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Separation between couples is often misunderstood due to the lack of guidelines and the ease with which it can be carried out. It is fraught with many pitfalls if certain clear objectives are not laid down or ultimately met. The most basic goal of any separation is to give the couple space and time in their relationship to decide on future action, particularly in saving the marriage etc., without undue influence from each other. However, couples often get distracted and confused and lose sight of their goal and their trial separation ends in divorce.

Furthermore, once separated, some people will see the break as a license to look and opportunity for them to start new relationships, which then complicate the situation and make finding a solution to the marital problems much harder.

In order to make a trial separation successful a couple should agree to five key rules:

1. Determine a time frame. The break should have a specific time attached to it, so that it does not just drag on without any conclusion. The time should ideally be between three and six months so that a sense of urgency and sincerity is retained, especially where children are involved. The longer the separation continues, as people settle into their new routine, the harder it is to get back to the old life. Any separation that drags on will gradually turn into two new and separate lifestyles.

2. Set clear boundaries. It is important to know the rules of the separation—what is acceptable, what isn't. Write these rules out and stick to them.

Click here to read the remaining three key rules to successful trial separation...

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3 comments

  • Comment Link maillard Tuesday, 03 December 2013 12:17 posted by maillard

    Same case as mine. Just pray God will mend both ends again. Be strong

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 08 January 2013 12:25 posted by Guest

    I need a divorce from my hubby of thirteen years.: I ve been married for twelve years.Before my marriage,i was in a relationship which was quite strong and fulfilling,but due to the long distance between us and my daddy's sickness i couldnt get in touch with him.All his letter were locked up in my dad's box.Due to the long silence i ve to move on with life.He showed up just two months to my wedding and am already pregnant.i couldnt see him then.twelve years later,we met and he wants me back and i also want him back.He has three children likewise myself.i ve been lost out of this present marriage.my heart is always with him.all what we shared came calling back and i dont feel any love for my hubby .All i want is my old lover.he'sgotten a job for me where he is staying .He really wants me back and i want him .

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 25 November 2010 06:41 posted by Guest

    My wife wants a separation after 20 years of marriage.: Our married life was more likely a normal one with all the ups and downs that a marriage brings, but I must say that we had very good moments however the bad moments seemed to prevail much more.
    The love flame faded away little by little and although the sex was good she said that sometimes she only did it to please me.
    Unfortunately we sleep in separate rooms because of my snoring just a little after we married and this may have contributed a lot to marital our problem.
    About a year ago we had a condom failure and she became pregnant unexpectedly and miscarried. The sex ended there because she was afraid she might get pregnant again. I remained waiting and hoping for things to get better but just recently she told me she wants to separate and the normal stuff like I don’t love you any more and I need space. The news of the separation got me devastated and sent me in a big state of depression. She said that the main cause being the normal stuff like I didn’t care for her a lot, I can’t cook and do house work, I complained a lot, lack of gifts and romance etc.
    We both went for separate sessions of counseling but she has confirmed her intention to separate. We have an 18 year old daughter going to university and she focuses her attention a great deal on her. She said that when our daughter turns 18 I shall consider separating.
    I am so hurt and frustrated at the mess I’m in and finding it very hard to cope, I get sleepless nights and break down crying. She is aware of my state of depression and she now says she has two problems, dealing with the desire for separation and my depression.
    During the past year I put in a huge effort in better husband skills like learning to cook, do chores at home, decorating of the house, stopped my complaining and many other things. She says she appreciate my trying but tells me she does not want to fix things. Now she doesn’t even kisses me good nigh when she turns in.
    We are still living together but only as room mates enjoying the luxury of a comfortable house, she still cooks and cares after my needs like cleaning house washing my clothes, ironing shirts etc. What amazes me is that till now she hasn’t imitated the separation procedures yet. But does not show any signs of wanting to arrange things.

    Recently matters escalated very badly to a point where my wife insisted that we should try a ‘trial separation’. I agreed to leave and went to mum’s but after getting legal advise that I did wrong to leave home, I returned home after four days.

    I am now coming to terms with the reality of the separation and the thought alone scares me so. The thin thread which we still hang on is about to break.

    I pray to God that I am given the strength to face what’s coming to us.
    I often ask myself why I so much want this reconciliation and whether it is for selfish reasons. But I strongly believe that it’s not the case and that I genuinely do love her. I may not be one to express myself properly by words but my heart speaks out for me that I want her because I love her.