Many wives are having a very difficult time coping after their husband has left them to pursue a trial separation.  They often aren't sure how to constructively fill their time.  And they can find themselves always thinking about and dwelling on their husband and on their marriage.  Time seems to stand still and you start to count the minutes until you are in touch with him again or you wonder how you are ever going to make it without him.

One might say: "When my husband told me that he wanted to move out and pursue a trial separation, he assured me that it was only temporary.  He said that I should try to take advantage of the time alone to see my family and friends.  He said that this would both give us more free time.  I knew that things weren't going to easy.  I knew that I could possibly have a hard time.  But I had no idea how miserable I was truly going to be.  Every day is a challenge.  I miss him so much.  I try not to call him too much, but I find it hard to hold back.  I haven't spent a lot of time with friends like I anticipated because I just don't feel like going out or being around people.  I am so focused on when he's going to come back that I can't think of anything else.  And, I know that this probably isn't helping, but I can't seem to help it."

I could really identify.  Because I felt the same way when my husband left me for a separation.  There were days when I would just go to bed before it was even all that dark outside because that was easier than looking around and seeing everything that reminded me of him.  I sort of just sleepwalked through my days.  And, every chance I got, I made sure my husband knew how miserable I was and how hard this all was for me.  But you know what? My misery actually made the separation worse.  It only made my husband want to be around me less.  And when he came around less, I clung even tighter, which just made it less likely that we would reconcile.  So it was a vicious cycle. It wasn't until I was able to gain more control over this process that things improved dramatically.  In fact, I'm strongly convinced that regaining control is one of the things that helped me save my marriage.  (You can read the whole story from separation to reconciliation here.) So, in the following article, I'm going to offer some tips for those wives who are miserable during the trial separation.

Do Whatever You Need To Do To Distract Yourself:  Here's the thing.  The more you concentrate on your misery, the more miserable you are going to be.  It is a vicious cycle and it often will not stop until you take control of it and force it to stop.  The more you find yourself thinking "wow. I am so miserable," the more accurate this thought it going to be.  So you will often need to do something to disrupt this cycle.  And one of the most effective ways to do this is to distract yourself so that you are not constantly dwelling on your misery.  Of course you miss your husband.  Of course your marriage isn't going your way right now.  But these things could change.  However, your constantly watching the clock and focusing on what is wrong is not going to bring about change.  Being proactive and positive is going to bring about change.

I know that finding a distraction can be a challenge.  Things got so bad for me that I went back home hundreds of miles away in order to force a distraction.  Eventually, I began to reach out to others.  I started volunteering and surrounding myself with positive people.  When I started to get all introspective and bordered on misery, I would try to journal the things I still had to be very grateful for.  I tried to make myself more positive in both appearances and outlook and frankly, this made my husband interested again because he no longer had to worry about seeing me so unhappy and knowing that he was the cause.

It's Better To Initially Fake It Than To Show Your Husband How Miserable You Are: The phrase "misery loves company" is not true in this case.  It's my opinion that husbands are less likely to want to be around you when they know that you are miserable due to the separation that they wanted.  So even if you are having a really hard time and can't remember being this miserable in a very long time, it's important that you don't spell this out for your husband.  Of course he probably knows this isn't your choice and that you are not happy about it, but there is no need to dwell on it.

Instead, you should try to look on the bright side or show the best side of yourself when you are around him.  Because no one wants to be around someone who they know is going to continuously bring them down.  You know the phrase "fake it until you make it?"  Well, I've found that to be very good advice.  Sometimes, you literally have to plaster a fake smile on your face.  But you know what? You'll often find people willing to smile back at you.  And suddenly you will feel just a little bit better.  If you repeat this process, you'll find that you're actually attracting some peace and happiness to you.  In the same way that the misery is a cycle, so is the positive attitude.

And that's not even the best part.  It's not at all unusual for your husband to also be attracted to your much-improved attitude.  At the very least, he is much more likely to be receptive to someone who is positive instead of someone who is miserable. I know firsthand that you're going through a very hard time.  But try very hard not to get caught up in the negativity.  Find things to be grateful for and put a smile on your face.  Because you deserve an improvement to your situation and you have more control than you think.

As I said, when my husband left me, I was so very miserable and I wasn't shy about expressing this.  But it soon became apparent that my posturing was more of a detriment to our marriage than our true problems were. Once I changed the image I was projecting, things changed dramatically.  Yes, I had to force myself to do this.  And yes, sometimes it did feel forced.  But eventually, as things improved, it became much more genuine.  And this is when things began to turn around.  If it helps, you can read the whole emotional story on my blog at

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