There are different levels of reconciliation:
Level One Reconciliation: - This level of reconciliation is getting to a place where you just aren't fighting anymore. You act and you don't wait for them to act. It takes pressure off your kids. Step away and give it time if it's not working - be patient. He will soften their heart.
Level Two is a Friendship: Coming together as friends which is just being on good terms with one another, discuss the children and support each other, and make the family function. It gives the children freedom to not harbor bad feelings and it helps the children forgive.
Level 3 of reconciliation: This level is a full restoration of your marriage. This is an intimate friendship and a growing relationship. Once the separation occurs there is loss of good times, heritage, and now you can look at what brought you together in the beginning. If you can have a level 3 relationship, you may want to consider reconciliation. Why reconcile? It's a way to reduce negative stress in your life. The past memories of a negative nature can make you go down hill fast.
Reasons to reconcile:
• Reduces negative stress
• Children want it
• Attraction to similar people
• Premature divorce-love still exists for my spouse
• Stabilization of my life
• God expects it
"A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection."
From Dallin H. Oaks Conference April 2007
Now I speak to married members, especially to any who may be considering divorce.
I strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation. Divorce is not an all-purpose solution, and it often creates long-term heartache. A broad-based international study of the levels of happiness before and after “major life events” found that, on average, persons are far more successful in recovering their level of happiness after the death of a spouse than after a divorce. 3 Spouses who hope that divorce will resolve conflicts often find that it aggravates them, since the complexities that follow divorce—especially where there are children—generate new conflicts.
Think first of the children. Because divorce separates the interests of children from the interests of their parents, children are its first victims. Scholars of family life tell us that the most important cause of the current decline in the well-being of children is the current weakening of marriage, because family instability decreases parental investment in children. 4 We know that children raised in a single-parent home after divorce have a much higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, poor school performance, and various kinds of victimization.
A couple with serious marriage problems should see their bishop. As the Lord’s judge, he will give counsel and perhaps even discipline that will lead toward healing.
Bishops do not counsel members to divorce, but they can help members with the consequences of their decisions. Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.
Latter-day Saint spouses should do all within their power to preserve their marriages. They should follow the marriage enrichment counsel in the First Presidency’s message in the April 2007 Ensign and Liahona. 5 To avoid so-called “incompatibility,” they should be best friends, kind and considerate, sensitive to each other’s needs, always seeking to make each other happy. They should be partners in family finances, working together to regulate their desires for temporal things.
Of course, there can be times when one spouse falls short and the other is wounded and feels pain. When that happens, the one who is wronged should balance current disappointments against the good of the past and the brighter prospects of the future.
Don’t treasure up past wrongs, reprocessing them again and again. In a marriage relationship, festering is destructive; forgiving is divine (see D&C 64:9–10). Plead for the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord to forgive wrongs (as President Faust has just taught us so beautifully), to overcome faults, and to strengthen relationships.
If you are already descending into the low state of marriage-in-name-only, please join hands, kneel together, and prayerfully plead for help and the healing power of the Atonement. Your humble and united pleadings will bring you closer to the Lord and to each other and will help you in the hard climb back to marital harmony.
Consider these observations of a wise bishop with extensive experience in counseling members with marriage problems. Speaking of those who eventually divorced, he said:
“Universally, every couple or individual said they recognized that divorce was not a good thing, but they all insisted that their situation was different.
“Universally, they focused on the fault of the spouse and attributed little responsibility to their own behavior. Communication had withered.
“Universally, they were looking back, not willing to leave the baggage of past behavior on the roadside and move on.
“Part of the time, serious sin was involved, but more often they had just ‘fallen out of love,’ saying, ‘He doesn’t satisfy my needs anymore,’ or, ‘She has changed.’
“All were worried about the effect on the children, but always the conclusion was ‘it’s worse for them to have us together and fighting.’”
In contrast, the couples who followed this bishop’s counsel and stayed together emerged with their marriages even stronger. That prospect began with their mutual commitment to keep the commandments, stay active in their Church attendance, scripture reading, and prayer, and to work on their own shortcomings. They “recognized the importance and power of the Atonement for their spouse and for themselves,” and “they were patient and would try again and again.” When the couples he counseled did these things, repenting and working to save their marriages, this bishop reported that “healing was achieved 100 percent of the time.”
Even those who think their spouse is entirely to blame should not act hastily. One study found “no evidence that divorce or separation typically made adults happier than staying in an unhappy marriage. Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce reported being happily married five years later.” 6 A woman who persisted in an intolerable marriage for many years until the children were raised explained: “There were three parties to our marriage—my husband and I and the Lord. I told myself that if two of us could hang in there, we could hold it together.”
The power of hope expressed in these examples is sometimes rewarded with repentance and reformation, but sometimes it is not. Personal circumstances vary greatly. We cannot control and we are not responsible for the choices of others, even when they impact us so painfully. I am sure the Lord loves and blesses husbands and wives who lovingly try to help spouses struggling with such deep problems as pornography or other addictive behavior or with the long-term consequences of childhood abuse.
Whatever the outcome and no matter how difficult your experiences, you have the promise that you will not be denied the blessings of eternal family relationships if you love the Lord, keep His commandments, and just do the best you can. When young Jacob “suffered afflictions and much sorrow” from the actions of other family members, Father Lehi assured him, “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain” (2 Nephi 2:1–2). Similarly, the Apostle Paul assured us that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
3. Richard E. Lucas, “Adaptation and the Set-Point Model of Subjective Well-Being: Does Happiness Change after Major Life Events?” Current Directions in Psychological Science, Apr. 2007, available at www.psychologicalscience.org.
4. See Jean Bethke Elshtain and David Popenoe, Marriage in America (1995), quoted in Bruce C. Hafen, “Marriage and the State’s Legal Posture toward the Family,” Vital Speeches of the Day, Oct. 15, 1995, 18; see also Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles (2006), 24.
5. James E. Faust, “Enriching Your Marriage,” Liahona, Apr. 2007, 2–6; Ensign, Apr. 2007, 4–8.
6. Linda J. Waite and others, Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages (Institute for American Values, 2002), 6; see also scholarly studies cited in Marriage and the Law: A Statement of Principles (Institute for American Values, 2006), 21.
What role does Christ play in the reconciliation process?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5: 17
• People have a hard time even thinking of reconciliation. They don't understand it. It doesn't mean you will go back to the same relationship the way it was and fully restore you marriage. Reconciliation only means having a cause to be friendly and bring back harmony. It means to come back to the minimum standard God expects of you - to be friendly to one another which is the best situation for your children. Before you close the door -let's take a look. Psalm 51: 10. One person said "I wanted to able to see myself in the mirror and say I have done all that I could do"
• There is sometimes the belief that you could be happier in a new relationship. The best opportunity for happiness is the relationship you are in or the one you were just in when this involves children, if it is not a physically or emotionally abusive relationship.
• Myth- Divorce will get your spouse out of your life. Reality: You will have to deal with this person as long as you are both alive. You are actually going to have to interact and solve problems with them. Our futures include interactions with our children and grandchildren and the reality is that you will be waiting with your ex for special moments - birth of grandchildren, graduation, school events, weddings, etc.
• Reconciliation or anger - only two ways to your future. Psalm 119:35 Choose to operate with that person in a godly and moral way.
• It could mean you will move to a healthier level and future in the relationship.
If your former spouse is married, do not go into an inappropriate relationship with your former spouse.
Why else should you reconcile?
Children want families back together.
• Financial benefits - you having to be left with nothing - to get a job and put children in day care Statistics show you will be attracted to the same kind of guy you just divorced. You tend to choose the same kind of guy.
• If you are very honest with yourself you may see that you still really love your spouse.
People make split decisions. Think things through first. Once you tell your spouse that the marriage it is over, you both need time to figure it out. Reconcile if you can and have a healthy marriage. Pray daily and fervently. What is God's will for you?
If you are able to reconcile, you are able to stabilize your life much faster. If this is an option and healthy possibility for you to go back to your former mate, learning to love your spouse will be easier than figuring someone else out. It is less time effort and energy and you have to carry the baggage from this one to the next one.
It's also what God expected - 2Cor 5: 18
You have been on the fence - you can put your family back together which is what God wants - you can go your way - or stay where you are at, which isn't good for anyone.