Having your spouse move back in after a trial separation is a goal that most of us are hoping for more than anything else.  That is the day that is marked in red on your calendar.  That is the day that is going to seem like Christmas morning and your birthday all rolled into one.

But as the day looms large, you can start to worry about it.  Many of us are aware that this might be our one and only chance to reconcile with our husband.  What if something goes wrong?  What if him moving home ends up in disaster?  Because of these worries, people sometimes want to break the process down into steps to make sure that they are doing everything that they possibly can to be successful.

Someone may ask this question: "Are there any steps that I can take to ensure that my separated husband's return home is seamless and successful?  I have waited for this day for so long. I know that we need to be able to successfully reconnect. And I truly do not want to mess things up and cause stress by overthinking it.  But I can not help myself.  The stakes are really, really high right now.  I feel like I only have one chance to make this right.  What steps can I take to make sure it all goes the way that it should?"

I can certainly offer some suggestions.  And frankly, I wish I had taken some of these steps myself.  My husband and I successfully reconciled when he moved back home.  But there were a couple of bumps and missteps along the way.

Make Sure That There Is A Firm Commitment To Reconnecting And Then Reconciling:  This is very important.  Sometimes, we sort of hound our husband to come back home before he is quite ready or willing to do so.  We rush the process.  And although he may have come home eventually anyway, by rushing, we know in our hearts that he isn't completely on board.  And this makes us worry that perhaps he isn't as enthusiastic as he should be.  Having him move back in is challenging enough without worrying about whether he truly wants to be there. That's why I recommend waiting until it's very clear that the time is right and that his moving back in is what you both want without reservations.

Be Clear On How It Is Going To Work.  And Don't Stop The Plan That's Already In Place:  There is a real temptation to declare that everything is fixed once he moves back in and then to fall back to your normal, struggling marriage.  I strongly urge you to resist this temptation.  If you fall back into your old marriage, you may too fall back into your old problems.  This isn't what you want.

It's important that you both know what to expect and that anything that you've been doing to heal your marriage continues.  If you've been in counseling, stay there for a little while during this transition.  If you've been regularly working on your issues on your own, keep right at it.  Now is not the time to let your guard down. Additional small issues will often crop up initially.  Having this sort of plan in place ensures that you will be able to work through them with confidence and that you won't allow additional problems to crop up unchecked.

Try To Do It Somewhat Gradually:  I think that it's ideal to have him move back into the home in phases so that it is not so overwhelming.  Start with a night or two.  Then move on to weekends.  Then allow the weekends to spill over some.  Eventually, it will just be a natural progression for him to stay permanently.  This allows you to get a peek at any issues that might come up and it just makes the transition a little easier on everyone. (I think this strategy is a huge reason my husband and I made it during to reconciliation. Of course I wanted him to move back home immediately. But it was right to do it gradually. (You can read that whole story by clicking here.)

Never Stop Checking In On Your Marriage:  I don't want to tell you to overanalyze everything and not enjoy your reconciliation.  But I can't overstate the importance of taking the pulse of your marriage (and how you are both feeling) regularly when he moves back in.  Know what is working well and what is not.  And be willing to tweak as necessary.  Be honest. And be flexible.  It's tempting to brush over the problems. But, in truth, that is the worst thing that you can do.  Identify the issues quickly and have the courage to bring them into the light and erase them.  Encourage your husband to be very honest about what he is feeling.  Because you can't address issues if you are both not honest about them when they come up. That said, HAVE FUN. This should be a delicious time of rediscovery.  It's rare to have this opportunity of enjoying a relationship that feels new.

Don't Hold Back: It's so normal to be guarded and closed off when he comes home.  You're so nervous that it is all going to go wrong. You can almost shut down because of this.  Remember that you're finally getting what you have been waiting for.  This is truly a cause for celebration and happiness.  Sure, you don't want to overstep and assume that you are home free.  There is certainly a lot of work that still needs to be done.  But look at the progress that you have made.  There should be pride and hope in that. Allow yourself to savor it.

As I said, I could have taken my own advice.  My husband and I had bumps along the way.  But frankly, I was just so grateful that we had reconciled.  Because for a long time, it appeared that we never would.  But we made our reconciliation work and we are still together.  You can read more of that on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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