Divorce is not a new concept in most modern households but still the effects of divorce don’t seem to fade away with time.
So, it possible to have a healthy separation in marriage when divorce is not on cards and more importantly, is separation healthy for a marriage?
A divorce encompasses the dramatic experiences, long legal battles and psychological torture on children among other negative effects, which destabilizes the lives of all the involved parties.
Separation in marriages is not uncommon
The good news is that you have the power to have a healthy separation for a smooth transition without affecting the fundamentals of the family relations while you seek to restore the marriage. Before we delve into how to survive a separation, let’s take a quick look at the types of separation.
Permanent or legal separation
During a temporary separation, a couple is deciding whether to repair their marriage and stay together or terminate the marriage. During this period, they look at the relationship objectively and leverage the time and space to determine the direction of their marriage.
Now, what is a legal separation? Simply put, it usually sounds the death knell for the relationship.
After this helpful insight, the question arises, how to deal with separation? Let’s see how coping with separation can be made easier.
1. Treat your partner with love as you maintain respect
Your action during this time determines whether the marriage ends or gets restored.
Maintaining the sanctity of a healthy separation, treat your spouse like a business partner by answering emails, receiving phone calls and reply to text messages.
It is not a time to talk ill of each other.
Your aim is to give yourself space to reflect without their influence.
If there are children, then be part of their journeys of life.
Attend their marriage ceremonies, graduation parties, birthday parties among the other things.
It gives them a sense of belonging even if you both do not live under one roof.
Let them know that they can reach out to both the parents at will without fear.
2. Don’t make significant decisions without your spouse
The bitterness of separation tempts one to make a hasty decision with the aim of showing might or revenge. “I can live without you”, it is not the right time for all this.
If you are to withdraw huge sums of money from your joint account, discuss it and have an agreement.
You want to take the children for a holiday outside the continent, be in agreement with your spouse if it is possible and then communicate the source of finance for the trip. This builds trust in the relationship– a good step in restoring the marriage.
3. Define the direction of the marriage
Yes, you are living separately; of course, you made the decision with sobriety. This is the time you realize some of the goals and set timelines of the separation are not practical.
With the help of a professional, let it be clear whether you want a divorce, separation marriage or marriage restoration.
Depending on the complexity of your challenges, weigh all the options and start working towards a healthy separation.
At the initial stages, disagreements are inevitable. There is no taking away from the fact that healing separation or a marriage on the mend is not an easy feat, but with the help of a counselor, you will have a structured guideline to go through it smoothly.
4. Have a legal practitioner
You are in dispute, how do you divide your assets? It would be a good idea to retain an expert who can equip you with legal counsel on how to cope with separation around the crisis that accompanies while you are dealing with separation.
What are the rights of a partner who lives with the children?
It is difficult for the two of you to come to an agreement for selfish reasons. Get a reputable and non-partisan lawyer who understands your in-depth issues and prioritizes your interests in the healthy separation.
Use time-tested and proven referrals.
5. Involve a health professional
The legal professional only handles the law in relation to assets and can compel a partner to be responsible for a healthy separation.
How will you deal with the emotional stress because of unresolved differences as well as the traumatizing experiences in the separation period?
With different human morphology, you need a counselor to give you separation counseling, and tips on how to handle the situation.
If the issues around separation in a marriage are so deep that they affect your mental health, then a psychiatrist is vital to aid your ailing mind and facilitate a healthy separation.
As you are trying to map out the unfamiliar terrain of getting through a separation and striving to understand how to handle separation, check out separation support groups.
A qualified expert will also help you find a viable answer to the question, do marriage separations work. It will be helpful to seek separation therapy for an unbiased intervention and support for the couple to create mutually negotiated terms of separation clearly.
6. Avoid a new intimate relationship
While going through a separation, loneliness, bitterness, anger and lack of a companion might tempt you to start a new relationship.
This escalates the complexity of the issue leading to the withdrawal of financial support or making progress on whether you want to restore the marriage even if it is a platonic relationship.
Until you have made a decision on the marriage, you have the power to still restore it, if both of you have good willpower.
A new partner a few months into the separation distracts your mind from focusing on the goals of separation. What else do you have to discuss your marriage when one is in a new relationship?
You both believe you can rekindle the love you once had.
If you both think your state of mind resonates with the above points, your marriage is definitely worth salvaging. Connect with a professional who can first determine the possibility and then work extensively with both of you to revive the broken bond.
These proven steps in the direction of a marriage separation, have the power to resolve the complex issues in your marriage to achieve healthy separation goals faster rather than opt for divorce.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.