Separation can lead to the end of a relationship, however couples who wish to reconcile can use the time apart to repair the damage. Use your separation as a tool to stay together, says Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W. in her article for PsychologyToday.com. Taking a break can give you some time to gain perspective and make plans to move forward.
Navigating through a separation is tricky business. Couples can benefit from professional guidance. Using a neutral third party to help facilitate the restoration of your relationship may offer clear direction as you work through your problems and concerns, says Gadoua. There are many options available, such as clergy, mediators or therapists. Work together to decide how and who will help you through your separation so that you both agree on the type of guidance you are receiving.
While a separation may create an opportunity for you to gather your thoughts without constantly being around each other, maintaining regular, healthy communication is important. Set perimeters and establish a clear purpose and goals to achieve when having conversations, suggests the article, “Communicating During Separation,” on SaveMyMarriage.com. Determine how often to communicate, be an active listener and choose your responses carefully as to not inflict further hurt or confusion. Following these guidelines can open the door to reconciliation.
Resolve Unhealthy Patterns
Ending a separation and repairing your relationship is hard work. The separation may be the result of relational issues, such as lack of communication, emotional disconnection or mistrust, according to information on the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center website. Identify the triggers that led to the division in your relationship and develop a plan to overcome these problems. Set clear and reasonable expectations and communicate your goals to each other so you are both on the same page, says Gadoua.
Repairing relational damage, restoring emotional connections and reestablishing trust requires dedication from both parties. Make a commitment to follow through with your goals, meet expectations and improve your relationship patterns. Do not be discouraged if you have a setback, instead, use it as a learning experience. Remember what drew you to each other in the first place and focus on how you can redevelop that bond. Separation can be a time of healing for couples and your relationship can turn out stronger than before, notes the NHMRC.
Sharon Bolling holds a master's in counseling and human development with a concentration in school counseling from Radford University. She is an experienced instructor of both high school and college students. She has been writing for Demand Media online since April 2013.