In this lesson, you will discover how to handle marriage separation in order to ultimately make the outcome most positive and fruitful regardless of how much pain you are dealing with.
I am sorry for whatever the reason is that you are relating to this extremely important topic; my understanding is that it’s never easy, simple, or blissful.
Most people don’t go into a marriage with the purpose or intentions of separating. I would, however, argue that many are indirectly doing exactly that.
We’ve got tons of separation and reconciliation stories we can share with you to emphasize some of the patterns we continue to share with you in these lessons.
But we want to extract this particular lesson from just 2 stories.
As usual, all the advice we offer is easier said than done but they are worthwhile.
From the first story, Clara reported to us that her husband slept with someone else during separation and lied about it during and after reconciliation.
I know what you are thinking.
How could she ever possibly trust again? She can actually.
We also have Christine who is worried that her children will hate her and their dad for separating.
Even though the kids have accepted her excuse for sleeping on the sofa (she told them “mommy needs her space”), she is afraid that they will start to recognize the lack of intimacy or affection at some point.
Honestly, that is probably the least of her issues.
While some may be good at hiding the pain, separation is never easy for either of the parties involved; husband or wife.
Many of today’s modern men and women lack the patience level required to see it that way because they want all the answers to life questions faster, logically, and now.
They often opt-in for pointing fingers at everything and everyone else.
So in today’s lesson, I want to point out 7 tips to help anyone in any phase of navigating separation in marriage in order to make the most out of it.
Let’s dive right into it.
Tip #7 – Rules & Boundaries.
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One of the tools professionally offered to help with separation are letters or contracts that state what the rules and boundaries are during this process.
But I want to emphasize more on the double edge nature of emphasis on rules and boundaries.
Of course, these are designed to not be crossed.
But for quite a significant percentage of people, the emphasis on rules and boundaries tends to create attention for it and sadly, a heightened desire to cross them.
This is especially true when people are going through an experience that puts them in potentially the weakest space they’ve ever been in a lifetime.
So I want you to treat rules and boundaries with care especially during separation in marriage.
Actually, I’d rather you put more attention into yourself, self-esteem, self-worth, and understanding that the existing version of your marriage is over.
If you do decide to stay together, it should be a completely different version of your marriage.
It will make building trust a lot more easier because what happened with the other person during separation becomes less of a factor for the future.
I’m not saying this to encourage bad and sloppy behavior during separation but to encourage you to retain your much-needed power for your future with or without your present partner.
This is the tip for Clara whose husband slept with someone else during separation and lied about it.
As far as I am concerned, it’s more so an old problem that was never solved.
It’s an unrealistic expectation problem.
When in separation from your marriage, anything should not go but it could because it usually would. “Should“ is usually not the reality.
Tip #6 – Why
I want you to identify why you and/or your spouse have opted for separation in order to support the process with a purpose.
Any endeavor in life without an explicitly identifiable purpose is 100% destructive whether you know it or not.
Unfortunately, many people call for separation when they are in a confused state in an attempt to run away from pain or perceived pain.
So they just leave things in the hands of fate.
Tip #5 – How Long Should You Stay Separated?
This part is also like an oxymoron.
Let me explain.
When people want separation from a partner or the other way around, they are also and often caught up in their feelings to a large extent.
So the idea of setting a time or term on the process is almost an oxymoron because if they could do that, they would just fix the marriage.
But that’s why I am pointing it out.
If you want to make the most positive outcome from this often unpleasant experience, I want you to be intentional.
Starting with yourself, I want you to identify and determine how long you want to give this separation process before attempting a decision to stay together or move forward.
That will help tremendously with your personal self-esteem because of the element of certainty and put you more so in the driver’s seat.
Tip #4 – Death & Growth
There is no in-between.
Your marriage is either dying or growing at any point in time.
I am aware that you probably already know this but I also know that in the mental space of a person going through a separation, a reminder is probably necessary.
You are welcome.
Tip #3 – The Effect of Separation On Children
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Christine’s problem is not her children… that’s the least of her problems.
The children, by default, will have their own trauma carried over into adulthood.
Of course, parents should not be adding on to that.
But as you can see, Christine is adding on to it, maybe unknowingly, but for reasons best known to her by leaving her matrimonial bed for the couch.
She has her legitimate reasons; I’m sure.
It’s not what the kids are saying or hearing.
It is much more like what they are watching, how they will subconsciously process and interpret them, their personality, their temperament, 2,000 other signals…
And how they choose to live life as adults.
The only part of that you will be able to, not control but, influence is how you are living your life, maybe a little of what you say to them but more like how you nurture your marriage from what they can see.
So if you are not capable of nurturing your marriage without asking for space, they are seeing and learning that or the unhealthy and extreme opposite of that no matter how old they are.
Speaking of space…
Tip #2 – The Double-Edged & Deadly Nature of Space
While space can actually be a useful tool for mental health, it’s important to know that you are also creating a void and effectively allowing in other energy that may not necessarily be healthy.
Sure, you can eventually hold your partner accountable for any bad behavior or transgression during that separation process.
It is worth noting that holding other adults accountable all by itself has massive limitations when it comes to romantic relationships and getting what you want.
It has become pretty normal to ask for space in a marriage.
But let’s all remember that 50% divorce rate, broken families, and fatherless children are also becoming the norm.
Tip #1 – Duty
I was talking to one of my boys who is in today’s dating market.
He went ahead and told me in so many ways how modern women lack a sense of duty when it comes to the role of a wife.
This has been simply his experience and I don’t see that as an absolute truth. But I’ve also seen enough to know that this is true to a large extent.
70-80% of divorces are initiated by women and it goes up to 90% for college and university-educated modern women.
I personally think that the breakdown in family leadership has contributed the most to these unpleasant statistics.
But I also think it will help tremendously if men have the help of the modern women who want marriage and the family structure in bringing a sense of duty to the “table” while we also continue to address the leadership issues.
After all, both the men and women (and especially children who are the leaders of tomorrow) benefit from the love and connection but also the long-term benefit of a family structure.
Duty and not the momentary feelings have been responsible for all structures that stand the test of time.
It’s time to work together, sadly, on the structure-building end of things.
Sad because I think this is the sole responsibility of men particularly from a place of leadership with or without permission from women.
Nonetheless, a sense of duty will reduce the number of women running for the hills at the slightest instance of emotional difficulty in a marriage.
I want to encourage men to work on updating our family leadership skills for the 21st century; it’s pretty lazy to keep referencing the society from 100 years ago.
And it is highly dangerous to count on women to intentionally bring a sense of duty into the family structure beyond just a bonus if that ever happens.
I don’t think a typical woman is capable of that. I also subscribe to “never say never.”
So tell me in the comment area one additional bonus tip or question to help more people become better on the other end of separation in a marriage.
We will be happy to create more videos around it.
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