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Do Trial Separations Ever Work?

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #16
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Tough stuff ... stay strong!

My DH and I have been going to a counselor for about 3 years now. When we started, we were only a breath away from divorce. Our counselor gave us 2 options at first - Do we stay married or do we work on an amicable divorce. Nothing in between ... No "Well I have to see how I feel," No "Well maybe we need a break from each other for awhile," No "I'll try if he/she does," etc. Anything in the middle and you're kind of hedging your bets if you know what I mean. I wanted a seperation but didn't want to lose this counselor (he's THAT good!) so I didn't push it because he would've dropped us. I think if I did get a seperation, it would have gone to divorce very quickly.

I guess I'm trying to say "If you're in it .. you're in it. No middle ground. Either work really hard at it or decide it's time to quit." It sounds kind of cold but if you really think about, I think it's the right way ..

Just FYI, after much counselling (and still going every few months) - our marriage is better for it's wear and tare .. it built character for us as a couple.

Good luck - and I do agree that perhaps you can both benefit with some individual counseling as well as couples (but never by the same counselor)
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #17
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I guess I'm more worried about whether or not separating would be a death-blow to our marriage or whether it could provide some perspective and relief. We don't really have the money for me to get an apartment or anything like that, so I would probably stay with a friend or relative. Any experiences?
I think it depends on your tolerance level. Do you feel like you're at a breaking point? Have your marital problems taken over your entire life to the point where you feel demoralized and cannot concentrate on anything else?

Regardless of whether it would be a death-blow to separate, it's possible that it might be what's best for you if it's bringing challenge to everything else in your life. Either way, something is going to give: if you continue as is, you might become more anxious/angry/(insert emotion here), and living somewhere else (temporarily or permanently) can give you clarity-- you might decide that you want to work things out, or you might even decide that it's better for you to separate.

Mental health issues are tough on the individual and probably just as tough on their partners.. Just remember that there's nothing you can do for him if he isn't sincerely trying to get better.

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Old 02-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #18
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The problem with separation is that some people think that its the same as divorce. They want to date other people, etc., which doesn't help do anything but end the marriage. If you are going to separate, then separate via divorce. If you are going to work it out, what's the point of separating since you have to live together if you decide to stay together?
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:08 AM   #19
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Sorry to hear that you feel like you have to walk on egg shells ..that is really a hard way to live. home should be a soft place to fall,not a place where you are emotionally abused. We teach people how to treat us and what we will tolerate.
What would you tell a client if they shared what has been going on in your life?
Sometimes I think we have the answers inside us ...we do not always want to say it out loud.
Separation can bring clarity...you might be able to look at what has been going on with fresh eyes.
I wish you peace and contentment with whatever you decide,
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #20
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Thank you so much to everyone who responded. Things have gotten somewhat better and we have had a couple of "emergency" meetings with the therapist. I do believe very much that he loves me (DH, not the therapist-haha), and loves me very much. We have agreed that we will both commit ourselves to trying to work on our relationship and continue with counseling for six months- so we're not going to separate. During that time we will not make any big decisions (either to stay or go) about our marriage. So far, it's working out well (but it has only been a few days) and DH has been more communicative and loving than he has been in a long time.

Hopefully things will work out for the best, but if they don't, at least this way I have some time to adjust. There is still too much emotional stuff involved and it would be a mistake to end things without really giving it a try.

Thanks so much again, 3FC family!
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MarjorieMargarine View Post
Thank you so much to everyone who responded. Things have gotten somewhat better and we have had a couple of "emergency" meetings with the therapist. I do believe very much that he loves me (DH, not the therapist-haha), and loves me very much. We have agreed that we will both commit ourselves to trying to work on our relationship and continue with counseling for six months- so we're not going to separate. During that time we will not make any big decisions (either to stay or go) about our marriage. So far, it's working out well (but it has only been a few days) and DH has been more communicative and loving than he has been in a long time.

Hopefully things will work out for the best, but if they don't, at least this way I have some time to adjust. There is still too much emotional stuff involved and it would be a mistake to end things without really giving it a try.

Thanks so much again, 3FC family!
congratulations! It sounds like you have a well thought out plan ... wish you the absolute best of luck with everything!
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