There are many difficult situations one must navigate during a marital separation. Here is a common one: You been asked to give your husband space. You know that you should comply. However, once you do, how will you ever reconcile? If you rarely see him and no one is calling or visiting, how can you ever reconnect?

A wife might say, "my husband has made it very clear that he wants to be left alone right now. He basically wants nothing to do with me. He doesn't call. He doesn't come around. If there is any communication, it comes from me. Most of the time, he rebuffs my attempts to communicate and asks me to give him space. I've tried to ignore these requests, but he's dug in his heels. Sometimes, the more I try to communicate with him, the more he pulls away. So it has become clear that I need to back off. But I worry that once I do, a reconciliation is off of the table. How can a couple save their marriage when the husband never calls or comes around?"

Well, I managed to do it. But it wasn't easy. (More on that here.) So my answer may not be what you want to hear. You have to do it gradually and deliberately. This means that the process may take time. But it is not impossible. And when done right, your marriage and your reconciliation will actually work.

Take Tiny, Gradual Gifts: I know that it feels like you will never get to see or talk to your husband. However, the universe has a way of ensuring that you will. Often, special occasions will surface. Mutual friends will intervene. There are many possibilities. Sometimes, it feels like you are just waiting for one of these things to happen. That's okay because any small delay gives you time to work on yourself while waiting. You will need to seize opportunities to connect with your husband when they come. Anything that makes you stronger for that opportunity is worth pursuing.

Work On Yourself: You never know when you may run into your husband. You can't gage when you might get the opportunity to speak with him. So make yourself as strong as possible in the meantime. Try to see yourself as someone who is lying in wait. One day, that opportunity is going to come, and when it does, you will be ready. What can you do in the meantime to ensure that you are the stronger version of yourself once this happens? I can only speak for myself. But I did strength training, pursued counseling, and took some classes during my own separation. I wanted to feel and look stronger so that I'd have more confidence once I interacted with my husband.

Stay Busy With Productive Activities: I know that it may feel like you're just treading water and waiting. But you can change this dynamic. Do not just wait around. Stay busy with productive activities. If your husband hears about your new schedule, great! He may be intrigued about the changes you are making. Go to the gym. Read those books on the shelf. Hang out with friends. Volunteer. Join a community club. Do not become isolated and introverted. Keep yourself upbeat and busy, so that this time seems like an opportunity rather than a burden.

Know When To Nudge A Separated Husband: I will admit that sometimes, I would determine that too much time had gone by between communications with my separated husband. Once this happened, I had a decision to make. I could do nothing and allow more time to pass. Or I could very carefully attempt to nudge my husband into communication. Often, my decision would depend upon my husband's recent attitude. Sometimes, I would send a quick text like, "It's been a while since we've spoken. I just wanted to make sure everything is okay?"

Sometimes, I would only get a quick response back, which would lead to nothing. Other times, he would actually call me, and we'd have a productive conversation. Occasionally, the exchange went so well that he would reach out to me again shortly after my nudge.

This technique can work very well, but you must be careful. This is a tricky balancing act. If you don't get the response that you want, then you must back off and wait a while before trying again. If you get a positive response, then you must refrain from getting too excited and pushing. Because if you push too much, you may end up exactly where you started (or worse.)

Know That A Perception of Scarcity Can Work: Quite frankly, my separation changed once I gave my husband exactly what he wanted - lots of space. I got frustrated with him wanting next to nothing to do with me, so I took a trip to visit family. I knew that this would force me to give him space. Much to my shock, he started calling me. More on that here.) This reinforced my suspicion that creating scarcity can actually work for you.

I am stressing scarcity because I want you to see that your husband not "calling or coming around" might actually be a gift, at least initially. I know that it doesn't feel that way. But sometimes, you have to work with what you have. And when the choice is to push and have him shut down or give him space and live to fight another day, I think it is obvious what your best play is.

You can read the whole story of how I went from very little contact to saving my marriage on my blog at:

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