times before he actually “moves back in.” Because by that time, it should feel very comfortable.

This is important because it will help you both have the confidence that you are making the right decision. If you rush things, not only are you sure to have that awkward transition, but you might be dealing with two people who have serious doubts about whether or not this reconciliation is going to work. And that is no way to begin.

Another thing you want to consider is whether or not you’ve addressed the outstanding issues. Often, this is the elephant in the room. Everyone knows that the improvements in the relationship are fragile. And so no one wants to bring up unpleasant things. But if any of your issues are still there, they have an unpleasant way of coming back up. Especially if they are the issues that necessitated the separation in the first place. And this resurfacing has a way of making every one think “here we go again” so that you are once again on thin ice relatively quickly.

The time to fix those issues is now. The optimal time is before you put additional stress on the relationship by moving back in. And yes, moving back in can be stressful, simply because everyone knows that there is so much at stake.

I’m no expert, but my best advice is to do this gradually. Have your husband spend weekends at home. Have each time he stays over last a little longer. Notice anything that crops up during those times and address them immediately. That way, you will be aware of any potential problems before he moves back in. The idea is that by the time he does, you’re already used to spending loads of time under the same roof again and you’ve already navigated the issues that might trip you up.

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