Is It A Good Idea To Ignore Your Spouse During The Separation In Order…
I often hear from people who are trying to come up with 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 to be willing to save the marriage. To that end, one suggestion that is often given is to ignore your spouse or to use reverse psychology to make them more than willing to come back.
I recently heard from a wife who said that she had read that she should completely ignore her husband while they were separated so that he would want her that much more. And I can see why this strategy seems attractive. Basically the idea is that, if it works, you dont have to do much of anything (but a good acting job) and he will just enthusiastically and willingly do exactly what you hoped for all along. But its my experience that this strategy doesnt always work out this way. Ill discuss some of the risks to this strategy (and tell you one I think works better) in the following article.
Why I Think That Ignoring Your Spouse During The Separation Isnt Always The Best Idea: First of all, I dont know many people who can completely pull this off. Unless you are an award winning actress or actor, it can be very hard to make this convincing. (And if your spouse sees by this, they will quickly lose respect for you.) The truth is, your spouse likely knows you better (and can read you more precisely) than anyone else. Its highly doubtful that they wont see by this.
And already if they buy your act, do you really want for your spouse to think that you care so little for them and your marriage that your response is to just ignore them? I am all for using some strategy to get your spouse back during a separation, but posturing to portray something that is the complete opposite of what you really feel (and what you really want) is in my opinion not only risky, but not the best call.
There are also a lot of risks associated with this strategy. If you chose to ignore your spouse, you are hoping that they wont be so hurt or put off by this that they will truly pursue you. Depending on the personality and motivations of your spouse, this may or may not work. But, your spouse might be hurt or frustrated and respond by trying to move on or see other people. And, already if it does work, your spouse may ultimately shelter some resentment for being manipulated. This isnt good for your marriage.
I Agree That Sometimes Strategic Planning Is Needed During A Separation. Heres 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 regularly or by not making yourself completely obtainable to them, you will seem more attractive (and they will want you more) as a consequence. I completely agree with the strategy of creating mystery and it truly ended up working for me. But, theres a big difference between creating mystery and completely ignoring the person you are trying to get back.
I think theres truly a delicate dance between staying in touch and showing that you care while not being regularly obtainable or completely transparent. I advocate communicating and interacting with your spouse on a regular basis while you are separated. With that said, I believe you should be very deliberate and conscious of what cards you are playing while you are doing this.
What I average by this is that you always want for your spouse to know that you care deeply about them and the marriage. (I think its already sometimes OK for them to know that youd like to save the marriage, but respect that you both need to make that decision.) At the same time though, you also want it to be clear that you care enough about yourself to keep busy and vibrant and that you are not be hanging on your spouses every information or whim.
It can truly help your cause if your spouse wonders where you are or why you sometimes dont answer their call on the first ring. Does this average that you are ignoring them? Absolutely not. Youre simply giving the impression that youre also living your own life to the best of your ability during the separation. This will usually make you seem more attractive than someone who is anxiously awaiting your spouses next call or text (and who is falling to pieces when it doesnt come.)
I think its perfectly fine to limit or time your availability just to make it appear that you are handling yourself just fine. However, you dont want to take this to extremes. Doing so shows a without of respect toward your spouse and its dishonest in a way that (at the minimum in my opinion) posturing is not. To me, theres a difference between a strategy that places you in the best light and a strategy that is dishonest and downright risky.
During my separation, my leaving town and getting away for a while was a turning point that truly improved things. But I didnt do this in an attempt to ignore my husband. I did this because I wanted and needed the sustain of my family and friends. My husband knew where I was and I checked in with him now and then. But the mystery and distance this produced did help.
So, while I think there is some validity to backing off slightly and being very deliberate with your interactions during your separation, I dont advocate making yourself completely unavailable unless you just dont want to interact with your spouse at all or you dont care how they perceive or react to this.
I understand that this strategy is likely one of many that has been suggested to you. And youll have to take your marriage and your spouse into account when you decide how you want to play this. But its my opinion that you always want to keep true to your heart and not go to extremes or take huge risks that might truly backfire if what you really want is to get your spouse back instead of to alienate them.