How Many Marriages Survive Separation

In 2023, it has been estimated that more than 40% of first marriages eventually end in divorce. Of course, seeing how many people get divorced, it is difficult not to paint a gloomy picture of your future. Luckily, there is always a chance that your marriage can survive separation and end in reconciliation rather than divorce.

Does separation lead to divorce? Sometimes, it does, but only if both parties do not put enough effort to make their marriage work again. If you are afraid that your separation is leading to divorce, do not fret! You can always improve the situation if you and your spouse are ready to change and learn from your mistakes.

In this article, we will focus on divorce statistics, explain how many married couples get divorced, and provide great tips on reconciling after separation.

Divorce and Separation Statistics and Facts

Separation and divorce are undoubtedly devastating events in the life of a family. However, we offer you to get acquainted with the dry facts so that you can make your conclusions regarding your own situation:

  • The divorce rate has slightly decreased (by 16%) in recent years compared to the previous decade. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the possible reasons for this decline.
  • Around 67% and 73% of second and third marriages, respectively, end in divorce.
  • The United States has the 6th place in the world’s divorce rate.
  • Only 6% of divorced couples eventually remarry.
  • The separation period in families with children is generally longer than for childless couples.
  • 15% of reconciled couples separate again within 3 years after getting back together.

Compared to divorce, trial separation statistics are quite worrisome: almost 80% of separations lead to divorce. So, if you wonder how many separations end in divorce, you can see that only 2 out of 10 couples make it to reconciliation.

However, it does not necessarily mean that reconciling after separation is impossible in your case, despite the sad healing separation success rate. Many factors can influence the couple’s decision to reunite, and we will touch upon them in the sections below.

Effect of Length of Separation on Reconciliation

Most family experts claim that long-term separation decreases couple’s chances of reconciling. Family therapist and writer Susan Pease Gadoua believes that the optimal period for a “safe” separation is up to 6 months. David Hale, a licensed clinical psychologist, also claims that ideally, separation should last from 2 to 6 months.

The experts’ ideas are underpinned by the statistics: the average length of separation before reconciliation across the United States is 6 to 8 months.

Consequently, it is safe to say that if you want to get back together with your spouse, you should not separate for more than half a year. Lots of factors can increase the chances of divorce in longer separation:

  • Spouses get used to living on their own and emotionally detach from each other.
  • Being separated and residing in different households may have a serious financial toll on the family.
  • For couples with children, the situation is more complicated. Being away from one of the parents for a long time is an enormous stress for kids.

Can separation help a marriage? Sometimes, it really can. Being alone for some time may help both spouses to ponder over their lives and values and understand the most important things for them. It’s also paramount to be completely honest with yourself and be ready to admit your faults and mistakes.

However, as we have already mentioned, it is essential not to extend the period of separation since each month increases the risk of detaching from your spouse.

Is It Possible to Reconcile after Divorce?

Of course, reconciliation after divorce is quite possible. If you wonder what percentage of divorced couples get back together, it’s around 6%. Even though the divorce reconciliation statistics may seem insufficient, you should know that the chances of getting back together are always higher when both partners do their best to reunite.

Hollywood is known for an increasingly high rate of divorces, but you can still find many successful reconciliation stories that will inspire you:

  • In 2022, Sylvester Stallone announced that he planned to divorce his wife, Jennifer Flavin. However, in a couple of months, the couple managed to work things out and reconciled.
  • Pink and her husband, Carey Hart, had some rough times in 2008, which led to their separation. In 2009, they began dating again and are happily married to this day.
  • In 2015, Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey shocked his fans with the news that he and his wife, Jillian Dempsey, had filed for a divorce after 15 years of marriage. Nevertheless, very soon, they revoked the petition. Dempsey admitted that neither of them was ready to finish this story and decided to fight for their family.

Why do divorced couples get back together? Every family has its reasons, but here are some of the most common ones:

  • They have managed to solve the problems in their marriage and build harmonious relationships.
  • Some couples prefer to reconcile rather than seek divorce due to financial reasons.
  • Sometimes, spouses tend to reconcile for the children’s sake.

Every couple has their own story and reasons to choose between divorce and reconciliation. If you feel like the second option is what you really need, and your partner thinks the same way, you should definitely keep on trying to improve your relationship.

What Factors Contribute to a Successful Reconciliation after Separation?

The odds of reconciliation after divorce are not just numbers. The chances of separation and reconciliation depend on many social and financial factors. Here are the most important aspects that either increase or decrease your possibility of getting back together:

Reasons for Separation

Obviously, sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to forgive your spouse for what they had done or get forgiven yourself. However, if we refer to the statistics one more time, we’ll see that the most common reason for a divorce in the United States is the lack of understanding and support.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should know that there is no such thing as an unsolvable problem if you and your spouse really want to reconcile.

Financial Issues

Financial problems often lead to a divorce, but they also often become the reason for reconciliation. For example, if the couple has lots of marital property and assets, they realize that dividing it may take much time and finances and seek ways to get along rather than file for divorce.

Alternatively, one of the spouses may be afraid that their financial well-being will decrease outside of marriage, a factor that influences a decision to stay in a marriage, for better or worse.


Some problems cannot be resolved by spouses without getting professional help, no matter how hard they try. Unfortunately, many couples prefer to skip this step on their way to reconciliation, even though it could make this process faster.

An experienced family therapist will assist you on your way to reconciliation and explain how to express your feelings healthily. Working with a counselor can also help you find a compromise in every situation and communicate with each other more effectively.

So, if you and your spouse have enough time and financial resources to seek family therapy, you should definitely try it.


Numerous studies show that the age and number of children in a family may become a factor in a couple’s reconciliation. However, there is something more to that. Very often, parents just want their kids to live in a nuclear family with both mother and father providing enough attention to them.

Nevertheless, even though the spouses’ intentions are the best, living with parents who cannot get along but still refuse to divorce has an extremely bad influence on the kid’s well-being. It may sound weird, but sometimes, children are happier in a divorced family since it lowers the possibility of conflicts and living in an unhealthy home environment.

Tips for Successful Reconciliation after Marriage Separation

If you and your spouse wish to reconcile after separation, you need to do a lot of work on your relationship. We have compiled a list of tips on how to reconcile after separation to make this process a bit easier for you:

Choose Your Words Carefully

This is the time when both of you should be very careful with what you say and how you convey the information. You had some really rough times and may hold some grudge against each other, so one incautious word may be enough to ignite the fire of conflict.

You know your spouse well and definitely understand what topics and words can hurt or make them angry. So, next time you feel you are close to starting a fight, remember that words are silver, but silence is gold. Of course, this tactic will work only if your spouse does the same to you.

See Things from Their Point of View

Sometimes, to understand a person better, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. There can be so many reasons why you have separated, but as we know, it’s never completely one partner’s fault. Have you ever thought about how your spouse feels about everything that has happened between you? They are definitely hurt, just like you.

To build a harmonious relationship again and forget all the past resentment, you and your spouse need to learn to emphasize and understand each other’s feelings. Of course, it will take hours, if not days, of sincere conversations, but the bond you will gain is totally worth it!

Avoid Being Clingy

Do not panic if your spouse does not answer your messages as fast as you wish or prefers to spend a Friday night at their current place of residency. It is best to give your partner some space and occupy yourself with things that bring you joy. This way, you will not overload yourself with unnecessary worries.

Your reconciliation cannot happen overnight, and there is no need to hurry. You will get a whole life ahead if you do everything right.

Maintain a Connection

This advice may seem obvious, but it’s really important to stay in touch with your spouse even though you cannot meet often. Some sweet messages, evening calls, and even love letters (why not?) will work!

The problem is that in the hassle of everyday life, you can get more and more detached from each other. Therefore, it’s no surprise that experts advise couples not to separate for too long. Being occupied with various duties and getting new opportunities, the partners start forgetting each other, while your task is not to let this happen.

Learn from Past Mistakes

If you want to make your relationship work again, you need to show each other that you can learn from the mistakes that led to your separation. So, reflecting on your past behavior and being honest with yourself about your flaws is important.

By understanding what exactly you did wrong in your marriage, you can avoid getting into this vicious circle one more time.

Show that You Really Care

Finally, one of the best things you can do for your reconciliation is to show your spouse how much you love and care about them. Some simple things like wishing your partner a great day every morning, visiting them when they catch a cold, and remembering small yet important things about them will improve your relationship.

Do not torture yourself with the question, “Does reconciliation after divorce work?” After all, you never know until you try. The fact that both you and your spouse want your family back is enough to understand that you are on the right path.