Separation can be a great way to rethink your priorities and get your marriage back on track. Often times, marriages become so difficult and spouses are unable to be in the presence of each other. This is where a trial separation can either make them realize how much they need each other, or let them know that their marriage is over for good. However, if you and your husband are separated and he is dating, this could be a problem.
Often times, it’s hard for people to understand the boundaries of separation. It is possible that your husband simply believes that he is meant to see other people during the separation. However, he could also be seeing someone because he thinks you and him are done. If you want to save your marriage, you should take immediate action.
First, let’s take a look at why your husband may be looking for a new relationship.
Should You Date Other People When Separated?
I have been asked this question many times before, and the answer is always no. Hollywood has imprinted the wrong image of separation in the minds of married couples. People often think of separation as a temporary ‘break up’ from their spouse. They think that this is the time when they should be experimenting with other people.
This is not even close to the truth. When separated, you should take the time to think about your marriage. The purpose of the entire activity is to see if you can get back together, not whether there are better alternatives to your spouse (let’s face it, there might be better people for both you and your husband). Going down that rabbit hole will only put further strain on your relationship.
It is important to remember that although you are separated, you are still married. Dating someone else while your marriage vows are still intact could even be considered cheating.
Lastly, I have noticed that if a separated couple decides to start dating other people, things often become petty and a contest emerges. The husband and the wife do not try to see if there are other people out there that they could be with. Instead, they try to score as many dates as possible in order to ‘one-up’ the other.
Why Would He Date Someone Else?
Separation can be a very effective method for saving a marriage. However, that only works if both the husband and the wife are committed to figuring things out. If your husband is with another woman, then this obviously isn’t helping your marriage get back on track.
Here are four main reasons why your husband may be dating another woman. Try to analyze your marriage and see which one of them makes the most sense.
He Doesn’t Understand the Rules of Separation
It is possible that your husband thinks his relationship is ‘on a break’. If you have seen the hit TV Show Friends, then you will not need any more explanation.
Simply put, your husband may not know that he isn’t supposed to see other people during this time. As such, he may be weighing his options and comparing what’s out there to you.
He is Out for Revenge
Your husband may have bitter feelings towards you. As such, he may purposefully be dating another woman so as to get back at you.
There is a very high chance of this happening if you cheated on him. Although he may have agreed to a separation in lieu of a divorce, he may still not have gotten over your betrayal.
In this case, there are two possible scenarios. The first one is that he starts seeing someone, considers the two of you to be on equal terms once he has slept with her, and breaks things off with her.
The second scenario involves him dating as many women as possible in order to make you jealous. It is probable that he will date them openly, and try to come up with ways for you to find out about his dates (e.g. posting photos on social media).
He Thinks You’re Dating, so he Decides to Date Too
It is possible that your husband believes you are seeing someone. As such, he may begin to think that you are moving on from him and this is the end of your marriage. This would cause him to explore other options and start dating as well.
Try to think back. Have you given him any reason to be suspicious? It could be that he saw you somewhere with a male friend or distant relative (e.g. a cousin) and wrongly assumed that you were dating.
He is Done With You
Sadly, this is an option that must be discussed. It is possible that he is done with the marriage and ready to move on. He might have agreed to separation because he did not want to go through the hassle of a divorce (or to get you off his back). However, as far as he is concerned, the two of you will never get back together.
The best way to determine if this is the case is through his attitude towards you during separation. Does he treat you like his wife or is he already thinking of you as a stranger? Does he ever want to discuss the possibility of getting back together, or does he only want to discuss divorce? Answering these questions will help you determine what your husband’s mindset is at the current moment.
How to Get Him Back?
Generally, you should not be trying to get your husband back during separation. The entire point of the activity is to spend time apart to confirm whether you need each other or not.
However, there should always be rules when it comes to a trial separation. Just because you are separated, does not mean that you should have no communication at all.
Here are a few things you can do to get your separation back on track and keep your husband focused on healing his relationship with his wife, rather than focusing on other women.
Forgive Each Other
Regardless of who is to blame for the separation, it is time to forgive each other. It is best to do it openly and while discussing the problems that you had during the marriage. If you just separated and the wounds are still fresh, writing a letter may be a better way to organize your thoughts.
Try to treat each other respectfully, and be willing to accept the blame for your own mistakes. Even if the reason for your separation was a mistake made by your husband, there will be some ways through which you harmed your relationship with him.
Talk to Each Other and Make Rules
The easiest thing to do is to simply have a no dating rule. Your husband should not object to this rule but stand firm even if he does. Remind him that the two of you are still married and the purpose of this separation is to try to save your marriage, not satisfy his desires.
At the same time, you might also want to make other rules that would help the two of you during separation. For example, you may want to decide how much you want to communicate, how the finances would be handled, and the situation of the kids (if you have any).
Convince Him to Stop Thinking of Marriage as a Contest
If you think that your husband is dating someone else just to bolster his pride or to spite you, you should let him know how you feel. If you cheated on him, let him know once again how sorry you are, and how him seeing another woman would only further harm your relationship.
Separation is as difficult for a husband as it is for a wife. He may be agonizing over whether you are missing him or not, and dating someone else may be his way to cope with the stress and sadness.
You should affirm him that you are not dating anyone, and you are not planning to either. Reassure him that your main priority is to get back together with him. Try to make sure that your husband does not become insecure during the period that you are separated. Instead, help him focus on what went wrong so that he can be a better husband once the two of you get back together.
Change Yourself for the Better
It is possible that you have a lot more time on your hands as a result of your separation. Use this time to improve yourself, both as a wife and as a human being.
What’s more, discuss the ways you are trying to better yourself with your husband. Try to encourage him to talk about your shortcomings in the marriage (and do the same for him). Take what he says as constructive criticism, and promise him that you will try to be better in the future.
During separation, you and your husband will almost certainly see each other (occasionally). Make sure that he sees a person who is hell-bent on being better than she was when he meets you. Of course, you should expect the same from him in return.
Feel Free to Ask for Help
It is important that you remind your husband from time to time that he is still married to you. If you are struggling with something, you should contact him and ask for his help. Hopefully, he does the same in return.
Being separated may mean that the pressures that lead to your problems may not exist anymore. As such, the two of you may be able to provide each other with the necessary emotional support without fighting for the first time in many months. This could be the fuel that reignites your marriage.
Even if there are other problems that you are experiencing (such as something in the house needing to be repaired), you should try to contact him. If your husband moved out during separation, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t his house anymore. As such, he may be more than willing to help you and talk to you again in the comfort of his own home.