Thursday, December 13, 2007

Separation Success Stories

When couples are having trouble, one often overlooked option is "controlled separation," that is, separation as a sort of time out on the marriage, with a goal of working through the issues and eventually reconciling. Controlled separation is not the same as "checking out the single waters." Unfortunately, many times separation is seen as the first step in divorce. It seems rather obvious that if you spend your separated time dating other people, you aren't likely to be putting any serious effort in working on repairing your current relationship. (Which begs the question, if you want to marry someone who honors the commitment of marriage, why would you date someone who is married? What does that say about your own commitment to marriage?) When people recycle relationships, all they are doing is putting one set of scabby band aids after another on the same wound, and not surprisingly, facing increasingly higher divorce odds with each subsequent divorce.

In this age of freedom and choice, we choose our spouse, not our parents or any other authority. And if we choose to marriage someone and spend at least a little time getting to know them before taking the plunge, there's probably a good amount of foundation to build on, and if necessary, re-build on.

It seems to me that in this generation of gun shy romantics, either we avoid marriage by over analyzing each relationship--and thus training ourselves to focus on the (potentially) negative of our significant other-- or we jump in without thinking, offended by the thought of pre-marital counsel, knowing that divorce offers an out if everything isn't all sunshine and roses every day.

As the former poster girl for the former stance, I completely understand the desire to stack the deck in your favor. But the problem is that you're always playing with your own cards, no matter who's sitting across the table. Analysis is good, as long as it leads to action and positive change. Analysis as a door to escape is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That rant aside, here are a few couples who faced separation, and have stronger marriages today because they came back together:

1. Alan & Denise Jackson.
Denise Jackson has written a book about her life with husband Alan Jackson. It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life offers an in-depth look into the lives of the two childhood sweethearts.

In the book, Denise shares the story of the teen couple's meeting in small-town Georgia, and their marriage when she was just 19. She addresses the couple's struggles, dreams, successes, and the near-failure of their marriage. She also discusses rediscovering her faith, and shares how that has helped to shape the life they now live.

2. Burton & Suzy Farbman.

3. This couple.

4. This couple, after the husband committed adultery. (added January 13, 2007)

1 comment:

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