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Has anyone had success with separation?

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SmallButStrong posted 11/18/2013 22:23 PM

I'm at the point where I'm happier when he's gone, and he can see that now. The nights he works, I'm in a great mood, have a fab time with the kids, and feel productive. When he is home, it's sluggish and depressing. Sometimes awkward. The kids pick up on the energy and act melancholy.

I'm thinking separation would be ideal at this point. I can't afford divorce right now, and to be honest I am not going to be the one who files and ruins my kids' lives. This is all his fault, and I refuse to be responsible for the demise of our perfect family.

I just want to test my desire to reconcile. Is that crazy? Lately I really feel like I'm just going through R for the sake of the kids, not because it's what I really WANT. A separation would test my love for him, would it not? I want to feel like I need him. I want to WANT him. Right now I feel like he's in my way.

I have a friend who is a FWS and her H left at 18 months post D-day. He needed space; it was a self-preservation thing. He ended up coming back to her 6 months later, ready to reconcile.

Has anyone tried and succeeded??

cantaccept posted 11/19/2013 04:11 AM


I don't have any real advice about the separation. My h left on dday and we have been trying to R since December, he moved back in January, our ddays are similar.

The separation did not help us as he left for ow. It was so sudden and shocking that the separation caused more damage, it was not a mutual decision.

I was such a mess still when he came back. I did it all wrong, required nothing from him but no contact with her.

Now it feels as if we are back tracking, trying to fulfill the requirements that should have been in place before he came back.

The one thing that struck me in your post was the word "need". My IC has really emphasized to me that I need to be in a place of wanting him in my life but not needing him. To need implies dependence, not having a choice, that your happiness and survival depends on him.

To want him in your life comes from a place of strength. You want him in your life because he enhances it. You want him because your life is better with him in it. You can be happy and survive without him but you want him. It is a choice, your choice to make your life better.

I have done some reading on structure separation. I just googled it. There is some info out there. It seems the there should be specific issues that warrant the separation if R is the goal. I also read about very specific guidelines that should be agreed upon and a specific time limit.

Not sure if it is the best route if R is the goal. Maybe discuss with therapist if you are going. I suppose as with anything it is a risk.

crossroads2010 posted 11/19/2013 04:39 AM

I just want to test my desire to reconcile. Is that crazy?

No...I think at some point, everyone who doesn't separate wonders how things might be different if they had. My situation is different from yours...age, kids grown, etc. but my H travels and at first this was so hard for me after the A, but now, it is like I have a peace about me when he is can the WS not be a trigger in some way? Because this person is now someone different to you, you may have to re-evaluate how you feel about him. Separation may be the only real way to do that.
I often wonder if we are just going through the motions..trying to meet family obligations and financial needs, etc. and both of us wouldn't be happier with separate lives. I get what you are saying about needing to want him and to know that he wants you as well. I think that honest conversation may help you both decide what is best.

Dallas2 posted 11/19/2013 07:12 AM

First if your kids are acting sad and melancholy- they are not happy and living a perfect life. If you think you seperating from your FWH will help put the family back together I am afraid to twll you but you are wrong. Who will keep the kids? Split them between you two, like a D? Who will they live with?

You say you desire to R but what are you and your H doing towards that end? Why do you feel he is in your way? What is he doing or not doing to help R?

Maybe try an in house seperation if possible. I know that has been suggested before to many here.
I would think your love for him has already been tested and maybe deep in your heart the A was and is a deal breaker. If it is then file for D. I am glad that the kids are a priority but try and see how much your behavior is affecting them.

As far as wanting or needing your FWH maybe you do and are just ignoring it. Do you and your H have date night or at least a nuetral place where you can get out and talk. Have you told him how you feel? HE may not have a clue and can help you with your feelings.

ItsaClimb posted 11/19/2013 07:38 AM

My husband moved out a couple of months after D-Day and then came home about 6 or 7 weeks later. Quite honestly I don't think it helped us and it was traumatic for my younger daughter who is still at school. It really didn't help me decide one way or another whether to D or R. When he moved home I believed I had decided that I didn't want to D - a few weeks later I felt that I DID want to D... then I didn't... then I did... We fought just as much when we were S as we have done since he has been home. I was as sad when we were S as I was prior to S and as I have been many times since. I believed that things would miraculously become CLEAR to me once we separated, that I would find some certainty, well that didn't happen.

I feel that for us it was an unnecessary trauma as it didn't help us in any way, it was very costly paying the mortgage AND rent for WH, it was confusing for our kids (and even for our pets!), it led to a LOT of explaining to friends/family/work colleagues etc. Quite honestly, for us, it was a pointless exercise!

My advice is to think about it carefully before taking that step. In my personal experience, the answers I was hoping S would provide, well it didn't, the only thing that is leading to more clarity for me is TIME.

SmallButStrong posted 11/19/2013 09:04 AM

Dallas2 -

Who will keep the kids? Split them between you two, like a D? Who will they live with?

My H has an job transfer opportunity to a facility out of state. He would come home on his days off, which are usually weekdays when I'm in the office. We would sleep separately when he is here at the house. My kids would just think Daddy works out of town and comes home when he's off. (When I was growing up, my dad travelled out of state for his job and came home on weekends and I didn't think twice about it.)

You say you desire to R but what are you and your H doing towards that end? Why do you feel he is in your way? What is he doing or not doing to help R?

We have been in MC for 14 months, we have read all the books, are still doing a workbook together, etc. My H does not handle my "bad" days well, but he sure thrives on my good days. When I am in a good place, he's a rockstar H. As soon as I become quiet - I don't even have to be angry - he goes into self-preservation mode and puts up walls like he did pre-A. This behavior makes me question whether he's really changing.

I feel like he's in my way of happiness because his presence alone is a trigger. Again, when he's gone, I am my best self. He weighs me down.

The A has completely shattered my relationship with my MIL and FIL, and with the holidays coming, I want nothing to do with them. I think maybe that's also why I'm feeling so gloomy these days. My FIL is flying in from Europe to be with us next week, and I've made arrangements to stay with a friend. I have also decided to make my own Thanksgiving plans with my sister, and let the kids have the day with my H's family.

Of course I always thought it was a deal-breaker before it happened to me. I've been working my ass off for 14 months to save my marriage because I believed that we could be the exception to the statistics. Now, however, I'm feeling that maybe this was a deal breaker for me after all. I'm still so hurt, so angry for all the levels of betrayal.

Kierst13 posted 11/19/2013 09:37 AM

I am now separated, but my circumstance is different as we are headed for divorce. However, many of the things you posted could very well point to you being finished. The day my STBX moved out I felt weightless; as though I could accomplish anything in my life. All I needed was to set a goal and I could achieve it. I have not lost that feeling or missed the great weight that I carried around with me.

The home life for my children is much less stressful and oppressive. The children are happier, they sleep more soundly and argue less. It is not perfect and it is not easy being a full time working single mom, but I make it work and I am happier than I have been in years.

Please know that if you choose to separate it may not end up in a reconciliation, it could end up the opposite direction.

befuzzled110 posted 11/19/2013 09:54 AM

I went through a separation with WH. It was from September 2012 through February 2013. We had made the decision to separate in August for him to leave, but wanted the kids to have a good start to the school year, so delayed telling the kids, and the actual move out until 2 weeks into school year. I personally wasn't strong enough to ask for a separation, although looking back, I should have been the one to ask for it, instead, I asked him to think about what he really wanted, and his decision led to a separation. The things *I* learned were: I really like him even though he has been hurtful to me. A marriage is a LOT more work then I ever thought it could be. What happens in a separation has to be viewed in a different light. What happens if you decide you want to date, or he decides he wants to date? Would you two have written rules? This is actually a serious thing, needing to define the TYPE of separation you want to have. Because my WH moved in with OW1, and was chasing OW2 at the time, I was able to date (sucked) and talk with other men without guilt I may have felt if I was married (you know, the feeling that keeps US from having affairs). But I did love the break. I found a lot out about myself that had been...pushed away during our marriage and further hidden by all the crap that had happened...I finished school during that time. I made sure he had time with the kids, which allowed me to have free time to myself that I had never had before. He on the other hand, decided that he hated his choice, wanted to come home, and has continued to state that it was one of the worst choices he had made. He now truly believes and wants to be here. But we still have a lot to go and work through, and the separation and things that happened during it has added to the work that needs to be done.
Just to let you know: I went to a lawyer and had separation papers drawn up, where I had custody of the kids, he had to pay for everything (house, bills, and any kid related items needed, groceries, you name it), so if we decided to divorce we had an agreement in place to proceed with. I had to protect myself, as I was a full time student and had no time to work, as my school schedule was full at the time. We made a clause in it to meet on a certain date to meet up and talk about whether we wanted to proceed with divorce, continue a separation, or reconcile. We didn't make it to that date. But we did have that conversation.

[This message edited by befuzzled110 at 10:06 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)]

dutchboy posted 11/19/2013 12:41 PM

My WW and I are in the third month of separation. I discovered the A about six months prior to separating and waited approx three months after discovery before confronting. The separation was a suggestion of our therapist. Without revealing all of the boring details, we have crafted a detailed plan to handle finances, child care, and logistics during the separation. With regard to the children, they always stay at our house and we alternate who stays at the house vs apartment every two nights. We also have family time with both of us at home two nights a week and all day Sunday.

While the separation was a joint decision, we've reacted differently to it and my wife lays the responsibility for the decision to separate primarily with me. Candidly, we've struggled with the same notion of ruining a "perfect family " and our kids lives due to separation or D. The reality is that our family was not perfect or at least Mom and Dad weren't. I would not have entertained the idea of separating if I had not believed that the alternative was worse for me, my wife, or the kids. The alternative being a toxic environment emotionally where all of our old disagreements and bad habits were just set on replay. Absent the A, I would not have had the couragge to admit how unhappy I was or to even put my own needs and feelings in a position of prominence in my life.

The separation has been positive in that it has provided the space and time necessary to detach in a healthy way, understand and work through my feelings, and gain a better perspective on my own needs and problems as well as the issues in the relationship that pre-dated the A. I am making slow progress at becoming a healthier person instead of holding on to the negative feelings and thoughts I carried around pre-separation.

With regard to the downside, the feelings that come up immediately after the move were intense for both of us. For my wife, there were strong negative emotions towards me that lasted for weeks. She craved a greater degree of intimacy pre-A, and the physical/emotional distance and detachment were hard on her. We were fortunate that we are excellent at being coparents and have the resources to support two households. If we did not, this could have been drastically different.

Well that's my experience in a nutshell. One thing you mentioned was using the separation to figure out if youreally want to R. I think separating can be helpful in providing the space to better understand yourself and what your true needs are. I would be cautious if the reasons for separating were more external (showing your partner what they're missing, punishing them, etc) but it definitely sounds like that's not your intent. I would just be very thoughtful and deliberate at making this decision and the arrangements if you do separate because there's always the chance that it could push your spouse or you further away from one another permanently. But, that's sometimes better than the alternative of staying stuck where you are. Best of luck.

SmallButStrong posted 11/19/2013 18:02 PM

Thank you - all of you.

Our MC today suggested a temporary "break" ASAP. We have not put a timeline on it, but plan on him staying at his mom's until next week when his dad arrives from Europe, at which point I'll stay at a friends' for the week. After he leaves, my H will go back to living at his mom's until we figure it all out.

I had a RAGE outburst in MC today. I think I really need to get my anger under control while we are apart. It doesn't matter what I read or what I'm told, the rage is still very much there beneath the merciful BS I thought I was becoming. I am definitely still processing...

Our MC did advise to be living strictly apart, but suggested to my FWH to arrange dates once in a while.

Funny, our 14-year wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I didn't even remember until my H brought it up in MC today. It just made me cry. I don't want to wake up tomorrow...

[This message edited by SmallButStrong at 6:03 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)]

Alyssamd24 posted 11/19/2013 18:27 PM

WW here....hope you don't mind my DDay was in December of last year..I moved out on New Years day and my BH and I were seperated from then until August. While we were seperated we shared custody of our 4 yr old DD....she lived with me (at my parents) and saw my BH a few days a week.

Since I have been back home things have been better...we are dealing with the A much more now than we did when we were living in seperate BH was reluctant to let me move back home for fear of how he would react to it, especially when it came to dealing with triggers, but overall things are definitely better now that we are back together.

LonelySilhouette posted 11/19/2013 22:10 PM

I guess my separation was successful. My first DDay was May 4 but it was May 25th that I got some TT which caused me to throw him out that night. Literally, I woke him up at 11:30 pm, asked a couple of questions, got some info, threw his phones at him and told him to get out. He gathered up some stuff and left within about 30 minutes.

During the separation I had no idea what I wanted. I didn't know if I wanted to divorce or reconcile. I explored my options during that time, saw a lawyer, started IC, etc.

Our separation wasn't all that long. I think he came back for good on July 6, and we've been in R since, and in therapy. And it seems to be going well. There's still work to do and hills to climb but I'm cautiously optimistic.

beyondalllimits posted 11/20/2013 11:05 AM

SBS, my FWH and I were separated for almost 2 years. It was a rough two years. I read somewhere that after 6 mos apart the likelihood of reconciling is slim. I am a touch kind of person. Without that connection, it was brutal for me to handle. Anyway, I think whatever route you take, it will require a LOT of dedication and hard work to find your personal success. If it is worth it, you will find a way, whether you are together or apart... MHO I wish you well and a life full of love. (( ))

endlessabsurdity posted 11/20/2013 11:42 AM

Has anyone tried and succeeded?

It depends on your definition of success. I believe you are referring to reconciliation. In my case, separation from my wife was successful in giving me the distance I needed to really start healing and taking care of myself and my children. Once she was gone, I was able to able to start living and enjoying life more than I had in years. I would say my separation was successful, but it is almost certainly going to end in divorce.

A separation would test my love for him, would it not?

I just want to test my desire to reconcile.

At the point that you separate, I think it is best to reach a place where you are okay with your marriage being over. You separate to disengage and protect yourself. It's like the 180. You do it for you. Only you can decide what is best in your situation, but I personally couldn't do it tentatively as a test. The anxiety would have driven me insane because I would have been worrying about where she was and what she was doing and how she was thinking and feeling. When I let her go, I had to fight hard and truly let her go and completely disengage.

I'm not a fan of the idea of testing love. I see love more as a choice and an action. The feelings are a result of making the choices and taking the actions that foster love and connection between you and your spouse. What my wife was doing was figuratively like licking her finger and sticking it up in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. Would staying with her family or going with the OM lead to greater happiness in her life? She was treating love as something that just happened to her and would magically make her happy. What she didn't understand is that her unhappiness came from within. She was trying to escape herself. We can change whatever we want in life, but we cannot escape ourselves.

[This message edited by endlessabsurdity at 12:02 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

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