Marriage starts with "til death do you part", but sometimes it doesn't work out so smoothly. Separation can give spouses time and space to consider what they want from the marriage. Put effort into reconciling your marriage and rekindling the love you share with your spouse after a reconciliation. Whether you've been apart weeks or months, get your relationship off on the right foot and build a bond that will last for many happy years.
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Talk about what changed for both of you during the separation. Address the issue that drove you apart head on, whether it was economics, lifestyle choices or infidelity. Pushing problems back makes rekindling your marriage difficult because one of you may be holding on to past hurts.
Decide how you want to bring your marriage back together as a couple. If you want to immediately move back in together, that's OK -- but it's also fine to have a few dates every week to get close to each other again. Create a plan that explains who is responsible for what, whether it's nightly calls, bills or planning dates. Make everything clear and comfortable so there are no questions about what's happening between the two of you.
Plan real dates. Don't just go over bills; attend work functions and have dinner together. Plan a picnic, visit a museum or have a meal at a restaurant with candles. Dance. Do things together that you did early in your courtship.
Start a project together. Whether it's taking hang-gliding lessons or putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle, a project will give you a shared goal and, ultimately, a shared sense of accomplishment.
Touch each other as much as you're comfortable. Touching helps reaffirm the passion that you once shared and rekindles new feelings of passion. Hug, touch each other on the cheek and stroke the other's hair.
Write a letter for your spouse to find once every week. Keep it free of criticism and full of the love you feel for him. Ask him to do the same for you. Take note of his small mannerisms that make you smile. Note down sweet things he did for you or times he made you feel good.
Tips and warnings
- Consider writing and signing a declaration of recommitment to your marriage, especially if infidelity drove you and your spouse apart. Clearly stated intentions can help quell feelings of unease.
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- "The Northern Star"; You Can Be Happier, It Just Takes Practice; Helen Hawkes; June 2011