If you’re considering separation from your spouse, you may be wondering if there’s still hope for your marriage. Can a marriage survive after separation? Here’s what you need to know to get your relationship back on the right track. 6 Steps to rebuilding your relationship.
Many couples struggle to survive in their relationship. In this special series, Can A Marriage Survive, we address the big issues couples face and how they can rebuild their relationship.
After a separation, it is possible to rebuild your marriage. Here are six practical steps to help you reconnect and repair your relationship.
6 Steps To Rebuilding Your Relationship After Separation
It’s not uncommon for couples to experience a period of trial separation. Whether it’s due to distance, disagreements, or other outside factors, time apart can put a strain on even the strongest relationship.
According to a report from the American Psychological Association, nearly half of first marriages end in divorce.
However, even if you and your partner are currently estranged, there are ways to patch things up and rebuild your connection.
If you find yourself in the midst of a marital separation, it’s important to take the necessary steps to rebuild your relationship.
If you’re considering rebuilding your marriage, it’s normal to feel scared and uncertain about the future. Your relationship has ended, but that doesn’t mean it’s over forever. If you want to try to rebuild your relationship after separating, here are five steps to help get you started.
Step 1: Commitment
The first step is to make sure that both partners are committed to reconciling and rebuilding their relationship.
When a married couple decides to separate, it’s often because they’re not happy with how things are going. If you’re in this situation, you may be wondering if your marriage can be saved. The answer is yes, but it takes commitment from both partners.
If you’re considering rebuilding your marriage, the first step is to talk to your spouse about your feelings. It’s important to communicate openly and honestly. Once you’ve had this conversation, you can start working on rebuilding your relationship.
It’s important to remember that rebuilding your marriage will take time and effort. You’ll need to be patient and understand that there are no quick fixes. But if you’re both committed to making things work, it’s possible to save your marriage after separation.
John Hutchinson (Professor at Biola University) has keen insight on the nature of commitment.
Commitment is a mindset . . . an attitude . . . a way of thinking that will enable you and your spouse to navigate through the still waters and the storms of a marriage relationship.
Before any work can be done to save a failing marriage, both partners must be fully committed to the process. One partner may not be enough (although it is possible). If you are working on your marriage alone, it’s important to have a practical action plan that helps you make progress.
Ideally, both parties must be willing to work together to rebuild their relationship. If one person is unwilling or unable to commit, it is more difficult for the marriage to be salvaged. However, with both partners working towards reconciliation, there is hope that the marriage can be saved.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are many resources available to help you rebuild your marriage. There are also books and websites that can offer advice and support. By taking action now, you can begin the process of saving your marriage.
We recommend the ‘Save The Marriage System’ by Dr. Lee Baucom. Read our review here.
Step 2: Take Responsibility
After a separation, it is important that both partners take responsibility for their part in the breakup. Often, one person is blamed for the separation, when in reality, it takes two people to end a marriage. If you want to save your marriage after separating, both partners need to be willing to work on the relationship.
They also need to agree on why the relationship ended and what needs to change. Two examples will help make this clear:
Separating Over Financial Difficulties
Often, when a marriage ends, it is because of financial difficulties. If this is the case, both partners need to be willing to work together to resolve the issue. One partner may need to get a job to help with the bills, while the other partner may need to cut back on spending. By working together, you can resolve the financial issues and save your marriage.
Separating Over Infidelity
If your marriage has ended because o finfidelity, both partners need to be willing to work on rebuilding trust. This will require communication and patience. If you are not willing to work on rebuilding trust, then reconciliation is difficult and complicated.
Both partners need to take responsibility for their role in the separation and be willing to forgive each other. Without forgiveness, it will be difficult to rebuild trust and move forward.
Step 3: Communicate Openly
If you want to rebuild your marriage, the first step is to communicate openly with your partner. You need to be able to express your feelings and needs without fear of judgement. You may have different ideas about what led to the separation, but it’s important to be on the same page moving forward.
Both partners need to be willing to communicate openly and honestly about their feelings, needs, and concerns. Without effective communication, it will be difficult to resolve conflicts and rebuild the relationship.Without effective communication, it will be difficult to resolve conflicts and rebuild the relationship. Click To Tweet
It’s often said that communication is key in any relationship. This is especially true when you’re trying to reconnect with your spouse. After some time apart, it’s easy to start feeling like you’re on different pages. However, effective communication can help you get back on the same page as your spouse. You can use communication to express your needs and desires, and to understand their needs and desires.
There are many ways to communicate effectively with your spouse. One way is to make sure that you’re both on the same page about why you decided to take a break from each other. If one person feels like they need some space, but the other doesn’t understand why, it can be difficult to move forward. It’s also important to be open and honest about how you’re feeling.
Honesty is critical in any relationship, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to reconnect with your spouse.
Communication and Being Heard
The goal of communication is to be heard (and hear your partner). It is not to get your words out, tell them what is on your mind, or get your point across.
These things are not bad in themselves, but when they become the only goal and focus of why you talk to your spouse, it will always fall short.The real goal of communication is connection. Which means we must feel heard, and offer to hear our spouse. Fully. Click To Tweet
The real goal of communication is connection. Which means we must feel heard, and offer to hear our spouse. Fully.
Without this, not relationship will advance and grow. Especially when there have been serious issues leading to separation.
Keep your focus on hearing your spouse. For many, this is a radical idea, but it is the path to connecting with your spouse on a deeper level.
Communication and Emotions
NorthCentral University in Scottsdale, Arizona lists 10 tips for effective communication in relationships. On there list are things like: have the right attitude, ask questions instead of make statements, and focus on the good things.
Two tips that stand out have to do with emotions:
- Take emotions out of the equation (at first)
- Own your emotions
It’s not that emotions are bad. They are not. We have emotions as a barometer to let us know things are not right. Much like physical pain when you touch a hot stove. It is an indication that the activity you are doing is causing pain.
Emotions are good indicators that something is causing pain (or joy). They are not good guides.When you are led by your emotions, you tend to make mistakes and bad decisions. Learning to keep emotions in check is key when working through marriage issues. Click To Tweet
When you are led by your emotions, you tend to make mistakes and bad decisions. Learning to keep emotions in check is key when working through marriage issues.
Effective communication happens when we focus on the outcome we desire, not merely getting our point across.
Step 4: Take Your Time
It is important to spend time together as a couple, reconnecting and rediscovering one another. This can be done through activities such as date nights, vacations, and shared hobbies.
The key is to go slow. Rebuilding your marriage is a lot like gardening. Nothing happens over night. There is a process you must follow. It looks something like this:
- The ground must be prepared
- A seed must be sown
- Sunshine and water are necessary for growth
- Pulling weeds is vital
Once this is done, then allow time to work in your favor. If you do the right things, time will help. If you do the wrong things, time will work against you.
An article from Smart Couples (an extension of University of Florida) warns couples to understand healing takes time.
Healing a struggling marriage takes time and true commitment, and it’s not easy. It can, at times, be quite painful. However, it is certainly worth it. And as we make strides toward successfully healing our marriages, we often become happier, more giving people, more able to help others around us and within our families.
Avoid ‘microwave thinking.’ You can’t put your marriage in the microwave, press 5 minutes, and get the results you want. I can’t stress this enough; it takes time to rebuild. Use your time wisely and the benefits will follow.
Take the Marriage Quiz and discover your marriage score and get suggestions on how to improve your relationship. You will also be sent the results of your quiz along with suggestions on how to create the marriage of your dreams. >> Take The Quiz Now <<
Step 5: Keep Healthy Boundaries
I ran across this quote by Harriet Lerner from her book, The Dance of Intimacy. (See on Amazon)
“An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way.”
This is a good picture of what healthy boundaries look like.
We talk about this a lot. Boundaries are the bumper guards of life that keep the ball from going in the gutter.Avoid 'microwave thinking' in your marriage. You can't put your marriage in the microwave, press 5 minutes, and get the results you want. Click To Tweet
Every couple needs healthy boundaries. All the more when you are working through issues that led to separation.
Boundaries are like guidelines that tell us how we want other people to act around us, and what we will do if someone does something that we don’t like. They are also guides for our own behavior. In other words, they help us stay safe and act in ways that are reasonable and permissible.
Adam Homayon says:
When the prospect of years together crops up, you just can’t slack off.It’s a mutual commitment to be ‘other-focused’, to communicate,spend time together, plan and set goals as a couple, lay down guidelines and sticking to them, lay down guidelines and knowing when to change them, dealing with kids and other significant relationships and so on. And, don’t forget ‘ keeping up the romance, passion and intimacy in your marriage ‘ even if some days, you both are not in sync.
Trust is knowing that someone will keep their promises. Healthy boundaries allow this to happen because trust is built on a foundation of mutual respect and understanding. If someone consistently violates your boundaries, it will be difficult to trust them.
Step 6: Get Help
Finally, it is important to seek professional help if needed. A therapist can help couples work through their issues and rebuild their marriage.
It’s often difficult to ‘go it alone.’ We bring a lot of hurt and baggage to the marriage even if the relationship is not troubled. This is magnified when there are issues that lead to separattion. Even after you come together again, there are hurts and disappointments you must deal with.
This is why it is good to seek the help of a counselor or professional to help you work through those issues.
Final Thoughts on Rebuilding After Separation
Can a marriage be saved after separation? Yes, with a lot of work.
After spending some time apart, it can be difficult to repair the damage that has been done to your marriage. However, it is possible to rebuild your relationship if you are both willing to put in the effort.
The six steps we covered in this article will help you begin the process of rebuilding your relationship.
- 6 Steps To Rebuilding Your Relationship After Separation
We have resources available to help you create the marriage you desire and deserve.
The Healthy Marriage Quiz
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The Healthy Marriage Toolkit
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Five Simple Steps Marriage Course
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Healthy Marriage Academy
Our courses will help you build a strong marriage. Each course is designed to meet a specific relationship need.
If you are having serious marriage struggles, we recommend starting with ‘Save the Marriage System‘ by Lee Baucom.