Many separated wives notice a transformation in their separated husband. They can't deny that he's actually a more pleasant person than he was before the separation. This would almost seem like a positive transformation - if the wife herself could enjoy it. You see, often the wife can't help but notice that the sudden, new and improved version of her husband is available to everyone except for her.

She might say, "I am not saying that my husband was a bad guy before we separated. He wasn't. But, as things worsened in our marriage, he got a little snippy and sarcastic. He would take his frustrations out on others. Now that we are officially living apart, several people have approached me and commented on the positive changes in my husband. Honestly, my husband has never been a particularly optimistic person. I wouldn't say he's a constant pessimist, but he can be very serious sometimes. He can also be a worrier. However, now that our separation is in place, it's almost like he's a different person - a bright ray of sunshine. He's much more upbeat and demonstrative, to almost everyone, except for me. He's much more loving to our children. He is much more patient with coworkers. However, when we interact or when he is around me, he is his same old sour self. If I were to also be the beneficiary of this new attitude, we might have a better chance of saving our marriage. But, for whatever reason, he seems determined to only allow me only access to his regular, downtrodden self. Why would he be nice to everyone but me? Is the separated spouse always the bad guy?"

I can certainly speculate as to reasons that he might be keeping his kinder side hidden from you, but they'd only be speculations. However, if any of the following possibilities ring true for you, I'd suggest keeping a close eye on this and perhaps following up with your counselor (if you have one) or on your own with an honest conversation.

He May Be Reluctant To Show You His Relief: Please don't take this the wrong way and hear me out. It's actually somewhat common for people to sort of breathe a sigh of relief once the separation starts. Often, there is quite a lot of emotional currency tied up in the decision to separate. There can also be quite a lot of dread, guilt, and hesitation. So, when the separation actually happens, all of that can sort of be let down. If you and your spouse were expending a lot of energy arguing, debating, or tiptoeing around this topic, no longer having that be front and center of your life can also feel a little liberating. Now, this feeling may not last forever. But there can be an initial, but fleeting, sense of relief. And that maybe what he is feeling right now. But he might feel guilty for experiencing the relief, so he may be pulling that back from you, which is why you're seeing his old personality.  I definitely saw this in my own husband when we separated (That story is here.)

He May Be Still Displaying His Resentment Or Anger (And Punishing You For It:) Sometimes, a separation becomes necessary because there are irksome or troubling issues that have cropped up in your marriage. Despite your best efforts, these issues may feel somewhat insurmountable, which can lead to a sense of frustration. This frustration, can, of course, manifest itself as anger and nastiness. Occasionally, a person will unknowingly punish the person who they feel has caused that frustration with not-so-desirable behavior. The good news in all of this is that if you can work through the issues that are causing the unhappiness, then the resentment and anger should fade and, when it does, you might then get to enjoy that improved behavior just like everyone else.

He May Be Using His Behavior To Keep You At A Distance (At Least Until He Figures Out What He Wants:) Many newly-separated spouses aren't exactly sure what they are feeling or what they want. Sometimes, when they spend time around their spouse, they keep their emotional walls up, because they suspect that you want to know how they feel or what they want, but they aren't sure what to tell you since they truly don't know. As a result, they may be somewhat cold and distant because they are trying to keep things at an emotional distance until they are sure about what they want or about how they feel. Sometimes, this distance can come off as a bit rude, when this isn't always their intention.  This was definitely true for me.  My husband could come off as a real jerk during my separation. (More here.)

He May Not Realize That He's Doing This: Finally, if you were to confront your husband about his behavior, you might be surprised that he may sincerely tell you that he has no idea what you are talking about. Separations are very difficult. We tend to be on our guard when dealing with our separated spouse because this is all such an emotional landmine. It could be that he doesn't intend to act coldly toward you, but his feelings about the separation are influencing his behavior. Since YOU are the one that he is separated from, this behavior is going to bleed through toward you and no one else.

Suggestions: So how do you handle this? I don't think that you want to be confrontational when you address this. And, it's always an option to just wait for a few more days to see if it improves. Sometimes, his behavior will improve once emotions are not quite so fresh. However, if you do feel the need to bring this to his attention, you might try something like, "Have I done something to offend you? Because I can't help but notice that lately, your disposition has improved toward everyone but me. I am not sure why this would be the case, so I want to make sure that I haven't done anything to make you frustrated or angry. If so, I want to fix it."

This approach does a couple of things for you. It brings your husband's behavior to his attention because I honestly think that it's a possibility that he doesn't realize that he's doing this. Second, it invites him to put his cards on the table. If he is frustrated about something, you've invited him to bring it out into the open so that it can be addressed.

Author's Bio: 

Many times, this situation will improve as your relationship does - so make it a priority to actually use the separation to save your marriage. Once I realized that I could actually do this, things changed for me and my husband and I were able to reconcile. That story is here: