Recently, you and your spouse separated to give yourselves time to work out your marital issues and figure out if you can move forward together. Does separation always lead to divorce?
Psychology Today examines the thought processes leading to separation and the common aftermath of “taking a break.” Get an idea of what you may encounter in the weeks and months ahead regarding the future of your marriage.
Simmering in the background
Clinical experience shows that when one spouse announces a desire to separate, marital issues stewed in the background for some time. The announcing spouse may already have an apartment set up before breaking the news, possibly even have sat down with a legal representative to discuss divorce.
The time and thought that went into deciding to separate may be the same time and thought needed to remain in the marriage. The spouse on the receiving end of the news may have little choice but to give the other spouse time and space to make a final decision.
Focusing on marital issues
The spouse who wants to separate may feel that the marriage worsened over the months to an unbearable degree. The reason for this may be that common marriage vexations and issues sharpened in sensitivity. A problem or irritation that a spouse could once brush off became an ever-present frustration. The partner who desires a separation may overlook good things about the relationship and fixate on what does not work.
Reflecting on the marriage
During a separation, both spouses should not only focus on themselves and each other but also the marriage. They must decide what they need from themselves, each other and their relationship at this stage of their shared and separate lives.
Separation does not always lead to divorce. Use your time apart wisely for your good and the good of your spouse.