Could a Trial Separation Actually Save Your Marriage?

 Could a Trial Separation Actually Save Your Marriage?

Could a Trial Separation Actually Save Your Marriage_ichhori.webp

Have you ever considered whether a trial separation could be exactly what you and your partner need to better your relationship? If this is the case, you are not alone.

Some struggling couples (perhaps contemplating divorce) agree to a trial separation. They believe that spending some time apart will help them reconnect more healthily.

Or, if they're thinking about divorce, they believe a trial separation will give them a taste of what it's like to live apart before making a final choice.

Many people, however, claim that spending time apart will only exacerbate an already difficult relationship.

What Is a Trial Separation?

A trial separation is not the same as a formal separation. When a couple divorces, lawyers are engaged in establishing how money is distributed and custody is settled. It is up to the couple to reach an informal agreement during a trial separation. Furthermore, the majority of couples:

  • During a trial separation, live apart.

  • Decide how to pay the bills and divide the money however they see proper.

  • Determine where your children and pets will live, if applicable.

  • Determine who will manage the assets collaboratively.

  • A trial separation may be a stepping stone toward divorce for some. Others may benefit from a cooling-off time that allows them to work on issues without the emotional intensity of living together. 

Potential Benefits

Separating on a trial basis may be beneficial to your relationship. These advantages may include:

  • You have time to improve yourself. If you want to improve your frustration tolerance or address a drug abuse problem, you may find it easier to work on yourself when your partner is not living in the same house.

  • You can practice responding to your spouse. You may engage in actions that elicit the worst in your partner. Nagging, lecturing, or dismissing them can be a major source of contention. Living apart may provide you with the opportunity to learn how to quit doing these actions.

  • You might value your partner more. When you're together all the time, it's easy to take someone for granted. When you aren't together as much, you may realize how much your relationship means to you.

  • You have an opportunity to relax. If you're truly unhappy about something your partner did (such as having an affair or lying to you), being apart can help you calm down and recover before you try to work on your problems.

  • You get a taste of what life might be like without them. At times, you may fantasize about the freedom of being single. Or perhaps you've wondered what life would be like if you were divorced. A trial separation provides you a taste of what life without your partner in the home is like.

Potential Risks

  • You may drift apart. You may notice that you begin to develop a life that is more conducive to being single, making reunification even more difficult.

  • It's not a nice way to let someone go. If you're certain you want a divorce, don't use a trial separation to ease your partner into the move. It will just make their suffering worse, and they may end up putting in a lot of effort for nothing.

  • Problems may not be solved. If you're battling with specific concerns, such as trust or money, being apart can make addressing these issues even more difficult.

  • Your predicament will become more widely known. You might not be ready to discuss the pressure in your relationship just yet. On the other hand, friends and family members may have many inquiries about why you're living apart.

  • Children may be perplexed. A trial separation can be difficult for children who do not grasp what is going on. They may believe you are divorcing (or have divorced), and being separated from one parent will be terrible for them.

How to Make a Trial Separation Work for You

If you want to make trial separation work, you must take action to give your partnership a fighting shot. Here are some things you could do:

Seek expert assistance. A couples therapist or another skilled third party can provide you with impartial advice on how to enhance your relationship. Just be certain that you are willing to work on yourself (rather than simply trying to fix your partner).

Make it clear what you anticipate. Discuss your expectations for the separation. Will you continue to go on dates? Will you go to events with your extended family? What will you tell your family and friends? A lot of problems can be avoided by discussing these topics ahead of time.

Determine when and how you will communicate. It's critical to be on the same page when it comes to communicating. Will you call daily? Do you intend to speak a couple of times per week? Will you be texting all day? Discuss this ahead of time to identify what frequency is likely ideal for your relationship at this stage.

Discuss money openly. Living alone may necessitate a different approach to money management. Who will be held accountable for each bill? Will you keep a joint bank account? Will you lend each other money? Discuss how you can work together to manage your finances so that you don't hurt each other with money when you're apart.

Set objectives. Discuss how you believe a trial separation will benefit you. Do you want to mend an old wound? Do you believe that being apart will help you strengthen your communication or intimacy? Openly discuss your objectives with one another.

A Word From Ichhori

If you're considering a trial separation, it's a good idea to consult with a professional beforehand. A counselor may be able to assist you in developing a strategy (before one of you really moves out) that will aid in the effectiveness of your trial separation.

If you've already separated, seek treatment as quickly as possible. If your partner is unwilling to attend a therapist, go on your own. Even if your partner is unable to attend, talking to someone can be beneficial.

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