A Healing Separation is a structured time apart. It’s one that can help a couple to heal a relationship that isn’t working. It can also help revitalize and renew the relationship so it is working. The intent of this time of separation is to move it from neediness to health. A successful Healing Separation requires that both partners be committed to personal growth. They also commit to creating a healthier relationship with each other. This framework will allow them the opportunity to carve out a more fulfilling relationship with each other.
The Healing Separation is like the old-style “trial separation” that involves living apart from each other for a while. Unlike unstructured separations, however, the Healing Separation is a working separation. It is a time where you and your partner dedicate yourselves to investing in your own personal growth.
The Healing Separation is a creative way to strengthen both partners. It also helps to build a new relationship without dissolving the partnership.
Each partner agrees to the following goals for this separation:
1. I will provide time and emotional space outside of the love relationship. This is so I can enhance my personal, spiritual, and emotional growth.
2. This is a time to better identify my needs, and wants. The expectations of our relationship also needs to be better identified.
3. It is to help me explore my basic relationship needs.
4. I realize I will experience the social, economic, and parental stresses. These, of course, can occur when I separate from my partner.
5. This time allows me to work through my process better apart than I can within the relationship.
6. It helps me to experience enough emotional distance so I can separate out my issues that have become convoluted with my partner’s issues.
7. It provides an environment to help our relationship heal, and transform. This is so it will evolve into a more loving and healthy relationship.
Some structure and awareness can help improve the chances of success of the healing separation. Unplanned and unstructured separations will most likely contribute to the end of the relationship. This separation agreement attempts to provide structure and guidelines. This is to enhance the growth of the relationship rather than contributing to its demise.
Key Elements of the Healing Separation Agreement:
1. Length of separation:
Most couples have a sense of how long of a separation they’ll need. It may vary from a few weeks to six months or longer.
2. Time to Be Spent Together:
A healing separation ideally should include some quality time together on a regular basis. This allows us the opportunity to create a new relationship with each other.
3. Personal Growth Experiences:
Ideally a healing separation would include as many personal growth experiences as practical, and helpful.
4. Living Arrangements:
Experience has shown that the in-house separation, with both parties living in the same home, results in a less creative experience. It may not give enough emotional space to the person who needs it.
5. Financial Decisions:
Some couples decide to continue joint checking and savings accounts, and payment of bills. Other couples will completely separate financial aspects of the relationship.
6. Motor Vehicles:
Ownership and titles are not to be changed until a decision has been made about the future of the relationship.
When a couple does a Healing Separation, the goal is to minimize the emotional trauma for the children involved.
This article contains excerpts from the article, “Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends.” It is written by Bruce Fisher, Ed.D.. The original copy article was sent to us from: Smartmarriages® at Smartmarriages.com.
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