So if your relationship isn’t working (at least for one of you), you’ve got to ask why and listen, really listen to the reasons.Think about your part in the crisis, because even if your partner has been unfaithful – for which you’re not to blame – he or she will not have turned from the loving partner to this detached cold figure overnight.As a therapist, this is a good sign because he or she is ready to negotiate for what he or she needs – rather than accepting anything to get his or her partner back – but for the couple it can be really unsettling. If you’re reached a dead end, how can you go back and find another way round? ”, it is not only exasperating but you’re reminding them that they don’t love you or need space.Key idea for saving your relationship: Setbacks and painful but they are not a problem if you can learn something from them. So I know it’s hard but please wait for them to talk about the future, your job is to make today’s interactions better.So your partner has said ‘I love you but’, has been having an affair or you’ve been arguing so much it’s been affecting the kids.
By this I mean understanding why this is so painful – probably something to do with your childhood – and learning alternative ways to cope with adversity (rather than sending off a desperate text). If you step back, you could encourage them to come forward.If your partner knows the rules for contact – and can have some input into deciding on them – he or she will find it much easier to cope.For example, you will meet up once a week and reply to one text a day.Key idea for saving your marriage: Live in today, this moment, right now – rather than worrying about the past or trying to guess the future. So every time, you feel yourself unravelling focus back down on NOW.Enjoy the view from your window, the cup of tea that you’re drinking or that moment of peace before the kids get back from school (rather than forever being one step ahead and not really registering now). I’ve been doing this job for almost thirty years and I reckon I’ve seen over two thousand clients and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have set backs.I share child care responsibilities and tidy up around the house or do other little things to illustrate that I’m in fact capable of change.We have a family day once a week or even a date night and I’m become a better listener and more attentive than ever to your partner.I’d like to turn round your question (“can a trial separation help a marriage?”) and ask instead “will making your partner feel guilty and back down save your marriage?However, you are at risk of making your partner think true space could only be achieved by ending the relationship.Key idea for saving your marriage: If you’re the partner looking for space – but not getting it – try negotiating with your partner rather than just withdrawing (and unilaterally imposing it).