How to Save a Marriage After Separation: My Husband And I Have Been Separated For 18 months

Dear The Marriage Foundation,

My husband and I have been separated for 18 months. I love him dearly and want to work on trying to make our marriage work, but so far it is to no avail. He doesn’t make any effort.

He still comes around daily. He eats at my home and he invites me to eat at his.

I know there is someone else in the picture (which he will not admit) but I never would have thought our marriage was in that type of danger, and he never said a thing.

I don’t listen to other people because they cannot determine where my life is going to lead. I do pray and ask God to repair my marriage and family. I know that if I give up, I let the devil get the best of me.

What should I do? I want to forgive him and start all over, to at least see if it will work. If he doesn’t love me or doesn’t want anything to do with me, why does he continue to come around? Why does he continue to hide his other relationship? I have asked him about divorce. It’s not an issue to him. He just says if it happens, then it happens, he’s not worried about that.

Am I being stupid for wanting my marriage to work with all of this going on? I am so confused. I really feel God has answered my prayers and it is to have patience and let him handle this not me. I would appreciate if you could please give me some advice.    

We have a son who loves him dearly. He never misses a day seeing him. Sometimes I feel neither one of us wants to completely let go. He wants us to be friends but how do you be friends with someone you love? Daily I ask God to guide me in the path that I should take. When I say that I am done with him and I’m not going to call him, talk to him, or text him…he ends up calling or texting me. This is weighing on me because I do want to be happy and I didn’t marry for it to end in divorce and be raising a child by myself. I appreciate you for listening.



Dear Anna,

The trials you are going through are very difficult, and they would be for anyone. On the one hand you are hanging onto the dream of a happy family, on the other you are feeling humiliated by the unfortunate predicament you find yourself in.

There is no doubt your intuition is correct to some degree. You see, the mind is driven to protect your safety and will misuse imagination to boost any threat, like your husband leaving you and your child. The key is to not be controlled by that fear. Instead, you need to be levelheaded so your efforts are practical.

Of course any “advice” given would be incredibly limited because, as you said perfectly, nobody can determine where your life is going to lead. Having said that, we can wholeheartedly offer reassurance that your way of thinking is good; your prayers are beneficial; your desire for the future is crucial; and, finally, your assessment of “weakness” or lack of strength, rather than another woman, is the current problem.

What should you do? My advice is easier said than done. However, if you implement the points below, the effort alone will set the stage for your future.

1) Study marriage as if it is the most important subject in the world. Make a commitment to educate yourself on the purpose of marriage and how to create the best marriage possible.

You can accomplish this by either reading Breaking The Cycle or watching our online videos. Arming yourself with solid information and tools is the direct path toward a happy marriage.

2) Dive deep into your heart, over and over, to pull up the love and compassion you need in order to accept your husband’s shortcomings. Compassion will take the sting out of the “insult” of his behavior, and it will be nothing in comparison to your experience of feeling tolerance, sensitivity, and benevolence. Also, this is how you begin to experience your own power and the depth of your love. Remember in your vows when you said “for better or worse”? This is a painful example of the worst part!

3) See your husband as being on the threshold of utter failure, because if he leaves you, he will suffer more than you can imagine. The idea of the “grass being greener on the other side” is a fallacy. If it were greener, he would not still be coming around daily.

4) This final suggestion can be difficult to digest, but essential. Entice him back by expressing your love. Become aware of your own behavior when interacting with him, and don’t ask questions that control him or make judgmental comments.

Bottom line: Your husband left because he was unaware of how to show up in the marriage. Of course he still loves you, and deep down he wants the same family unit you built together. Regrettably, neither of you knew how to attain a happy marriage. As a result, you both strayed from carrying out the loving behaviors required to build a strong marital foundation, which ultimately brings forth a fulfilling marriage.

If it is not too late, now is the time to learn how to be the best wife who has ever lived! If you both experience a new way of relating to one another, there is a high probability he will come around. When your relationship begins to transform, he will also be given the opportunity to learn about marriage and, perhaps, become the best husband ever!

One warning: Be sure NOT to ask or insist he does exactly what you’re committing to do. The key is staying focused on yourself and doing your part for now. His direct experience of you changing is powerful and priceless!

Stay in touch,
Linda Sorkin