Partners who have been truly invested in the health and vitality of their marriages are rightfully heartbroken when the word “separation” enters the conversation. Sometimes, despite our most fervent attempts to mend a broken marriage, the separation becomes inevitable and gut-wrenching.
If separation is unavoidable in a marriage, does it mean a nosedive into depression, anger, and a precipitous decline in overall health? Not necessarily so.
The first-step towards healing
The first step in securing some healing, when the marriage is becoming unraveled, is to recognize that you are not completely responsible for the dissolution of it. As many counselors have stated before, “it takes two to tango.” When two partners end the relationship, both carry some responsibility for its ending.
It is also important to recognize that a failed marriage is not the same thing as being a failure. While you may feel like a failure, please remember that the end of the marriage does not mean an end to your purpose, identity, and future. Above all, love yourself.
Give time to grieve and heal
Grief presupposes healing. What do I mean by this? If the marriage comes to an end, it is important to give yourself the opportunity and space to grieve the loss of the connection, intimacy and a shared future.
Grief is a natural process by with body and soul shed some of the strong emotion connected with a loss. Simply put, it is okay to cry, yell, withdraw, and sulk. Denying these important features of grief is akin to leaving an infection untreated.
Don’t lose hope
Finally, a word about hope. If you and your estranged partner are still able to articulate some semblance of a shared future, you may need to embrace the possibility that the marriage union may continue. The ability to look at the future through a hopeful lens with your partner indicates that you may be able to heal TOGETHER.
Even if this possibility does not occur, do not forget to celebrate and cherish the good moments you shared with your partner. As painful as the relationship may have become, it was never “all bad.”
Ah, and remember God’s love is always close and unconditional.