Is A Separation Healthy For A Relationship?

This week, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and his wife, LaLa Anthony announced that they were separating. There have been a number of rumors surrounding why the couple decided to split. One rumor stated that his uncertainty with the NBA and moving around to find the right team has taken a toll on the marriage. Another rumor was that Anthony got another woman pregnant. No rumor or reason for separation is ever easy and we wish them the best.

But this split bring up a good question, can separation be good for a marriage? Can time apart really bring people back together?

In a legal separation, the parties are still married, versus a divorce where the marriage is ended. A legal separation is a court order that mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are still married, but living apart.

There are three main reasons why couples separate

1. A step in the divorce process
2. To to gain perspective on the marriage
3. To enhance the marriage

According to Psychology Today, here are four ways that you can have an enhanced or positive separation and come out on the other side with a better, stronger marriage:

I. Get Third-Party Support. While some couples can do this on their own, many therapists recommend some type of neutral third party to help facilitate this process. It can get tricky and sometimes rough, especially if this is being done while there is currently some tension or problems between spouses. But as the old adage says, “anything work keeping, takes work.” Getting insight from a therapist, clergy, mediator, or lawyer that isn’t on anyone’s side, may help.

II. Set Clear and Reasonable Expectations. Ground rules are a must to maintain a sense of trust between the parties. If one person expects to communicate every day but the other doesn’t, this could cause hurt feelings. Knowing what to expect avoids this type of situation.

III. Know Your Goal. This is key. Don’t assume that you both have the same goal. You both really…