Half of marriages end in divorce. We've all been told that for years.
That's a pretty hefty number to swallow. But before many couples throw in the towel, they decide to try a marital separation, in the hopes that spending some time apart will bring them back together.
While separating can be a really good thing, it's a very difficult place to be emotionally. Here are some tips for surviving marital separation.
Be kind - or at least respectful - to one another. When emotions run high, it's very easy to lob hurtful statements at each other, but if you're trying to decide to stay or go, being kind is a big deal.
Take all the time you need. Knowing that you're on the verge of divorce is a scary point to reach, so don't rush into a decision one way or another. Time can heal wounds, time remind of us of the bad times - as well as the good - so don't feel pressured to make up or break up until you've had a good long while to think about it.
Likewise, don't pressure your partner into making a decision just because you can't stand not to know. Just like you, your partner has to spend some time alone, discovering who he or she really is.
Be alone for awhile. Don't go running into someone else's arms - even if it's a way to make yourself feel better. More than likely, your emotions will go haywire and you'll have a terrible time trying to sort through your real feelings. You've got to be on your own for a bit.
Try to understand the balance between dependence and independence. Being independent while still dependent upon each other is important for a marriage, and both partners should be free to be themselves. See if the balance between the two - dependence and independence - is something you're having trouble maintaining.
Lean on your friends and family during this emotional time. It may be your natural inclination to keep it all to yourself, but a marriage separation is a burden too hard to carry alone. So tell people you're struggling, and how they can help. People DO want to help.
Keep the kids out of it. Until your kids are old enough to understand what's going on between Mom and Dad, don't drag them into it - hard as it may be. Just keep reassuring them that you and your partner love them no matter what.
What other tips do you have for surviving marital separation?
Image via Alex E. Proimos/Flickr