Trial Separation

Marriage /  / By Trouble Marriage / 881129 views

I personally knew a couple that was about to get married after four years together. But shortly before the wedding, the girl suddenly panicked. Her fiancé was her first man, and she was afraid that she haven’t experienced enough in life and won’t be able to fully commit herself to one man. Their relationship started to deteriorate and not wanting to lose her, the boyfriend, (not the girl!) offered a timeout. They agreed on a separation period. Today, they’re happily married.

A trial separation is not an easy experience and a hard decision to make, but it helped some couples to save their marriage. If your relationship is in trouble, then this is an option that you and your partner should consider, whether you’re married or just in a relationship.

A trial separation gives both partners some time and space to think about their marital issues without the constant stress and fighting at home. However, many are afraid that a trial separation might finally draw them apart. Some think that when their partner offers a trial separation, he/she is just looking for an excuse to get away but is too afraid to ask for a divorce. And indeed, it might so happen that during the separation period, one of the partners or both may realize that divorce is the right thing to do and what’s more, they may appreciate the freedom and see that divorce isn’t as frightening as it seemed before the separation.

There are, of course, some cons in a trial separation that you should consider. Children might find it hard to cope with their parents’ separation. The kids’ reaction might add to the already existing strain, so you and your spouse should decide how to break the news to them together, in the most considerate way possible.

If you decide to give a trial separation a try, there are several things you should remember:

  • The decision should be mutual.
  • The partners should carefully plan the separation period together, for example, decide who will take the kids and when the other parent can visit them.
  • You and your partner should be aware of the two possible outcomes of this experience.

A marriage trial separation is not an omnipotent solution that will work for every couple. Every marriage has its issues, and every couple should pick a method that suits both parties. But this option has helped many couples to rebuild their relationships. Amy Waterman’s guide is a good place to learn more about planning a trial separation and decide whether this method suits you.

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  • Trisha

    weird but true. when me and my boyfriend separated it did make me appreciate my freedom more… but we got back 2gether again in the end:)))

  • Nadia

    still afraid to try it:( my boyfriend offered it once, as if in a joke, because I was having doubts, but I was terrified at the idea so he dropped it.

  • sharon

    that was helpful. hopefully. thanks. anyway.

  • martha

    dealing with the kids was the hardest thing when we separated. i hate to remember it now, but hey, it worked, so I guess i got nothing to complain about.

  • Manuel

    looking serious. ah, he’s Jewish, that makes me trust him more:)

  • Stacey

    it helped me and my boyfriend stay together.

  • alex

    mu wife wants tht, but i dunno.. guess i gotta give it a try, at least we tried to do something..

  • Ivy

    yep, bad sex DOES happen, and it takes time to learn that it happens and it’s natural..

  • Tony

    thnk you very much.

  • Janet

    well, we broke up after separation, but u’r right, it’s not as bad as it seems once u taste freedom 🙂

  • Juan

    You made some good points there.

  • Glenn

    me and my husband r thinking about it, but we’r afraid for the kids, they’re stressed already.

  • stan

    i don’t think i could have done that, but useful info anyway.

  • Colin

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of information.

  • Alison

    sounds like it’s worth a try although i am still doubtful.

  • Tina

    There are lots of strange comments on here……

  • Angela Strub

    I really liked Amy Watereman’s book. It helped me with some issues – not a trial separation, thankfully me and my husband never got that far:)

  • Katie Contreras

    haha, seeing my ex flirting with other girls was where I snapped:))

  • Kaileigh Freiger

    I’d go for it, at least so I can tell myself I did everything I could to help myself.

  • Amber

    It seems like an easy way to get used to the idea of divorce.

  • tina


    I recently discovered that my boyfriend has been cheating on me for quite a while. We’ve been together for 7 years, and I still love him, but how can I be with someone who lied to me?! He hasn’t even told me about the affair, and behaves as if everything was normal. Should I tell him I know? Please help.


  • Sasha


    I’d like to write you an e-mail please..can I?


  • Trouble Marriage

    Hi Sasha,

    Please check your Inbox and Spam for an e-mail from me.


  • Trouble Marriage

    Dear Tina,

    Please check your Inbox and Spam for an e-mail from me.


  • Trouble Marriage


    It may indeed end up like this and if it does, a separation WILL make it easier, so there’s nothing bad in it. But it may also help a couple to reunite. I’ve seen it happen more than once.

  • Amit

    must admit I;m not sure I’d had the guts to do it.

  • April

    Hi, my husband keeps demanding trial separation but I know he only wants to be away from me. I still ove him and don’t want divorce. what can I do?!

  • Trouble Marriage

    Hello April,

    Please check your Inbox and spam folder for an e-mail.


  • Stella m.

    nothing to be afraid of. If after separating, both decide to break up, it means it wasn’t meant to be. So it works.

  • Narmeen

    I want to try, but my husband will never agree. He’s religious..

  • June

    Totally worked for ussssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ellie

    i need advice on how to leave a lying and cheating boyfriend please help me?

  • Rick

    Is it a good idea to do a trial separation? My wife said she wants this and intends to take our youngest child, and leave me in the house. I’m afraid it won’t work and concerned about the boy, who might miss his regular kindy. Any experience or advice appreciated.

  • Trouble Marriage

    Dear Rick,

    Please check your Inbox and Spam for a reply.


  • diana

    Hello. I’m lost here, please help. My husband wants trial separation, now should I fight for our mariage or let him go?? He left for military training for a few weeks, and everything was OK and then he texted me and said he wanted a divorce. He’ll be back this weekend, how do I handle it?

  • I’m sorry to hear that. If your husband wants a divorce, there’s not much you can do to stop him, but I’d try the trial separation first. It does give one time to think, and your husband might change his mind after he calms down. Can’t say much more without knowing more about the situation.

  • Tabitha Pfahl

    My husband left last night for the start of a trial separation. He believes it will help us, i think its just going to tear us a part. One of the big problems is that we don’t get anytime alone together, i suggested counseling and taking time out for just us to be a couple and not just mommy and daddy. I cried myself to sleep and most of the day today. I feel more hurt and alone than anything. I’m the one who has to make sure the kids are taken care of while he gets to take a vacation from life. Meanwhile I’m stressed to the max and the separation isn’t helping that. I’m really ready just to throw in the towel and just file for divorce, why let him come back be happy for a min then he hurt me again by leaving again.?? idk i need help please any advice?

  • Hi Tabitha. Counseling and time out sound very reasonable. The question is whether this is what you really want, as you now seem too cross for quality time with your husband at the moment, which is quite understandable.

    One of the good things about trial separation is that it gives both sides some time to cool off. There’s always a chance it will end in divorce rather than in world peace, but then again, maybe you will end up deciding that this is what you actually prefer, even though none of us likes to think about the possibility of starting a new life, especially with kids.

    Instead of spending some time together as a couple, I’d rather you suggested to your husband that he spends some time with the kids (and it would have been better if the two of you had planned it all before starting separation). This way, you too could get a well deserved vacation from life, and then, see if your or his mood changes.

  • Luis Rauth

    Hi, my wife asked for a trial separation 5 weeks ago, soon after we moved to China for work. We have three young daughters. The reason she says is that she doesnt love me anymore. No infidelity or abuse in our relationship. We’ve been best friends for almost 20 years and married for 10. We believe that over the past 6 years, since we had other preoccupations in our lives, we started to drift apart. We stopped doing what we liked because we didnt want to upset each other. She loved going out with friends, male and female friends, but stop because she thought it would upset me. I stop playing golf, because I thought she would have preferred to have me in the house helping with the children, and other things like that.
    I have moved out of the house 2 week ago, it was very hard. I still see the girls every morning for breakfast and every evening for dinner, then I go away. We started seeing a counselor via skype two weeks ago, who is helping me with my anxiety and depression issues, also my jealousy, which wasnt an issue in the past, but its out of control now. I know its only been two weeks but Im thinking of giving up, packing my bags and move back home. I’ve lost over 15kg in the last 5 weeks and find it very hard to sleep. I know I need to be fit, healthy and happy, for this trial to work, but its hard. My goal is that we can start a new relationship in the future and continue to raise the children together. She is taking the point of view that the relationship is over, and want to see with time if things change in her mind/heart.
    How do I stay positive and improve our chances. I am still madly in love with her.