If you’re going through a trial separation, you and your spouse have been having difficulties in your marriage you just can’t seem to get past.
But perhaps when you’re in a trial separation, you’ll begin to realize that being apart from one another isn’t what you want. Now, you’ve both decided to try to rebuild your relationship after making the difficult decision to live apart.
After several months of missing each other, you both conclude that your relationship is worth saving. You want to try again… but now what?
How do you make sure that your reunion is happy and healthy? How can you address the issues that plagued your marriage before you separated?
Here are four tips for couples living together after a trial separation.
1. Give each other time to settle in.
You both may be apprehensive about sharing your lives again. After all, you may have each changed during your separation.
Consider spending time getting to know each other again. While you may feel excited about your newfound togetherness, remember that when you lived apart, you developed new routines and preferences.
Each of you needs to find time to be by yourselves and time to share.
2. Be transparent.
You may focus on how good it feels to be back together, and this may make you hesitant to bring up difficult issues. However, couples who take time to discuss finances, personal habits, and schedules create realistic frameworks for their relationships.
This prevents your assumptions causing disappointment because you didn’t communicate.
3. Learn from the past, and build a new foundation.
There were solid reasons why you decided to separate. Were there deal-breakers in the relationship?
If you come back together without consciously confronting what made your relationship rocky in the first place, you’re likely to fall back into old, destructive patterns.
Be clear about why you’re getting back together with your partner, and share what you expect in this renewed partnership. In addition to examining what went wrong, address what went well in your relationship.
Did you share similar political beliefs? Enjoy the same bands? Value each other’s dry sense of humor?
In coming back together, you can preserve what worked well between you while also highlighting the dynamics you need to change.
An experienced couples’ therapist can help you navigate these discussions and help you use your needs to build a vision for your relationship.
4. Forgive and move on.
Partners who want to build a secure, trusting relationship will assume responsibility for the damage they caused their partner and apologize.
Oftentimes, it takes two to derail a relationship. Own up to the mistakes you made. Then, you can identify ways to become easier to live with and love.
According to Marriage.com, 87 percent of couples end their relationship after separation. You and your partner are exceptional for investing time and energy into piecing your relationship back together.
By being patient and transparent, clarifying expectations, making new agreements, and showing a willingness to forgive your partner for past mistakes, you and your partner can create a relationship that’s stronger than the one you left behind.