"If the goal of the separation is to improve the relationship, there needs to be a specific action plan with specific steps taken by each member of the couple. Otherwise, it is merely an easy way (for one partner at least) to create enough space to minimize the pain of divorce and dissolution of the relationship."
For Courteney and David there are other considerations besides themselves, namely their six-year-old daughter Coco.
"Another important thing to consider during the 'trial separation' is to carefully message this arrangement to the children involved," says Battista. When couples live apart, reconcile for a length of time, and then separate again it can be very confusing to the children. Working with a child development professional together as a couple can set the stage for how they will parent as divorced or separated parents."
A trial separation really will work, "if used to grow and gather insight that can allow both parties to take some space and reflect on whether or not they want to commit to being apart, or want to work to address the issues that made them want to separate" says YourTango expert Nicolle Zapien. So no matter what you decide, choose something. Married-but-separated couples remain stuck in relationship limbo, losing the chance to grow and love more deeply.
Have you separated? Tell us about it in the comments.
Photo Credit: INF.