Not only do you need to spot the signs my separated wife wants to reconcile, perhaps even more importantly you need to know what to do when you spot them. The signs are just the first step and you’re walking a tightrope here.
Some signs she wants to reconcile are going to be more obvious than others. From how and when she initiates contact and how she acknowledges your past together to the questions she asks you.
Let’s look at the statistics on moving back in after separation, the signs to look for (both the positive and negative) and what you can do to help things.
Do Separated Couples Get Back Together?
I’ll show you the stats in a moment but please remember stats only give us a snapshot of information – not the full story.
The statistics are higher than most people expect but they are still against you. The thing to remember is that in most of these cases neither party makes any attempt to fix things. The fact that you’re here tells me at least one of you wants to reconcile and you absolutely have a chance.
What Are the Chances of Reconciliation After Separation?
Bear with me on this one… but statistically, you have a 20% chance to get back together. The vast majority of separations end in divorce.
This number includes marriages whether neither wants to get back together in the first place and even then 40% of these divorces later feel it was preventable and a further 6% get back together after the divorce.
In short: there’s absolutely a chance you can reconcile and that’s even more likely if one (or both) of you genuinely makes the effort sooner rather than later.
If you’d like a little help beating these numbers then let’s talk more specifically about your marriage. Take a moment to tell me what you’re going through and let me help.
Length of Separation
Roughly 10% of all married couples in America say they’ve experienced some form of separation in a marriage so it’s not as uncommon as you might think.
50% of separations stay apart for at least a year before committing to a divorce and 16% of them remain separated for 3+ years.
Signs Your Separated Wife Wants to Reconcile
Think of these signs as guidelines and not hard-set rules.
Whether by phone, instant message, in person or through a third party. Hell, she could be using smoke signals. The more personal the contact, the better she might want to hear your voice or just know you’re still in her life.
If she’s initiating the contact (even if it’s just to scream at you) it’s one of the best signs she wants to reconcile. It could be as simple as a “hello” or she might find a convoluted reason to speak to you while maintaining her pride.
Whatever the reason or medium, you should always respond positively. Yes, even she did just call up to yell at you – if she gets a positive response she’s more likely to initiate contact again.
I’ll cover some basics on what to say a little further down but don’t try and force anything too soon. The more positive the interaction, you’ll get another chance at further communication.
I know it’s easier to say – but try not to let your emotions call the shots here. If she’s initiating contact it’s not an opportunity you want to waste.
She Wants to Spend Time With You
This is a step up from the previous sign and if it follows on from contact there’s a very strong possibility your wife wants to get back together.
Again, she might find various reasons to give you (and herself) here but it’s always a good sign and if she’s the one initiating anything other than a completely necessary meeting it’s a great sign she wants you back.
Again, make sure you remain open to meeting with her and patient throughout. It’s a good time to talk but a poor time to draw a line in the sand and remove the chance for further contact entirely.
She Talks About the Past
This one might be a little more subtle and you’ll might have to spot the hints in conversations if they’re not more overt. If she wants to talk about the positives in your past or your history together in a positive limelight you’ll maybe hear statements like:
- That was the best.
- I really enjoyed…
- I wish we could again…
You get the idea. It’s not the exact words that matter it’s her looking at your time together favorably.
Bonus: She Goes Out of Her way
This one is just too easy.
Nobody is that nice that they’re going out of their way for their separated spouse unless they still care for them.
If she’s going out of her way to help you, do thoughtful things or just generally has you in mind then your wife wants to reconcile. She’s trying to get your attention and keep you in her life.
As with the other signs, respond positively and openly. If you’re seeing this sign it’s time to jump straight ahead to how we can end the separation.
What Do You Say to a Separated Wife?
It’s tough to give a complete roadmap for exactly what to say but I have written several pieces on how to come back from separation.
If you’re spotting some of the positive signs above then (in broad strokes) I’d suggest:
- Talk openly and honestly about the things which were both good and bad in your relationship. No ego, no rose-tinted glasses. If you want this to work we need the good, bad and the ugly.
- Talk about her life during separation. Tell her what you already know (things mutual friends might have told you for example) and ask the things you want to know. Respect any boundaries she puts up.
- Talk about any changes either of you have been through since separating.
- If there’s another man (or woman) in the picture touch on the subject but don’t let it become the complete focus of the conversation.
Reconciliation after separation doesn’t happen overnight. While I never suggest just sitting back and crossing your fingers you’re also going to need to practice a little patience here.
As one of the most impatient people in the world myself, I know that can be hard to hear but you’re going to need to find that balance between giving you both space and not allowing things to become stale.
Signs She Doesn’t Want to Reconcile After Separation
Again, think of these as ideas and not rules. Your wife might be desperate to give it another chance and still display all of these signs. Separation and divorce are emotionally charged times and her actions might not be entirely logical – even to herself.
I’ve looked in more detail at signs a marriage cannot be saved before and, in general, I rarely say it’s time to completely give up. The fact that you separated and didn’t immediately go straight to divorce is already a better sign than a lot of couples go through. Just because you do see any of these signs I don’t want you immediately giving up hope or to stop making an effort.
There’s Someone Else
If she’s dating someone else it doesn’t instantly mean she doesn’t want to reconcile but obviously it’s not a great sign. It might just be that she wants to get your attention and see if you’ll react or it might genuinely be that she’s moving on.
We could both sit all day guessing at this one but the truth is your reaction should always be the same. Be respectful and see what happens. If you’re talking then don’t pretend that there isn’t someone else – but don’t pry.
You can ask how it’s going but don’t push for details she doesn’t want to give.
There’s Radio Silence
Again, there can be many different reasons for this but the less contact there is the less likely reconciliation is going to be. If she doesn’t want to talk to you at all it’s really going to limit your opportunity to deal with the problems.
You can’t force contact here. If she’s not making contact in the first place then it’s going to be up to you to put aside your ego and be the one to make the first move. Make sure she knows you’re available to talk without fighting.
Reach out from time to time starting with small things. Don’t pressure her and absolutely no drunken voicemails.
Journal of Marriage in the Family, Feb. 1994
Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 29, 1993: 131-46