I sometimes hear from wives who are quite annoyed that their husband has initiated a marital separation. I certainly can’t and don’t blame them. I know first hand that being separated from your husband feels absolutely awful. It’s a very scary and emotionally volatile time. It’s natural to be a bit frustrated and angry at the person who put all of this into motion. And it can even be natural to want for that person to regret it.
I heard from a wife who expressed it this way. “My husband initiated a separation. I fought him every step of the way, but he insisted and didn’t give me much of a choice. He said that he needed time to think and to evaluate what he wanted out of his life. Well, now he’s taking all this selfish time to find himself while I am having to handle all of the household chores and raising the children myself. I want him to regret being so selfish and just leaving us for his own self centered reasons. He’s mentioned maybe wanting to come home. And to be honest, I want him to come home because I want some relief. But I want for him to regret his actions so that he will never do this again. Sometimes, when we talk, I can’t help being sarcastic and nasty because I want him to understand what he has done. How can I make him regret the day he ever suggested a separation?”
Believe me when I say that I understand these questions. When my husband left me for a separation, I was absolutely furious with him. I thought he was only thinking about himself and his own needs. Wanting to make him feel sorry or wanting him to feel regret is completely normal. However, it’s my experience that you need to be very careful about how you attempt to achieve this, which I will discuss below.
Know That If You Try To Make Him Feel Regret In Negative Ways, He May Not Want To Come Home. Or, He May Leave Again: When you are in this situation, you have to be very careful that you don’t let your frustration take over your actions. You have to keep your end goal firmly in mind. In this particular case, this woman’s end goal was for her husband to come back quickly and then to not leave again. But, if she were to be sarcastic or to lay out how selfish his actions were, what do you think might happen? In my opinion and experience, he would be more likely to pull away from her. Because it is just human nature to reject or pull away from someone who makes you feel badly about yourself or who inspires negative feelings. Acting in a negative way might get him to momentarily regret his actions, but it will also increase the odds that you will be right back where you started when be becomes frustrated with this process. Using negativity never really improves your situation. It just keeps the turmoil going.
Why It’s Better To Make Him Regret Separating From You By Reminding Him How Much He Loves You: I believe that the much better strategy is to try to improve your relationship to the point where he regrets that he lost any time with you. Why do I think this? Well, I dialogue with many men in this situation on my blog. Many will tell you that when their wife is negative or nasty, this makes him think that perhaps he was right to leave in the first place (and perhaps to stay away now.)
But, if their wife shows them someone who is loving, understanding, and patient, they actually come to realize that leaving such a person was a mistake. They realize that their own actions have caused them to miss out on time with their families. And you know what? This is when they are the most likely to regret the separation. And then is when they are the most likely to never want to leave you again. Remember when I talked about remembering your end goal? Well, this solution ensures that you achieve your end goal. Because when he not only regrets leaving but doesn’t want to leave again as the result of your positive behavior, then you make it much more likely that your marriage will actually benefit and improve from this process.
But, when you try to make him feel regret and guilt due to negative behavior or negative strategies, then you make it more likely that you are actually harming your marriage and are making it more likely that he will either avoid you, not come back, or leave again. So to answer the question posed, there are positive and negative ways to make your husband feel regret about the separation. But I strongly feel that using positive methods are best.