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Old 09-12-2011, 06:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Living Apart

My wife and I recently had a talk where we realized that perhaps we would be better off not living together for a time, while we build our careers and focus on ourselves a little more.

Question: How many marriages out there have succeeded with that sort of setup? What would be some of the ramifications that one could see arising out of this sort of move?
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i would be curious to know how others feel as i am also thinking about trying this with my wife.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For about 2 months now, my wife of 4 years and I have been apart. At first, I was staying at the cabin to give ourselves some time to think. I would go back home and we got along ok, we did a lot of good talking then, about how we would rebuild things between us, about our future, etc. Our marriage was looking quite promising, we both do love each other. My wife got depression about 2 years ago which put a strain on our marriage. In my defence, I consider myself a good husband, I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, flirt, am loyal. In my wife’s defence, she is an excellent person, willing to help anyone in need out at anytime. Couldn't ask for a nicer person. She said that I was not there enough for her emotionally during her depression, and she was right, that is quite a bit of what we talked about during our visits together, like I said, we were working things out. About a month ago, my wife and her mother decided that my wife should move back in with her in another province. I had no input in the matter, my mother in law is very very controlling so off they went. I believe that her mother needs a friend where she now lives, and can very easily persuade my wife to stay there because my wife is not quite in the right frame of mind, with her depression. We are not kids, we got married later in life, my wife is in her late forties but her mother treats her like a child. When she left, we parted with tears, hugs, and kisses. We have since seem to have lost communication, only spoke to my wife once for about 2 minutes, am sure that the mother in law is to blame again. My wife is a very warm, loving, caring person and all this is very unlike her. Anyway, to answer your question, apart time may work if you love and care for each other enough to make changes like my wife and I were doing. I was always grateful that there was never that “third” person in our relationship. Now that I think about it, my mother-in-law is that “third” person. If you want your marriage to work and need time apart, you have to still live close to one another, stay good friends, talk openly, and do not let that third person in, your marriage is about you two. Hope this helps you, right now I don’t know if I’ll ever see my wife again, hopefully she opens her eyes one day and sees things the way they are.

Last edited by ronkw; 09-12-2011 at 12:32 PM. Reason: bad spelling
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Living Apart

I had a professor in college who did this with her husband--basically, they weren't able to get tenure at the same college, but on opposite sides of the country. I don't know all the logistics of it--the part that affected me was that her deadlines were absolutely hard: if she said turn the paper in by four on Friday before fall break that meant she was flying out at five to see her husband and you could forget her forgiving five minutes of lateness because there was no way she'd be there: she was on her way to the airport. They have no kids and it's still working (as far as I can tell--their situation doesn't appear to have changed) over a decade later.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ronkw View Post
For about 2 months now, my wife of 4 years and I have been apart. At first, I was staying at the cabin to give ourselves some time to think. I would go back home and we got along ok, we did a lot of good talking then, about how we would rebuild things between us, about our future, etc. Our marriage was looking quite promising, we both do love each other. My wife got depression about 2 years ago which put a strain on our marriage. In my defence, I consider myself a good husband, I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, flirt, am loyal. In my wife’s defence, she is an excellent person, willing to help anyone in need out at anytime. Couldn't ask for a nicer person. She said that I was not there enough for her emotionally during her depression, and she was right, that is quite a bit of what we talked about during our visits together, like I said, we were working things out. About a month ago, my wife and her mother decided that my wife should move back in with her in another province. I had no input in the matter, my mother in law is very very controlling so off they went. I believe that her mother needs a friend where she now lives, and can very easily persuade my wife to stay there because my wife is not quite in the right frame of mind, with her depression. We are not kids, we got married later in life, my wife is in her late forties but her mother treats her like a child. When she left, we parted with tears, hugs, and kisses. We have since seem to have lost communication, only spoke to my wife once for about 2 minutes, am sure that the mother in law is to blame again. My wife is a very warm, loving, caring person and all this is very unlike her. Anyway, to answer your question, apart time may work if you love and care for each other enough to make changes like my wife and I were doing. I was always grateful that there was never that “third” person in our relationship. Now that I think about it, my mother-in-law is that “third” person. If you want your marriage to work and need time apart, you have to still live close to one another, stay good friends, talk openly, and do not let that third person in, your marriage is about you two. Hope this helps you, right now I don’t know if I’ll ever see my wife again, hopefully she opens her eyes one day and sees things the way they are.
sad story, i wish you well
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Never gotten anywhere near the point where we would have wanted to do this.

I guess I am curious as to whether you set up specific rules for this and how is it different than a separation?

Does the spouse agree to living apart and the 'rules' of doing so? Do you have rules for living expenses, children, etc.?

Do you set up a timeframe as to whether you decide to officially divorce, separate, or try and make it work?

Is it just a prelude to an official separation/divorce with NO intention of ever trying to make it work?

Does it mean that you can't have relationships (intimate or otherwise) with members of the opposite sex?

How/when would you meet up with each other - to see kids, etc.?

Would you still have a sexual relationship with each other?

I don't know. I'm sure that it might work for some couples, but it does seem kind of hollow to me and it seems like there would need to be a lot of logistics to work out especially if there were kids involved.

But, maybe as Katherine Hepburn said, "Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."

Best wishes.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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SO, we had the initial talk about what kind of ground rules to lay out for this living apart together thing. It's going to take some more negotiation, but I think we may be on the right track. Here is what we've got so far:

- We're married. We're going to stay married.
- We need to have our own things. Our own space. Our own bank accounts.
- We basically act as though we are dating, but we are loyal.
- Yes to sex. Dear GOD yes to sex.
- Dates. Meeting outside the living spaces is encouraged as much as possible.
- We attempt to have our own lives, our own friends, and our own rhythms and routines.
- We will ALWAYS be there for each other and will rush to help the other out if need be.
- We do not have kids, and will not until we know better what our lives are going to become.


That is what we've got so far. The idea behind all this is that we moved to a new place and need time to grow into who we are. We have a creative side to each of us that is pretty much stifled by the others presence - mainly because we get co-dependent and lazy around each other. We need to spark ourselves back into the reason why we moved out here in the first place: We need to find our own success. And then, if things work out, and if we really want to, we can try living together again. But not right now.

I honestly don't know if it's going to work out for us. I have a good feeling about it. I am hopeful and optimistic for the first time in two weeks. But there is still a lot to negotiate. It seems to me to be about being your own person. Some people can do that while they are living with someone. We may not be those people.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Muppet, I wish you and your wife well. However I wonder if those that fix a problem separately grow apart. It seems separation might be problem avoidence, and a way to have a false peace, false stability, and is the first step toward disolution of the marriage. This sounds like a "nice" un-abruptive way to go one's separate ways, with out the messiness of more conventional break up. Perhaps what you'll find out about yourselves during this separation is just how incompatible you two are and how much more sense it makes to dissolve your union and find true love and sustainability with someone more adapted to you and your wife. I think you said you have no kids? Good! Makes this kind of stuff a whole lot easier. You wrote that you stiffle each other...I would think you should support each other's creative endeavors, so I think that until this one thing gets resolved to each others mutual satisfaction, your union is doomed.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I tend to be one that feels a separation is never a means to fix a marriage. It's hard work but you both have to just pull up your sleeves and tough it ou together. That's what makes a marriage stronger especially if you both desire to fix things. It's just so difficult to fix when you're not together.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don`t see how separation could possibly benefit a marriage.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't recommend it.

My husband and I lived apart for 3 months...he's home now.

I know I grew from this experience and I think he did too, however, maybe it will be different for you since it's a mutual thing. I didnt want my husband to move out.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronkw View Post
For about 2 months now, my wife of 4 years and I have been apart. At first, I was staying at the cabin to give ourselves some time to think. I would go back home and we got along ok, we did a lot of good talking then, about how we would rebuild things between us, about our future, etc. Our marriage was looking quite promising, we both do love each other. My wife got depression about 2 years ago which put a strain on our marriage. In my defence, I consider myself a good husband, I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, flirt, am loyal. In my wife’s defence, she is an excellent person, willing to help anyone in need out at anytime. Couldn't ask for a nicer person. She said that I was not there enough for her emotionally during her depression, and she was right, that is quite a bit of what we talked about during our visits together, like I said, we were working things out. About a month ago, my wife and her mother decided that my wife should move back in with her in another province. I had no input in the matter, my mother in law is very very controlling so off they went. I believe that her mother needs a friend where she now lives, and can very easily persuade my wife to stay there because my wife is not quite in the right frame of mind, with her depression. We are not kids, we got married later in life, my wife is in her late forties but her mother treats her like a child. When she left, we parted with tears, hugs, and kisses. We have since seem to have lost communication, only spoke to my wife once for about 2 minutes, am sure that the mother in law is to blame again. My wife is a very warm, loving, caring person and all this is very unlike her. Anyway, to answer your question, apart time may work if you love and care for each other enough to make changes like my wife and I were doing. I was always grateful that there was never that “third” person in our relationship. Now that I think about it, my mother-in-law is that “third” person. If you want your marriage to work and need time apart, you have to still live close to one another, stay good friends, talk openly, and do not let that third person in, your marriage is about you two. Hope this helps you, right now I don’t know if I’ll ever see my wife again, hopefully she opens her eyes one day and sees things the way they are.
I am so sorry that you had to go through this. It must be hard to have a spouse that is overly attached to her parents. Your wife has some growing up to do, if she allowed her mother to control your marriage.

My mother tried that nonsense with me. I just stick by my husband as a united front and refuse to allow her to butt into our life. The woman who gave birth to me has no respect for my privacy and our marriage......she's always trying to get me to conspire against my husband with her or get him out of the picture by being unpleasant. Sucks to be her, because the more my mother pushes, the more we lock the door on her.

IMO, living apart as a married couple is like going back to dating again. It is also a way of lessening the blow of divorce, by slowly cutting the spouse out of your life. I believe that married couples need to live in the same home, to fully appreciate the closeness of marriage.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FirstYearDown View Post
I am so sorry that you had to go through this. It must be hard to have a spouse that is overly attached to her parents. Your wife has some growing up to do, if she allowed her mother to control your marriage.

My mother tried that nonsense with me. I just stick by my husband as a united front and refuse to allow her to butt into our life. The woman who gave birth to me has no respect for my privacy and our marriage......she's always trying to get me to conspire against my husband with her or get him out of the picture by being unpleasant. Sucks to be her, because the more my mother pushes, the more we lock the door on her.

IMO, living apart as a married couple is like going back to dating again. It is also a way of lessening the blow of divorce, by slowly cutting the spouse out of your life. I believe that married couples need to live in the same home, to fully appreciate the closeness of marriage.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Living Apart

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Originally Posted by muppetsinspace View Post
My wife and I recently had a talk where we realized that perhaps we would be better off not living together for a time, while we build our careers and focus on ourselves a little more.

Question: How many marriages out there have succeeded with that sort of setup? What would be some of the ramifications that one could see arising out of this sort of move?
Hi ~

My husband and I have lived apart since 10/5/2010.......soon to be a year.

We have been married for almost 29 years.

We live about 80 miles apart.

We have one adult son.

I went to therapy. He went to therapy.

We started MC in May of 2011.

I can give you MY pros and cons of our agreement.

It can be difficult and very very lonely.

Living apart definitely made the anger and resentment subside to the point where I could see the real problems more clearly.

It forces you to see the good in your spouse as well as the bad in your spouse on a different level.

You learn that the bad really wasn't that bad.

We both did enjoy some aspects of living apart:
We ate our meals when we wanted.
We ate what we wanted.
More room in bed.
No snoring to keep you awake.
Went to bed whenever.

It was a feeling of freedom. No responsiblity for anyone else. I still took care of our dogs. He went to work.

We would not talk everyday.

Spent the holidays together.

I started to do things that he always did:

Got my car inspected.
Took my car in for service.
Bought big bags of dog food.
Took dogs to Vet.
Took dogs to the groomers.
Brought out the garbage.
Sorted recycle.
Brought out the recycle.
Shoveled snow.
Changed lightbulbs.
Got my own checking account.
Paid bills.

Did it help being apart for so long?

It made me stronger.
It made me more independant.

He became a couch potato, sloppy, lazy batchelor.
He lived on beef jerky and Milky Way candy bars.
The garbage piled up.
The dishes in the sink piled up.
He took his clothes in the dry cleaners.
When he wasn't eating candy he picked up McDonalds.
His cholesterol rose.
He now has high blood pressure.
He is also now pre-diabetic.

But he claims that he was content. No "honey-do" lists.

The MC wants us to gradually start living together again. We both agreed that it is time. We will slowly introduce ourselves to each other again.

MC really helped. We actually decided to see a Psychologist we delved into our childhoods and uncovered baggage that made us what we are today. It has been an interesting process.

We went once a week for a two- hour session.
It has been very emotional and we both learned a lot about each other.

After 29 years we are STILL learning a lot about each other.

It seems that whatever attracted us to one another back in 1982 is still what attracts us today.

I hope that I was able to help you. Good Luck. Peace.

Very Hurt
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I came onto this site almost a year ago looking for advice. My situation, my nightmare is posted on TAM.

My husband and I have been living apart for 10 months.

At first I was against it. How could a marriage survive if were living apart? Will we grow apart? Will one of us stray?I asked myself all the questions ...

My husband and I wouldn't be together if we had not done this. We have a better marriage now. We live in seperate households about 40 min apart. He comes down and spends weekends with me and my daughter. So far it has been great. We have time to miss each other, we look forward to seeing one another. This situation is what my marriage needed. We are 100% committed to one another. We talk all the time.I have realized alot about myself in the time we have lived apart. I am a stronger, more independent woman.
Everything has it's pros and cons, thats just life. What works for some may not work for others.
This is not a permanant situation for us...we are working towards living together again. We are taking baby steps and rebuilding what was destroyed. Good luck!
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Last edited by kgregory1011; 09-25-2011 at 10:04 PM. Reason: added info
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