According to data from Ohio State University, 80% of couples that have decided to separate actually end up in divorce. If your spouse has decided to leave (or already has left), it might seem like the end of the road for your marriage. But don’t despair – if you know how to rebuild your marriage during a separation, you can still build your path towards a happy and harmonious marriage.
Can Separation Save a Marriage?
It depends. You can use this opportunity away from your spouse to make your marriage better or it can make you grow distant from each other.
A lot of married couples amicably and mutually agree to separate when they are having marital troubles. Is this a smart move? Can you actually save your marriage by separating?
You might think that separation is the final straw that will eventually end up in divorce. Not necessarily.
It is what you do during a marriage separation that matters. Therefore, it pays to know how to rebuild your marriage during a separation so that you can get together and be stronger than ever before.
How to Rebuild Your Marriage During a Separation
Trial separation is what a lot of marriage counselors often refer to as a short or long-term period of separation that couples subject themselves to. It is when spouses spend time apart in order to give each other time to reflect on what is wrong with the marriage.
Use this time away from each other as an opportunity to revive your marriage. Follow these tips to help you out during this difficult phase.
Stay in Touch
When you are physically apart from each other, you have no idea how the other is doing. This is why you should keep your communication lines open, even when you are separated. If you completely shut down communication, it might make your spouse want to pull away from you even more.
When you communicate with your partner, do not bicker, argue, or criticize them. If you do, it will only confirm their decision to separate. In fact, it might serve as the final straw in their decision to get divorced. You do not want to be hostile to your spouse; instead, make them realize and feel what they are missing.
Reflect on Marital Issues
This is the primary reason why spouses spend time apart – to be able to reflect on the issues plaguing their marriage. If you have decided to spend time away from each other, work on the issues you are having. When you are constantly at each other’s throats, it can be difficult to be objective when approaching your problems in the marriage. But when you are apart and thinking with a clear head, you are able to see the situation more clearly.
It is also an opportunity for you to do some self-reflection. Think about how you react when certain issues arise. Is there anything that you would like to change about your behavior? Are certain aspects of your behavior adding to the problem? These are just a few of the things you must reflect on.
Communicate Your Desire for Reconciliation
When you communicate with your spouse during separation, don’t just check up on what they are doing. Use this opportunity to let them know what you expect to get out of this separation. If you want to reconcile, let them know about it.
If you wish to reconcile with them after, let them know while you are separated. It is important to make them aware of your intentions so they do not lose hope. If they do not respond, be patient. Give them the time to decide if they want the same thing too.
If they wish to reconcile, you can encourage them by telling them that you want the same thing.
Don’t Be Needy
Being separated from your spouse is scary. There is always the possibility that they enjoy their time away and that they will consider pursuing a divorce.
However, this is not the time to be needy. Communication with your spouse is important during this time, but try to respect their space too. Do not bombard them with messages several times a day. You do not want to appear as being needy to the point that you are begging them to be back in your life.
Instead, project yourself as a confident and independent individual. Make them feel that their decision is in their hands and you respect that.
Do Not Rush
There is no golden rule as to how long or short a separation should be. It can be as short as three months or as long as a year. Take your time. You do not want to abruptly get back together and then go through the same problems again.
Make sure you use the time away from each other wisely to grow as individuals and to improve on your relationship.
See a Marriage Counselor – Separately
There are many marriage counselors that provide counseling for couples separately. This is a great way for you to save your marriage during a separation.
In order for a marriage to work, the two individuals in that relationship must be emotionally and mentally healthy. When you visit a marriage counselor or therapist, you will have the opportunity to identify any issues in your own behavior. It’s easy to blame your spouse when there are issues in your marriage. However, you could also be the reason why you are having problems in your marriage; make sure to work on that, too.
Make a Decision
If you think that your marriage is not worth saving, then stop wasting your time and prolonging your agony. You have to decide now instead of wasting each other’s time. On the other hand, if you think that your marriage is worth saving, you should map out the steps you need to rebuild your marriage.
By being indecisive, you deprive yourself and your spouse the opportunity to do things that make them happy. You should never stay in a marriage just because you fear getting divorced. That is the worst reason to stay. At the same time, you have to be realistic about your view of your marriage. It isn’t worth it if you are the only one fighting to save your marriage.