If you’re discussing separation with your spouse, you are probably frightened beyond words.
It is, after all, one step away from the dreaded divorce, right? However, it doesn’t have to be. On the contrary, a period of separation might even help the couple to renew their marriage and get back together in a much healthier way.
So, how to make the most out of this decision, and what to do if it still isn’t working? This article will help you navigate through the process.
Separation – how you got there in the first place
The very first thing you should focus your attention to at this moment of your marriage is the lesson that is to be learned from this situation.
And that is – why you’re in it in the first place. Yes, you’re probably spending all your time thinking about it all, but what you should do now is deconstruct your relationship and observe it from an analytical standpoint.
In other words, you now must let go of the past, of the never-ending bickering and arguments, of the resentment or the pain. Because that is what got you here.
You need to completely recalibrate your view and learn to approach the old issues with a fresh mind. This is essential if you intend to make the best out of the separation.
But, even if things don’t work out for you, reaching an unbiased opinion on your marriage will be crucial for your future life.
What you will achieve by this detachment from past resentment is to approach mindfulness in your relationship.
Instead of being stuck in the past or being frightful about the future, you will learn to appreciate your partner and your relationship in the present moment, without judgement.
And research shows that mindfulness appears to be associated with marital satisfaction more than many other factors including similarity between the spouses!
Apart from learning to be in your relationship with an open heart and a fresh mind, regardless of how it develops in the future, separation can also help emphasize what you yourself need to change.
Spouses who get separated are often convinced that it is the other one’s fault. But, after some time apart, when no one’s watching, you may get to an honest recognition of your own weaknesses. This is a vital element of your own development and a growth of you as a couple.
What good does the separation bring (and how)?
So, we saw that you should ask yourself many hard questions, reassess yourself and your marriage, let go of the resentment and expectations as well, and learn to live in the present moment.
A lot to do.
But, this is merely the first step. The necessary condition for the workings of the separation itself. Now you need to open yourself up for all the good that the separation can bring to you and your relationship and go with the flow.
Separation can be and often is, used as a therapeutic method for a couple who got too deep into their problems that they can’t just overcome them on their own. But, it needs to be done right to allow for it to bear fruits.
First of all, if there is a lot of tension between the two of you, don’t hesitate to get an impartial outsider to help (the best choice would be a therapist or a clergy).
Furthermore, you should be clear about your expectations and your end goal.
It is possible that you don’t agree on this at the moment. Talk about it assertively, express if you wish to maintain regular contact and how what is allowed and what isn’t, and don’t just leave it up to chance. Also, if you hope to reconcile, say it out loud. Misunderstandings might cause more problems than good.
What if It still doesn’t work?
Of course, there is this option as well. Some marriages are truly beyond repair. If it turns out that separation didn’t make wonders for your relationship, just be honest about it and accept it. Respect is the main component of a healthy relationship, whether it is with your spouse or your soon-to-be-ex.
Instead of making any further futile attempts, use the insights that you’ve gained during the separation to improve your own life and your new relationship.
You won’t be a husband and a wife anymore, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any bond at all, especially if there are children involved. So, take what you’ve learned about yourself and your marriage, and transform it into a respectful and kind relationship with your ex-spouse.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.