I get a lot of emails from women who are having doubts or concerns about going through with their divorce. Many thought they were OK with or even wanted the divorce previously, but now that their husband isn’t around as much and the reality is beginning to set in, then so too do the doubts. I often have people who say things like “Should I tell him that I miss him, or just admit that it’s too late?” or “Are these feelings normal just because divorce is so final? Will they eventually go away?”
Well, I can not see into the future, but I can tell you that any time you are having doubts and the little nagging voice in the back of your mind starts whispering to you, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to at least be open to the idea of listening. Because unrest and discomfort just doesn’t typically happen when you’re completely satisfied and at peace with the situation at hand. Sure, divorce is a huge, final end with huge repercussions. You wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t feeling uneasy. But missing your husband (and suspecting that you may want him back) is something else all together. I’ll discuss this more in the following article.
Distance Really Can Make The Heart Grow Fonder: People often don’t believe me when I tell them that time and distance can actually make the relationship better. That’s why when people write and tell me that their spouse “wants space,” I generally tell them to give it. Because doing so allows your spouse a chance to miss you. The quiet and calm allows for a more rational train of thought. The anger and the tension abate because there is no longer anyone to engage with and the loneliness can allow both parties to objectively look at the situation (and any part that he or she played in it.) So, know that it’s actually quite common to see the situation differently once you’ve had a bit of time and distance.
Just Because I Miss Him, This Doesn’t Mean That Our Problems Will Go Away: I have to be honest, I’m a huge proponent of saving marriages. That’s even more so when one of the parties begins to experience old feelings or begins to acknowledge the void that being without the other person has left. So, I fully believe that if you have these feelings, you should at least be open to thinking a bit more about where you want this to go rather than just shutting the door.
But, when I tell women this they’ll often tell me things like “OK, admittedly I miss him, but there are still huge amounts of problems in this marriage. Good intentions are one thing, but the reality is another. We just can’t seem to make it work.” Yes, but today is a new day. It’s quite possible that the time and distance I keep harping on has helped you to see things in a new light. And, I’ll tell you a little secret, often times, people who are trying to save marriages put the cart before the horse.
Focusing On The Feelings Between You Rather Than Trying To Fix The Problems Immediately: What I mean by “placing the cart before the horse” is that so often people will roll up their sleeves, grit their teeth, and commit to “working on the marriages.” The problem with this is that by the time most people reach this point, they are disconnected, no longer deeply bonded, and more than a little annoyed with each other. Working on your problems is difficult, but working on them when both of you aren’t feeling deep feelings of connection, affection and intimacy, is like trying to hit a moving target. This just doesn’t seem like a whole lot of fun.
Instead, I often tell people to first just try to restore some positive feelings between you. Don’t even worry about trying to define where it is going or whether you’re reconciling or getting back together. Don’t put this kind of pressure on yourself. Instead, just admit the fact that you’re missing him, tell him if you decide to, and focus on spending some time together to see what happens. Don’t worry about what is to come. Just know that this person is a very important factor in your life and you want to see if maybe some time together will bring light to the fact that things could potentially change.
You don’t need to have deep discussions of dwell on and on about what went wrong. In fact, I’d avoid this altogether. Just focus on light hearted interactions that don’t allow for much pressure but do have the potential for a lot of fun. You’re trying to see if there’s any chance for baby steps forward. Let one encounter build upon the other. It shouldn’t take long under this scenario for it to become pretty clear where you stand. But, at least entertain the possibility so that at the end of the day, you’ll know that you did all you could and didn’t ignore the feelings that are trying desperately to get your attention.