Sometimes I hear from people who are very disappointed with their spouse’s behavior during a trial or marital separation. They have often agreed to the separation very reluctantly, either because they felt they had no other choice or because they hoped that the breakup would actually improve their situation. Some are very disappointed when their spouse avoids or ignores them during the separation and they are not sure what to make of it.

I heard from one wife who said, “I’ll be honest and tell you that I never wanted a trial separation. But my husband insisted. He said he had to see for himself if he would have been happier alone and also said he needed some space to clarify his feelings. So I decided to respect his request and support him. He assured me that he would be in touch almost regularly and that I had nothing to worry about. Well, this has not been the case. He has not called me once since he met. went and when I call him he won’t call me back I stopped by his office once at lunch hoping we could have lunch together but he said he had a meeting I was hoping he’d call me later that night but He didn’t. I feel like I’m being ignored. What does this mean? Do you have any intention of ever coming back? I’ll try to address these concerns in the next article.

Some possible reasons why you may feel like your spouse is ignoring you: There are a couple of common scenarios here. Below is a list of what I think are the most common.

Your spouse feels that you are becoming too strong or that you are not giving them the space they have asked for: Often if you were to talk to the husband in this scenario, he would tell you that he is not really ignoring his wife. Instead, he’s just trying to get some of that time and space that she promised him but she’s not giving him right now. Of course, the wife often sees things very differently. She often doesn’t think calling or stopping by for lunch is too much. In her mind, they agreed to see each other regularly and she is simply acting on it. But, the spouse who wanted the separation can often be too sensitive to her “time” and her “space.” So if she notices that she is ignoring him, ask herself if she is maybe getting too close. She tries to back off a bit and see if that doesn’t improve the situation.

He might be legitimately busy at first, but then he’s responding to your own actions and walking away: Here’s something I see happening all the time. Sometimes the spouse who initiated the separation is legitimately very busy. Sometimes they are telling you the truth when they say they had a work meeting or something similar. But then the wife’s reaction to that legitimate excuse is so strong that the husbands begin to grow apart. In other words, in the above scenario, the husband could be really busy, but the wife’s panic and sudden onslaught of phone calls contributed to further alienating him from her. Be careful not to overreact and bring this entire undesirable process into play.

He may experiment to see what kind of reaction he can get from you: Some people decide to let their spouse take the lead during the separation or they will sit back and see what their spouse will do. And sometimes they’re trying to shift the power a little bit trying to see if they can get you to chase them. You have to look very closely to see if this applies to you and then determine how you want to respond. If he’s just trying to get a reaction out of you, sometimes it’s best not to fall into that trap because it only elicits negative reactions and emotions.

How to handle it when you feel ignored during the separation: I know it’s very tempting to get excited and want him to look at you and see you more. But, this can be a big mistake. If you try to force it, it might go back even more. And she could think in his own mind that he was right to leave. This is not what you want. My preferred way of handling it is to keep the next communication short. Tell him that you can see that he is busy and worried, and as such, you are going to depend on him to contact you at a better time for him. This puts the load on him and ensures that you’re not getting too strong. It also makes it a bit more likely that he’ll be the one to initiate contact and chase you, which is a better situation than you’re in right now.

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