A trial separation simply means that a couple has decided to take a break in their relationship and to use their time apart to make decisions on whether they want to continue working on their relationship or just put the relationship to an end. This privacy can help you assess the problems in the relationship objectively and also experience what being lonely would be like, and get a taste of independence, freedom and autonomy.
Trial Separation is seen as a pause in the relationship, it is seen as a moment for which a relationship is put on a hold for a time whereby you can decide to continue or stop. Trial separation is when a couple decided to live apart in the same or different apartment or quarters. Mostly because of financial instability, many couples decide to live together but apart while they are separated. They mostly decide to wait until they have made decisions as to whether or not they are going to divorce or put an end to the relationship before making any decision regarding who is moving out and when. And while many of the couples don’t have much of a choice about still living together during the matrimonial or trial separation, they worry if it is the best thing to do.
Common reasons for trial separation are:
Extramarital affairs a common reason for trial separation due to the wreckage they bring. Trust is the most difficult aspect of a relationship to rebuild. Eventually if you chose not to get back with your spouse or live together at the end of your trial separation, it may be near impossible to get back the trust you once had for your partner and the trust your partner has for you. Unfaithfulness can also cause the betrayed partner to retaliate by cheating themselves.
Adultery is an almost immediate killer in relationships as it causes deep heartache, anger and grief in a relationship. Not only does this damage happiness, delight, joy and pleasure of being in the relationship but it can also fundamentally change your behaviour. Feelings of anger, anxiety, grief, insignificance, and depression can fester. Grief and anxiety associated with cheating or an unfaithful partner can ever trigger symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Not keeping one’s promises also makes someone seem unfaithful. Trial separation can be caused when a partner doesn’t keep his promises.
2. No children
Not having children or being barren is one of the reasons of trial separation in a marriage or relationship. In most case, not being able to bear children also causes trauma and anxiety in a marriage which often leads to trial or even permanent separation in the marriage.
Sometimes when children have left the house to pursue further education or any other reason, it can leave the parents feeling lonely and tugged from their routine. This is why many couples get separated once their children leave home. This happens majorly when parents become so focused on raising their children that they forget to continue showing love and passion and also dating one another. They forget that they are a couple in a relation, not just parents.
Drug and alcohol addictions can also bring in uncertainty in a relationship and lead to a trial or even permanent separation. Substance abuse encourages poor spending, instability both emotionally and financially, and rapid mood swings and out-of-character behaviour that can ruin your marriage or relationship.
Here are a few rules to be adhered to while undergoing trial separation
- Set Boundaries
Having clear set boundaries is essential to building trust amongst partners during and after a separation. Setting boundaries helps in explaining how much space you’re comfortable with in a relationship, emotionally or physically while being separated.
- Make decisions regarding your intimacy
You have to decide whether you will still remain intimate with your partner. You have to make decisions regarding your communication and sex life. You have to make decisions whether you will have sex and if you will spend time with one another while still separated.
- Plan for financial obligations
There should be a clear arrangement about what happens to the assets, cash, debts during a separation. There should be equal sharing of resources and obligations and children should be sufficiently taken care of.
- Set a specific time frame for the separation
The trial separation should have a specific time frame attached to it so that the trial separation main aim can be accomplished- to decide the future actions to make in the marriage, maybe to end or continue. The time frame should possibly be between three and six months so a sense of determination and seriousness is retained, especially where there are kids involved.