Getting separated from your spouse can be the “kiss of death” regarding your marriage.
There are extreme cases where it makes sense but let me enlighten you as to three key reasons I don’t support it. (I will explain the extreme conditions it makes sense)
First, let’s read a scripture and try to set the mood.
PERSERVERENCE BIRTHS HOPE
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but wec also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
In short, Paul tells us that because of our faith in Christ, we can persevere and acquire character which leads to true HOPE. How poetic.
I JUST WANT OUT, IT’S WHAT”S BEST FOR EVERYONE
Maybe you’re in a marriage that stinks and you are deeply hurt, lied to, betrayed, mistreated, unloved and disrespected. Getting out from under your horrible environment seems best for you, best for the kids and even best for your spouse.
That is exactly what most people think. The only problem with your plan is God doesn’t want us to run from our trials, he wants us to run INTO them. Getting separated brings temporary relief but the key problem is “you are still bringing you into the next relationship”. Why not learn and grow through your situation for your own good and even more so for your children.
THREE REASONS GETTING SEPARATED IS WRONG FOR YOU
When you exit your home due to a separation, you also leave healthy boundaries and guard rails that are there. You become extra vulnerable to temptations of the opposite sex. Sure, it may not begin that way but it won’t take long.
I was on a plane recently and a man sitting next to me unveiled his story of being recently ‘separated’. He shared his feelings of being lonely, depressed and unsure of himself. Those are perfect emotions to open up his heart to a beautiful woman at the fitness center who isn’t his wife.
He wrestled with these thoughts, “I know I’m married but we are separated”….”She want’s a divorce so what am I supposed to do?”…..”She is probably going to start dating anyway”…
Temptations come from every direction. You start leaning on people or things that you would never consider when you were living together. Often couples say they will get separated to figure things out and maybe get counseling but rarely does that occur.
Before you know it, you are on facebook meeting new people or finding other supplements for your loneliness. Maybe pornography creeps into your life and the next steps get even worse. Every day that goes by you are fading further and further away from your family unit. Temptations soon overpower you and the rest is history.
Getting separated often is a real package of avoidance. We avoid working on ourselves. We avoid the ‘work’ of marriage. We avoid the truth of God’s word. As it said in the scripture above, suffering leads to perseverance which leads to character which leads to hope. Getting separated is the opposite of all those things.
The truth is, there is often an equal amount of blame on both sides of the dividing line. He is unloving and she is disrespectful. Both are equally guilty of hurting the other. Rather than avoiding the truth of yourselves, lean into it. Get help. Seek God….open your eyes to your own responsibility to the relationship. Avoiding your own need to change will hurt you even more down the road. There will be more scar tissue to deal with and more people wounded along the way.
Getting separated also gives Satan an opportunity to whisper in your ear “Pssst….you are better off”….”You deserve better”……”This is your time now”……”You’ll be ok”….”Your children will survive”….
You may start to believe the evil one’s whispers. If so, your heart grows cold and the idea of reconciliation goes out the window. A huge wall of fear is built. Fear of giving your spouse another chance. Fear of subjecting yourself back to the environment. Fear of getting hurt. This becomes the kiss of death to the marriage.
Getting separated causes great TRAUMA to children. I know what you may be thinking “Millions of people are getting divorced”, “It no longer has a negative stigma”, “My parents divorced and it didn’t devastate me”….on and on it goes.
I can’t be convinced that children aren’t being deeply traumatized by divorcing parents. I have seen too many cases and watched too many tears fall to the ground. Yes they are surviving but at what cost? They are forgiving but what is the true damage? Is it really ok with them? Is it really their dream?
The truth is, children find ways to compartmentalize it. They stuff it and then they pull that drawer out a million times as they grow up. Often they repeat it. The trauma getting separated causes everyone often creates a ‘traverse’ effect. It puts a sense of logic into your mind that sais “That was so painful, I need to never look back and keep moving forward. I will never open myself up again to my spouse so my kids won’t have to experience that again.” In other words, because of the trauma you stay on that side of the decision and traverse forward thinking you are doing them a favor.
You are not. They desperately want your marriage to reconcile. They want mom and dad to love each other, so much it hurts.
WHEN SHOULD I SEPARATE?
When your life is at risk.
When you are being physically abused.
When your spouse is a chronic cheater.
When your children are being abused.
When your spouse is involved with illegal drugs or activity that could damage you or your children.
- In most of these extreme cases I would suggest immediate separation and counseling to discover if your spouse can become broken, counseled and restored.
- Consider reconciling if trust has been earned back and your spouse proves themselves.
- If in doubt if you should separate and you are on the fence, contact your pastor and ask for advice. Trust him.
Suffering leads to perseverance leads to character leads to hope.
Go and be different,