Marriage problems can escalate to the point where both spouses think they need physical and emotional space to prevent permanent, irreparable damage to the relationship. While a few hours or a weekend visiting a friend might help clear your head, a marriage separation does not prevent a divorce. In fact, it might lead to one. Learning to respect each other’s space and individuality within the house can save a marriage from separation. It goes a long way toward encouraging healthy interaction and communication.
If you have already separated, there are things you can do to work towards getting back together. Here are some tips to surviving a marriage separation:
- Communicate expectations and set ground rules.
- Set an agreed upon time line for temporary marriage separation and frequency of communication. Make sure that both parties agree to interact and commit to working on the cause of the marriage problems and possible solutions to expedite the healing process.
- Establish a balanced visitation schedule for the children that doesn’t alienate them from one parent or another.
- Continue parenting as a team. It will be very difficult for a child to understand that the marriage separation will only be temporary. Maintaining a positive outlook and attitude will help ease the pain and confusion for the children.
- Use the time apart to work on your behaviors that contributed to the marriage problems. Examine what your needs and expectations were in the beginning and how they’ve changed as the marriage progressed.
- Make a concerted effort to learn and listen without being defensive. Focus on working together to find solutions rather than fixing blame.
- If the emotional separation becomes overwhelming, seek out professional counseling to help overcome from the pain, anger and other overarching emotions that will make it far more difficult to communicate effectively.
- Concentrate on changing your own behavior. Take consistent actions to demonstrate love for each other.
Marriage separation may seem like the easy way out, but its negative effects can far outweigh any benefits. Saving a marriage from separation can be achieved by applying some of the steps above early in the process, learning to listen, and adapting and growing as your spouse’s needs change. Consider seeking out professional help to guide and navigate you through the separation and help you get back together to develop a strong, healthy marriage. Call us. We can help.