Separation is essentially the spouses taking time away from each other. This allows them to introspect what went wrong in their relationship. Some may prefer getting back together after a separation and giving their marriage a second chance, while others may opt for a divorce for the closure of the relationship.
If you are currently in this phase of your life and looking to rebuild your marriage, you have come to the right place for advice. In this article, we will explore whether a reunion is actually possible and some tips that may increase your chances of patching up and starting over after a separation. So, let us get started.
In This Article
What Is Legal Separation?
A married couple that lives apart, leading separate lives but staying legally married, is in a state of legally mandated separation. When a couple is unsure of their marriage but wants to establish financial boundaries and custody arrangements, a legal separation may be a beneficial choice instead of divorce. Legal separation is often pursued for religious reasons or to maintain health or life insurance benefits.
Legal separation is not the same as divorce. When a couple is legally separated, they still maintain a legal marital relationship, which means they have spousal interests in each other’s property if one of them dies. They also have the privilege to testify in legal actions not brought by the other spouse. Unlike divorce, legal marriage continues, but divorce is an option.
Is It Possible To Get Back Together After Separation?
When you are married, the decision to separate is as tough as it can be. It could make you lose faith in your relationship and question your choices. More than anything, it can indicate that your marriage is heading to an end.
It is indeed a heart-breaking time, but separation also allows you to introspect. When you are with your partner under the same roof, constant arguments and emotional distance can take a toll on you. When you decide to live separately for a while, you get the time to figure out if you still want to be with your spouse.
Marriage is a commitment, and you are emotionally invested not just in this bond but also in your spouse. However, separation does not have to be the end. If both of you are willing to give it another chance, you can very well do it. Many couples have done it before, and so can you. However, you should be ready to put the past behind you and move on.
Getting back together after separation is a decision that cannot be made hasty. Give it time and ample thought while understanding the situation and the likelihood of a successful second run.
To make this transition easier, here are a few tips that you can follow.
Tips For Getting Back Together After Separation
1. Listen To Your Gut
There is no way for you to know that your relationship will work a second time. In all probability, you both would have tried your best to make it work before you separated. Now that you are apart, you may start wanting a guarantee that the second attempt will be successful.
While there is no certainty, listening to your inner voice may help. It is the voice of your intuition, and more often than not, it is correct. Although your mind may be ready to believe that it is all over, try to listen to that voice coming from within. If it says getting back together after separation is the right thing to do, consider it with all your heart.
2. Ask Yourself If You Can Forgive and Forget
Understandably, you are hurt if you are separated from your spouse. In all possibility, this decision was preceded by ugly arguments. If you are thinking of reconciliation, you may want to ask yourself if you are ready to move on and forget what happened. Because if you are not, getting back together is not worth it.
If the remnants of your fights and arguments are still lingering in your mind, you will not be able to love your spouse completely. Of course, it is easier said than done and will not happen overnight. You will need to give yourself time to heal. Forgiving is not easy, but it is not impossible either.
You can tell your partner that you are ready to consider getting back together after separation but need time to get over the past. However, if there was cheating or abuse involved, you may want to make an informed decision.
3. Be Honest With Yourself
When you are in a marriage, the stakes are high, especially when there are children involved. Moreover, there is an emotional dependence on your spouse that may pull you toward them.
While you are separated and considering getting back together, ask yourself some hard questions. Do you want to be with your spouse because it is easier to stay in a familiar situation than part ways forever? Are you concerned about what your family or society will think? If these are the reasons for getting back together, you may want to take a step back and rethink your decision.
Ask yourself what makes you happy. Do you still love and care for your spouse? If you are unable to find the answer, try talking to someone close. It could be a friend or a family member who knows you and your spouse. At times, another person can show you the mirror when you are unable to see things clearly.
4. Communicate Clearly With Your Spouse
If you are considering reconciliation, it is time to open the communication lines with your spouse. You may want to discuss what it is that you are expecting from them. While you are at it, also discuss what went wrong the first time. Separated couples getting back together need to talk about their situation and vent all their feelings, as it helps in rebuilding trust. Unless that happens, it will be hard to move on.
It may help to remember the time you had just started dating. Both of you would try to sneak in every little possible moment to spend with each other. Communication formed the foundation of your relationship. If you want to revive it, go back to those days. Make time for each other and communicate with each other.
Maintaining honesty is crucial when both are contemplating reconciliation. Discuss the issues that led to the separation and ask tough questions. Transparency is the only way to regain trust.
5. Slow Down
Even if you decide to go back, do not expect things to go back to exactly how they were before the separation. Both of you have been through a lot and need time, patience and space to forget the past, learn from it, and move on.
When you do get back together, see to it that you are not rushing into things. For instance, avoid calling or texting all day. Perhaps your spouse is still not ready for it. Take it one day at a time and give each other time to recover emotionally. More than anything, avoid making any hasty decisions when getting back together after separation.
6. Accept That Disagreements Will Not Disappear
Separated couples getting back together cannot expect that all their disagreements and differences will simply disappear. They will still happen because you are different individuals and hold different beliefs. The relationship will have to be rebuilt on compromise, forgiveness and empathy, and personal growth.
However, you do not want to sweep your feelings or thoughts under the rug. Doing that will only make you erupt at a later point in time. Disagreements are a part of married life. What matters is the way you handle them. Do you make hasty decisions and jump to conclusions that are not always right? Or, do you work toward sorting out your differences through communication?
7. Learn From The Past
Separated couples getting back together need to understand that what has happened is in the past. If you keep thinking about the past anger, frustration, and stress, it is not going to help you in any way. However, before you put it all behind you, you may want to try and learn your lessons from those incidents.
For instance, try to analyze if you had let your emotions get the better of you in the past. Similarly, does your partner react impulsively and let their emotions get the best of them?
When you are still living separately, try to evaluate what went wrong and where you can make improvements. It is time to learn from your mistakes and make sure you do not repeat them in the future. Discuss them with your partner so that both of you can work towards making the marriage work the second time around by renewing vows. For instance, you can decide to resolve your fights before going to bed instead of leaving them for the next day.
8. Acknowledge And Appreciate Your Partner
Your efforts at reconciliation and getting back together after separation cannot be one-sided. Both of you need to put in some serious work to give your marriage another go. If you see your spouse making an effort, acknowledge them. You may also want to appreciate and tell them that their intentions are coming across through their actions.
Separated couples getting back together have to be open-minded to notice these changes. As you appreciate their efforts, you may also want to share that you are also willing to walk that extra mile to save your marriage. At times, expressing your hope for the future and saying that you are willing to give it another shot can do the trick.
9. Go On Dates
It is essential to start afresh when getting back together after separation. In all probability, you have not spent a lot of time together with your spouse in the recent past. You may have lost touch and don’t know what is happening in their life. The same could be true for them.
As you start with a clean state, try to accept that you are more like strangers. At this point, it may work best to take it slow and get to know your partner once again. Go on dates to rekindle that romance that was lost. If your schedule does not allow you to go on impromptu dates, you can try fixing a day in a week for them.
While you go on dates, do make an effort and dress up. It will indicate that you are serious about making it work.
You may set up the date at places both of you frequented in the past. This may bring back old, fond memories and offer you a fresh perspective.
10. Re-establish Your Relationship
Separated couples getting back together are making a serious commitment. To ensure that you do not end up in the same spot once again, you may want to evaluate the boundaries of your relationship.
When you have been married for a few years, the two of you may start taking each other for granted. You may not appreciate the little things that your spouse does to make your life easier.
Now that you are rekindling your love life, you may want to start afresh. You can also try and re-establish your boundaries so that you do not end up hurting each other once again.
11. Do Not Rush Into Physical Intimacy
Are you getting back together after separation because you feel lonely? Do you miss the presence of a constant companion in your life? If yes, you could be doing it for the wrong reasons.
Separated couples getting back together need to give the relationship some time to flourish once again. You want to connect on an emotional level before you become intimate once again.
It will also allow you to understand if you are giving your marriage a second chance for the right reasons. Secondly, abstinence will spice things up for you two when you finally decide to become physically intimate.
12. Seek Counseling
At times, the hurt and pain can be too much to handle. When you are separated, you could struggle to understand if getting back is the right thing to do.
Separated couples can consider counseling in this situation. A qualified marriage counselor can help you get a different perspective on the issues at hand. With counseling and therapy, you will be able to understand the patterns that have existed in your relationship and work on breaking them.
Counseling also helps you learn from past experiences and grow in your relationship. Furthermore, it will bring more clarity and help you make a decision that resonates with your heart.
However, to make it work, both of you should be willing to give counseling a serious try. You will both have to trust the professional to help you heal your broken hearts, de-escalate the conflict, and understand why the disconnect happened in the first place.
13. Try To Look At The Lighter Side Of Life
If you have made up your mind about getting back together, the best way to move ahead is to lose the baggage you have collected over the years. Let go of the pain that you are still holding on to. Try to forget the incidents that led you to this place.
Laughter can make this healing process easier for you and your spouse. Try to look at the lighter side of life and have fun while you rekindle the love that seems to have been lost. If it means staying in and watching a rom-com, do that. Try to meet friends whose company you enjoy.
You may also try and be the person you were when you were dating your spouse. Were you not your charming best back then? These steps will help you in getting your relationship back on track.
14. Involve Your Children
If you have children, your separation and the decision to get back together become all the more complicated. If they are too young to understand what is happening, you are in luck. However, if they are mature, they will have a lot of questions running through their minds.
In this case, the separation may have taken a toll on them. While your decision to get back together may give your children a ray of hope, you need to understand that they have been hurt too.
It will be best that you sit down together as a family and address the issue instead of ignoring it. You and your partner should encourage your children to express their feelings and ask any questions that have been bothering them.
More than anything, they will want to know if there is a likelihood of you both separating again. Although you may not have the answers at this point, you can tell them that you are trying your best to work things out.
15. Plan A Honeymoon
Now is an appropriate time to plan a second honeymoon. After all, nothing brings a couple closer than a vacation together. Go to a place where you will be free from your responsibilities and can spend quality time with each other.
It will allow you to focus on your spouse and your relationship. When you are away from the pressures of work and the stress of running a household, you will be able to invest more time and effort in rekindling the relationship. Utilize this time to talk and connect once again. If you cannot go on a long trip, try to take a day off and club it with the weekend. It will do wonders for your strained relationship and help you rekindle your bond.
Infographic: Top 5 Rules To Make Reunion Work For Separated Couples
It is a very important decision to give a second chance to your partner. There might have been a couple of issues that became the reason for your separation. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes or negative experiences again. Both of you have to work on the relationship to make it develop and grow.
Check out the infographic below to know the top five curated and useful tips to make this reunion work for separated couples.
Getting back together after a separation to give your marriage another chance can bring up mixed emotions. It may be particularly helpful to take responsibility for your own actions and habits that may have caused challenges in the relationship before the separation. Also, making a plan with your partner on how to handle situations differently in the future can help. Think about what changes you can make and what specific changes you will need to see from your partner in order to be happy in the marriage in the long run. Make sure to communicate clearly and respectfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
What percentage of separated couples get back together?
According to surveys, around 13 percent of separated couples get back together.
How long should you be separated before getting back together?
The average separation length before reconciliation is six to eight months, as per statistical research. This time is considered safe as it helps one get their emotions in check before getting back with their spouse.
Does time apart strengthen a relationship?
Many psychologists suggest that relationships can be strengthened with time spent apart. This can reignite that excitement of wanting to be together.
What should you not do during separation?
Don’t rush to sign divorce papers, don’t bad-mouth your partner in front of your kids, and do not get into another relationship immediately.
- Talk about things and be very honest about your feelings with your partner.
- Acknowledge your partner’s effort and appreciate their love.
- Spend quality time together and plan dates or trips to rekindle the romance.
- Seek support from friends and family or counseling from a therapist to tackle challenges.
Explore tips and advice on rebuilding a relationship after a long separation. Watch this video to know how to refuel your love life and help it regain it’s lusture.