Sometimes when wives are separated and decide to go on a campaign to get their husbands back, they look at every possible outcome. They begin to play the “what if” game. They’ll ask themselves what if they got their husband back but ended up divorced anyway. Or, what if they could manipulate or pressure him to come back, but neither of them would be happy because he wouldn’t be enthusiastic.

A wife might say: “I really want to get my separated husband to come back home. I miss him more than I can possibly say. My life feels very different without him in it. I feel very strongly that he is going through a midlife crisis that might one day end. I also know from past experience that it’s pretty easy for me to make my husband feel guilty and for me to manipulate him. Admittedly, it has been harder to do that lately, when his midlife crisis seems to be clouding just about everything. But, I recently found out that I have a health issue. Honestly, my doctor told me that it is probably very, very treatable and it’s going to be absolutely nothing to worry about. However, I suspect that if I slant this in a certain way, my husband might come back to me out of worry or a sense of obligation. When I was discussing this with my friend, she asked me if I really wanted my husband back only because he thought that I was sick. I thought about it and have decided that no, I don’t want him back if I’m making him do something that he does not want to do. I don’t want him to come back all unhappy and sullen. At the same time, I really want him back. So do I tell him about my health issue?”

No one can decide that for you. I can tell you that during my own separation, if my husband had a health scare, I would have wanted to know. And if I had one, I would have shared that. The reason is that we were still married. And although our marriage wasn’t great at the time, married people should still be there for one another regardless of whether the marriage is struggling. I think that you can certainly tell your husband about the issue while being completely honest about your prognosis and stressing that it’s treatable.

Why A Gradual Pace Can Increase Enthusiasm: I also understand not wanting your husband to begrudgingly come home. My thought process was the same, which is why my husband and I very gradually reconciled. We did it in very small steps so that there was minimal pressure and either of us could have backed out if we wanted. This gave each of us the confidence that we were there because we wanted to be.

It sounds as if you’re just starting on this journey. So, you may not have done a lot of counseling, self help, or self work meant to help you discover and then work on what lead to the separation in the first place. I realize that a huge contributing factor is likely your husband’s midlife crisis, but it’s often a mistake to blame everything on that and just wait for it to pass. Instead, you want to be proactive and to actively work to make your marriage better. As things gradually start to improve, you can have the confidence that you are not having to twist your husband’s arm to get him to be receptive to you.

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