Some people have the unfortunate scenario of having their separation start because of an unfortunate situation. It wasn't just a matter of growing apart or their spouse needing space. It was an issue that made both parties angry and so things went very wrong. As a result, the couple separates on pretty bad terms. Sometimes, both suspect that a divorce might follow. But then something weird happens. One of them reaches out and asks to remain on friendly terms or to be "friends." This can leave the other spouse wondering about possible motivations of "friendship" and whether or not this is a good idea.  On the one hand, they may begrudgingly still care deeply about their spouse. On the other hand, they may suspect that their behavior might have a huge impact on whether or not they are able to reconcile.

Someone might say: "I take some responsibility for my separation. However, if my husband had not been so controlling, I would have not have had to be so secretive. My best friend, who my husband hates, needed money in a very desperate way. I took money out of our joint bank account, thinking that I could replace it before he found out. Well, he did find out and he was furious. But I was furious too because I find it unfair to have to sneak around about money because I've earned a good deal of what is in our bank account. So I resent having to tiptoe around since I'm spending my own money. I feel that my husband was being pretty controlling about this. So when he got angry at me, I got angry right back. We called each other some nasty names. We slammed a lot of doors. Then we stopped speaking. We ultimately decided to separate and were not on speaking terms for a couple of weeks.  I honestly thought that it was over for us. I felt bad about this. I mean, if I had my wish, I'd want to stay married, but only if things would change. So, yesterday I got a text from my husband saying that the oil in my car was due for a change and that he would take it in if I wanted because he knew that this was something I never did. I was probably a bit of a jerk when I asked my husband why he even cared. He told me that there is nothing wrong with us still caring about each other and even being friends. Why would he want to be my friend? He's my estranged husband, but he chose that path. Why do separated spouses want to be friends? Is it a bad idea to be friendly?"

Reasons For Remaining Friendly: I desperately wanted to be friends with my separated husband because I wanted to get him back. However, even spouses who aren't sure if they want to reconcile sometimes want to keep this option open. Because sometimes those raw emotions calm down and that hurt begins to heal. At that point, people can begin to feel that it might make sense to remain on friendly terms and just see what happens.

Also, your husband might be looking back at the situation and realizing that he acted a little hastily and he may have some regret. People can do that when they've had some time to think it through. Now that some time has passed, it can be a bit easier to have objectivity and hindsight. He may now realize that you were just trying to be a good friend and were not maliciously trying to steal from him or deceive him. Like you, he may ultimately wish that you could both change some things and one day save your marriage. Remaining on friendly terms is one way to begin this process.

Is It A Good Idea?: Honestly, I think that regardless of what happens going forward, it's never a bad idea to remain on good terms with someone. You never know what tomorrow will bring and life can be difficult enough without adding negative feelings into the mix. No one needs to carry that around if they don't have to. You could always allow him to take your car in for service and then see what happens after that. No one says that you have to reconcile tomorrow. No one says that you have to forget that you'd like for him to not be so controlling with the finances. But I don't see anything wrong with letting him help you with your car as a good-faith gesture and as his way of showing you that he still cares enough about you to want you to have a reliable and well-running car so that you are safe. That's a good place to start and is reassuring.

But to answer the original question, many separated spouses want to remain friends because it's hard to just stop caring about someone that you love. Remaining on good terms is usually the right thing to do and it can lay a groundwork on which you can build a reconciliation later, should you choose to do that. But it can also mean that you don't have to go around with anger in your heart, which can be exhausting and can weigh you down.

There Is Sometimes An Opportunity To Combine Friendship With Reconciliation:  I know that you are not thinking about a reconciliation right now, but oftentimes, the friendly relationship that you've established can be built upon to lead up to reconciliation, although you will admittedly have to be careful about this sometimes.

One huge advantage of being so friendly and cordial is that you have easy access to your husband. He's not ignoring your calls or refusing to see you, which is actually a bit common in separations where the husband chooses to initiate the separation. It's a real advantage that this is not your reality. And, you can use this access in order to start rebuilding your relationship. You just want to be careful that you don't take advantage of this or give your husband the impression that your friendship is only "an in" to move on to the romance and reconciliation if it comes to that.

As I said before, I would have been glad to remain friends with my separated husband.  It would have made getting him back that much easier.  This was not possible at the beginning of our separation, but it was something that I worked toward and eventually achieved.  I also eventually reconciled, but it was not easy.  You can read more at

Author's Bio: 

There are links to more articles about saving your marriage at