4 Ways to Heal after the Heartbreak and Reconcile with Your Spouse
If you’ve been through a separation, you already know it’s probably one of the most hurtful things you can go through. It’s incredibly painful to reach the point where you can no longer be with the person you thought was your forever.
It’s especially heart-wrenching when a part of you still wants to be together. Or maybe you know with all your heart that you want to save your marriage but he has made it clear he’s done. It sure is easy to feel hopeless if you’re in that boat.
But is your situation hopeless? Maybe you are showing signs of reconciliation after a separation.
What are the signs, you ask?
Well, there are three big ones: You’re reading this post. You want to reconcile. You’re willing to try something different.
If that’s the boat you’re in, then there is hope for saving your marriage, even if you are legally separated already.
If you’re looking for a marriage reconciliation plan that works, here are four ways to rebuild your marriage after a separation.
1) Envision Life after Reconciliation
Rena wasn’t even sure she wanted to save her marriage. Her husband had left her and their two children. Then, she found out that he was having an affair. AND that he’d slept with prostitutes over the course of their marriage. On top of all that, he had the nerve to blame her for their problems all these years!
It seemed pretty clear that divorce was the way to go. Especially after he bought his own house and was now in another country with his mistress.
But Rena still had this little voice deep down saying she wanted to save this marriage and reconcile her family.
If she could have looked into a crystal ball to see her future, she would see her husband back home. He was serving her a cappuccino while she sat back and relaxed on a video call.
It’s true. One day he came home and said, “I miss you. I love you…”
She kept bracing herself for the but.
Instead, she heard the words, “And I’m sorry.”
If, like Rena, you’re unsure whether you even want to try, sitting on that fence is a darn uncomfortable place to be.
But what if you knew–with unshakable certainty–that you too could save your marriage?
Why not have a chat with your future self? Let her tell you about the handholding and deep talks, shared laughter and romantic getaways that lie ahead for you.
How would you show up differently today if you knew that was your outcome?
Rena decided to show up differently in two key ways.
First, after getting in touch with her desire to stay married, she said so. She simply told her husband, “I would love to stay married.” She was able to let go of any expectation or attachment, knowing that she would be okay no matter what. She relinquished control of his actions and his timeline by focusing on herself.
Secondly, to stay firmly off the fence, she quit listening to the naysayers or confiding in anyone who wasn’t 100% supportive of her vision for her marriage. All those well-meaning friends and family saying “you deserve better” because they want the best for you are just another obstacle to reconciliation.
You always get to choose either your faith or your fear. When your marriage is in crisis, it’s easy enough to choose fear on your own; others piling it on makes it harder to choose faith.
So Rena leaned on her relationship coach instead. And got served (I’m talking about cappuccino, not the divorce papers). And has a happy family to show for her courage in focusing on the outcome she wanted instead of the one she feared.
2) Rebuild the Trust; Build Your Own Life
Maria’s marriage seemed just fine, so she was shocked when her husband abruptly told her he wanted a break. He moved out, and she found out he was seeing his secretary.
When you’re as devastated as Maria was, it seems impossible not to fixate on him. The questions swirling through your mind tend to sound like this: Why did he leave? What is he thinking and feeling? What’s he doing right now? Where is he, and who is he with? What are his intentions for the future? Is he done?
Maria had coaching support, so she saw that such questions resided in the realm of inappropriate control–precisely the kind of disrespect that pushes a man away. Badgering him with such questions would further chip away at the very trust she wanted to restore. She knew it was vital to show respect for his thinking and give him the space to work through what he needed to work through.
Her antidote was to keep the focus on herself. But how? Rena had called it “Project Build Your Own Life,” which for her meant going out for tea time or champagne with friends, relaxing in her garden and thinking about what she wanted to do with her career.
Maria’s Project Build Your Own Life meant taking good care of herself. Sure, she wished her husband would take care of her, maybe buy her flowers. So she bought them for herself, surrounding herself with sunflowers.
She too spent time thinking about her own future and considered going overseas to continue her studies.
Her husband, who had started coming over more and more, talked her out of leaving the country.
Then, one day, he came home for good. The front desk girl was gone.
He started kissing Maria on the lips, something he had quit doing, and holding hands in public, which she said never happened. He also began saying “I love you” multiple times a day, which he had never done in all their years of marriage.
He held her so tight at night, she had to sleep crooked.
3) Become a Lighthouse
Zoë’s divorce paperwork had already been filed, but she wasn’t ready to give up yet. With the support of her relationship coach, she was able to maintain a relationship with her husband while he moved out, sold their house, and finalized the divorce.
Throughout all this, Zoë continued to “date” him. He took her out to eat and initiated physical intimacy. This was part of her vision for her marriage, so she chose to receive it all graciously.
In fact, she treated every interaction as a date, even their divorce proceedings! She showed up in a little black dress. He took her out for a steak dinner afterwards.
About a year later, she emailed her coach an update: “Dan and I are going strong. We’ve remarried, and just bought our dream house.”
How in the world did she do it?
How did she manage to show up as this fun, flirty woman when she must have been dying inside of gut-wrenching pain?
How was she not a weepy mess every time he showed up, like the puddle left over by the waterlogged Wicked Witch of the West?
She could easily have showed up that way or pulled the blame card or tried to guilt him into coming home. None of that would have been very attractive though.
Instead, like hundreds of other women on our campus who have attracted their husbands back, she became irresistible through self-care. Such women report that it was the best of times and the worst of times, all at the same time!
For Zoë, lots of hiking, nature outings, and leisurely reading increased her magnetism. She also wanted a garden tub as part of her self-care. Her man searched high and low to find her an apartment with a garden tub. That was just more evidence that he was eager to please her.
No wonder, as she kept teaching him to please her by pleasing herself. Becoming responsible for her own happiness empowered her to let go of resentment and emotional baggage, to quit recycling the same old problems.
It allowed her to express gratitude instead of grief.
They remarried about a year after the divorce. True story!
4) Own Up to Your Mistakes
Gretchen was heartbroken when her husband left her. He said he was 100% sure he wanted a divorce. She should have known it would come to this since he had broken off their engagement not once but ten times.
Things seemed completely hopeless now that he said he didn’t even want to see her. Still, she wanted to know that she had done everything in her power to save her marriage, so she decided to get a relationship coach.
As she shared with her coach, his mother was insisting that he choose between the two of them, and Gretchen wanted to tell him to man up and make a decision. But she saw that her old default wasn’t exactly working for her, so she took a totally different tack. She decided to apologize for being disrespectful for how she had criticized him and told him what to do in the past.
She knew she had to clean up her side of the street before she could express her desire to stay married purely, without any mess in the way.
After just that one coaching call, he seemed incapable of sticking to his resolution to stay away from her. They talked for a full hour.
By coaching call #3, he said he wanted to reconcile. He asked to spend time together. They had dinner, played games, saw a movie, and had sex (twice in one visit)!
In call #4, she said he was really trying to save their marriage (not to mention initiating more physical intimacy).
Gretchen was itching to ask his intentions for the future of their relationship. Worrying he was on the fence made it hard for her to stay off the fence herself. But somehow she surrendered the outcome, truly letting go. Giving him the space to go through whatever he needed to go through was another way she showed respect, which was like giving oxygen to their relationship.
As a result, he opened up to her more and more. He shared about conflicting feelings sometimes painful for her to hear, but even then she was able to listen respectfully, to really listen, without defending, correcting, or problem solving, but simply saying “I hear you.”
Her respect proved irresistible–and sexy too. By coaching call #5, he started sleeping over.
By call #6, they were having three-hour phone conversations, and he was texting that he couldn’t wait to see her again.
Sometimes control would come up as she pushed him to move back in, and she would apologize for being disrespectful again.
By call #9, she reported that she’d had so many wins she didn’t even know where to start. But the headline was: He had moved back in!
They were combining their accounts and bought a new car together. She told him she wanted to move to Florida, so he immediately contacted his manager to put the plan in motion. She said they were super happy and he wanted to spend lots of time together.
Finally, in her last coaching call, they were having a really good time (at the beach in their new home state of Florida). “He does so much,” she gushed. The romance was alive and well–he even proposed making a mosaic with the glass they had smashed at their wedding.
Gretchen wisely knew it would be too hard to go it alone at a time when she most needed support.
If you too could use a community of like-minded women standing for your vision for your relationship, check out a free Facebook group like The Adored Wife.
What is your vision for your relationship? Now that you know the marriage reconciliation plan, what action will you take today to honor that vision?
Hi! I’m Laura.
I was the perfect wife–until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.
I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.