A Trial Separation Could Save Your Troubled Marriage

What do you do when your marriage hits the rocks. Do you cut and run? Do you go into counseling? Do you just hope for things to get better? Lots of couples can share their stories about how they've handled a dip in the marriage love tank, but the ones you might want to take advice from are the couples who tried a trial separation. A few months ago, the Wall Street Journalreported that possibly the best way to save a marriage is to take deliberate time apart. While some people just see a separation as a pit stop on the road to divorce, it can be quite the opposite. It can be, in fact, a pit stop on the road to happiness.


A trial separation allows you to see if you really do want to get a divorce. It gives you the space to think about what ultimately makes you happy.

This isn't to say "studies show" or "research proves" that couples who take a trial separation more often than not get back together -- there's no data to support that. And really, how could there be? Staying married or calling it quits is such a personal decision; what worked for one couple might not work for another.

This is to say, on the other hand, that the view about trial separation should be broaden. They're not a marriage death wish, as popular opinion may suggest. If approached respectfully and with intent (as opposed to just up and leaving in the middle of the night), time apart from your spouse will give you an opportunity to reflect on what was and wasn't working in your relationship.

And if the absence makes your heart grow fonder, getting to know your spouse again for the first time can be wonderful. And if after a few months apart you still can't stand the sight of his face, then yes, divorce is probably a valid option. There are no guarantees in trial separations, but that should be looked upon as a positive, not a negative.

Would you consider a trial separation?


Photo via the italian voice/Flickr

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