A couple who recently resolved their separation said the best advice they ever got was to not fill the empty space the separation left behind. In other words, immerse yourself in the separation. Don’t try to fill the quiet space with shopping, friends, alcohol, online video games, or any other possible distraction or addiction. Take the newfound alone time to think. Sit on the beach, take a drive without music, or write in your journal.
This is a time to find your way back to yourself and your partner with clarity and thoughtfulness. It’s a time to remember what you loved about them in the first place and focus on what took you off track. There is no way you can devote the time necessary to rebuilding your marriage if you fill the space with distractions. It may be uncomfortable, but you need to start getting used to the silence in order to hear the quiet voices within, which will lead you towards healing.
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Do the Work
If you are at the point of separation there are only two directions to go: the path of divorce or the path of reconciliation. The choice is yours. If the path of reconciliation is the one you choose, then you must commit to giving everything you have to put your marriage back together. Do what your therapist tells you. Strip down the layers and lose the pride. Let go of your ego. Partial effort won’t be enough. This may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. If it’s ever going to work out, you must give 100 percent.
There was a time, not too long ago, when you stood at the altar and you believed beyond all odds that you would make your marriage work. Well, here you are: facing those odds that now seem too big to bear. A separation can be a blessing in disguise. If the right steps are taken, it can lead you to renewed hope and new beginnings with the person who you committed to for better or worse.
Tammy Greene is a graduate of the University of La Verne. She has worked as a Child Life Specialist and social worker assisting families who have children with illness or mental disabilities. Tammy is a producer of the national PBS children’s television show, Curiosity Quest. She has a blog, Married and Naked, where she shares personal lessons learned from her own life, offering helpful ways to navigate through the challenges of marriage. Tammy is a contributing expert at HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, LAFamily.com and CupidsPulse.com. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of two. See Tammy’s Curiosity Quest website and follow her blog, MarriedandNaked.