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University of Minnesota Extension

Should we reconcile?

At some point after separating, you may consider reconciling and re-uniting your households. The decision to reconcile is an important one that will have lasting effects on both you and your children. To help decide whether this is the right choice for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Despite all the hurt and pain, do you still love them?
  • Are you willing to work on a new relationship?
  • Are you willing to examine how you communicate and change any destructive communication styles you are using?
  • Are you willing to let go of your anger and forgive?
  • Are you willing to make your relationship a priority and work hard at solving problems?
  • What positive factors remain in your relationship? Does the good outweigh the bad?
  • Do you have the support of others to make the relationship work?
  • Are you willing to seek couples counseling, if necessary?

What about your children?

Children often wish their parents would get together again. They want both parents under one roof, but they also want peace and harmony in their home so they can go about the business of being a child and growing up.

Consistency is essential to your children’s well-being. The acts of separating, coming back together, and separating yet again carry an enormous price for children. If you are considering reconciliation, it’s better for your children to keep your households separate while you and your former partner work out your issues. 

Living together again

To help you decide to reconcile and live together again, consider the following:

  • The breakdown of the relationship so you both know what went wrong and can avoid these mistakes in the future.
  • The changes you and the other parent need to make in behaviors and communication styles
  • The need for forgiveness on both sides.
  • How strongly you believe reconciliation will work and are committed to making it work.
  • Consult a professional couple’s counselor before you start living together again and afterward, as needed.

Authors: Ellie M. McCann, Extension educator, and Minnell L. Tralle, former Extension educator

Reviewed in 2023

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