Healing Separation as Alternative to Divorce

Hubby found this document online and we went through it together last night. It really helped us define our goals and make choices. It has pages and pages of possible feelings partners may be feeling. We went through each one and said if it applied to us. The discussion was amazing and I feel understood now. Sad to hear all the ugly truth, but so good to have it out there. We held each other while we went through this document, it was all very tender and raw. I felt like hugging him, which I have not felt like for a while again, and he asked if I felt attracted to him at that moment, or just safe. I said I felt safe and comfortable. He was sad to hear that was all it was, but happy that I felt safe again. We are both ready to be authentic. And we both realize that being authentic may mean ending the marriage at some point – but we’re not there yet. I may not be able to have a loving and sexual relationship and remain authentic and connected within my mind/body.

This document had guidelines so we aren’t entering this blindly. It has ground rules and expectations. And it helps us focus on healing, not dividing.


An excerpt:

A Healing Separation is a structured time apart which can help a couple heal a relationship that
isn’t working. It can also help revitalize and renew a relationship that is working. The Healing
Separation is designed to transform the basis of a love relationship – moving it from neediness to
health. A successful Healing Separation requires that both partners be committed to personal
growth, and to creating healthy relationships with themselves and each other. Such a framework
will allow them to carve out a new and more fulfilling relationship than they’ve known in the
When a relationship is in trouble, the couple has essentially three choices:
1. Continue as is
2. End the relationship
3. Carve out a new relationship
If a relationship is already crumbling, not many couples want to continue it as is. That leaves
choices two and three. Chances are they hadn’t thought much about the third choice – it probably
seemed impossible. What’s more, they don’t know how to go about it. So their choice, almost by
default, is to end the relationship.
There is another alternative: partners can work out a new relationship with themselves and with
each other. The Healing Separation offers a process within which to do just that.


So we are trying this. We have agreed for now not to have a total separation, and not to tell the kids of any trouble. I have chosen to lie to them. For now. I have no idea how long we will need to be apart and want to minimize any trauma and change for them. If we have a hope of staying together, which Hubby thinks is much more possible than I do, then I think it is ok to keep our private adult world private. How’s that going to work?

Well, Hubby often takes business trips, so he is going to take a lot of them. We are telling the kids that he needs to work somewhere too far away to come home each night, but he will be here on his days off. He will go to his parents house after work each day – it has all been arranged. He has a rotating schedule, so it would be impossible for him to see the kids any other way, his weekends are not weekends and change each week.

I think it will be good to have the whole week to ourselves, and then come back together for family time. I think. But we both agree on this, and are both committed to trying this to further our personal growth and possibly create a whole new relationship for us.

I’m not pleased about lying to my kids, but ya know what, they also think a big fat man in a red suit will be coming down the chimney soon. I have no problem protecting them right now. If we ever decide to make things more permanent, then the kids will have to know then. I think this is the best solution for all of us right now.

Such mixed feelings watching Hubby leave with a suitcase this morning.

8 thoughts on “Healing Separation as Alternative to Divorce

  1. Sending hugs and keeping you in my prayers. No matter what, it isn’t going to be easy. This has brought up another perspective for me: Could I do this in a relationship with myself? I don’t want to go on as things were, but neither do I want to separate myself from my past completely. This leaves carving a new relationship with myself… Hmmm…

    • Yes that is actually the goal of this process, to carve out a new relationship with yourself alone before coming back together. I’ve been trying to do this, and just can’t make any more progress in the current relationship, with myself or with Hubby. Not sure how to give yourself space from yourself though, that’s where this gets tricky.

  2. Pingback: Healing Separation as Alternative to Divorce | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  3. Good luck with this! The important thing is to heal yourself as your top priority, and then look at your relationship with your husband. It’s likely that you won’t be able to have an optimal relationship with anyone else until you’ve healed yourself. This may sound silly, but have you seen the movie Bliss? Do check it out, if you haven’t. Parts of it are a bit silly, but the core of the film is pretty good. Hugs.

  4. Pingback: Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Dysfunctional Family Disorder | Roots to Blossom

  5. I stumbled on your blog because I am in the same situation and thinking about suggesting a healing separation to my husband. I actually had the same idea about telling the kids that my husband took a job out of town and will come home on the weekends. I don’t want to lie either, but I don’t want to burden them with this. Thank you so much for sharing.

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