Separation is when a married couple decides to live separate lives while remaining legally married. Separation is often seen as a sign that a divorce is imminent but it depends on the situation. People should not view separation in a marriage as its end. There are several instances in which couples need a break to collect themselves or address matters going on in their lives. Although true, there are other situations in which a separation serves as a transition period from married life to divorce. No matter what, marriage separation has to be handled correctly. This is where separation advice comes in. The right approach can save your marriage or make divorce much easier.
1. Separating the right way
Separation in a marriage is a tough topic and is an even tougher stage to deal with. A normal response to a separation is something along the lines of, “I have to save my marriage.” Whether that is done successfully or not, here are a few tips for separating the right way.
Be mindful of everything you say and do
Mindfulness is crucial during a separation. Impulsivity is often driven by sadness, resentment and/or anger so always think things through before taking action. Following marriage separation, some people want to be the first to file for divorce, take another drastic step or utter harsh words that only damage the relationship. Even if the two of you get divorced, wouldn’t you like a peaceful divorce?
2. Establish healthy boundaries
After a separation, one of the first things you want to do with your estranged husband/wife is establish healthy boundaries. This includes determining how finances will be handled since the two of you will no longer be living together, make arrangements concerning the children, address any other shared responsibilities and agree that there will be no romantic interaction during this time. Those that have, “Save my marriage” on the brain may see this as counterintuitive but remaining romantically involved takes away from the benefits of separation that can rekindle a marriage. These benefits include:
- Viewing your marriage from a different perspective
Oftentimes you have to create distance in order to view a relationship from another perspective. Continuing romantic involvement hinders that by not allowing yourself to let go, even if just for a while.
- Getting to experience being alone
People have to be alone to collect their thoughts, wrap their head around the situation and determine the best way to approach it.
- Becoming a better person
Growth is the main thing that saves a marriage after a period of separation. Experiencing the cause of past mistakes first hand will assist you in identifying what was done wrong on your part. Individuals have to go off and live their own lives to truly evolve.
3. Focus on the positive
Even when separated, two people have to communicate, especially if children are involved. Whenever there’s an opportunity to have a nice interaction with your spouse, take it. Always be respectful, kind and allow all your great characteristics to shine. This promotes a healthy relationship and may even help him/her remember why they married you in the first place.
4. Keep communication open
Those who are separated shouldn’t fill the situation with anger and blame. Hostility breaks down communication rather quickly. Instead, aim to create a peaceful, open and very comfortable dynamic. This is especially helpful for couples in which hostility was a problem in the marriage. It shows change and the willingness to grow. Open communication also increases the chance of being able to discuss what led to the separation.
5. Accept the Change
Even if the goal is making the relationship work after separation, it is important for you to accept the change in your life. It may work out and it may not. Whatever direction things go in, your mind and emotions have to be ready so do welcome the transition. It may be difficult at first but that is the healthy way to approach a separation.
Things to avoid in a marriage separation
1. Do not publicize the separation
Once a person announces a separation, everyone has something to say about it. The only person’s thoughts and opinions you need at this time are your own.
2. Avoid doing anything out of spite
The most important piece of separation advice that you must always follow is, do not do anything out of spite. Taking action to hurt another person is unhealthy. Not only does it make you look bad but you will probably regret it later.
3. Don’t speak badly about your estranged spouse to family and friends
There is always a chance that the two of you may get back together. Bad mouthing your estranged husband or wife can cause friends and family to see him/her in a negative light which can impact the relationship despite a reconciliation. It can also add additional tension.