Many wives have separated husbands who are saying one thing in front of the kids, but are then saying different things behind closed doors.  Many times, the husband will put on a happy face or paint a positive picture about getting back together when the children are around.  But, when the children are gone, he will change his stance or he won't do anything to follow up on his claims. These mixed messages can be extremely frustrating and hurtful.

One of these wives might explain: "my husband and I have been separated for four months.  We have made some progress, but there are still issues that we need to work out.  However, every time we go out together as a family, my husband will give our children lots of hope that we are getting back together.  He will allude to when he gets home and how we are going to do all sorts of things together as a family.  But, when the kids aren't around, he will back off of these claims and he never makes any move to come home or to back up his promises.  I'm starting to wonder if he's only saying these things for the benefit of the kids when he doesn't really mean any of it.  Should I call him on these claims or demand that he finally makes good on his promises?  I just don't know how to handle this. The mixed messages are driving me crazy." I'll tell you my take on this in the following article.

He May Well Be Putting On A Happy Face For The Sake Of The Kids, But This Doesn't Necessarily Mean That He's Lying:  It's not uncommon for husbands to try to make things seem a little more hopeful when you are around the kids, or even when he wants to make you happy.  He's often well aware that the separation is hurtful and stressful to his family and he may want to make things better.   So he may let some positive phrases about the future slip.  But when he doesn't make any attempt to act on these promises, the wife can start to believe that he was lying or that he was stretching the truth for the sake of the kids.  This isn't always the case.

Sometimes, he really does see positive things happening in the future.  Or, he may be hopeful that things are going to improve so much between you that the things he's bringing up are actually possible.  What many wives do not realize is that the husband is seeing things in the distant, rather than the immediate, future.  Many men will tell you that when they have these types of conversations, they are not alluding to next week.  They are alluding to that time in the future when things will have improved so much that everyone knows that it is the right time for him to return back home. He is assuming that things will continue to improve at the same pace that they have been.  That's why I think it's sometimes a bad idea to demand that he make good on his claims or accuse him of stretching the truth.  In my experience, any bit of hope is a good sign.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Is Sending Mixed Signals About The Separation Or Divorce:  I understand that this is a frustrating situation.  I've been there myself and I know that when your husband says things that get your hopes up, then you automatically want your situation to improve and change immediately.  When they doesn't happen, you can begin to ask yourself if you're seeing things that aren't there or if he's just playing with your emotions.  And it's also normal to take these frustrations out on him and to ask him why it is taking him so long to actually take some action toward coming home. (I did this and it backfired. More on at that here.)

Don't Thwart Yourself: It's important to understand that calling him on his claims or pressuring him to take some action can actually make it less likely that you are going to get what you want.  Your husband could well be giving positive signals because, although he feels hopeful about the future, he wants to see things continue to improve between you.  But when you add in conflict to an already delicate situation, you run the risk of him thinking that he was wrong about the progress that you were making.  And as a result, he might change his mind or begin to think of you or the situation negatively.  Both of these things usually mean that he will take longer to come home, if he even comes home at all.

It is so much better to try to have some patience, and talk to him about your concerns.  You can say this in a direct but nonconfrontational way.  The next time he says things about getting back together in front of your kids, you might wait until you're alone to follow up.  And you may want to say something like: "it makes us happy when you speak positively about the future. I hope this means that you're happy with the positive strides we're made and expect to see even more.  I hope we both have the same goal of your coming home when things have improved enough to make us both comfortable that when we do reconcile, our marriage is going to be a happy one that lasts.  I hope that you'll communicate with me if there's anything that concerns you about coming home.  In the meantime, let's just enjoy being together and focus on continuing to make progress."

Hopefully, you see that this message lets him know that you are anxious for him to come home, but it also lets him know that you understand that he needs to continue to see progress to move forward.  This reassures him that you aren't going to pressure him or act in such a way to halt or stall your progress.  And this is going to help your cause more than trying to rush him along.

I do understand wanting to get your husband to come home as soon as possible.  Getting my husband home was my primary goal when we were separated.  But my pressure actually pushed him further away.  It wasn't until I backed off and gave the appearance of patience that he came closer.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at

Author's Bio: 

There are links to more articles about saving your marriage at