I sometimes hear from people who felt sure that separating and then pursuing a divorce was the best idea. Sometimes, they firmly believe that their marriage is too far gone to save. Other times, they believe that they have fallen out of love with their spouse. But then, at some point during the separation that they felt sure would lead to a divorce, a strange thing begins to happen. They start to miss their spouse. Much to their surprise, they are deeply affected by their spouse’s absence. And they often have no idea what this should mean for their marriage or for their expected a divorce.
I heard from a wife who said: “for the last five years, my husband and I have seriously grown apart. For the past year and a half, I have been closely watching my marriage. Because I was trying to determine if there was anything left and if I should try to save it. I decided that it was truly over because I believed that I felt nothing for my spouse and for my marriage. My husband had a hard time accepting this, so I decided to pursue a separation before filing for divorce. I figured this would give him some time to adjust and would be the best and most kindest way to go about this. I felt like my mind was made up. We’ve been separated for about four weeks. Well, for the last couple of weeks, I have started to miss my husband desperately and I don’t know what to make of this. My best friend says that I just miss him because he had almost become a habit and that this doesn’t mean that I still love him or that I should change my mind about the divorce. But I don’t know if she is right. I find myself thinking of him longingly and remembering some of the good times in our marriage. Is this normal? Is my marriage still over?”
I couldn’t decide if this wife’s marriage should be over or not. This was a decision that only the couple should make. However, if I’m being honest, I think that the wife missing her husband was quite telling and important. I will tell you why below.
Missing Your Spouse During A Separation Means That You Aren’t Indifferent And In My Opinion, This Is Significant: I know that many people will disagree with what I am about to say. But I believe that if you still have some feelings for your spouse, this could potentially mean that your marriage isn’t really over. I believe this is true even if you are feeling negative emotions like anger, frustration, or confusion. Because I think that if you are having any feelings at all, this means that you are still invested in your marriage, even if this frustrates or upsets you.
I know that people will often say that you are missing your spouse simply because your habit has been broken. They will say that splitting up with take some adjustment even if there is nothing left. I actually disagree with this. I believe that feeling nothing or a sense of indifference might be an indication that is over. But this wasn’t the case here.
I find that people who are truly over their partner or their marriage actually feel a sense of peace and acceptance. There is no anger, frustration, longing, or confusion. There just isn’t anything more. Because both people know that they have done all that they could and yet it still wasn’t enough.
I couldn’t tell this wife what she was feeling or why she was feeling it. But it did seem pretty evident to me that she hadn’t yet reached the point of indifference and I believe that this was telling. Of course, this is only my opinion. And the only opinion that really mattered was her own.
Where To Go From Here: Again, this isn’t my decision to make. It truly was the wife’s decision and she would likely have to get still, take some time, and dig deep so that she could listen to what her heart was trying to tell her. This was a serious decision that might strongly impact two lives.
So this is only my opinion, but it seems to me that it makes sense to not rush this. She could just take her time and see if the feelings continued on. I wasn’t sure that she should completely share this with her husband until she was sure of her feelings. Because I have been the spouse who was on the other side of this, and I wouldn’t have wanted for my husband to give me false hope until he was sure.
So I would suggest just remaining present and holding off on filing for a divorce until she was more sure of her feelings. Regardless of whether this relationship was eventually going to end, it is always a good idea to leave things in a positive way. It is always a good idea to maintain a positive relationship with someone who will always be very important to you. So I would suggest not making any rash decisions and to just watch and listen. Your heart might be trying to tell you something and you can’t receive the message if you are not listening and willing to hear what it has to say.