Most wedding vows end with the line “till death do us part,” but you and your spouse might be one out of several married couples who suddenly find themselves unable to hold on to that promise, well until their own respective deaths any longer.
If you feel that your marriage is now beyond repair, it might have occurred for both of you to get separated once and for all.
Marital Separation versus Divorce
If you badly want to cut ties with your spouse but are a little confused as to whether to get separated or divorced, it is essential to know the difference between one and the other.
- Marital separation simply means that you and your spouse are still legally married but are currently living physically apart from each other.
- Divorce, on the other hand, means that you are not married anymore to your now former spouse. This comes after getting separated.
How to Tell If It’s Time to Get Separated
While only you or your spouse can identify when you want to cut all ties with each other so to speak, some key signs to watch out for are listed below to help you make that life-changing decision of getting separated:
Domestic abuse and violence
This should be a no-brainer. All kinds of abuse and violence, especially those occurring in the household, are not OK.
You don’t have to put up with an abusive spouse if you still have some dignity left in you, so it’s best for your own safety to leave him or her immediately.
A usually belated realization that you might be better off on your own
Being married doesn’t always have to mean that you and your spouse have to be physically near or beside each other most of the time. But a telltale sign that you might be unhappy living the married life is when you tend to avoid your spouse too frequently while acting as if nothing’s wrong when you’re alone or while meeting your friends.
Married couples will always have their own fair share of arguments whether it be small or big. While most arguments usually end up being resolved after coming to an agreement, other arguments end up being left open for a very long time, until they become a major contributing factor as to why your marriage isn’t working anymore.
If your spouse reaps all the benefits of being married while you are left out in the cold, chances are he or she might only be using you to advance his or her own selfish gains. No one likes a parasite, and neither should you.
Lack of intimacy
Intimacy is a vital part of any relationship, even more so for married couples. Another telltale sign that your marriage is on the rocks is if you or your spouse are a bit too hesitant to get intimate and form your marital bond together, which most often than not results in infidelity and crimes of passion being committed.
Settling for what is convenient instead of what is right
Most unhappy couples tend to stick to their respective marriages for any of the following reasons:
- They believe it is cheaper for them just to pretend as if everything’s fine.
- Couples with children don’t want their kids to see or hear that their marriage is on the verge of collapsing.
Either way, you should come to realize that taking the easy route isn’t always the best option.
Frequently using distractions
It’s nice to take a break every once in a while when things get really tough, but constantly distracting yourself to avoid confronting all the problems surrounding your marriage has never been proven to work at all. Worse, you could come across as an escapist who would rather retreat than facing your marital problems up front.
Getting stuck in the past
Staying married in its most basic definition means becoming committed to spending the rest of your life with the one person you truly love. It is definitely alright to stay in touch with any of your exes with whom you’ve had previous relationships as long as it remains platonic. However, anything more than that is a big no-no, especially, when you’re already married to someone. Or else, you run the risk of having your commitment to a married life questioned.
In a nutshell
Getting separated might come off to you initially as a waste of time and money that you would rather try to sort things out either on your own or through counselling just so you and your spouse could stay together. But, if your marriage is crumbling to the point where all you feel is animosity and hatred towards each other, you have no other choice but to sever ties for good.
Toronto Psychological Services welcomes registered Australian Psychologist, Janice Killey, as a guest contributor to our website. She has a wealth of experience and training. She holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counselling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She’s also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.