By Tammy Greene for Hope After Divorce
Marriage is full of extreme ups and downs. Every marriage goes through hard times, but some certainly more than others. As recent news of the separation between the Oscar-winning duo Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas came to light, we can see the toll that these hard times can take. These past few years, they have experienced a series of insurmountable challenges. Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, and he had to endure chemotherapy and radiation, which took a tremendous toll on his body. As if that wasn’t enough to put stress on a relationship, his wife of 13 years surprised fans in 2011 when she voluntarily admitted herself to a facility for bipolar disorder treatment. She underwent treatment again earlier this year.
Related Link: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones Separate
This type of stress and worry is enough to put any relationship on the brink of divorce, and this power couple is no exception. According to People magazine, a representative of the couple stated that the couple is separated and “taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.” A separation is exactly that. It’s a time to step back from the daily arguing and frustration to re-evaluate your partnership. It’s a time to figure out if you want to get your relationship back on track.
Here are some ideas to help you turn a separation into reconciliation:
Seek Professional Help
If both you and your spouse are committed to working things out, your first step is to find a third party that can help you. Talk to friends, relatives, and strangers, and search the Internet for referrals. Putting your trust and your relationship in the hands of someone you don’t know can be terrifying, so look for recommendations from people who have had good experiences. Don’t be afraid to tell people you are working on your marriage. Many people see counselors on a regular basis and just don’t talk about it. There is no shame in admitting that you need help and are looking to others for guidance. Rebuilding your marriage is worth the work required.
If you are separated but committed to trying again, dating has to be off-limits. You cannot have an attitude of “the grass is greener on the other side” if you are trying to rebuild your marriage with your spouse. The point is to remember how green the grass can be in your own backyard — with the word “can” being the key.