If you’re thinking of divorce like millions of others in the US only, you probably thought of legal or formal separation too. If money is an issue, then there is another option that might help in situations like this. Trial separation while living together with your spouse.
Many couples decide to be separated but still living together for financial reasons, but many also choose the agreement of trial separation because it’s the easiest and most harmless way of changing the unbearable situation in the marriage.
Still living together and be separated at the same time has only one disadvantage compared to being separated physically – the chance to get things back to usual very fast and unnoticed. However, if done right, trial separation but living together is a great choice forthose who suffer from marital problems.
Wondering how to separate from spouse while living together? How to make the big move?
Here’s what you need to define and why trial separation can be better than divorce or physical separation:
Have the big talk
Sit down with your partner and openly talk about the situation. State clearly what you need, what you think about separated but living together boundaries. What you have to do, butlisten to your partner and his or her needs too.
You’ll experience trial separation in the same house. Therefore, living together during separation can take a toll on mental health too. So, it is very important to be flexible and find a way not to act like you’re still being married. You’re getting consciously opting for a trial separation, keep that in mind.
Talk about details
Talk about the little things and make a plan and an agreement about what are the rules of trial separation. Who cooks for who and does he? Who and when uses the bathroom? Is the dog someone’s responsibility? Who takes the kids to school?
Don’t leave anything to coincidence. Give yourselves time and be officially separated, but don’t go on like that forever. A period of three to six months is optimal for a temporary separation. But whatever the spouses agree on, is also good.
Talk to children
The good part when living together and still be on trial separation with kids is that you have plenty of options on how to handle the children’s problem.
Kids are sensitive and extra care should be given to them. So if you are separated but living together with kids, it is your choice if you are going to tell them about the trial separation or not. If they are older, they’ll probably understand, but if they’re too young, maybe not having to talk to them is the best option.
Define how you’re going to tell the world
So, you are separated but living in the same house.
Are you going to tell the world about your trial separation in the same house? You don’t need everyone to know if you want to keep this to yourself. You can tell some friends, but leave the family out of it, or tell some family members you trust, but not everyone else. It’s your choice.
Remember discussing the issue repeatedly can affect you emotionally and take a toll on the equation you share with your spouse. So, avoid talking to too many people about it and affect your judgment or take on the situation.
Arrange room possession
Be sure to ask for your space during the trial separation. The court can direct certain rules based on the agreement of both parties. Ask for certain possessions and vehicles while taking this course of action. Better, if you prepare a list of your demands.
A trial separation is about gaining some space for yourself. You should talk about having a place to think and enjoy. It is a good idea to split the rooms and arrange their use. For instance, the living room can be his room, but the bedroom hers. More rooms, more options.
Have occasional serious talks
Arrange how you like communication to look like. Are you going to talk to each other all the time? Are you going to communicate just for important things? However, set some milestones after which you’ll have a serious talk about how things are going and is there an improvement in the relationship.
Separation calls for open communication. A trial separation is not the end of the marriage. So, you need not be discouraged. Work on your communication rules for living together while separated. So, once you set the rules, be consistent with your efforts as you stick to the guidelines.
Also, understand that communication is a two-way process. So, be an active listener. Try to understand and hear your spouse as you expect to be understood and heard. Practice patience.
In the video below, Jimmy Evans discusses the issue of constructive separation when a couple finds themselves in an abusive situation or when considering divorce. While most partners jump to the decision of divorce, it is crucial to understand that divorces are the last options and prior to that, it is okay to tell your spouse that you love them but it’s hurting to be together, and then opt for a trial separation. Check out more about it below:
Decide how to live together while separated. Considering you both are still together but living apart, your expectations with each other could vary leading to a certain chaos. So, early decisions will help clear the mess and avoid any future confusion about being separated but living together agreement.
A trial separation is a major decision that can be life-changing. So, once you decide with that, make sure you are clear with the next step as the time passes. This way you will see if the relationship is going back to being married, or divorce will be necessary.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.