When spouses are going through times in their marriage, they might want to think about the idea of temporarily separating. They may feel like they need some breathing room, that they want to get away from behavior that is upsetting them, or that they just need a pause from the marriage to recollect their thoughts and feelings.
But this brings up an critical question: can separating in fact, help a struggling marriage?
Well, the simple answer is yes – if, and only if it’s done the right way. If it’s not, it may honestly end up causing more bad than good.
So, how do spouses separate the “right way” – and additionally, how does it really help?
Separating The Right Way Can Save A Marriage
foremost, make sure you understand the real intention of separating. It’s not assumed to be a hurried decision, it’s supposed to be a last-ditch, desperate attempt at getting things going in the right direction when you believe you’ve run out of other possible choices.
When spouses separate the idea is to get a glimpse of what life would be like without the other. It’s meant to be an opportunity to reexamine the marriage and see if a new point of view changes how you feel.
With those ruling fundamentals determined, what would a separation that is “done right” look like?
To begin, you need to set some rules (that you both are in agreement with) and stick to them. If the separation is in fact going to cause some positive changes, creating some ground rules is essential.
You might have your own particular rules to determine, but there are also some typical guidelines that will assist in separating for a way to resolution.
Here are a couple of the most important:
If you do choose to separate, set a time limit straight away. Your time away from each other should be no longer than 6 months – and probably shouldn’t be longer than 3 months (specifically if you have children).
Determining this time frame will help keep you concentrating on the real purpose for the separation – to work hard at and improve your marriage. If you separate without a clear ending in sight, you might just drift apart rather than putting in the energy to make a change and meet your self-imposed “deadline” for resolving your matters.
Live Like You Are Divorced
If the main reason of separation is to show you what your life would be like without your spouse, you MUST live like you were divorced already.
This means diving finances (don’t close the accounts yet but divide up your money like you were), staying in different places, even dividing custody of the children. You must really get the sense of being away from each other – no sharing vehicles, “Netflix and chill,” or depending on one another like when you were “together.”
This is a touchy matter, because a lot of couples separate since one of them is seeing someone else, but when it could be avoided, it needs to be! It’s difficult to work on a relationship if you’re beginning to develop feelings for someone else.
Don’t Change The Rules
Indeed, one of the rules is about the rules themselves – but it must be mentioned!
If you begin to miss each other, great! Do not alter the rules. If you’re beginning to miss your appointments and get the children where they need to be, great! Do not alter the rules.
When things get tough, it’s your chance to learn. Don’t change the rules to make things easier on yourself, instead look for the lesson in the struggle.
Work On It
The last rule is the most critical of all. Regardless of what ground rules you set, regardless of what time frame you determine, regardless what your problems may be – zero is going to change if you don’t put work in.
The idea is to be the best form of yourself, since it translates into being a better spouse. When you’re sure of yourself and fulfilled in your undertakings, you have a lot more to offer someone else in terms of bonding and support. This will go for each of you.
If you are not working on the things that are the reasons for you to separate, the whole thing is all for nothing.
Team, T. (2020, August 15). Can Separation Save a Marriage? Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/can-separation-save-marriage-2/
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