I sometimes hear from spouses who, during a separation or break that they themselves had asked for, had the sudden realization as to what a huge mistake they made. I often hear comments like "I'm the one who pushed for the separation. I really thought I'd fallen out of love with my spouse. But, now that we're apart, I realize I still have a tremendous amount of love for him and I don't want to leave this marriage. I now realize that I made a huge mistake but I don't know how to approach this. He begged me to reconsider the separation and I refused. Now, he may be moving on and I don't know how to tell him how stupid I really was."

Of course, many people in this situation worry that this realization has come too late. The real fear is that your spouse has finally come to your way of thinking about the separation when now, that's the last thing you want. In the following article, I'll discuss some suggestions you may want to consider if you in this situation.

Is It Normal To Have Second Thoughts About A Separation?: I think that it can be normal to have second thoughts about any large, life-changing decisions.  That said, people who are completely at peace about separating from their spouse don't read or research articles about regret or second-guessing.  They don't have to because they know that they have made the right decision at the right time and they are able to move on without looking back.  If you can't or aren't doing this, then you may be having second thoughts because you know you haven't done everything in your power to save your marriage before separating.

Realizing Your Mistake About The Separation Late Is Better Than Never Realizing It At All: Many people in this situation fear that it's too late to change their minds. They worry that their spouse will be resentful and will reject them. And, they suspect that this is going to hurt even more because of their change of heart. The truth is, you often don't know what is going to happen and your actions and the way that you approach this could make all of the difference. Not only that, but having a late realization is better than having no realization at all.

Sure, it's not optimal that you didn't realize how much you loved your spouse until you were apart. But, sometimes distance and time are what it takes for this realization to be possible. And, it's better that you come to this conclusion now before things are beyond repair. Your attitude about this can shape the outcome, so try not to beat yourself up too much. You realize your mistake and now is the time to vow to make up for it. Once you've done that, this is really all you can do. It's time to take some action. Unfortunately, you can't turn back time. But you can take responsibility and deal as best as you can with the situation that you've made.

Deciding Whether You're Going To Tell Your Spouse About Your Change Of Heart: I know it's tempting to rush and tell your spouse about your change of heart and beg for their forgiveness. And, if you're sure that they feel the exact same way that you do, this can be logical. But, if your spouse is harboring any confusion, resentment, or uncertainty, then it's sometimes advisable to feel your way before you spring this on them.

And, if nothing has been done to change the issues that lead up to the separation in the first place, you could be setting yourself up for failure. So, it can help to take some inventory of where you are now. Changing feelings and sudden realizations are a good place to start, but they often aren't enough. And, you really only get one chance to broach this subject. So you want to make sure that you have a good handle on how receptive your spouse might be or how they might react. Sometimes, you are better off delaying this conversation until you can begin to rebuild some common ground and the tension begins to wane. You want to begin from a place of strength rather than a place of weakness and you don't want to offer all sorts of promises or realizations that might sound false or get a "too little too late" response.

Many spouses who have been left harbor at least some resentment. It's important that you are aware of this and don't just expect for them to welcome you back with open arms or without any real plan to change things for the better and for the long term.

Building The Groundwork For A Reconciliation: Of course, if you're now realizing that the separation was a mistake, then probably what you want more than anything is to go home and get your old life back. But, gradual changes are often more lasting and believable. I often suggest moving slowly and feeling your way along. Rather than asking to be welcomed back immediately, I believe you'll often have better success if you focus on improving the day to day relationship that you have right now.

Thinking that you're going to overhaul the marriage overnight or unload a huge about-face on your spouse might be asking too much. But if you can slowly begin to change your day to day interactions so that you're both wanting more and building on this, then you'll likely find that when you broach the subject of the mistake that you made, you'll be met with a much more positive reception.

There was a time that I thought it was too late to save my marriage. My husband was the one who wanted the separation but, I knew that, at least from my end, it was not yet time to call it quits. Thankfully, even though I had doubts, I lucked into trying one last thing and this eventually worked. You can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

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