Should You Try to Show Your Spouse Love During a Divorce?

Should You Try to Show Your Spouse Love During a Divorce?

Many people who are reluctant to separate are unsure of how they should deal with their estranged spouse. This may seem very strange. After all, this is your significant other we’re talking about. You’ve probably known him for a very long time, and being around him should feel as natural as breathing. However, if you are separated and want to reconcile, you may sometimes feel that you are in a precarious position with your significant other. You don’t want to do or say anything that will make him feel uncomfortable or put him off. Still, the urge to connect with him can be hard to ignore.

One might ask, “How do people deal with showing affection during a trial breakup? My husband and I have only been separated for a short time and to be honest, I’m not quite sure of the protocol here. My husband was over visiting the kids this weekend and we were discussing a sad issue with my husband’s extended family. My husband was upset and I went to hug him, with no ulterior motive. I just wanted to give him some comfort. I didn’t really think about it beforehand. But when I did, I felt my husband get goosebumps. He literally stiffened at my touch. I stepped back and tried not to bother him. Later I talked about it with one of my friends and she suggested that I should not show physical affection to my husband while we are apart. She said that when you break up, you don’t necessarily love each other. Is this true? Should I not show affection to my husband right now? He wanted us to break up. I didn’t, but none of that means I don’t love him anymore. If I didn’t have to show him affection, I could stop. But I don’t really want to. I feel like I’ve already lost so much. Do people really not show affection while apart?”

It really depends on the couple. I know some couples who continue to hug, kiss, have sex, etc. while separated. And I know others who are hesitant to touch in any way. There’s really no hard and fast rule for this. And in my opinion and observations (based on and based on my own breakup) I think it’s best to either follow the understandings you’ve already established. Or, if you haven’t established boundaries, either ask now or read your husband’s cues to determine his comfort level.

My husband seemed quite uncomfortable in such situations and finally I just asked him. I literally said, “Should I not do this?” when I tried to contact him. My husband didn’t flat out tell me no, but he clearly wasn’t comfortable with physical affection at the beginning of our separation. So in the end I decided to just let him take the lead. That way, I didn’t have to worry about doing something that would harm the communication between us. Instead, I ended up focusing on trying to get comfortable and laugh and relax with each other so that he would want to continue communicating. Next, he was the one who initiated physical affection, and I believe that worked best for us, but that may not be true for every couple.

I also know that things can change from one day to the next. There may be a moment when your husband pulls away from you and then three days later he reaches out to hug you. This can certainly be confusing and can give you mixed signals. However, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with being friendly and supportive, but also observant of how he’s behaving and how receptive he might be at any given moment.

I realize this is frustrating. During my own breakup, I thought it just shouldn’t be that hard to know how to deal with my own husband. But I think if I would have pushed the issue and shown affection when he wasn’t receptive, it might have slowed our progress even more. I’ve learned that you really have to take a gradual approach and just accept the progress you’re given.

#Show #Spouse #Love #Divorce

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