Many clients come to me feeling they have two options: stay together and be miserable or divorce. Many of them feel too overwhelmed with the thought of staying together and trying to work it out. Unfortunately, they feel it would be "easier" to get a divorce. There is an alternative or in-between: Controlled Separation.
A Controlled Separation is basically a separation of space with the goal of reconciliation. The hope is to get enough space between the two partners so that they can sort thru their feelings and begin dating again with a "fresh" perspective. As therapists, we coach the couple to learn to communicate effectively. This is much easier when there is some space between sessions and not as much friction. We also teach them how to date and court each other again. We slowly move back into the process of being a couple again. Then we tackle the huge issues that brought them to counseling in the first place.
We have seen this do AMAZING things for couples who do it right and stick with it. They actually feel they can talk and love each other again. I will continue this further in my next blog that gives more details to a Controlled Separation.