Honestly, there are no laid down rules during a trial separation. I haven’t come across any rule book as regards this. Most people just make rules for themselves and hopefully, make an effort to approach the state of affairs with modesty, gentleness, and grace. Sometimes, people ask me if particular situations or behaviors when you are separated are “right” or “wrong.” An example of this is dating your spouse during a separation. People are often unsure if this crosses a specific boundary, is mean, or is simply confusing and cruel to both parties.
I often hear from wives who say this: “I was the one who wanted the separation, but that is because I was fed up of my husband’s constant complaining about his being unhappy. I did all I could to make him happy, but nothing worked. He never stopped complaining and so I decided to end his complaints. And said, fine, it’s better we separate then. He moved out, this actually surprised me. However, I agreed to it because I was curious to see our experience during this time. I wanted to see if we can live without each other or if we would miss one another. I really don’t want a divorce, but I’m not certain about the situation of things. The marriage I have now isn’t what I’m willing to continue with. It makes me feel depressed at all times. But I realize that I miss him. So we have gone out on dinner severally. Actually, we have both agreed to meet for dinner on Wednesday and Friday nights and perhaps more. Sometimes, we have sex. My friends are of the opinion that we are dating again and quite a number of them are doubtful about this. A close friend told me that she thinks dating during separation is wrong. Her opinion is that it might give my spouse false expectation – which is mean. She also said that the essence of separation is to have distance from one another. Is she right? Am I doing the wrong thing? Dating my husband while separated – should I date my husband while we are separated?
What you are doing isn’t wrong. I think that provided both parties understands what is going on and you are sincere as regards any motivation or drawbacks, it’s definitely okay. I dated my husband just before the end of our separation. If my husband and I didn’t date, there is a probability that we might have eventually divorced. Of course, we sometimes had misunderstanding and clumsiness as we made attempts to make things work again. But this was better than staying away from one another. My husband made it clear that the “dating” does not at all imply reconciliation and I accepted that, so this was risky. But we were two adults that both agreed on what we wanted.
This is just my opinion, my belief is that there is a reason people get separated rather than divorce. More often than not, it’s because the couple actually doesn’t want to end the marriage. They have hopes that later in the future, things are going to be clearer and there might probably be hope for their marriage. There is no better way to make this happen than to keep on seeing your husband.
Definitely, if there are problems or if you become confused and hurt by the dating, then you surely want to be sincere and tackle those issues. You have to treat your husband with respect and be accommodating. You must ensure you are clear about your own feelings, motivations, and intentions. However, if you choose to avoid one another and never communicate, I believe this will weaken your marriage.
No, you mustn’t date with the intentions of staying in contact with your husband. You can definitely interact with one another without dating. But if the two of you are interested in finding out if the marriage can be saved, then there is nothing wrong with this. I’m not a counselor. But from my experience, reconciliation with my spouse began when we resumed communications. It helped even more when we began to see one another. And the last stage was the dating – before we eventually reconciled. We indeed took things slowly (because my husband was initially not certain about what he wanted.) But I don’t feel this caused any harm – although it varies for each couple.
My opinion is that if both people want to date if it’s fine by both of you, and if there is a benefit instead of harm, I believe it’s an opportunity to begin to get closer to one another. Having said that, you will want to ensure that being romantic doesn’t make you ignore your problems. However, you sometimes need to take a break from your problems. And place your focus on the good things about your marriage, rather than the wrong things.
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