Is Separating a Good Thing? (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks
There are times that a separation can be a good thing, as long as you have boundaries that go along with it. Trial separations can work when there are ground rules in place. First, what is the purpose of the separation? Is it used to help better communication between couples? Is it used for healing a broken heart, what is the purpose of a trial separation? Again, I’ll ask that big questions, what is the purpose of any trial separation?
It’s not for the faint of heart, and there needs to be some guidelines before you take that next step. You both must sit down and go over the boundaries of your trial separation. Remember this is not the time to start dating, you need to focus on making yourself healthy for yourself and your spouse. Here are my tips for a trial separation:
- Set up a timeline for how long your trial separation will last, make it realistic, will you be separated for one month, two, three or four months? The longer you separate, the less chance you have of working on your marriage. You become accustomed to living apart. I’d say no longer than six months.
- What are your boundaries during your separation? No dating, stay with same-sex friends, no dinner dates with opposite sex, no texting, emails, check-ins, no after office working together with the opposite sex. Avoid any appearance of improprieties. This will keep you out of trouble and any gossip that can and will happen.
- Agree to go to counseling/coaching sessions. This will be a big help with understanding each other and hopefully help you with better communication. Plan on weekly sessions. Make sure to keep your appointments and commit to open and honest sharing. This is not the time to hold back your feelings.
- Plan to talk about your finances before you separate, who pays what bills and will you be able to afford tow households. I suggest that the one that leaves finds a bedroom you can rent from a friend, to keep the expenses down. If there are children involved, then you have to make sure that they are a top priority when planning your trial separation.
- Will you continue to have marital relations while you’re separated? I suggest that you don’t as this will cloud your thinking and why your getting separated. Couples that continue having sex will find it difficult to maintain and focus on healing the relationship.
I have known many couples that have had a trial separation and come out on the other side far better off and ready to work on the marriage. They agreed to stick to their boundaries; they held each other accountable by those boundaries.
Do you feel frustrated about your failing marriage or relationship? Do you need help in saving your marriage and family from divorce? Do you have a spouse or partner who isn’t communicating with you and you want it restored? Do you want help in learning good communication skills? Are you the partner who wants to end your relationship because it’s unhealthy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. If you need help.
Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!