Marion sits outside the hospital lawn gathering some fresh air. It is her second day in the hospital. Her bruises are now cleaner, but the bruise below her right eye is still clear. She suddenly does not know who to confide in, after all everyone seems to know the story better than she does. Mind you it’s her story. Marion was physically abused by the husband, who later brought her to the hospital. She looks at her eight-month pregnancy and hears the kicks of the baby. This gives her enough reason to think harder. Marion has been married for the last ten years, and she has two other children aged 10 and 13. Violence has been part of her life. She is so used to emotional and physical abuse, and the only reason she has stayed in the marriage is for the kids. This is just one of many cases of people suffering in marriages. What options do they have in such kind marriages? To go or to stay for the children? There are various ways but let’s focus on temporary separation as an option.
Temporary separation in marriage is the when couples agree to take time out from each other for a while for a couple of reasons as a step towards divorce, gain a new perspective about the marriage or because of a disagreement. From its name, it’s always temporary and may or not end up to a breakage.
Like Marion who has struggled, her doctor suggests that she needs to take time out from her marriage.
Why does it matter that we take up temporary separation?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you are away from someone, there is a tendency for you to start reevaluating your life in regards to the other person. Additionally, this mini-split up might help you find yourself and the value that you have which may help you make the right decision for the marriage. The other person might also start valuing what he/ she has been missing now that you are away.
Third party inclusion:
Most of the times, fights and feuds can be solved when there is a third party involved. Reason being the couple in a fight will never accept that by any chance they are in the wrong. A third party might help you figure out what exactly might be the cause of the feuds in your marriage. They might also help in actually work out the problem. And this third party do not necessarily have to be marriage counselors but people who are knowledgeable in that area and are neutral to both sides.
The time may also help in identifying what is the ultimate aim of the situation. The participants decide what they want out of each other. In the case of Marion maybe it’s time out for her, a temporary solution might help her figure out what’s best for her.
Pros to a temporary separation.
- It provides time and space to identify each other’s values in regards to the marriage.
- It helps identify underlying factors that may be causing the problems.
- Time-out may assist the self-development of individuals that may be causing the problems in the relationship and solve that before getting back.
- It also offers a platform through which couples get to discuss challenges they have been going through openly.
It also helps couple go back to what it takes to be happy in a relationship.
- It could be the beginning of the improvement of the journey.
As much as it might be successful, temporary separation could bring out negative implications that include:
- It could create more distance
- Couples may always take this as an option every time they fight. Making it very harmful to a marriage or relationship.
- The couples may take so much time in self-development and forget to fix their relationship.
Before settling for a temporary separation couple should consider:
- How separation of assets is going to take place.
- If there are kids involved you two need to agree who is going to stay with them in the meantime.
- Need to discuss sex and intimacy.
Temporary separation has its set of advantages that can be really beneficial for couples. However their drawback are also quite drastic. We would recommend that couples take time before considering it as a solution.