Most couples think that the idea of a separation is the beginning of the end, but this isn’t necessarily so. Marriages have ups and downs. After the honeymoon phase it takes a lot of work to keep it together. Sometimes two people who love each other and are committed hit a roadblock. A separation can be a sign of divorce (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/201004/can-marital-separation-make-your-marriage-better). It could also mean that one or both partners want a little distance to get some perspective on the marriage. But the last type of separation is one used to enrich the marriage. A married couple can renew and fortify their marriage with a separation that is done correctly. It may seem like an odd thing, but in fact, more and more couples are trying it.
When experiencing issues in the marriage, getting a neutral party to help mediate between spouses can have excellent results. A therapist or a religious leader can be that mediator. Decide together what the expectations and goals of the separation are. Is it to gain perspective, find yourself (which has been lost in the mix of children and marriage), or something else? Set some ground rules. Will you communicate every day? How? Work out the logistics together. Make sure your goal is the same. Is this the step before divorce or just a time out? Be honest with one another as to why you are taking part in a separation. Don’t use separation with the idea of reuniting as a step out the door. You will hurt your spouse far worse when the expectation is getting back together. If you are having doubts over whether or not you want the marriage to continue, explain that to your spouse. An enhanced separation usually lasts about six months. If one or more members have strayed, or if trust issues or insecurity is something to be worried about, a separation may not be the best, as these issues may increase significantly.