I often hear of people trying to figure out the best strategies for dealing with their spouse during a marital separation. The goal is to make their spouse want to come back to them and be ready to save the marriage. To this end, a suggestion that is often given is to “ignore your spouse” or use “reverse psychology” to make him more than willing to come back.
I recently overheard a woman say that she had read that she should “completely ignore” her husband during their separation so that he would want her even more. And I can see why this strategy looks attractive. Basically the idea is that if it works you don’t need to do much (but a good acting job) and it will just enthusiastically and willingly do exactly what you hoped all along . But in my experience, this strategy doesn’t always work that way. I will discuss some of the risks of this strategy (and tell you one that I think works better) in the following article.
Why I Think Ignoring Your Spouse During Separation Isn’t Always the Best Idea: First of all, I don’t know many people who can completely pull it off. Unless you’re an award-winning actress or actor, it can be very difficult to make this convincing. (And if your spouse sees through this, they’ll quickly lose respect for you.) The truth is, your spouse probably knows you better (and can read you more accurately) than anyone else. It’s very unlikely that they won’t see through this.
And even if they buy your act, do you really want your spouse to think you care so little about them and your marriage that your response is to just ignore them? I’m all for using a strategy to get your spouse back during a breakup, but pretending to portray something that’s the opposite of how you really feel (and really want) is up to me. opinion not only risky, but not the best call.
Many risks are also associated with this strategy. If you’ve chosen to ignore your spouse, you hope they won’t be so hurt or put off by it that they’ll come after you. Depending on your spouse’s personality and motivations, this may or may not work. But, your spouse might be hurt or frustrated and react by trying to move on or see other people. And, even if it works, your spouse may possibly harbor some resentment at having been manipulated. It’s not good for your marriage.
I agree that strategic planning is sometimes necessary during a separation. Here’s a strategy that I think is better than ignoring your spouse: One of the main ideas behind ignoring your spouse is that by not being there constantly or making yourself completely available to them, you’ll seem more attractive (and they’ll want you more) as a result. I completely agree with the strategy of creating mystery and it ended up working for me. But there’s a big difference between creating mystery and completely ignoring the person you’re trying to win back.
I think there’s actually a delicate dance between staying in touch and showing you care while not being constantly available or completely transparent. I advocate regular communication and interaction with your spouse while you are apart. That said, I think you should be very deliberate and aware of the cards you’re playing while doing this.
What I mean by this is that you always want your spouse to know that you care deeply about them and the marriage. (I think it’s even sometimes OK for them to know that you would like to save the marriage, but respect that you both have to make that decision.) At the same time, you also want to make it clear that you you care enough about yourself to stay busy and vibrant and that you’re not dangling on your spouse’s every word or whim.
It can actually help your case if your spouse is wondering where you are or why you sometimes don’t answer their call on the first ring. Does that mean you ignore them? Absolutely not. You’re just making it look like you’re also living your own life to the best of your ability during the separation. This will generally make you more attractive than someone who can’t wait for your spouse’s next call or text (and fall apart when it doesn’t).
I think it’s perfectly acceptable to limit or time your availability just to look like you’re doing just fine. However, you don’t want to take this to extremes. It shows disrespect to your spouse and it’s dishonest in a way that (at least in my opinion) posture is not. To me, there’s a difference between a strategy that puts you in the best light and a strategy that’s dishonest and downright risky.
When I separated, leaving town and escaping for a while was a turning point that really made things better. But I didn’t do this to try to ignore my husband. I did it because I wanted and needed the support of my family and friends. My husband knew where I was and I checked in with him from time to time. But the mystery and distance it created helped.
So while I think there’s some validity to stepping back slightly and being very deliberate with your interactions while you’re apart, I’m not advocating making yourself completely unavailable unless you just don’t want to interact at all. with your spouse or that you do not. no matter how they perceive or react to it.
I understand that this strategy is probably one of many suggested to you. And you’ll have to consider your marriage and spouse when deciding how you want to play it. But I am of the opinion that you always want to stay true to your heart and not go to extremes or take huge risks that could actually backfire if what you really want is to get your spouse back. rather than alienating it.
By Leslie Cane