In the immortal words of The Clash, should I stay or should I go?
It’s this question that’s been bouncing around in your head like an overexcited electron.
You’re wondering if a brief separation can save your marriage.
If time and space will free up the ability to think more clearly about your romantic future.
It’s an interesting thought and one that requires more rumination.
Today we’ll play out scenarios and weigh the pros and cons of both separation and staying.
Both options have their merits. Both present unique paths forward that might work for some individuals but not for others. Before making such a pivotal decision let’s take a moment to really consider the consequences (both good and bad) that each option might present.
There are three theories that make separation an attraction pathway forward. They may not hold water for you, but they are worth exploring.
It’s this idea that through separation we’ll see that the grass is greener on the other side and year to get back with our partners. This isn’t always the case, in fact as we’ll see it rarely is, but it’s certainly an aspect of separation that makes it an appealing prospect for many.
A marriage that isn’t working can feel akin to suffocation. It may feel like you can’t make any progress because you’re drowning in stress. Separation may give you the room you need to breathe again and allow you to work on yourself. Because if you can’t grow and create a positive relationship with yourself, how can you expect to have a healthy, loving relationship with another person?
There’s been a build-up of pressure recently. You and your husband have probably struggled to release this energy in a healthy way. Taking a break gives you the needed space to behave in whatever way you deem most constructive. It gives you the time to visit family, spend time healing with friends, and think more clearly.
Then there’s the flip side.
Here’s what staying together might look like.
You and your husband form a team. Some teams work better when they’re given the chance to take a break from each other and regroup later. This is what separation looks like. It’s akin to an offseason that a professional athlete might use to work on themselves and re-energize for when they reunite with their team. But even if a break is taken you’ll ultimately have to come back together.
Staying together forces you two to work things out. It forces you to have difficult conversations, bond, fight, and ultimately create a more harmonious marriage.
There are some aspects of healing that can’t be done from a distance.
Separating is a clear sign that something isn’t working. If all was well there would be no reason to get away from the person you love. Taking an extended break has bad optics for you, your husband, your family, and social circle at large. Of course, what ultimately matters is how you and your husband come out of this.
But creating a physical barrier will inevitably give rise to the feeling that it isn’t working out. Staying close on the other hand will make you two feel united as if you’re both clinging to the boat even when you’re sailing through a hurricane together.
Staying together and working things out provides your children with a healthy relationship model to turn to. It shows them that even when times are difficult two people that love each other can persevere, be civil with each other, and at the very least attempt to work through a difficult period.
Even if you two ultimately separate, staying together and attempting to work things out gives them a model they can aspire to emulate.
Both options have their pros and cons. Before you make a decision let’s consider the pros and cons of both of these decisions.
It may sound odd at first, but there are in fact advantages to creating emotional and physical space.
Again this is a personal choice. Perhaps your current situation doesn’t provide you with the space you need to work on yourself. If that’s the case, creating a bit of separation might be necessary.
Has your situation put you down recently?
Do you feel like no matter what you try you don’t have the strength to heal?
Getting away from the situation may imbue you with the energy you need to find peace, clarity, heal, and grow internally.
Lately, you’ve been so mixed up in your relationship you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to enjoy life. Investing all your resources into your relationship means you’re neglecting the other social relationships in your life. The beauty of separation is that it frees up your time and energy and allows you to spend more time with people that raise you up.
There’s another side to separating, one that isn’t so rosy.
The chief disadvantage is that if you’re not willing to stay together to work things out, it gives the impression that the marriage isn’t worth fighting for. That your partner isn’t interested in trying to make it work and thus isn’t interested in you.
Separation also leads to confusion. By making it more difficult to communicate both parties will create their own narratives and fill in the blanks as they deem fit.
Even if you do separate, do your best to check in with one another and keep the lines of communication open.
If the relationship isn’t being fed, it’ll die.
At this point, your relationship is on the fritz. It needs all the care, love, and attention it can muster. But if you aren’t feeding it these three integral ingredients, it’ll wilt and die.
The advantages of staying seem obvious, but let’s dive in and unpack them to better understand their nuances and if staying is right for you.
When you two are still living with each other you’re forced to interact every day. You’re forced to engage, empathize, fight, and have discussions you wouldn’t otherwise have if you were separated.
It’s easy to see a future without your husband when he’s already living apart from you. It feels as though the separation wasn’t temporary, but rather the new normal.
This isn’t the case when you two still share a bedroom.
It isn’t the case when you wake up with each other, eat together, and share a laugh or two. Staying together will give you the hope you need to continue to work through your differences.
Staying together even though things are difficult shows your children how to work through difficult romantic and social situations. It also gives them a better sense of stability and love in eh household than if you two separated. However, this is only the case if both parties are civil. If there is violence in the household the picture changes and getting out might be your best option.
Maintaining a healthy front will make it easier on your children should you two eventually separate.
Right now you’re wondering can a separation save a marriage? These reasons might inform your thought process. These are the disadvantages of staying.
Maybe you two have actively been trying to make things work or maybe you’ve gone to couples therapy, have stayed up late talking, and still haven’t made any progress. Maybe your incessant attempts at improvement have only made things worse. This is a sign that space is needed.
It’s easy to enter into fight or flight mode when you think your entire life is about to be uprooted.
It’s easy to be nervous, walk on eggshells, and overanalyze everything. The person that’s making you this way shares the same bed as you.
After a long day of work, you don’t want to come home and be confronted with someone you can’t be at ease with.
Does making things right feel like a full-time job?
Do you have time to relax?
Don’t let the cure be worse than the disease. If you’re not ready to separate, find ways to make space, be with friends, and have more you-time where you can decompress and not worry about your marriage.
Now that you have the pros and cons of staying and separating from your marriage, it’s time to make a decision. Here are a few things to consider before making such a profound life decision.
You understand your situation better than anyone else. If you think you and your husband can have productive conversations and that you’re both willing to continue the relationship, then staying together seems like the best option for you. But that’s not the only thing worth considering.
Are you in this for the long haul?
Are you willing to invest in the other person and have the ability to grow with your partner? If not you may need to walk away and evaluate.
Maybe you’re ready to stay together and work things out but he isn’t. It’s not worth the time and energy if staying together isn’t something he wants.
Have a conversation and understand where his head is at.
Understanding what your partner is thinking in this exact situation isn’t always easy. Getting him to open up and talk to you can feel more difficult than having a conversation with a mute.
There is a way to understand male psychology, grow internally, and fix your marriage. In my program, I’ve created a concrete approach that teaches women how to get what they want out of the marriage.
Let’s talk 1-on-1 so I can learn more about your marriage. I’d like to know what you love about your partner, why you want to stay together, and what needs to be fixed in order to make that happen. Together we’ll decide if my hybrid learning program is right for you.