If you are already living apart from your spouse, or thinking seriously about it, take a moment to consider the future…
Does this mean that your marriage is necessarily over?
Perhaps surprisingly, the answer to that last question is “No!”. In fact, according to a report published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, “approximately five million couples, or 10% of all currently married couples in the United States, have experienced a separation and reconciliation in their marriage”.
Those five million couples used the period of time of their separation to cool down, think things over, gain some perspective, and find some resources that allowed them to put their marriages back together again. Many of them used that time as a chance to do some real learning – learning about themselves, about relationships in general, and about what went wrong in their own relationship.
Here’s our first piece of advice for you in your separation. Use this time to STOP FIGHTING with your spouse. Stop fighting, and stop deliberately trying to hurt each other. Call a cease fire, and you, the one who is reading this, you be the one to go first.
Why? Very simple, actually. Your marriage is at a very critical junction right now, and at some point you and your spouse are going to have to make a very important decision, one that is going to impact you and your children (if you have children) for the rest of your and their lives – namely, are you going to try to put this relationship back together again or are you going to get a divorce? And the more calm you each are when that critical decision is made, the more likely you are going to be to make the right decision for everyone.
Our second piece of advice is that if you think that divorce is even a possibility for you, that you call 1-800-489-7778 and order the video and workbook set entitled “Choosing Wisely – Before You Divorce”. Most people who divorce have no idea what getting divorced really means. This set will allow you to make a much more informed decision than you would otherwise make. The cost of the set is only $60.00, which is minuscule compared to the magnitude and possible cost of the decision you are now facing.
If you decide that you would like to try to put your marriage back again, there are plenty of resources available for you here in Central Virginia that can help you do this. This web site describes many of them. Spend some time on the various sections of this web site, exploring what is available. Two sections in particular that you are likely to find particularly valuable are the ones entitled Troubled Marriages and the Marriage Classes sub-section within the Marriage Enrichment section.