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 some positive signs during separation that make them believe there’s something worth fighting for.
It may look like reconciliation after a long separation is all but impossible, but a few signs your separated husband wants you back or that your wife regrets leaving you can help you see the glimmer of hope you’ve been yearning 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 after separation.
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, and what the stats have to say about the same. Though the subjects were not married couples, one study claims that around 40-50% of people end up coming back to their ex. Of the ones who do decide to give it another go, 15% go on to have a long-lasting relationship with their partner.
Other studies show that couples getting back together after separation usually happens after 8-12 months of being apart. A study published in the book “Lost And Found Lovers” found that of the 1000 couples who got back together with an ex, around 70% were successfully keeping the new relationship alive.
On the other hand, other studies found that of the couples who are separated, only about 20 percentage of marriages get back together after separation. The study also found that the likelihood of reconciliation after separation 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 separation and reconciliation.
What we can tell you, however, is that your likelihood of reconciliation after separation depends on the type of intimacy your relationship had , the type of relationship you currently have with them, and the kind of personalities you two are as well. 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 them. On that note, let’s get right into the signs you need to look out for.
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 get back together when they notice positive signs during separation. “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,” she adds.
Divorce is one of the hardest things anyone can ever go through, especially if they were once in a 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 make you more confused than ever or it can give you the answers you were looking for.
Despite how ugly things may seem, keeping hope during a separation is natural. And if you notice any positive signs of reconciliation, 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 if you’ve been able to spot any of the points so that you know divorce isn’t the only option for you.
1. Communication doesn’t die down completely
It doesn’t have to be as rampant as in the days when you couldn’t live without each other. Just the occasional check-in or sharing any personal achievements can be enough to suggest that there may still be a reason to stay positive during separation. The importance of communication in a relationship can not be understated.
“I noticed that when one partner achieved certain personal goals like a promotion, the only person s/he wanted to tell was the partner they’ve separated from. That often tells me that they just needed a break,” says Tahini, talking about her experience in divorce cases where couples often reconcile after a separation. If you’re looking for signs your separated husband wants you back, try to spot if he still wishes to speak to you.
2. Negation of external pressure is a positive sign 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 factors. As a result, you may start communicating with the spouse during separation.
“I’ve seen that in many cases, the in-laws of both partners have too much of an influence on the relationship. They may force the partners into reconciliation and once that fails, they start being hostile. In those situations, I’ve seen that many couples are very happy with each other and realize that the problems were with the expectations of the 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 could 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
When you’re angry, it’s easy to convince yourself that you hate your partner and everything about them. That there’s absolutely nothing about them that you like. As time passes, however, you might come to realize the problem isn’t with each other, it may just be some unrealistic expectations or lack of physical intimacy.
Tahini recalls a case where a lack of sexual intimacy was the root cause of the couple’s problems. “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 to
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 of reconciliation after separation is when couples finally realize what’s been eating away at their marriage.
4. The biggest positive sign during separation: forgiveness
A relationship may end because of infidelity or not seeing any reciprocation of effort. When instead of “I can’t believe you did that,” your conversations sound like “How can we move past it?” there’s a good chance you two have forgiven each other and are ready for a romantic partnership. Separation and reconciliation depend on your appetite for forgiveness, and how much effort both of you are willing to put into your relationship.
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 24 months, statistically at least, it may be harder to do so than it would’ve been after four or five months.
Nonetheless, if you both realize that divorce is not the appropriate reaction to whatever it is that drove you apart, that’s when you start to reconcile after a separation.
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 memories of your relationship and what made it so special. Behind the funny stories and the fond memories are intense feelings that you’ll realize 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 told us. Once you and your spouse try to remember the good things about each other and why you loved each other in the first place, even if it’s through memories, you have plenty of reason to stay positive during separation.
6. You still meet each other
No, we don’t mean going to the divorce lawyer, but actually opting to do things together. Positive signs during separation from wife include her reaching out to you so that you can both go somewhere together or just meet each other.
Once you spend time together in public and you’re not fighting as much, you might be able to see the things you like about your partner. If you’re still meeting each other outside of court, it’s a good sign of reconciliation after separation. That’s how Gary realized that there was more to the harsh words his separated wife would say to him.
“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 think I’d have to find tips on how to make your wife fall in love with you again after separation since I always assumed it would never happen. Once we started meeting outside, my perspective really changed. Thankfully, things fell into place.”
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 career. Or if the life their 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 the relationship. 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. In cases where the man has been transferred to metro cities, it can lead to a reconciliation between the couple, “ says Tahini.
A career change, being better equipped to handle work and marriage, and reducing work expectations — these can all play a major role in balancing work and married life.
Related Reading: 12 Tips To Successfully Save A Broken Marriage
8. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Perhaps one of the strongest signs of reconciliation after separation is when both partners start to miss each other. If your partner calls you up 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, who despite being very angry at each other during the proceedings, 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. The stories of reconciliation after separation all start the same way when the partners realize how much they meant to each other after they finally get to spend some time away from one another.
9. Animosity is replaced with empathy
The blame game will become a thing of the past, any lingering hostility will be shown the back door. Instead of a screaming match, you two will say things like, “I understand where you’re coming from.” If you notice a lot of empathy and a lot more consideration than before, it’s definitely a reason for keeping hope during separation.
“Tell-tale signs of reconciliation after separation are when they’re not acrimonious toward each other. If you talk to each one individually, they won’t have venom for each other,” says Tahini.
Of course, if you’re looking at reconciliation after a long separation, you’re not going to be more empathetic in your relationship instantaneously after meeting each other. It may take some time to establish itself since your partner first needs to know if they can trust you enough to not let their empathy be turned against them.
Do separated couples ever reconcile? The hopeful answer is that they do indeed, but there needs to be a constant reciprocation of empathy and compassion for them to reconcile.
10. If 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 a lot rarer than the shorter separation, notes Tahini.
Separation isn’t a death sentence for a marriage, the idea of separation exists to try and give individuals more time to think and reconsider their decisions of divorce. Soon enough into it, some couples realize if 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. If your partner still cares for you
This may also be due to the fact that you don’t really just stop loving someone just because you’re officially in separation. It takes a lot longer for the feelings and literal withdrawal symptoms to subside. But if your partner shows persistent signs that they still care for you even after a couple of months, they might be telling you they’re hoping for a reconciliation.
Watch out for things like them making excuses to see you, checking to see if you need any support in any way or if you just need someone to talk to. As one of the biggest positive signs during separation, this one will be extremely hard to miss.
12. If your partner looks for support from you
Inversely, they might long for support from you as well. During your marriage, you were most probably the first person your partner called when they needed support in any way, and while that’s not going to change one day into the separation, if it’s still the same after a while it could have promising indications.
If your partner trusts you to support them during separation, it’s a telling sign that 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’re kind to each other
Unsurprisingly, divorce/separation proceedings may feature some not-so-kind behavior from either partner toward each other. If after a while, you’re both kind and caring toward each other, it could signify that your feelings aren’t going anywhere.
Reconciliation after a separation is definitely on the cards if you’re both doing sweet things for each other, even if you wish to make up for any harm you may have caused in the past. That’s what happened to Jeremiah and Lilian. “In the beginning, it seemed like all she wanted was to get done with all the proceedings and never see my face again,” Jeremiah told us.
“As time went on, I could see signs my separated wife wanted to reconcile. She became kinder, she was communicating a lot more and I was so thankful I was never rude to her. Five months after dipping her toes in the water, she decided to give things another go,” he added. Perhaps Lillian saw the signs your separated husband wants you back, or maybe the credit can be given to how Jeremiah never gave up.
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 still physically attracted to each other, if you still see some sexual tension after being separated for a while, if you see your partner being interesting in you, it’s one of the positive signs during separation.
“Life after separation from husband got a little rough. I knew I missed him emotionally but didn’t expect to miss him so much physically after just two months. That was even more surprising since neither of us was all that sexual during our marriage, but once 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.
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. Perhaps you didn’t like the way they went about their day, or they didn’t like the life goals you had set out for yourself. In other cases, it might even be something like having different personalities, and not being able to accept the other’s distinct taste.
If, however, you or your partner are willing to accept the other for the person they are, there’s no reason why reconciliation shouldn’t be on the cards. At the end of the day, love needs a lot of things to help it survive, and acceptance is right up there with trust, support, communication, and respect.
16. Either of you are willing to take responsibility
Blame games, gaslighting in your relationship, and stonewalling, are all things that reduce the likelihood of reconciliation after separation. However, if your dynamic features one of the partners owning up to their mistakes after a bit of introspection, it can signify plenty of positive changes.
If instead of, “I didn’t do anything wrong, you’re the one who pushed me to cheat,” your partner says, “I’m sorry I hurt you, I’ll put in the effort to regain your trust and never break it,” take it as one of the best things that could be happening.
17. There’s gratitude
When the anger subsides, it may give room to kindness. In that kindness, if you see that your partner ever mentions that they’re grateful to have you around, 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.
Is There Hope For My Marriage After Separation?
If you’ve found yourself pondering over that question, you’re on a path that many others have walked before. After a marriage seems to be dwindling, it’s only natural to wish for it to return to the times when everything felt great. If stats like the percentage of marriages getting back together after separation has sent you in 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 therapy?
- 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, there most definitely is hope for your marriage after separation. 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 more reason why you shouldn’t 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. If you currently find yourself in such a situation, Bonobology’s panel of experienced marriage counselors can help walk you through it.
These signs of reconciliation after separation should give you a fairly good idea of how to answer the question, “Do separated couples ever reconcile?”. Right now is the time for introspection and trying to figure out if your life will be better with or without your partner.
Hopefully, the signs we listed out for you might give you a better idea of what is in store, so you can start figuring out how to make your wife fall in love with you again after separation, or how to woo your husband back.