Few things compare to the grief that comes attached to a marriage falling apart. When the word “divorce” is thrown into the mix, it can make things extremely disheartening for both partners. Even when divorce looks like the final nail in the coffin, some couples notice positive signs during separation that make them believe there’s something worth fighting for.
Signs of reconciliation after separation can tell you if your relationship has a chance of being as strong as it once was. Do they always translate into getting back together? Are they dramatic or subtle? Let’s get into what you need to know with the help of lawyer Tahini Bhushan, who specializes in gender violence and sexual harassment cases and has witnessed a few stories of reconciliation of marriage.
What Are The Chances Of Reconciliation After Separation?
Before we get into the positive signs during separation, you might be wondering what your chances are. Here’s what statistics suggest:
- One study claims that 40-50% of people go back to their ex. Of them, 15% go on to have a lasting relationship
- Other studies show couples getting back after separation usually happens after 8-12 months of being apart
- A study found that of the couples who got back together with an ex, 70% successfully kept the relationship alive
- Other studies found that only 20% of marriages get back together after separation
- The likelihood of reconciliation drastically drops once the separation has continued for more than 24 months
As you can probably tell by now, the data isn’t clear, and different studies often paint different pictures of relationship reconciliation. What we can tell you, however, is that your likelihood of reconciliation after separation depends on the following factors:
- The type of intimacy your relationship had
- The type of relationship you currently have with them
- The kind of personalities you two have
- The reason for the separation
If you play your cards right, and you know where to look to find the positive signs during separation, you might just increase your chances of getting back together with your spouse. On that note, let’s get right into the signs it’s a temporary breakup.
17 Signs Of Reconciliation After Separation
“A couple I worked with is now 10 years strong after one of the partners had an affair and they filed for a separation,” says Tahini, who has seen multiple couples reuniting after years apart, “Of course, it was tough in the beginning for them, but watching them go from the brink of divorce to a strong relationship again was a heartwarming experience.”
Divorce is one of the hardest things anyone can ever go through, especially if they were once in a happy, healthy relationship. When couples opt for a separation before divorce, it definitely increases their chances of possibly turning things around. That’s because a period of reflection can give you the answers you were looking for.
Despite how ugly things may seem, not losing hope during a separation is natural. And if you notice any positive signs during separation from wife, it’s this hope that will keep you going. But, what exactly do the signs look like? Can you reconcile after separation? What’s the average length of separation before reconciliation? Read on to find out the tell-tale indicators that you may be able to revive your marriage so that you know divorce isn’t the only way forward.
1. Communication about achievements
It doesn’t have to be as frequent as in the days when you couldn’t live without each other. Just the occasional check-in or sharing of any personal achievements are signs your husband misses you during separation or your wife doesn’t want to lose you. The importance of communication in a relationship cannot be understated.
“I’ve noticed that often when a person achieves certain goals like a promotion, the only person s/he wants to share that news with is the partner they’ve separated from. That often tells me that they just needed a break,” says Tahini, talking about her experience of dealing with marital issues and legal separation. If you’re looking for signs your wife wants to reconcile or your husband is rethinking the decision to part ways, see if they still look for reasons to speak to you.
2. Negation of external pressure is one of the positive signs during separation
Without really knowing it, a couple may have been driven to the point of separation by external factors affecting their decision-making. Once you’re spending time apart from your partner and you have more energy to focus on other things, you may be able to step away from those external stressors. As a result, you may start communicating with the spouse during separation.
“I’ve seen that in many cases, parents of both partners have too much of an influence on the relationship. In those situations, I’ve seen that many couples are very happy with each other and realize that the marriage issues were due to the unmet expectations of people around them, “ says Tahini.
If you think your relationship has broken free of any overwhelming expectations from a third party and that you may be able to focus on each other better, you have a reason for keeping hope during separation. Who knew the overbearing mother-in-law could be the reason for both the separation and the reconciliation?
Related Reading: Rebuild Your Marriage During A Separation With These 13 Tips
3. When you’re able to identify the real issue
Tahini recalls a case where a lack of sexual intimacy was the root cause of the couple’s relationship challenges. “When undiagnosed factors like stress or anxiety cause rifts between the couple, talking to a medical professional can help. Since I always have a therapist on hand, a couple I worked with were able to realize that lack of physical intimacy was the root cause of their separation.” Only after the couple spoke to a sexologist did they understand what they needed to do.
Beating around the bush, letting anger cloud your judgment, and not knowing what the real problem areas are all add up to a concoction for disaster. Perhaps one of the biggest signs you can save your marriage is when you finally realize what’s been eating away at your bond.
4. The biggest positive sign during separation: forgiveness
Separation and reconciliation depend on your appetite for forgiveness, and how much effort you are both willing to put into your relationship. There’s a good chance of rebuilding a romantic partnership when instead of “I can’t believe you did that”, you’re able to bring yourself to say, “I want to be gentler to you right now and I don’t know how”. Once you’ve crossed the threshold of forgiveness, the following questions to ask your spouse to save your marriage can help you ride over whatever stumbling blocks remain in your way:
- “How can we move past it?”
- “What can I do to make up for my part in all this”
- “How can we make things better?”
In the cases of reconciliation after a long separation, there’s often more room for forgiveness since partners get more time to reflect on the incidents with a clearer mind, but of course, there’s a limit to how “long” that separation can be. If you’re trying to rekindle things after two years, statistically at least, it may be harder to do so than it would’ve been after four or five months.
5. The “remember when” conversations bring back good memories
Once you two sit down to recall the good times you spent together, you might just end up talking the whole night away, reminiscing about the good times in your relationship and what made it so special. Behind the funny stories and the fond memories is emotional intimacy that you still yearn for. Who knows, you might even fall in love again.
“I didn’t expect life after separation from my husband to be so grim. I assumed it’d make me happier. Only when we got to talking again and spent a wonderful night discussing all the memories we had made did I realize that there still may be something here,” Natasha, a 36-year-old investment banker who reconciled with her husband after nearly six months of separation, told us.
6. You still meet each other
No, we don’t mean going to the divorce lawyer but actually opting to do things together. The rules of separation differ from one couple to another. But broadly, positive signs during separation from wife/husband include:
- Reaching out/finding excuses to talk
- Spending time with you in public and not fighting as much
- Still meeting you outside of court
That’s how Gary realized that there was more to their relationship than the harsh words his separated wife would throw his way. “It seemed as though all she wanted to do was hurl abuses at me, so I initially denied her requests of meeting in public. But when she kept insisting, I took it as one of the signs my separated wife wants to reconcile. To my surprise, she was extremely cordial and I could clearly see how hard she was trying.
“I didn’t want to bet on the odds of getting back together after separation since I always assumed it would never happen. Once we started meeting outside, my perspective really changed. Thankfully, I could see positive changes.”
7. Career stressors are eliminated
In many cases, couples may opt for a separation when they’re unable to give attention to their marriage due to their careers. Or if the life one’s career entails is not desirable to the other partner. That’s when couples often realize love after marriage is different than before it.
“Career obligations sometimes put extra pressure on relationships. I’ve seen couples where the husband is in the army and the family has to shift to remote places, which isn’t okay with the wife, “ says Tahini. So, here are the factors that play a major role in determining the chances of reconciliation between a couple driven apart due to professional pressures:
- A career change
- Better work-life balance
- Learning to prioritize one’s marriage as much as one’s career if not more
8. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Perhaps one of the strongest signs he wants to reconnect or she wants to give the relationship another chance is when you can clearly see that they’ve been missing you. If your partner calls you or texts you out of the blue, you know you must be on their mind. When situational anger is subdued, you both might realize that it’s not worth throwing away what you have because of anger.
“In a divorce case I was handling, the couple, despite being very angry at each other, started missing each other soon into the separation. When both spouses realize they’re pining for each other, they understand that they just needed a break and not something as serious as a divorce,“ says Tahini.
Sooner or later, you’re bound to miss your partner and they’ll miss you as well. How you act on it is what will tell you if there are positive signs during separation or not. So, can separation save a marriage? Yes, if the married couple realizes how much they meant to each other after they finally get to spend some time away from one another.
Related Reading: 12 Tips To Successfully Save A Broken Marriage
9. Animosity is replaced with empathy
Negative emotions and poor communication during legal separation are tell-tale signs your marriage is over. On the contrary, here are signs you’re making progress:
- The blame game has become a thing of the past and there is no lingering hostility
- Instead of a screaming match, you two say things like, “I understand where you’re coming from”
- Empathy/kindness and a strong desire to take care of each other’s well being
“Tell-tale signs of reconciliation after separation include the partner not being acrimonious toward each other. If you talk to each one individually, you will notice they don’t spew venom against each other,” says Tahini. Of course, you’re not going to be more empathetic in your relationship instantaneously. It may take some time since your partner first needs to know if they can trust you enough to not let their empathy be used against them.
10. The separation isn’t long
“If the separation shows no signs of lasting past the average 6-month mark, it’s definitely a sign that things can go well. Reconciliation after a long separation is rarer than after a shorter separation,” notes Tahini. A trial separation isn’t a death sentence for a marriage, the idea of separation exists to give individuals more time to think and reconsider their decisions of divorce.
Soon enough into it, some couples realize that the relationship is fixable and what needs to be worked out. If you’re communicating with your spouse during separation, and if you two have not been apart for too long, there’s plenty of reason for you to keep your hopes up. If things seem promising, let your partner know that you’re willing to put effort into your relationship.
Related Reading: Marriage Separation Advice: 11 Wise Tips
11. The idea of you with someone new makes your partner jealous
A study conducted to establish links between jealousy and relationship closeness defined the positive and negative attributes of romantic jealousy, clearly distinguishing emotional/reactive jealousy as mostly good and cognitive/suspicious jealousy as bad.
On that note, a little FOMO never hurt anyone. Healthy jealousy is not such a bad thing after all. Your separated spouse needs to realize what they are missing out on. So, if your estranged spouse keeps asking you questions to ascertain if you’ve rekindled your love life, they’re definitely experiencing bouts of jealousy at the mere prospect. As one of the biggest signs your separated husband wants you back or your estranged wife hopes to reconcile, this one will be extremely hard to miss.
12. They seek your support
When married, partners become each other’s biggest sources of support. If you continue to play that role in each other’s life even after being separated, it’s an encouraging sign. If your partner trusts you to support them during separation, they trust you to be there for them if things ever get better. A good marriage is built on support, you’ve got to make sure you help the process of rebuilding trust and try your best not to tarnish it.
13. You sign up for couples therapy
How to rebuild your marriage during a separation? Psychologist Nandita Rambhia advises, “Sometimes, one partner may keep leaving and coming back. The couple is unable to resolve their issues on their own. In such cases, it helps to seek guidance from someone more experienced, mature, and non-judgmental. It can be family members, mutual friends, or a professional counselor.” If you and your partner acknowledge that you need help and are on board with the idea of going into therapy, it’s a positive indicator that there is hope for your marriage.
14. You’re still attracted to each other
Of course, emotional support, trust, and lingering feelings are all great indicators of couples getting back together after separation, but another important one is what you see on the surface. If you’re wondering, “Will my wife come back?” or “Will my husband want to get back together?”, the answer is a “Yes” if there’s still sexual tension between you both. Here are some more positive signs during separation:
- You’re having sex while separated
- You/your SO gives body language signs of attraction
- There’s lots of eye contact and flirting on text messages/social media
“Relationships after separation are confusing. I had a hard time coming to terms with my separation. I knew I missed my husband emotionally but didn’t expect to miss him so much physically as well. That was even more surprising since we were not all that sexually passionate toward one another when we were together. But as some time passed, it seemed like we were just waiting to pounce on each other. Perhaps that’s what we needed to do all along,” says Dorothy, a reader from Wisconsin who got back together with her partner.
Related Reading: 17 Signs You Are In An Incompatible Relationship
15. You’re willing to practice acceptance
When “incompatibility” is cited as a reason for divorce, (according to studies, it’s one of the most cited reasons) there’s a huge possibility that there was a lack of acceptance in your relationship. Instead of focusing on personal development, most people project their flaws on their respective spouses. Here are the various possibilities:
- You didn’t like the way they went about their day
- They didn’t like the life goals you had set out for yourself
- You both had different personalities and were not willing to accept the other’s distinct taste
If that’s what drove you apart, figuring out how to survive a trial separation isn’t all that tricky. All you need to do is accept your SO, warts and all. Of course, by this, we mean, be more accepting of their quirks, their flaws, and the parts of their personality that you don’t necessarily agree with, and not that you should tolerate the bad signs of emotional abuse in marriage in the name of acceptance.
16. Either of you is willing to take responsibility
Can a separation save a marriage? No, if it’s marked by stonewalling, blame games, and gaslighting in the relationship. However, if one partner owns up to his/her mistakes after a bit of introspection, it can signify plenty of positive changes. It’s even better if both start showing accountability for their actions.
How to rebuild your marriage during a separation? Accept responsibility and actively work on yourself. Instead of, “I didn’t do anything wrong, you’re the one who pushed me to cheat,” say, “I’m sorry I hurt you, I’ll put in the effort to regain your trust and never break it.”
17. There’s gratitude
When the anger subsides, it may give room to kindness. In that kindness, if you see that your partner expresses gratitude for everything you’ve done for them, it definitely means they still value you. And if you’re just as grateful for them, you don’t really need to spot any other positive signs during separation.
My friend Paul asked me, “I cheated on my wife and she moved on. I really want to turn things around. Is it too late to win my wife back? How to get my wife back emotionally?” Well, to make your wife miss you during separation or make your husband see you belong together, you have to go the extra mile. The signs of marriage breakdown start with a lack of appreciation. So, here are some phrases that you can use to appreciate your partner, according to the Gottman Repair Checklist:
- “Thank you for…”
- “I understand”
- “I love you”
- “I am thankful for…”
- “This is not your problem. It’s OUR problem”
Is There Hope For My Marriage After Separation?
Can you reconcile after separation? If you’ve found yourself pondering over that question, you’re on a path that many others have walked before. When a marriage begins to fall apart, it’s only natural to long for the times when everything felt great. If stats like the average length of separation before reconciliation has sent you into a spiral of overthinking, collect your thoughts and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your (ex) partner kind toward you?
- Have you noticed the aforementioned positive signs during separation in your dynamic?
- Are they communicating with you and checking up on you?
- Have they mentioned any regret over the current circumstances?
- Are you both willing to try marriage counseling?
- Has your separation just started?
- Have they forgiven you for any past mistakes?
- Have you forgiven them?
- Are they willing to accept your changes?
- Are you willing to accept theirs?
If you’ve answered positively to the questions we listed above, you’re on the right path. Even if you didn’t, don’t worry, this list of questions was not exhaustive. If you’ve noticed promising signs unique to your own dynamic, that’s all the reason you need to not let go of hope.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s not easy to save a broken marriage. It requires patience, forgiveness, and acceptance, and that’s just scratching the surface. These signs of reconciliation after separation should give you a fairly good idea of how to answer the question, “Will my husband miss me during separation?” or “Will my wife change her mind during separation?” Right now is the time for introspection and trying to figure out if your life will be better with or without your partner.
- Reconciliation during separation is possible
- The odds of a couple reconciling are higher if the separation is triggered by external factors and they see hope that they will be able to work through their differences
- Attempting to reach out, being kind and supportive, hostility being replaced by empathy are some positive signs that the separation won’t necessarily lead to divorce
- A desire for reconciliation and being able to work through your differences and get back together are two very different things. You have to be prepared to put in the work to rebuild your marriage
Hopefully, the positive signs during separation we listed out for you might give you a better idea of what is in store, so you can start figuring out why your separated wife wants to be friends, or signs your husband misses you during separation. Finally, let’s end with a quote by psychologist Dr. Aman Bhonsle, “There is no such thing as a happy divorce. Divorces are always painful/unpleasant. But you can make a separation happy by following the rules and being very clear about what you want.”