In my last blog I talked about Controlled Separation. Many people want to know what a Controlled Separation actually looks like. Basically, the partners separate living space. If financially possible, one partner actually moves out. Or, if their are children involved, some couples choose to rent an apartment. When one partner is at the home with the children, the other partner stays in the apartment. This is great for the children in that it does not disrupt their living space. However, this only works if the couple is amicable and can respect each other's space when they are at the apartment and home of origin.
Then it is decided what will happen financially. Most money is frozen except for what is needed to live comfortably. This again takes a lot of trust and for some couples it is better to get legal counsel and draw up a separation agreement.
Child custody is usually split, unless one parent does not want the children for 50% of the time.
The goal is reconciliation so the couple is wise not to start dating other peaople. This just gets things more complicated and takes energy away from the goal of reconciliation.
The partners decide how much family involvement they will have together. For example, do they want to have dinner out one night a week together with the kids as a family?
The kids are told what is happening and that the goal is to get back together but no promises are made.
Sex is up to each individual couple and recommended ONLY if both partners feel comfortable. Usually in the beginning it is best to not have sex so the actual "space" between each other is felt.
Counseling is mandatory! This will not work without a coach and a contract between the couple.
These are just the major guidelines. There is a lot more to do this. For further information read "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" by Lee Raffel
Natalie Chandler is passionate about doing marriage counseling as well as individual counseling at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.