When struggling couples seek help from the Houston marriage counselor, often they ask my relationship advice on separation. Would taking some time apart help them overcome their marriage problems? My answer is usually: no!

Why? It’s simple. How can you be working through your issues if you aren’t even in the same place? Separating will just make it harder, as well as more tempting to walk away from the marriage altogether. After all, being away from each other will inevitably mean that the fighting will stop, and it may start to feel like avoiding your conflict is the best way to cope with it.

I do believe there is one situation in which separation is healthy, and that is when there is physical violence that is neither minor nor isolated.  Separation ought to be temporary, and with the purpose to get an assessment of the relationship done by a competent counselor. A condition of reuniting might wisely be completing treatment of the relationship with the IMAGO Workshop and a course of counseling from a competent specialist.

Houston Marriage Counselor: Learn to Work through Conflict in a Healthy Way Instead

It’s harder, and it may be messier in the beginning, but fighting to save your marriage together is the only way through it. As the Houston marriage counselor, I’ve seen it again and again: the couples who tough it out and work to change their relationship come out stronger and happier than they were before their current crisis.

But those who decide to separate have a harder time reconciling, and sometimes end up divorcing, only to encounter similar problems with their next partner! The problems don’t go away simply because we avoid them.

They only get better when we learn better communication and relationship skills. You may even find that working with the Houston marriage counselor to improve your marriage helps improve other relationships in your life as well!