There are going to be days in a married couple’s life when they question whether they should continue forward or separate. Sometimes these thoughts are temporary and are the by-product of a rather spirited discussion that got out of hand when insults started being thrown. Other times, the desire to end the marriage is based on a long running frustration or dissatisfaction with the relationship as a whole. When one partner finds the emotional courage to tell their spouse that they just aren’t happy anymore, there are realistically two things that can happen. Either the couple will agree to separate for a time, or the person being told by their partner that the marriage is over, will react badly. If you’re a husband and your wife recently told you that she’d like some time away from the marriage, you may have fallen into the category of unwilling participant in a separation. If that sounds like you, you need to consider what’s best for not only your marriage, but you and your wife as individuals as well.
It’s human nature to want to protect the things that are vitally important to you. That’s the reason why when the subject of a break from your marriage comes up, you react in a way that suggests to your wife that you’ll have no part of it. You may have stormed out of the room at the mere mention of a temporary separation or perhaps you told her that you can’t live without her in an effort to guilt her into reconsidering. Regardless of the approach you decided to take, ultimately your wife now sees that you are ready, willing and emotionally able to fight for your marriage. That’s romantic in theory but right now your wife isn’t looking for you to play the role of prince charming, she simply wants you to understand her needs and help her to accommodate them.
Taking time away from each other may seem like a failure of the relationship on the surface. That’s not what it is at all. In fact, it can be the mature way to regain your focus and reconnect on an emotional level. It’s often hard to see the good in a person when you are always in a negative place. If you and your wife have reached a point in your marriage where arguing is par for the course, staying in the same situation is not going to work towards any type of positive change. You’ll continue to bicker, the tension will rise and eventually you’ll both just throw your hands in the air in utter frustration and decide that divorce is the answer.
A temporary time out or separation gives you both breathing room and, more importantly, perspective. If you take a step back from the conflicts, your temper will settle and all the difficult emotions that have been bouncing around will finally be put to rest. You’ll start to remember the better moments you and your wife have shared, and she will as well.
The greatest gift you can give to your wife if she’s asked for space or time is to be compassionate in giving her that. Don’t view this as the beginning of the end of your marriage but rather the beginning of the best part of your marriage. By separating from one another you’ll soon realize what you each mean to the other. It will also help you to calm your emotions enough that you’ll get to a point where you’ll be able to clearly determine whether moving forward towards a stronger, happier and kinder marriage is possible or if making the separation more permanent would be in both your best interests. You’ll never know the strength of your connection to your wife unless you put it to the test and put your faith in her and in yourself to weather the storm.