Can tentative separation really save your marriage?

Have you ever wondered whether tentative separation is what you need to improve your relationship with your partner? If so, you are not alone.

Some couples who are struggling (and perhaps even considering divorce) agree to tentative separation. They hope that being apart for a period of time will help them get back together in a healthier way.

Or, if they are considering divorce, they feel that trying to separate can give them some understanding of separated life before making a decision.of

But many people believe that separation for a period of time will inevitably destroy an already tense relationship.

What is trial separation?

Trial separation is different from legal separation. When a couple is legally separated, a lawyer will be involved in determining how to allocate money or how to arrange guardianship. In tentative separations, the spouses make an informal agreement together. In addition, most couples:

  • Separated during the trial separation period.
  • Decide how to pay the bills and allocate funds in any way they see fit.
  • If applicable, decide where children and pets live.
  • Jointly determine who will manage the assets.

For some people, tentative separation may be a stepping stone to divorce. For others, this may be a cooling-off period, allowing them to solve problems without the emotional tension they experienced when living together.

Potential benefits

Separation tentatively may have some benefits for your relationship. These benefits may include:

  • You have time to exercise yourself. Whether you want to increase your tolerance for frustration or solve the problem of substance abuse, you may find that you can work better for yourself when your partner is not in the same home.
  • You can handle the response to your partner. You may exhibit the worst behaviors for your partner. Nagging, preaching, or belittling them can be a huge source of conflict. Living separately can give you the opportunity to learn how to stop doing these things.
  • You may appreciate your partner more. It’s easy to take someone for granted when you are always together. When you are not together, you may realize how important your partner is to you.
  • You have a chance to calm down. If you are really upset about what your partner is doing (such as having an affair or lying to you), separation can give you a chance to calm down and heal a little bit before trying to solve your problem.
  • You will get a glimpse of what a separated life will look like. You may sometimes dream of the freedom of being single. Or you may question what life would be like if you were divorced. Exploratory separation gives you some insight into life without a partner at home.

potential risks

In some cases, trial separation may do more harm than good. The following are potential risks:

  • You may part ways. You may find yourself starting to live a life that is more conducive to being single, which may make it more difficult to reunite.
  • Gently letting someone down is not a good way. If you are sure you want a divorce, please do not use tentative separation as a way for your partner to transition more gently. This will only prolong their pain, and they may end up doing a lot of hard work in vain.
  • The problem may not be resolved. If you are struggling with specific issues such as trust or money, then separation can make it more difficult to resolve these issues.
  • Your situation will become more public. You may not be ready to talk about the pressure in your relationship. But friends and family members may have a lot of questions about why you are living apart.
  • Children may be confused. For children who don’t understand what’s going on, tentative separation can be difficult. They may think that you are divorcing (or you are already divorced), and it may be difficult for them to stay away from a parent.

How to make trial separation useful for you

If you want the tentative separation to be effective, it is important to take steps to give your relationship a real opportunity. Here are some things you might want to do:

  • Seek professional help. A husband and wife counselor or other qualified third party can provide you with objective information on how to improve your relationship. Just make sure you are willing to work hard for yourself (rather than simply trying to repair your partner).
  • Be clear about your expectations. Talk about what you think the separation will look like. Do you still go on a date? Will you participate in activities with the extended family? What will you share with your family and friends? Talking about these issues in advance can prevent many problems.
  • Decide when and how to communicate. It is important to be consistent in communication. Do you call every day? How many times do you plan to talk a week? Do you send text messages all day? Discuss this issue in advance to determine the frequency that is best for this stage of your relationship.
  • Talk about money publicly. Separation means that you may need to allocate funds in different ways. Who will be responsible for each bill? Will you maintain a joint bank account? Will you help each other financially? Discuss how you can work together to manage your finances to prevent you from hurting each other with money when you separate.
  • confirm target. Talk about how you hope the trial separation can help you. Do you want to heal old wounds? Do you hope that separation will help improve your communication or intimacy? Discuss your goals openly with each other.

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If you are considering trying to separate, it is best to talk to a professional first. The counselor may help you develop a plan (before one of you actually moves out) that will help make your trial separation effective.

If you have separated, please seek help as soon as possible. If your partner refuses to see a therapist, please see one for yourself. Even if your partner is not attending, it is still beneficial to talk to someone.