- Practical advice to save troubled marriages - Header

Coming to terms with separation in marriage

How to handle a marriage separation

An unhappy married couple turning their backs on each other

It doesn't matter whether you initiated the marriage breakup or not there can still be feelings of deep regret that a union, that was most probably loving and caring in the early stages, is now finally over.

If your differences are irreconcilable you have to make the effort to concentrate on matters that need your urgent attention in order to finalize your failed marriage and then quickly move on.

If however you both have made a firm decision to save your marriage and have resolutely committed to that undertaking then the rewards can be great. Such renewed partnerships can grow in depth, honesty and intimacy.

Divorce and separation

So, can couples separating save a marriage? Some people strenuously resist separating, thus adding even more stress into an already tense marriage.

Perhaps a couple separating may be the best option for some troubled marriages, despite the looming shadow of divorce, when living together is obviously is not working.

However, can you make it work from a distance? A trial parting will go a long way in helping you decide the answer.

Couples who separate tend to find that without the constant daily conflict and bickering the lack of proximity to their spouse provides time to think, and solve problems... Marital problems are often hard to resolve as they often get stalled by egos, fear and stubbornness.

Resolution can flourish as long as at least one partner is willing to keep trying. If the urge to always be right and not back down remains then it probably means that divorce is inevitable.

Children, property and money

A marriage breakup or divorce raises many issues. There are concerns such as your children's security and custody and the allocation of chattels, money and property.

Then there are the issues of loneliness, dealing with mutual friends and in-laws, and concerns over finding someone else to share your life with.

It is important to keep reminding yourself that time is a great healer and that matters will eventually resolve themselves... just remain positive and know that you will survive this ordeal and come out a stronger person for it.

How to cope with marriage separation

To start with you need to understand that feelings of loss, regret, frustration and confusion are normal reactions to a couples breakup or divorce. It is normal therefore that your levels of energy, productivity and motivation will be lower at this juncture.

As we have mentioned in some of our other articles, it is important that when you have marital issues you don't try to cope with them on your own. No man is an island as the common expression goes. Confide in your friends, a counselor, or, only if appropriate, family... help is everywhere if you just look for it.

Grief is a natural by product of a marriage separation, recognize this and allow yourself time to grieve about the loss of your dreams, the loss of companionship, the loss perhaps of financial security and the loss of some of your mutual friends.

Like grieving over the death of a loved one, grieving over a marital breakup can be just as traumatic.

Allow yourself time to get over it, then move on. Be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.

Here's some important tips

Endeavor to participate in as many of your previous activities as possible. Go for a regular walk, listen to your favorite music and mix with friends. Try and get back into a regular routine... it may not be the same as previously but it is important that you have some structure to your life.

Don't rush into making major changes regarding property matters and so on. We have dealt with many people, who in a time of confusion over their break up, have changed jobs or locations... Many of these people felt that the only way to get on with life was to run away from familiar places and people that reminded them of their lost relationship.

The great majority of those people subsequently regretted their haste when they realized that their loss had only been compounded by removing themselves from familiar surroundings.

Rather than running away from your loss make an effort to explore and cultivate new relationships and interests and above all look after your grooming and diet.

Analyzing the reasons

After the initial shock of marriage separation most individuals will under go a period of self analysis. They will normally wonder what they could have done differently to avoid the break up and whether they were a major contributor to it.

They may even wonder if they married the right person in the first place. What really attracted them to each other initially? Were they ever compatible? Did either one of them change for the worse during their marriage?

There are many questions one could ask themselves in the pursuit of a reason for their marriage separation or why their marriage failed, this procedure is part of the normal healing process and is a healthy step along the path to getting on with your life.

Just don't dwell on matters of allocating fault, consider the questions and then put them aside and get on with living.

Will this be the end? 

Not all separations spell the end of a marriage.

However if you want to avoid a trial separation becoming permanent then you will need to establish an atmosphere that will bring about a positve and beneficial change in your relationship.

Relationship consultant, therapist and author Amy Waterman outlines simple and easy to follow techniques in her best selling "Save My Marriage Today" guide as to how married couples should go about re-establishing their former relationship before it is too late.