4 Things to Consider When You Feel Like Separating

4 Things to Consider When You Feel Like Separating August 4, 2015


Some couples consider marital separation to be healthy step in striving to save their marriage when it is in serious trouble.  We tell ourselves that the time apart will heal our hurts, but that is usually not the case.  According to a 2012 USA Today article, 79% of martial separations result in divorce.

Just yesterday, numerous news sources reported that award-winning country singer and actress, Reba McEntire and her husband (and manager), Narvel Blackstock, have decided to separate after being married for 26 years.

26 years…and in the limelight, no less!

As I read the public statements the couple has made to the press, I am saddened to pick up on the assured tone that they will likely be divorced very soon.  I am always sad whenever I hear that a couple is divorcing because I know that they must be going through an emotional roller coaster themselves…not to mention the kids that are involved.  They must feel like there is no hope for their marriage, and that is a terrible place to be.


Please let me be clear:  I do not and will not judge anyone who decides to separate or divorce because not only do I not know all the details, but it is simply not my place to do so.  All of our relationship decisions are between us, the people involved, and most importantly, God.  Only He knows our hearts.  Only He can mend them when they are broken.


Dear Reader, I write this piece because I don’t want married couples who truly WANT to try and work through their issues to end up considering separation as a means to a favorable end…because it simply is not most of the time.


With such a high likelihood of divorce once separated, couples must realize the weight that comes with deciding to separate.  Here are 4 questions to consider if you are at a point of crisis in your marriage, and you feel like separating:


1.  Am I or my children experiencing physical, emotional, mental, or sexual abuse?

If we can answer “Yes” to any of these, then we need to find another place to stay IMMEDIATELY and call for help.  This is the only situation I can think of where separation is a certain next step.

First of all, let me tell you that you are a precious creation…created and LOVED by God.  There is nothing you have done or can do to warrant abuse.  Depending on the severity of your circumstances, you may need to call the police, a domestic abuse center, a counselor, a pastor, or maybe all of them.  Please know that you are not alone.


You do not need to keep your abuse a secret, and you MUST get yourself and your children to a safe place right away.  Please go to The Hotline for Domestic Abuse by clicking here. for more information on how you can get the help you need.


2.  Will living apart really help improve the communication within my marriage?

When we’re not in the same living quarters for long periods of time, especially when we’re not on good terms, it is hard to communicate effectively.  We need actual face time with one another.


It might be awkward, and we might need to take frequent breaks so we don’t say things we will regret later.  But, we HAVE to talk…REALLY talk.  Open up and deal with whatever is at hand.  For more on what to do and what not to do when arguing with your spouse, check out “4 BIG DOs and DON’Ts When Arguing with Your Spouse”.


3.  Is one of us moving out the ONLY way to give each other some breathing room or space to think through things?

Sometimes things can become very awkward and heated between husband and wife to the point where we just don’t want to even look at each other in the face, smell each other’s scent, or hear each other’s voice.  We’re mad.  Ticked. Off.  Yes…it can get there.  Especially if there has been a breaking of the marital vows, trust issues, or lying involved.


However, if you BOTH are committed to each other AND committed to saving the marriage, then moving out is probably not the best solution.


How can we work on our marriage and practice being divorced at the same time?  I hate to say this, but that’s pretty much what separation is. 


We can give each other some breathing room by sleeping in separate rooms for a SHORT and VERY TEMPORARY amount of time.  We should only do this if we are at a standstill in our communication, conversations quickly become damaging arguments, and we simply need a place to regroup our thoughts and pray.  This must not become the new normal in our households.  If this ends up being more than a few days or a week MAX, then we are going to break down the lines of communication completely and become two people in the SAME HOME living two SEPARATE LIVES.  In order for us to heal and cultivate a healthy marriage, we must keep the lines of communication wide open as much as possible.


4.  Am I wanting to separate so I can truly work on my marriage OR escape my marriage problems?

When things are hard, we often have a “fight or flight” response.  I’m not saying fighting is always a good thing, but it is much better to stay and fight for our marriage than to run away from our problems.  That is much easier said than done and will take much more time, heartache, work, and most importantly, PRAYER, than we can ever realize.


But, in the end, we can have an intact, healthy marriage that we probably never thought was even possible.


Please consider professional Christian marriage counseling or a retreat for marriages in crisis (www.savemymarriage.com) before jumping to separation.  Your marriage is worth fighting for, and IT CAN GET BETTER.  If you need a pep talk, read “5 Words that Could Change your Life Forever”.  With God, all things are possible…even saving your marriage.

If you found this article to be helpful, let us know by your comments and by sharing it.  Thanks for reading and sharing!  Be blessed.

Follow me on Pinterest at Ashley Willis.

Credits: (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2012-05-06/Splitting-79-of-marital-separations-end-in-divorce/54790574/1)

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