Now that you’re separated, how do you fix things?
No single set of instructions is guaranteed to win your spouse back. You will have to use what you already know about your partner to focus on the right actions. After many years working with couples in crisis, here are some of my tips:
Tips to Save Your Marriage
1. Be your best self.
Take good care of yourself so that you can be your best self. You need to stay grounded and calm to make good choices. This is not the time to check out and to fall apart. You will feel upset, but you still need to take care of your life.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Refrain from drugs and alcohol.
- Find support to talk through problems.
- Be a responsible and engaged parent.
- Handle the finances and your other responsibilities.
2. Fix your own problems.
There are ways that you have let your partner down. You have hurt your spouse and neglected issues. Now is the time to change your behavior and attitudes in a long-term, sustainable way. Deal with the problems that you ignored or avoided, especially the ones that led to this crisis. Quick fixes that wear off within a few weeks or months won’t cut it. Figure out how to really fix the problems and get to work!
3. You have the information that you need, so put it to use.
Your partner has told you what the problems are many times. If you are confused or uncertain, now is a good time to review the relationship. Arguments are where you will find the issues that you didn’t take seriously. Turns out those problems were a pretty big deal. Don’t frustrate your spouse by making them tell you one more time what you need to do. Figure out what the problems are and develop a plan to deal with them once and for all.
4. Honor their requests.
If your spouse asked for space, give it to them. They asked because they need to figure some things out. They need this break from your thoughts, desires, and insecurities. Respect the boundaries they ask for. Stick with the parenting plan and meet away from the house if they ask you to. Communicate in ways that they’ve requested. They are trying to heal from the things that have happened in the relationship. Listening to them is one of the first things you can do to start fixing the relationship.
5. Don’t make it harder to get back together.
Even if you can’t fix everything, you can make things worse. These actions will make it harder to get back together later. They break the little trust that your partner has in you.