Sometimes, I hear from wives who are confused and frustrated by well meaning reassurances that they receive when they are separated or dealing with a husband who has left them. Often, they aren’t sure if they are hearing sincere comments or if these comments are just an attempt to say anything – no matter how untrue – just to make them feel better.
Common comments are things like: “my husband left me and we have been living apart and separated for about six weeks. At first, I hoped that this was a phase and that my husband would be back in only a few days. I didn’t even tell people for a couple of weeks because I just assumed that this would be over soon. After several weeks, it became obvious that I was probably going to need to tell some of our closest friends. And when I do, they always say ‘oh, he’ll come back. I know that he will.’ At first, this was comforting to me, but now that everyone is saying it, I’m starting to question it more. Why does everyone assure me that he’s going to come back when most haven’t even talked to my husband and they don’t even know the situation? Are people just trying to be nice? Are they only trying to make me feel better all the while they’re thinking in the back of their mind that my marriage is over?” I’ll try to address these concerns below.
Many People Who Love You Will Try To Put A Positive Spin On Your Situation: I have to admit that when I was separated, almost everyone assured me that things would be OK. However, I did have some very close friends who started to be more honest with me as the months started to go by. In this case though, we were only talking about weeks instead of months. It wasn’t yet time to start to look at things in a negative light. And yes, people who care about you are going to try to look at this as positively as possible because they care about you and they want for things to work out. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are insincere. This means that they care and they want to lighten your load. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. You’d probably do the same, especially if you didn’t know the particulars and you thought that the relationship was a good one.
Some People Will Base Reassurances On Their Perception Of Your Relationship: Sure, some people are just trying to be nice and are just trying to make you feel better or spare you pain. But others probably thought that they saw real love between you and your husband. And they thought that they were witnessing a strong and healthy relationship. So, as most people will, they assume (and hope) that love will prevail in the end.
And some people aren’t basing this only on their perception of your relationship, but also on their perception of your husband. It could be that some are responding to their belief that he’s not the type of guy who would leave you for the long term. Perhaps they assume that he just needs a little time and space before he will realize that he truly doesn’t want to end your marriage and that he needs to come home and work things out. Of course, the only people who truly know what is going on in your marriage is the two of you, which leads me to my next point.
Why The Only Opinions That Should Matter Are Yours And His: It’s nice to have people who care and who can offer you reassurance. But at the end of the day, the only person who knows what your husband is thinking and what his intentions are is your husband. And the only two people who know what issues are keeping him from coming home are the two of you.
The truth is, when it comes to your marriage, other people’s opinions really don’t matter. Sure, it feels good to hear some assurances. But what other people think doesn’t influence the reality of the situation unless you use these opinions to take some action. And it is nice that people are assuming the best. It’s my opinion that it really doesn’t help to assume the worst when someone leaves. Plenty of couples survive this. And some use it to improve and rework their marriage so that they are both happier and more fulfilled.
He may well be planning to come back or he may not yet have come to a decision, but will eventually come back anyway. He is the only one who is aware of what he is feeling. In the meantime though, I would be grateful for the support of well meaning friends and I would lean on those who care about me. I resisted this type of support during my own separation and I became isolated and a bit depressed, which only made things worse. I think that sometimes it’s better to take the support for what it is and to place your focus on fixing the problem and improving things between you so that your friends all turn out to be right in their assumption that he truly is coming back.