The subject of reconciliation is a topic to be addressed with counselors and therapists, not attorneys. Nevertheless, the subject does often come up when I am conferring with clients.
The law of divorce is akin to the natural law of the universe, which is that it requires only one spouse to declare under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Not two. The way in which “real life” matches the law is that if one spouse is not “in” – or even if one spouse has “one foot in” and “one foot out” – that is a potentially irreversible crack in the constitution of the marriage.
That is not to say that all is lost. And my job as a divorce lawyer is not to cheer on the breakup. (It is to proceed forward from the point that the breakup has happened.) So if there is hope to save the marriage, those efforts should be made.
This is where the therapeutic expertise comes in. I cannot speak to how spouses reconcile. Marriage counselors would be better suited to speak in detail about how reconciliation works (and doesn’t work). This is what I can say, though, from my perspective as a divorce lawyer. If you take what romantic energy got a couple together in the first place, it takes twice as much – maybe four times as much – of that “mojo” to get the couple back together after a “crack” has occurred.
It is fair to say that I hear about more unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation than successful ones. But I get the impression that many unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation come from unrealistic expectations that patching things up should not be difficult. For reconciliation to work, not only do both spouses have to be “all in” with both feet; they both need to do so with a great deal of sincere and genuine effort.