Before Divorce, Try ... Splitting Up
Lots of marriage counselors think six months can do the trick
By Sarah Whitmire, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2011 3:09 PM CDT
Six months of separation might be a good last resort for a marriage on the rocks, say counselors.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The Wall Street Journal dips into marriage therapy, talking to a host of counselors who think a separation of about six months can work wonders for a troubled relationship. It can't just be one person storming out, though. Both partners need to agree on finances, child care, and other logistics. It also needs to be long enough to give both partners time to truly assess things—hence, the six-month time frame. One therapist estimates that about half the couples she puts on this path wind up back together.

"Sometimes having a dress rehearsal for divorce makes them realize they don't want to do it," says another marriage counselor, a psychologist. One couple profiled is a case in point. The husband moved into a condo after 35 years of marriage when he and his wife mutually decided they couldn't stand each other anymore. Or so they thought. "It was kind of like falling in love again," says the wife. "He would come over for some silly reason, and we would have a heck of a conversation and a really good time." They've been married 42 years now.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
MustangSally
Aug 14, 2011 1:43 PM CDT
This is great advise. We split up 22 years ago, before this new-age therapy was even thought of. We are much happier , now that we don't live together. LOL!
fractal
Aug 14, 2011 1:20 AM CDT
OK, they split for 6 months. They both have a couple of flings. One of them gets preggers, and has to have an abortion. The have break up sex several times, and somebody gives the other an STD, because of course, you don't wear a condom with the person you married, even if you have "split". The in-laws freak out. Everyones standard of living goes down, trying to support 2 households. Its a big fat mess, any way you look at it.
brawne
Aug 13, 2011 11:10 PM CDT
Worked for me. I just split up till he needed to remarry. Surprisingly that took about five years because no matter how cheap socks and underwear from China are--eventually he had to find someone who could do laundry. A few years later she called to gripe about him and I said--what? You think women throw away a perfectly good man? She said he told me you were a bitch. I said I am a bitch, but the bitch who carried his dumb ass for decades. Pick it up darling.