Dr. Hawkins tackles the controversial topic of separation. Can separation save my relationship? Most people will tell you that separation will only lead to divorce, and understandably, the people we work with also have a lot of doubts, fears, cynicism and skepticism towards the idea of separation. In this video, Dr. Hawkins talks about why he sees separation as an opportunity to end the insanity.
It’s not a black and white, one size fits all solution – it’s certainly not for everyone, but when done well and under the guidance of an experience professional, a therapeutic separation is often the only way to end the madness and create space to think clearly about where you want this relationship to go and how you will get there. Find out what a therapeutic separation is, and how to do it so it can lead to eventual reconciliation and not divorce.
Can Separation Save my Relationship?
Relationships are like ships navigating the unpredictable waters of life. At times, they sail smoothly, while at others, they encounter turbulent seas. If you find yourself at a crossroads, contemplating separation, it’s essential to understand that this might not spell the end but rather an opportunity to reset and rebuild. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of separation as a potential means to save your relationship. We’ll outline three critical steps to take, emphasizing that separation can be a powerful tool for positive change when approached mindfully.
Step 1: Rock the Boat
The first step in considering separation as a means to improve your relationship is to acknowledge the need to disrupt the status quo. This is akin to rocking the boat, intentionally inviting change into the relationship. Many couples express a desire for change but often want only the changes they desire, falling back into their established routines.
For separation to become a genuine opportunity for growth, it’s vital to disrupt the familiar patterns that may have led to the current state of dissatisfaction. It’s an intervention, a disruption, an act of rocking the boat to create the space for transformation. Real change rarely happens without discomfort, so prepare yourself for the turbulence that may accompany it.
Step 2: Embrace Awkwardness and Establish Clear Rules
When considering separation, you’ll likely encounter resistance and fear from both partners. Phrases like, “If you separate from me, it’s over,” or other threats may arise from a place of anxiety. To move forward, you must embrace the awkwardness and uncertainty that comes with disengaging from the status quo.
A critical aspect of navigating this phase successfully is creating a “Therapeutic Separation Agreement.” This agreement defines the rules and boundaries of your separation, offering structure and predictability in an otherwise uncertain period. Key elements to address in this agreement include financial stability, communication guidelines, child custody arrangements, and personal space boundaries. This document serves as a roadmap for the separation journey, ensuring both partners understand their roles and responsibilities.
By establishing clear guidelines, you can alleviate some of the fear associated with separation, making it a less daunting prospect for both individuals involved.
Step 3: A Robust Time of Change and Healing
Once you’ve initiated separation and established your therapeutic separation agreement, you enter a phase of robust change and healing. This period allows both partners to reflect on their desires, needs, and expectations. It provides a break from the combative struggles that may have characterized the relationship and allows the mind to settle.
During this time, couples can work on themselves individually and address the issues that led to the separation. It’s an opportunity for self-improvement and personal growth, which can ultimately benefit the relationship. Reassuring one another of your commitment to change can strengthen the foundation for a potential reunion.
In many cases, couples find that separation is a transformative experience that enables them to come back together in a healthier, more understanding, and appreciative manner.
In conclusion, separation should not be viewed as the end of a relationship but rather as an opportunity to end the insanity that might have plagued it. By following these three essential steps – rocking the boat, embracing awkwardness and establishing clear rules, and leveraging the time for robust change and healing – separation can serve as a catalyst for positive transformation in your relationship.
Remember that the ultimate goal of separation is not to part ways permanently but to reevaluate, heal, and rebuild a stronger, healthier partnership. If both partners commit to the process and work on themselves and their relationship, separation can be the turning point that leads to a brighter future together.
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.