When the struggle to make a marriage work becomes overwhelming, many couples turn to separation as a temporary solution. Yet while some see separation as the first step on a definite path to divorce, it can actually allow you to “take a step back” and fully assess your situation.
In his book Taking Space: How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship, relationship counselor Robert J. Buchicchio shows us how a separation can just as often be the saving grace for relationships that are in trouble.
By providing us with an opportunity to deal with the emotional aspect of the split, we can then move past the emotions to a more productive and flexible frame of mind. Using “Separation Management” techniques, Buchicchio shows you how to deal with anger and conflict while taking responsibility for your situation and empowering yourself to find a solution.
“You could compare managing relationship conflict to taking a pain pill for a headache. While you’re in pain (conflict) you simply can’t concentrate on other aspects of life. But once you get some relief and you’re out of immediate pain, you can begin to figure out what is really causing the headache/conflict in the first place.”
Buchicchio’s unique approach uses what he calls the “Relationship Conflict Scale” to identify how different couples express their conflict. Figuring out where you and your spouse fall on the scale allows you to identify the steps you need to take so that both of you “can express your wants and desires openly and have them heard without defense.”
This refreshing approach provides couples with some basic skills that are essential to managing their conflict and getting to the root of the problem. Buchicchio also addresses the different types of separations and how to know which one is right for you. You’ll also learn:
Complete with firsthand experiences from thirteen couples in crisis, The book gives control of the relationship back to the couple. By showing you how to take charge of your situation, Buchicchio enables you to set aside clouding emotions and make decisions with a much clearer perspective.
Including relationship building exercises at the end of each chapter, Taking Space is a wonderful read for couples who are struggling to make their marriage work.