It’s not unusual for a wife to become very frustrated and unsure when she is struggling against the marital separation that only her husband wanted. Often, she starts out trying everything in her power to get him to change his mind about the separation (or at the very least to get him to open up to her.) She will often try this for a reasonably long period of time until she becomes so discouraged that she throws up her hands and backs away for just a bit. She often thinks that all has been lost and that the situation has finally become too much.
Imagine her surprise then, when all of a sudden her husband begins contacting her – usually without a lot of warning. The wife is usually thrilled to hear from him. But she hesitates to show her enthusiasm. Because it isn’t lost on her that this change of attitude from her husband has come only after she essentially “gave up” and stopped reaching out to him. This can leave him wondering how she should proceed.
I might hear from a wife who says: “for six months, I reached out to my husband after he left me. The last thing that I wanted was a divorce. That was the most awful thing that could have happened in my mind. So I kept trying to talk to him. I kept calling. I kept texting. When my husband wouldn’t respond to me, I started calling his mom. Finally, my husband contacted me and told me that I was overdoing it and that I was actually making him less likely to want to see or talk to me. That was a difficult conversation and I felt extremely rejected. And he continued to pretty much ignore me. I started to feel as if there were no hope for us. Quite honestly, this made me feel very sad and I started to withdrawal. I just stopped trying to make any progress during our separation. As a result, I stopped calling. I stopped trying to reach out to my husband to get his attention. This went on for about three weeks. Then one day my husband called me. At first, I thought that he was only doing this because he felt guilty about our last conversation. So we talked, but I didn’t make very much out of it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But then he continued to call. And he has called every day since then. He even jokes around with me now and we laugh. I am not quite sure how to handle this because I had given up. What am I supposed to do now? How do I play this?”
This Is A Promising Situation, But Consider Using At Least Some Restraint: How you play this is ultimately your decision. No one can make it but you. However, as someone who has been through a very similar situation, I can share some realizations that I came away with. I too had almost completely given up on my marriage. I finally left my husband alone. And I too was completely shocked when this seemed to draw him to me. I hear from a lot of women in this situation and, without any doubt, the biggest mistake that people make here is that they move too quickly. They hope that his interest is going to lead to a reconciliation and they suddenly begin to act as if this is a sure thing which is imminent.
But, you have to realize that your husband may still have some doubts. He may just want to gradually begin talking again to see where it leads (without a lot of pressure.) But when you assume that this means a sure reconciliation, this can (and often does) cause a husband to stop calling and to stop reaching out. Often, he would rather pull back than to feel pressure or to risk disappointing you in the future.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race: That is why it’s my opinion that you are often going to fare much better if you continue to take things slow. Let him continue to call you for a while. It’s best if he is the one who initiates face to face meetings, but this would be the next logical step. If a lot of time goes by and he still hasn’t asked to see you, then you might casually see if you wants to meet you for coffee or something else that can be kept very light and casual. You don’t want him to think that you are jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. For now, you just want him to continue to reach out to you.
Understand That He May Still Be Uncertain: It’s important to understand his mind set. Often, when you pull back, this makes him realize that he has pushed you away when that probably isn’t exactly what he wanted. He may have realized that he is not yet ready to say goodbye to you forever, which is great news. But he may also not be entirely clear as to whether or not he’s ready to proceed with more than just talking at this point. So you don’t want to draw a line in the sand and make him chose when he is not ready for that. Instead, you want to continue along at a pace that is comfortable. And you want to build on what you can.
If he is being receptive and jovial, then I would say keep right on doing what you are doing and let him be the one to take it to the next level. There is no need to derail what seems to be working.