Often, when you are separated, your greatest obstacle seems to be getting your separated husband to be willing to come back home. Many wives hope that if they can just find a way to overcome this obstacle, then things will just fall back into place once he returns home where he belongs. But what happens when it doesn't?

I might hear from a wife who says: "my husband left our home about three months ago. He had been struggling in many areas of his life. His job was going poorly. His mother was nagging him. He had a health scare. When he decided to move out, I really felt that things couldn't get much worse for us. But then he told me that he was leaving because he wasn't sure of his feelings for me. This devastated me. But I tried very hard not to make excuses. I tried to place my focus on not doing anything to alienate him further. I made sure to call him regularly. And I would see him every opportunity that he would allow it. The whole time, I was trying to remind him of what he loved about me (and hopefully still does.) This seemed to be working, so I started leaning hard on him to come home and see for himself that the feelings were still there. He resisted this at first, but I kept giving him gentle reminders. Finally, I got him to agree to come back home on a trial basis to see if I could prove to him that the spark was back. He reluctantly agreed to this, but he was honest the whole time, and he told me that he wasn't sure that I was going to be happy with the outcome. I admit that all I was concerned about at the time was just getting him to come home. Well, he has been home for about four weeks. And last night, he told me that the feelings just weren't there for him. The feelings are most definitely still there for me. I have never loved him more, and I begged him not to make a snap decision. He says that he is staying put for now but that he can't promise me that he won't ultimately leave. He says that romantic feelings are very important in terms of a marriage. I agree that this is important. But I think if we address all of the things that are stressing him out, we can get the feelings back. Am I wrong to make this assumption?"

Not necessarily. In fact, I am still married today because I was able to restore the feelings between my husband and I during our separation. I don't want to make this sound like an easy or short process because it most certainly was not. In fact, there were times when I was sure our marriage was over. But, it turned out that it wasn't. (You can read that entire story by clicking here.)

Of course, every situation is different. And I have no ability to read this husband's mind or to guess at his plans or motivations. However, I think that it is probably a fair assumption that he is uncertain about the future, but is discouraged that he's not feeling what either of you hoped that he would.

Stress Really Can Play A Role: I believe that the wife's perceptions were good in that the husband's stressors could well have been contributing to his perceived lack of emotions. Here is why. It's hard to feel deep romantic feelings when you have shut down most of your feelings to protect yourself from stress. This may have been the case here. But, when the stressors are lessened or even removed, then he will feel liberated to deeply feel without fear or hesitation.

But, since you can't possibly know what is going to happen with each and every situation, I believe that the best course of action is to try to keep a positive and loving attitude and ask him if you can help to lighten his load in some areas. He may or may not take you up on this, but at least your focus stays where it should be.

Confidence Is Conducive To Loving Feelings: No matter how tempting it may be, don't let your insecurity show and don't repeatedly ask him about his feelings. This just adds yet another stressor to what he is already dealing with. You are more likely to have a good result if you go into this with confidence that deep down, your husband still loves you and is going to come to realize this when his stressful situations improve. You may have already reacted badly and shown him your fear and disappointment. But tomorrow is another day.  You get a new opportunity each and every day.  He's still in the house. So you can start with a fresh slate tomorrow.  You don't need to overdo it or try too hard, but you shouldn't approach it like it's already a failure. Have a positive attitude with an expectation that things will eventually fall into place. I know that it can be a challenge to pull this off. But it's also a challenge to get him back after he leaves again. My suggestion would be to try to avoid that if you can.

Regardless of what happens in the near future, it's always advisable to look at the long term also. Sure, you want him happy at home tomorrow and the next day. But ultimately, you want a healthy, happy, and stable marriage next year. So try very hard not to panic and to overreact because both of these things could compromise the long term outcome.

I do understand how much it hurts when your spouse is telling you that the feelings just aren't there.  But my situation is a testament to the fact that, given a little time and the right circumstances, the feelings can returnIf it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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