Separation, time for reflection?

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Some make unrealistic demands, control and attempt to instil new behavaviours in their spouses. They refuse to listen or show love and care. They become abusive and make you feel important.

You become incompatible mentally, emotionally, socially and sexually. Your partner is completely changed and you wonder if it is the same person you married.

You have many options when your marriage is failing. Today in an era of women emancipation, we hear many wives warn that if their husbands cheat they will also cheat.

Some work on the relationship to save it. Regardless of what their spouses are doing, they show commitment, generosity, and a forgiving spirit. The good news is that most of the time, it takes one committed spouse to turn a failing marriage around.

Some seek divorce. They have the myth that there is freedom and happiness outside their marriage only to regret their action. Today 90 per cent of partners who divorce regret their action.

Some seek separation as a step towards divorce. For some, it is an indirect divorce especially when they know their families or religion is greatly opposed to divorce. However for some others, it is a time for reflection – to get a better understanding of their marriage and decide if they want it or not.

The good of separation

Some stay in a bad relationship and adopt many interventions and tactics to get their marriages on track but find they have nothing left but to leave their matrimonial homes. They get confused about leaving or staying. In many cases, a spouse realises his partner is much better than they thought. They work on their weaknesses and get back.

There is a story of a husband who turned alcoholic and abusive. The wife fearing for his life, left the matrimonial home without her children. To cook, clean the home, prepare the children for school, supervise their homework and still do a full-time work was a hell for him. He stopped the drinking and the late home-coming. The children kept demanding to see their mother. The man went everywhere looking for his wife but everyone pretended not to know her whereabouts. The interesting thing is, the wife had taken her leave and was staying in the house of her sister-in-law, the younger sister of her husband  but they all decided to  enjoy the drama a little longer.

A little family member innocently leaked the secret and the man went to apologise and took his wife home. He had learnt to appreciate the magic in her wife and they are happily married.

The bad aspect of separation

In separation both partners have the freedom to socialise. Making friends with the opposite sex during separation can be dangerous. When you start comparing your spouse with your friends your spouse will lose because you see your spouse only in your happy times. Things may move faster than you think and you may cheat even when you are legally married. If you get pregnant at this time the situation becomes extremely complicated. There are also those who, trying to go back after separation, realise they have lost their partners. Separation also has detrimental effects on the development of children.

Good or bad

In some cases, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If separation is handled carefully and skillfully – in the right way and conducted for the right reasons, it may be a useful tool to rebuild and generates some passion in your marriage because it becomes the beginning  of a new and exciting marriage.

For some, out of sight is simply out of mind. In this case, it becomes the beginning of the end to your marriage. Separation may therefore save or drown your marriage.

In general, however, it is advisable to stay in your marriage and make efforts to rebuild it because as long as you stay together, you have the opportunity to keep your marriage in control and heal it. Separation is therefore not a healthy option.

If you stay and work on your marriage, it will work. Do just that and save yourself of uncertain outcomes.

By John Boakye
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The writer is the Director of Eudoo Counselling Centre, West Legon. He is also the author of ‘your guide to marriage’ and ‘love unlimited.
The Mirror/Ghana