“My wife wants to separate! How should I behave during our time apart? And is there anything I can do to stop her from making this mistake?”
Separating from the love of your life is a difficult and scary time. You can’t tell if you’re ever going to end up back again and your future is uncertain.
You spend endless nights thinking about her and how to get her back. You don’t want things to end in divorce and you truly believe that if you could sit down to talk with her, everything would be different.
But she seems to not care about you anymore. You’re living apart from each other, and the only way you know anything about her now is through her social media posts. Even though you’re legally married, you’re imagining her with another man and it’s driving you crazy that you can’t be there for her.
However, there is something that you have to understand if your wife wants to separate: She thinks that all interventions and tricks have already been used to get your marriage back on track, and nothing has worked. For her, a breakup is inevitable and it’s only a matter of time before she signs those divorce papers.
But can separation save your marriage? Well, it could – if you set clear objectives. The main aim of any kind of separation is to give each other enough space and time in marriage to decide on your future actions.
Why does my wife want to separate?
Most women will give you a couple of hints that something isn’t right in your marriage and relationship, but what happens if you miss those signs? How can you know the reason behind your wife’s decision to leave you?
Is she in love with someone else? Does she think that you’re not good enough for her anymore? All these questions are bothering you day in and day out. That’s why I decided to make this list of possible reasons your wife wants to separate.
The truth is that marriage can get boring from time to time. It’s just a fact not many married couples are ready to accept. But that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong or that you’re being a bad spouse to your significant other. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
With the rise of modern technology and all the reality TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters, we seek instant gratification all the time. We want and expect to feel good every second of the day.
This is something that’s impossible to maintain. And the second we don’t feel good, we automatically assume that something’s wrong. We want to have a marriage filled with sparks, excitement, and endless romance, but the reality is quite different. The real problem is that those lifestyles and marriages only exist in TV shows and our imagination.
This is why many newlyweds have problems dealing with boredom the first time it appears. They simply don’t know how to react and start creating problems in their marriage that weren’t there to start with.
They search for answers, trying different techniques and tricks, but nothing helps. And in the heat of the moment, they decide that it’s for the best to go their separate ways.
This could be the reason your wife wants to separate in the first place. I’m sorry to break it to you, but there’s a possibility that your wife is simply bored and needs some time to explore her needs a bit more.
2. Poor communication
Good communication between spouses is the foundation for a healthy and long-lasting marriage. If your relationship lacks real conversation, where you’re constantly afraid of being judged by your partner and don’t have the freedom to express yourself, then your marriage is bound to fail sooner or later.
Today’s phones have made it easier to communicate with someone who is halfway across the world from you, but there’s also a negative side to this. Many people spend most of their time on their phones instead of focusing on the person sitting next to them, which can create a big gap in communication.
In that case, it’s very difficult to get to know your partner and form any deep, meaningful connection with them. Having poor communication means that you’re always on pins and needles, wondering what your spouse is thinking or how they’re feeling.
Sometimes couples may come to resent each other because they feel their needs are either being unmet or ignored. This can lead to many problems in a marriage that aren’t easily solvable.
Also, don’t think that just because you’ve married your significant other and you’re spending every breathing second with them that you can read each other’s minds. Don’t start assuming instead of talking with each other.
So, while you’re trying to figure out why your wife wants to separate, ask yourself whether or not you have created a healthy environment in which both of you can be honest and speak your mind. If not, then you better start working on it before your marriage sees its end.
3. Financial struggles
Another reason for separation could be financial problems. Sadly, money has the power to cause friction between spouses.
Perhaps you and your partner don’t see eye to eye when it comes to saving or spending money. Have you thought about that?
Financial issues usually arise because partners aren’t courageous enough to talk about their financial expectations. This is a very important matter that should be solved before you get married, but most couples make the mistake of thinking that it’ll solve itself.
You might have been able to agree on how much you’re going to spend on your wedding and honeymoon trip, but when it comes to everyday expenses such as power bills or buying groceries, you argue.
The only way you can solve this mess is to have a face-to-face conversation with your wife about your future financial plans. Avoiding it may affect your emotional bond and, just like so many others, it could lead to an even worse situation with divorce on the cards.
A selfish and cowardly thing that can lead to separation is infidelity in marriage. Most couples believe when they say “I do” that both of them will be faithful and expect their partner to not cheat on them. But this is unfortunately not always the case in reality.
The truth is, cheating occurs very often in both romantic relationships and marriages. It breaks the sanctity of the union and leaves no other option than divorce for a majority of couples.
Everything that you and your partner have built together, all the trust and love, suddenly disappears when you find out that your significant other has been with someone else. And if you’re in a similar situation, then it’s probably for the best to go your separate ways and try to remain friends if possible.
5. Lack of effort in marriage
The lack of effort could be another reason your wife wants to separate from you. This happens to newlyweds because they think they can stop putting any effort into strengthening their relationship once they say those two magical words “I do.” But the work certainly doesn’t end there.
To maintain a healthy and fulfilling marriage, you have to be there for your partner whenever they need you. You have to make sure that they’re satisfied emotionally and that you’ve given them enough of your attention. Otherwise, your partner may interpret the lack of effort as you not being interested in them anymore, which can ultimately lead to the demise of your marriage.
And I assume, this is something you want to avoid at all costs. Perhaps you or your wife changed after getting married and stopped going on dates? Maybe you were preoccupied with your work and she thought that you stopped caring about her?
All these things can put a strain on your marriage and force your wife to consider separation as an option.
6. Failure to keep your promise
Have you made a promise you knew you weren’t able to keep? Maybe you promised that you’d break that drinking habit by now? Or maybe you promised more time away from the house or that you’d start doing basic household chores?
Whether it’s something big or small, it doesn’t really matter what you promised. What matters is that you made a commitment to your wife and then didn’t follow through because you thought she’d forget about it.
You have to fulfill your promises and be a better husband to your wife if you wish to succeed with her and have a happy marriage. You can’t say one thing and then do something else. Life doesn’t work that way.
Also, you need to know what your duties are. It’s not the end of the world if you have to wash the dishes a couple of times a week or take your kids to school if she can’t do it. Being a real man and treating your wife with respect and dignity should be essential to any marriage.
7. Negative outside influence
Have you ever considered that someone outside of your marriage is putting pressure on your wife? Maybe your wife’s mother or brother isn’t too fond of you, so they’re trying to separate you in any way they can.
A negative outside influence can shatter your marriage if your foundations aren’t strong enough. So, if you’ve been having recent problems with your spouse and you’re aware that some of her close relatives don’t like you that much, that could very well be the reason.
Also, chances are that she’s going through some things right now and you’re not aware of her problems. But, a negative outside influence could be the trigger that’s making her doubt you.
If your wife is being impatient and always nagging you, then there’s a possibility that someone else is pushing her to separate from you. Your best option is to listen to your gut and confront her about it.
How to react if your wife wants to separate
I get that it’s difficult to deal with separation. You’re going through a rollercoaster of emotions and the only thing that’s on your mind is how to make things right between you two again.
The first time you hear the word separation, your immediate reaction is a big fat NO because you strongly believe that it won’t fix anything. You love your wife – you simply can’t imagine not being with her.
But many have been where you are right now. Don’t think you’re alone in this one. And you know what? Everything will be alright.
Here are a couple of suggestions about what to do when your wife wants to separate from you.
1. Acceptance will bring you closer to solving the problem
It’s difficult to accept that your spouse and the love of your life doesn’t want to live with you anymore. Most people who are going through separation tend to be in denial that it’s happening and create different scenarios in their heads.
I understand that your emotions are all over the place right now. There are no pretty thoughts or images going through your mind. You try to reminisce about the good old days when you were happy and laughing together, but you’re consumed by how it came to this – to separation.
Making any assumptions about the future and not putting enough effort into improving things between you and your wife can and will lead to divorce. That’s why your first step should be to accept what is happening and bring yourself back to reality.
I know many relationship experts will tell you that separation can’t do you any good, but that’s not necessarily true. Perhaps your wife just needs more space and time to think things through and once she’s done that, she’ll come back to you.
Keep in mind that she’s entitled to her own feelings. And it’s crucial that you accept her position without trying to change it. You never know how she’ll react to it. Begging her to stay isn’t the way you’ll bring her back.
2. Actively listen to your wife
The only thing resonating in your head right now is that your wife wants to separate, am I right? I understand that and that’s why I’m here to help you.
One thing that should be clear from the very beginning is that this separation idea didn’t come out of the blue. She’s probably thought about it for a while now, and she waited for the right moment to tell you that she doesn’t want to live with your anymore.
When you were fighting, having endless arguments about unimportant things, she might have felt like she and the marriage are slowly dying and that separation could actually help her regain control of her life again. And that hurts more than anything.
You have to actively listen to your wife. Don’t ignore her feelings because that will only make things worse. And don’t think that she’s playing with you to see whether or not you care about her. That’s not what this is about.
She’ll definitely give you her reasons for wanting to separate if you just stop and listen.
3. Speak it out
The best way to deal with all those negative thoughts is to share them with someone you know you can trust. It doesn’t matter if it’s your sister, your children, your mother, or a professional therapist. You have to get it off your chest because, as we all know, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Before you do that, though, you need to consult your partner if your separation is private or public. And whatever she says, you have to respect her decision.
If it’s private, then try to identify other ways of speaking. Perhaps you could talk to a counselor or let everything out through journaling.
Just make sure that the emotions you have right now aren’t causing you anxiety and don’t hold anything back. If you keep those feelings for yourself, they will surface eventually in unwanted ways. And trust me, you want to prevent that.
4. Set boundaries
If your wife wants to separate, then you have to have a clear set of boundaries for both of you to follow during and after the separation. Those can include how much space you’re comfortable with, how much time you need alone, when your partner is allowed to visit, and things like that.
That way you’ll know what you can and can’t do while you’re separated from your wife. On top of that, understanding each other’s boundaries will be helpful when it comes to rebuilding trust.
I’m not saying that it’ll be easy, but you can try to get at least some clarity.
5. Set a specific time frame for the separation
Being separated doesn’t mean you’ve lost your wife forever. There’s still a chance to fix things, you just have to put in the work. That’s why the separation process needs to have a specific time frame that both of you will respect.
Usually, couples agree to live apart from each other for a couple of weeks or even months and then decide what their future actions will be. But the separation period shouldn’t last for very long. If it does, you may get into a new routine and it will be difficult for either of you to get back to your old married life.
6. Decide on your level of intimacy
This is something that many married couples tend to forget when they decide to separate. But you have to decide whether or not you’ll still remain intimate with your partner.
Will you still call each other if something happens? Are you living separately, but able to come over when one of you feels lonely? Are you allowed to sleep with each other?
Only through agreement can this separation actually help you rebuild your marriage again. My advice is to not be intimate with each other, as that could only make things more complicated.
7. Take some time off
The thought of being alone all of a sudden can drive you to do things you never thought you were capable of. Desperate decisions and angry moments are very plausible and shouldn’t be taken lightly if they ever happen.
Take some time off to heal the wounded heart. Now you have the opportunity to focus only on yourself and on your needs and feelings. Don’t pressure yourself over the breakup. If you’ve done everything I’ve said, then you know you’ll hear from her again and you’ll make a decision together.
But in the meantime, you need to open up to new experiences. The world hasn’t stopped spinning just because your wife wants to separate. Go out there and enjoy it as much as you can.
8. Go out on a weekly date
If you’ve decided that you’ll see each other during separation, then you could spice things up a bit by going out on a date once a week. That way you won’t lose the bond you two share and it’ll actually bring you closer to getting her back.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You could even go on walks together or meet at a coffee shop. The goal is to prove to her that you’re ready to put in the work.
You want to connect and you want to spend time with her.
9. Go to counseling together or separately
If your wife wants to separate, then there’s no doubt that something is wrong in your marriage. And if pulling out all the stops is still proving ineffective, then your last option is to go to couple’s therapy or individual counseling sessions.
Your readiness to seek professional help shows your wife that you’ll do anything in your power to save the relationship. And the best thing about therapy is that you have the opportunity to share everything that’s on your heart and mind in a safe space.
Only by being honest and listening to what she has to say, will you be able to get back together.