I never thought I would have to wonder about this subject when it came to my marriage. We have been closely together for over 30 years and really we are closer to 40 years than we are 30. We have always been together. In fact we never really thought about not being with one another.Until now. Recently after all of these years of togetherness we found out that we would have to live apart.
This turn of events came on as a shock. While it was a good shock because my husband had been promoted and part of the promotion was that he would have to live where he worked for months at a time it didn't dawn on us that we had not ever been separated. This got me to thinking. When in marriage is separation a good thing?
We all know that when a marriage is in trouble one of the first things that a couple will result to is separation. While this can be a very hurtful time it can also be a good time. What separation does is allow the couple to explore individually how they feel about their spouse. Its the old saying of you never miss your water until your well runs dry. While it might sound corny it is very true.
It was not until my husband left that I found that things I once did on my own without thinking I had begun to relay on him to do. Simple things that you take for granted. Such as taking out the trash on trash day. I haven't had to do that for over 30 years. Filling up my gas tank in my car every week. I know pitiful. Or how about sleeping in the bed alone at night? I can't really remember when he was not there beside me.
I thought for a second it would be so good to have the bed to myself. This only lasted for about a day or two. I missed him. I missed just laughing together or talking about our day. I missed his emails and text message saying he was up the street and did I want something. Or him bringing me home a slurpy.
When we talked on the phone I asked him what did he miss about me? He said that he missed my silly jokes that made him laugh because they didn't make sense. He missed me looking after him and coming home from work and seeing me there. He missed all the conversations that we seemed to have and he missed cuddling at night and going to sleep.
For so many years this was a given and now with the separation we have time to reflect on just how much we mean to each other. I discovered that sometimes separation is good in a marriage. While its a great time to analyze your feelings about your spouse you also get to miss them. You realize that the grass is not greener in another's yard. You get to look at yourself and want to improve who you are so that you will be a better spouse once you are back together.
When your marriage has hit a rocky spot some times separation can act as a time out. During that time it allows both spouses time to dig deep within and see if the marriage is worth working on. If you have hit this period in your life then during the spousal separation period seek spiritual help. Talk to a Christian counselor or your pastor. Encourage your spouse to do the same. If there is no other recourse but to separate for good then attempt to separate in a cordial and Christian way. This however should be the last result unless one spouse is abusive or actively commenting adultery.
Or if a spouse refuses to work and help support the home and family. This spouse may need some time apart to understand his or her role in the family. However if you find yourself like us and separated for a time then take advantage of this time. Give God thanks for all of the little things that your spouse does for you. Then let your spouse know how grateful you are for them doing these things.
While the two of you are separated send your spouse a letter via the mail (you know that old fashion way we use to send mail) telling your spouse how much you love and appreciate them. Them when you see each other bring the universal gift of love "one red rose". This will tell your spouse that you still love him/her and that you miss and appreciate them.
All in all I do feel that separation in a marriage is very healthy and sometimes so needed.Even in an old stable marriage.