Separation and Divorce are two different terms and cannot be interchanged.
While divorce refers to a complete dissolution of the marriage legally and otherwise, separation in this context, is a temporary break between the couple. Most times this involves living separately for a period of time.
The only time separation should be encouraged in marriage is when there is a THREAT TO THE LIFE OF ONE OR BOTH PARTIES.
Especially when there is physical abuse in the marriage.
Your life must not be sacrificed because of a marriage.
There are however some conditions that should guide the process of separation and reconciliation;
- Separation means one party will be required to move away from that environment. This will immediately put an end to any ongoing physical abuse while reconciliation is ongoing.
- Separation is meant to be temporary. While this decision may be reached as a couple or as an individual, it should be a temporary measure.
- Separation should not be done in secret. Escalate this decision and the cause (physical abuse) to your important figures in your marriage (mentors, families, authority figures, counsellors). This will help control and ensure the objective of the separation is achieved.
- Separation should be supervised by authority figures.
- When separated, the couple must seek help and counselling. It is advised they see a therapist and undergo re-orientation.
If the abuser is not willing to seek help, then you must reconsider the marriage.
- The abusive partner must show remorse, a changed heart and a willingness to put in the work required to restore the marriage.
Do not end separation until there are signs he/she is willing to change otherwise it may get worse and lead to loss of life.
- Showing signs of remorse is not enough to end a separation. The abusive partner must make commitments to meet laid down conditions that will protect the abused party against a future reoccurrence.
These commitments should be documented and signed by both parties and witnesses present. In this instance, getting legal help (Lawyers) and law enforcements (police) is not an overkill.
- The abused partner should also note and look out for triggers (words or actions) that set off episodes of physical abuse. While this does not justify physical abuse, it is important to make adjustments that will help you avoid these triggers.
- The couple should choose alternative ways to resolve conflicts in the marriage as separation will not always be the go-to strategy.
- After reconciliation, it is recommended that the first few months following should be closely monitored and regulated by accountability partners.
Your comments are welcomed.
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