If you and your partner have separated but there’s still a chance for reconciliation, the road to getting back on track can be complicated. Reconciliation after separation takes a lot of work from both ends!
The ultimate goal is to heal from the past, process what went wrong, and determine how to prevent the same issues in the future while building tools to keep the relationship strong and healthy after reconciliation.
That’s a lot, so it’s not always easy to know where to start. If you need a roadmap, here’s how to reconcile after separation in 7 steps.
7 Steps to reconcile after separation:
- Make a plan:
After you’ve decided to give the relationship another try, it’s important to make a plan. Now, every plan is unique to each couple, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are a few steps you can follow to make a plan that will suit your relationship:
- Determine a timeframe you can both agree on.
- Determine what reconciliation means to you, and get on the same page.
- Discuss whether or not you want to wait to move back in together.
- Identify your general expectations.
- Determine the kind of effort you’re both willing to make.
- Be clear on what went wrong:
Now that you have a real plan, it’s time to examine the relationship and be clear regarding what went wrong. To do that, it’s very important to be in a calm state of mind.
Have an open conversation; free of blame, insults, or defensiveness. Just be honest with one another and remember you’re having this difficult conversation because you’re on the same team and you both want to do better.
- Think about your roles in the relationship:
At some point, you have to think about your roles in the relationship. It’s good to talk about the relationship in general, but also have to focus on what you could have done better and how you can improve. Pay attention to the issues your partner points out.
Also, be introspective. Don’t wait for your partner to tell you what you’ve done wrong. Assess the relationship from your point of view and identify the things you could’ve done better. Think about the kind of partner you’ve been and compare it to the kind of partner you want to be.
- Make a list:
Once you’re both clear on what went wrong, you should consider making a list of goals. This will help you remember what you’re working for. It doesn’t have to be an endless list of highly specific things.
Just think about the things that need improvement and set goals. Whether that’s communication, emotional intimacy, trust, future shared plans, etc. Focus on what the relationship has been missing.
- Understand the importance of joint decision-making:
At this stage, it’s important to examine your relationship. Many couples often slide into things instead of consciously choosing them and deciding for themselves. Consciously choosing things together takes planning and discussion.
Things like moving in together, having pets or children, setting future goals, etc, shouldn’t just “happen”, they require you to be on the same page.
If that’s not how things have been happening between you, it’s time to change that. Every time a joint decision needs to be made, you need to take the time to hear each other out and make sure you’re on the same page. If you haven’t done that in the past and you’ve just gone along with each other, that could be the root of many issues.
- Determine each other’s needs:
Determining each other’s needs and expectations is an extremely important step in the process of getting back together after a separation. What do you need and what do you expect from the relationship going forward?
You need to answer this question and so does your partner. Whether that’s more affection, more honesty, more patience, better communication, etc. And most important where do you see the relationship going? Are you serious about one another or do you just want to get along while you have fun with one another?
This will help you understand what you’re aiming for and determine the efforts that need to be made to get there.
- Stay positive:
The road to reconciliation can be long and winding. It’s not always smooth sailing and some things will take a lot more work and patience than others. You will both feel some frustration at one point or another, but it’s important to do your best to stay positive and keep your head in the game.
Remember why you’re doing this! You love each other and you believe your relationship is worth it. Contrary to what romantic comedies have taught us, relationships don’t always just “flow”. Sometimes, they take work and you should have each other’s backs in that process.
Reconciling after a separation is not easy, but it’s possible. In fact, if the reason why you broke up the first time was extreme like cheating or some big type of betrayal; then it will be wiser to check this article out instead.
If you’re both willing to accept your failures within the relationship and do the work to learn, move forward, heal, and start over, your relationship will become stronger than ever.