The 3+1 Separation Strategy to Get Your Wife Back

by Stephen Waldo

A husband embracing his wife happily after reconciling his marriage.

This guide is the starting point for all men facing separation at Husband Help Haven because it will walk you through the no-BS strategies that real men have used in real life to save their marriage.

Quick Recap:

Want to get your wife back after separation? If you watched the video, you learned that the strategy I’ve seen the MOST men like you use to do exactly that looks like this:

  • Focus on what you can control
  • Figure out the man you want to be and be that man
  • Show that man to your wife every opportunity you get (this is the hard part)

Your Number One Goal is to Rebuild Trust.

(that's where the +1 comes from!)

Why do we focus on trust?

Because trust builds the foundation for love, and love in turn paves the way for ‘feelings’ (which is a big thing she probably says is missing right now, although maybe she calls it ‘passion’ or ‘in love’).

If your wife has asked for separation, she now believes that divorce – painful and cumbersome though it may be – will ultimately bring her more happiness than remaining in the marriage. Or at least, she’s thinking about it.

Your wife’s trust in you has decayed to the point that it can no longer support the love needed to remain married to someone.

That’s why it all starts with trust.

Trust comes before love, and like the song goes, everybody needs love.

So how do you build trust?

Trustworthiness plus consistency plus time.

You become the best husband you can be and start showing that man to your wife. In the rest of this guide you’ll learn how to do exactly that.


- Reconciled Husband -

"We spent an entire weekend together"

Wow, we are on the path to reconciliation now and are both saying it. She told me it was the best conversation we’ve had in 10 years!

Last night she told her parents about opening up to me again. She even booked our summer family vacation today!

I suggested that we should start dating and just have fun, because we need to get to know each other again. She loved the idea and so we’re going on our first date this Saturday! Thank you for all your help!”

Step 1. Focus on What You Can Control

(so you can stop feeling desperate)

Let’s do a quick thought experiment…

Quick Thought Experiment

Storm coming to your marriage

Imagine you’re sitting at home with your family when the radio suddenly comes on…

It’s an emergency broadcast with an urgent announcement blaring over the speakers. There is a dangerous storm coming – the biggest one in years. Hail is pattering against the window and you can already hear the lightning crackling in the distance. The radio warns that the storm of the century is leaving a path of destruction through the city, and now it’s headed your way.

You only have 10 minutes until the storm is right over your house… What do you do?

You have two choices…

Option 1: You go outside and stand on your porch, protesting into the wind, “Don’t come to my house, storm! I won’t let you hurt my family!” Or maybe you beg and plead with the wind, “Please storm, I’ll do anything! I beg you not to hurt my family!”

Option 2: You accept that there’s nothing you can do to stop the storm, so you get your family to safety ASAP. You gather your wife and kids down to the basement and you stay there safely until the storm passes.

Which option do you choose? Option 1 or Option 2?

The answer here is obvious, right? You do Option 2 – get your family to safety ASAP.


Because no matter how hard you try, you canot control the storm. No matter how loud you yell or how desperately you beg, that storm isn’t going to skip over your house.

Common sense, right?

This may seem like a strange example, but this is exactly where you’re at in your marriage right now…

I’m willing to bet that when it comes to getting your wife back, you’ve been focusing on things you can’t control…

  • You’ve been trying to change her mind about the marriage…
  • You’ve begged for a second chance…
  • You’re constantly asking her what she’s doing and who she’s doing it with (perhaps with good reason)…

If you’ve done any of these things, then you’re the guy standing outside on the porch desperately trying to get that storm to stay away.

Instead, you should be focusing on what YOU CAN control.

Now, let me ask you a question…

Can you control your wife?

Can you FORCE your wife to come back after separation? Can you FORCE your wife to be happy with you inside the marriage?

No, of course not. You can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do without some sort of mind control.

There is one and only one thing that you can control: YOU!

Now here’s the thing…

Despite what many others in the marriage help industry might tell you (often while pitching you a $x,xxx course), you cannot save a marriage by yourself

I mean just look at the facts… Marriage is a two-person relationship, and you can only control one of the two people in your marriage.

You can’t control your wife and you can’t force her to change. You can’t use mind tricks to seduce her… This isn’t a 21 year-old college chick you’re trying to pick up in a bar; this is a married woman who has been hurt and has been scarred and has built up resentment against YOU.

Therefore, since you can’t control your wife, you can’t control the outcome of this separation.

Therefore, your goal can not be to “stop the divorce” or “get her back”. It sounds strange to say it, but these things can’t be your goal right now because they’re not your choice to make. Trying to figure out how to get your wife back after separation will drive you insane if you don’t first focus on what you can control.

Instead, your goal right now is to make the most of what is under your control – YOU. Once you can do that, you’re ready to start working on Step 2.

The Let Her Go to Get Her Back Mindset

What’s the very first thing you MUST do to get your wife back? Let her go. I know, it sounds backwards, but this mindset actually puts you in a win-win position. Read more to learn why you need this mindset and how to start using it in your marriage today.

Step 2. Figure Out the Man You Want to Be

(and work to become that man!)

Remember in the video when we talked about how on airplanes they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others

You have to treat this separation the same way. Even though I know that every thought in your mind is about your wife right now, you have to step back and stabilize yourSELF first.

Since the only thing you can really control is yourself, your absolute best chance of saving your marriage is by making the most of the only resource you have – yourself. Figure out the man you want to be and then put in the work to become that man.

You may not be able to force your wife to choose the marriage, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to get your wife back once she’s left.

Look back and figure out where you’ve failed as a husband and what you’ve done to drive your wife away. Then, figure out what you can start doing to step up and become the man YOU want to be, the husband YOU know could make her happy for the rest of her life.

This is where you’ll be doing stuff like…

  • Studying up on husbandly leadership and putting it into practice…
  • Improving your confidence and self-esteem…
  • Participating more in the family…
  • Giving your wife space if that’s what she has asked for (trust that she really needs it!)

You will be disciplined and focused, and you will start steadily improving over time.

Your goal here is to give your wife a good incentive to choose the marriage.

How? By becoming the type of husband you know she wants.

I know, it sounds almost too obvious that the best way to get your wife back after separation is basically just, “Be a better husband!” And yet this is what works in real life. This is what saves real broken marriages.

So, How Do You Become the Man Your Wife Wants?

“Be a better husband” is a pretty big thing to tell someone to do… Especially since every marriage is different and every man reading this is different. Many of you are facing other big obstacles in your life and marriage, like a midlife crisis or emotional affair.

The good news is that I already have several extremely in-depth posts on the subject of husbandly leadership and how to lead your marriage even when your wife is separated.

Instead of making you read a super long post here, check out these other in-depth posts at your own pace:

9 Things Every Wife Needs From Her Husband

9 Things Every Wife Needs From Her Husband

In almost all of the separations, affairs and divorces I’ve seen in my years running Husband Help Haven, at least one of these 9 'things' is missing from the marriage.

How to Lead Your Marriage When She Wants Out

No husband is ever prepared for his wife to want out of the marriage. Learn the four most common mistakes men make when trying to get their wife back, followed by the three leadership strategies I've seen the most men use to save their marriage.

No matter what you do to step up as a husband, the hope is that you will catch her attention JUST ENOUGH to slow down the separation and make her not 100% dead-set on ending the marriage. 

Then, over time, you can consistently start to rebuild your relationship through trust, love, attraction and forgiveness… All that good stuff.

This! Is your absolute best chance at saving your marriage.

It’s real; it’s gritty; it’s hard; it’s not fast and it’s not guaranteed.

But it DOES work, it DOES save marriages, and it just makes sense.

There’s nothing magic or manipulative about it. You’re stepping up and taking responsibility and making sacrifices. You’re being the man you want to be, and giving your wife the opportunity to CHOOSE that man.

And that brings us to step 3…

Step 3. Show That Man To Your Wife in a Way that Makes Her Life BETTER!

(this is the hard part)

How do you not only stop the separation, but also rekindle your wife’s feelings for you?

How do you get your wife to see that you can make her happy for the rest of her life?

As we talked about in the 3+1 Separation Strategy video overview at the top of this page, just making changes in yourself isn’t enough.

If your wife never believes that the improvements you make in yourself are real or permanent, then you could be the best husband in the world and it won’t matter one bit. She’ll still want out of the marriage.

Unless your wife BELIEVES the changes you’ve made, thenthose changes aren’t worth a penny to her.

And what is the #1 thing you need before you can believe something?

Faith. Trust.

These are things your wife doesn’t currently have in you. Consistency is how you change that.

This is where we come full circle back to our original goal…

Rebuilding trust.

Remember, the goal of ALL of these steps is to start rebuilding your wife’s trust. Steps 1 and 2 exist solely to equip you for Step 3 where you start actually repairing the foundation of your marriage.

How Do You Show Her that YOU Are Her Best Option?

You make the most of every opportunity you get to prove your changes to your wife through your ACTIONS and your ATTITUDE.

7 Non-Cliche Ways to Make Your Wife Feel Heard

7 Non-Cliché Ways to Make Your Wife Feel Heard

A wife who does not feel heard will never feel loved. Every wife wants to feel heard. Many times, especially in a purely "loss of love" driven separation, her decision to leave will revolve around her increased belief that she will NEVER be heard inside the marriage. Read on to learn how to start truly…

You start looking for ways to non-romantically make HER life better.

Then, over time, by consistently proving that your changes are real and permanent, by consistently proving that you can make her life better, your wife will begin to trust you again.

Remember what comes after trust?

Love, then eventually attraction.

Now, I’m not gonna lie, this step is by far the most complicated because every marriage is different. For example…

As you can see, it starts getting pretty complicated pretty quick. Any one of these situations can change how you should get your wife back after separation.

Unfortunately, because every marriage and every separation is unique, I can’t give you a cookie cutter template to fix all of these problems. I can and will give you as much help, as many tools, as I possibly can, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to apply them to your marriage.

The good news is, if you’ve done step 1 and step 2, then step 3 becomes a lot easier because you’ll have clarity and confidence.

What's Next?

I know that you probably still have a bunch of questions running through your mind. You’re probably still trying to figure out how to apply all of this to your marriage.?

It’s okay to still have questions! It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed right now. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re still struggling.

Don't accidentally push her away --

Download the Bonus Guide [PDF]

The next step I recommend if you’re a newcomer here at Husband Help Haven is to go ahead and subscribe to come Inside the Haven. When you do, you’ll get a 15-page PDF bonus guide that is the follow-up to this 3+1 Separation Strategy.

Already a Haven subscriber and want the 3+1 Separation Strategy bonus guide? You can still go ahead and enter your email above. You’ll get the PDF without repeating the free 14-part email lesson series.

No matter what you do from here, I hope that Husband Help Haven proves to be a strong, helpful resource as you work to navigate whatever challenges you may be facing in your marriage.

Best of luck, and much manly love!