Florida does not recognize legal separation, but a married couple who wants to spend time apart before getting a divorce can certainly live separate lives on their own accord. In many cases, the couples decide they like being apart from each other and eventually move forward with divorce. In some cases, though, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes couples realize that they do love each other and want to make things work.
Moving back in and reuniting with your spouse after separation should be the ultimate goal for estranged couples. However, this only occurs in about 13% of separations. Most couples will end up divorcing.
If you do want to reconcile, then you need to make it count. You and your spouse will likely pick a day to get back together and see how things work. This might be your last shot at resolving the important issues that led to the separation in the first place.
It takes honesty and discussion to make reconciliation happen. You need to put all the cards on the table and discuss the issues, whether they be addiction, infidelity, abuse, irresponsibility, or financial issues.
While that is a huge part of it, there is a lot more involved in a successful reconciliation. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Don’t Be Pressured
The only two people who should be involved in your reconciliation are you and your spouse. Do not let anyone else get involved. Friends and family members should not have a say in what you do with your marriage. Nobody should pressure you to reconcile or divorce.
Don’t Rush It
If you do decide to reconcile, you do not need to rush things. You should not even return to married life right away. It may take some time to rekindle the love you two had. You may even have to start all over again. Start fresh by going on dates. Get to know each other once again. Then, once things can get to where they were when you were first married, you can live together like husband and wife.
Keep it Secret
There is no need to tell anyone about what’s going on. That will only invite unwanted opinions. You will have your “expert” friends telling you what you should and should not do. This only complicates the process. Plus, it causes confusion for everyone involved, especially children. There is no need to keep putting family members through multiple separations if you are not sure things will work out. Keep it private until you and your spouse decide for sure to reconcile and move back in together.
Determine What You Both Need
You both will need to make some changes to repair the marriage and move forward. Determine what you need from your spouse, whether it be more help around the house, helping out financially, more date nights, or better communication. Voice your concerns to your spouse.
Remember that your relationship must be a give-and-take. You will also need to make compromises of your own. What does your partner need from you? Put their needs above your own if you want your marriage to work out.
If You are Cheating, Stop
If the separation was due to infidelity, this needs to stop immediately. You need to cut them out of your life. You need to make it clear to this person that you are going back to your spouse and you are going to be faithful. You will need to work out your marriage without distraction. You owe this to your spouse. Do not try to continue a secret relationship if you want to stay married.
Do not be afraid to seek counseling to restore your marriage. In fact, if you have separated, marriage counseling is recommended so you can learn how to communicate better and get advice on how to trust one another again. Your counselor is unbiased, so they can help you work through any issues you have had in the past without taking sides.
Learn to Forgive
Forgiveness is crucial when reconciling after a separation. This will be one of the key ingredients in a successful reconciliation. You have to agree to forgive if you plan to get back together. This means you cannot keep bringing up the past when you argue with your spouse. You will need to create a fresh start together, and this means moving forward with an unblemished reputation. If you cannot forgive, then you are not ready to reconcile your marriage. Stay apart until you are ready to accept your partner’s mistakes.
Give it Your Best Shot
Both you and your spouse need to put 110% effort into getting your marriage back on track. If only one person is putting in the effort or you are both just going through the motions, then your reconciliation will not be a success.
All you can do is try your very best. Be ready to make changes. Be open and honest with your spouse. Seek counseling to help with the process. If that does not work, then it is probably best to end your marriage.
Seek Legal Help
Spending time apart is something couples should consider if they are having marital troubles but are not ready to divorce. Some will reconcile; others will not.
When you are ready to divorce, Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler will be there to guide you through the process. We have 30+ years of experience. To schedule a consultation, call (954) 346-6464 or fill out the online form.