When faced with a separation you don’t want, it’s easy to panic and make the situation worse. If you can avoid some pitfalls and make some changes, you may still be able to prevent your spouse from moving out.
The downward slide to separation happens in most cases due to a breakdown in communication. Feelings of being misunderstood and not appreciated are common. When unexpressed feelings accumulate, they begin to poison a relationship. It can become challenging to even have a normal conversation without it triggering a reaction. If you want to stop a separation, you need to get rid of the communication obstacles that are affecting your intimacy.
Get rid of Communication blocks
Your words and actions can prevent you from connecting with your spouse. Perhaps you don’t make eye contact during a conversation, continue doing what you are doing when he is speaking or roll your eyes and sigh loudly when he is voicing an opinion in company. If you recognize any of this behavior, you can start making positive steps towards improving how you communicate.
Don’t beg your spouse to stay
If your spouse suggests a separation, the worst thing to do is to beg and plead with him to stay. You will come across as insecure and desperate, which is likely to make him want to go even more.
Resist the urge to play the victim
“How could you do this to me?” is what you may feel when a spouse announces he or she wants a separation. Making your partner feel guilty is a bad idea. Remind yourself of all your positive qualities that contribute to your marriage and show them. Give out lots of positivity and appreciation, rather than surrendering to self-doubt and insecurity. Share your gratitude for what your spouse does on a daily basis.
Don’t speak to family and friends in a negative way about your spouse
Don’t look for sympathy from family and friends about the behavior of your spouse. They will inevitably turn against him which will just make it more difficult to sort out your problems with him.
Keep your anxiety under control
Anxiety often causes you to act in a way that further jeopardizes the relationship, such as constantly asking for reassurance or lashing out in anger. Do some exercise, see a doctor for medication if necessary and talk to a therapist to deal with your anxiety, rather than taking it out on your spouse.
Understand what you need to work on
Discuss any resentments and hurts with your spouse. Spend a little time looking at your relationship and figuring out which parts work and which parts don’t. Find ways to focus on the parts that work. Think about what a better relationship would look like and then work towards achieving it.
Perhaps you have never figured out a way to be assertive without being demanding and aggressive. It helps to keep any requests to three sentences or less and use a warm tone of voice. This will help you to make your request without upsetting your spouse and provoking a reaction.
Give your spouse some space
The thought of creating distance is counterintuitive in such a situation. It instills fear, and it’s even more challenging if your bond has been weakened by betrayed trust. If your spouse feels that you are too clingy, it’s important to try to give him a little space to gain perspective. Show that you have a life and do not need to be reassured all the time. If you can do this, it may cause a change of attitude and create a willingness to go for therapy.
The truth is that even if you are going through a marital crisis, it is possible to halt the progress towards separation. You can choose to take certain actions that may turn things around and make your marriage stronger than ever.