Thinking About Reconciliation

It’s not uncommon for couples who are separated or heading for divorce to try and reconcile and keep trying to work things out. Sometimes reconciliation is successful but other times it is not. This brief exercise is designed to help you think about the possibility of reconciliation and how helpful it might be.

Priorities. Reconciliation is more likely to be successful when both spouses make strengthening the marriage a high priority. How committed would you be? How committed do you think your spouse would be? (Check the box that fits best.)

Not at all Committed A Little Committed Somewhat Committed Very Committed
Your Spouse

If you decided to reconcile, what specific things could you do to make strengthening your marriage a high priority? Think about big things, like going together to a marriage education class or marriage counseling, or overcoming an addiction. Also think about some small things, like a regular time each day to talk and reconnect, verbally greeting each other when arriving home, kissing when leaving the house, praying together daily, a weekly date, dropping some demands on your time, developing some shared interests, etc. Brainstorm some ideas and write them down:

Now think about these ideas. List two or three of the ideas that you think will be most effective below and make a plan for how you will do this:

Ways to prioritize my marriage: How will I do it?

Support. Having the support of family members and friends for reconciliation helps. List important family members and friends and evaluate how supportive they would be.

List Family Member/ Friend How supportive would this person be of reconciliation?
Not at all Supportive Somewhat Supportive Very Supportive Why?


So overall, how much support would you have for reconciliation? Write down your thoughts here:

Remembering the Good Times. When you think back on your relationship, both before you got married and after, can you think of good, positive times? When couples are going through hard times, it is common to focus on the bad and not remember the good times and good features of the relationship. But if you can recall those good times and good aspects of the relationship, then you have a better chance of being able to work through your challenges and keep your marriage together. A marriage that was built on friendship and fondness sometimes can be revived, despite the challenges you are facing now. This exercise is designed to help you try to remember the good times and good parts of your relationship.

What do you remember about dating your spouse? What attracted her or him to you? What did you enjoy doing together? Write down some of your thoughts here:

Why did you choose to marry your spouse? What influenced you to make the big decision to decide to spend your life together with this person? Write down your thoughts here:

Despite your current problems, what positive things do you still see in your marriage? What good characteristics do you still see in your spouse? Write down your thoughts here:

Have you gone through some tough times together before? What kept you going through those times? Write down your thoughts here:

If you have been able to remember some of the good features of your marriage and your spouse, it helps you to see the possibility of a better future. What have you learned by trying to remember the good times? Write down your thoughts here:

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