If you’re thinking of divorce like millions of other 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 separate while living together out of financial reasons, but many also choose this kind because it’s the easiest and most harmless way of changing the unbearable situation in the marriage.
Still living together and be separated in the same time has only one disadvantage compared to being separated physically – the chance to get the things back to usual very fast and unnoticed. However, if done right, separation while living together is a great choice for those who suffer from marital problems.
Here’s what you need to define and why it 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, and what you have to do, but listen to your partner and his or her needs too. It is very important to be flexible and find a way not to act like you’re still being married. You’re getting separated, keep that in mind.
Talk about details
Talk about the little things and make a plan and an agreement what are the rules. 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?
Everything must be put on the table and be discussed. When you find mutual understanding about these things, it will be very easy to go on.
Precise how long you’ll do it
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, but whatever the spouses agree on, is also good.
Talk to children
The good part when living together and be separated is that you have plenty of options how to handle the children’s problem.
Kids are sensitive and extra care should be given to them. It is your choice if you are going to tell them about the 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
Are you going to tell the world? 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.
Arrange room possession
Being separated 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 the 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.
This way you will see if the relationship is going back to being married, or divorce will be necessary.