Can Separation From Your Spouse Help Save Your Marriage

Can Separation From Your Spouse Help Save Your Marriage — Can Separation From Your Spouse Help Save Your Marriage

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my latest marriage-saving advice video. I am Brad Browning, a breakup and marriage coach from Canada…

Preventing divorces and healing broken marriages is one of my passions, and it’s also what I’ve been doing every day for 11 years or so. In this video, which I’m going to keep as brief as possible, I’ll answer one of the more interesting questions I’ve received from a client this week… “can separating from your spouse actually help you save your marriage?”.

It’s a great question indeed, and a controversial one among marriage counselors and therapists. Some experts and academics think separating can help a couple recognize what they’d lose if they were to get divorced, others think it’s an unproductive and dangerous waste of time.

First of all, I’d like to clarify one thing: it would, obviously, be ideal to avoid letting your marriage slip to the point where you’re considering separation, or even already separated and considering divorce, in the first place. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

So, aside from getting into Marty McFly’s Delorean time machine, you can’t undo the past. You’re stuck with a marriage in crisis. Your spouse suggests separation…. Or maybe you’re considering it…. Or you’re separated already even though you never wanted to be apart in the first place.

What does this mean for your chances at re-building a happy, lasting marriage? In my opinion, in many circumstances, a bit of time apart can be extremely helpful. Now, don’t put me in the “separation is helpful” camp just yet, because I don’t really feel that way in all situations…. But I do think that it can be a positive thing in some cases.

Why? Well, for starters, a marriage that’s falling apart is usually stuck in a negative feedback loop. In layman’s terms, you and your spouse keep doing the same things — things that are damaging your marriage in one way or another, whether your realize it or not — and until you break the cycle and get out of that rut, nothing is going to change. And an unhappy marriage needs to change, or it won’t survive.

So separation is obviously one way to break the cycle, at least temporarily. Let’s say, for example, your jealousy was a major cause of your spouse’s unhappiness in the marriage… you often became jealous, lashed out, created a toxic environment of mistrust, and that led to your spouse feeling chained down and frustrated.

Right, and taking a break from the negative cycle that you and your spouse have been trapped in can help. But it won’t help save your marriage in the long term if you pick right up where you left off immediately upon moving back in together… then you’ll soon find yourself in the same situation with all the same problems. So separation can help in the short term, but you need to make changes to break the cycle permanently if you want to solve things and remain happily married for years to come.

Another benefit to spending time apart? You can put an end to bickering, fights, and petty disputes that sometimes come to dominate day-to-day life. It’s hard for your wife to get mad about you failing to wash the dishes after dinner if there are no dirty dishes to wash…. And it’s hard to bicker over stupid little things, the way many couples do incessantly after years together, if you’re not actually together. That sort of thing may eventually make its way back into your marriage once you begin living together again, but a break from the day to day drama and conflicts can be a huge help that sometimes rejuvenates a relationship enough to get both spouses to put in more effort and make the marriage work.

If you struggle from that kind of bickering, petty arguments, and general hostility towards one another, I suggest you employ some of the simple techniques I describe in the full video on my website,… watch to the end to learn a few super simple ways you can defuse or prevent those arguments, without needing to separate. Again, my dispute defusing tips are at, so watch that video after this one is over.

*** More from Brad Browning: ***
Mend the Marriage:
Love Learnings:


  1. I recently left my husband because we just fought and argued too much I tried talking to him about it but he just didn’t get it….About 2 weeks later I came back to him and told him let’s just take things slow and steady and get our marriage back n order he said no and that he wants a divorce I begged & cried my eyes out and he was just being mean & nasty to me and it really hurt my feelings cause he’s never acted like that towards me before so I went ahead and gave him the keys back and left we haven’t spoken in 3 days now and it’s killing me inside…..I just want him to reach out and say something to me show me some type of compassion or love!!!….I’m really confused hoping he was saying all those mean things out of anger cause we know “hurt people , hurt people” but I don’t know if he really means it or not!!!…..smh 😢

  2. I feel so lost and I don’t know what to do. Back in April my boyfriend told me he feels like we’ve become roommates and friends more than lovers. That he doesn’t feel that spark any longer or that passion and he doesn’t think we can get it back. Due to my insecurities I did a lot of things that killed the attraction over time. I was always down and negative but also never did anything to lift him up or encourage and compliment him. I caught him in lies before and found out a couple months ago that he cheated on me sometime before April but he continued talking to her and hiding to see her. But he swears to this day that it only happened once, that she told him she wanted to be with him but that he didn’t want that. We’ve talked about me moving out to help us re-set the relationship, we broke up for a month while living together but he still cuddled me every day, told me he loved me and that I’m amazing and doesn’t tell me that enough.

    He has said he’s in love with me but just doesn’t feel that feeling any more. We got into an argument this weekend and he ended up telling me he "honestly never wanted me to move out" but doesn’t know how to repair things. I also constantly worry that he is still talking to that girl (they work in the same building) even though he claims he hasn’t talked to her in a long time. Idk if I over think things or if he’s sneaking around and lying. I’m afraid that if I move out he’ll sneak around, or that it will end up being the end all of our relationship. I love him very much, and I know he loves me. But neither of us know what to do or how to repair this. Please help!

  3. My wife moved out in August, completely stopped all communication in September, and filed for divorce in October. Because I have no way to communicate with her I am considering writing her a letter as a last ditch effort to acknowledge my part in this and apologize

  4. My husband, who I thought was my best friend in the whole world, just dropped a bomb on me and said he wanted to separate after 10 years of marriage. I’m hanging on by a thread here, but this video helps a ton! Sending love to anyone who reads this who may be experiencing something similar.

  5. Hello guys!! I am in serious need of help! I am very confident but! This few weeks me n my wife go into a serious fight! We still live together but she kicked me out of our room!! So I am stayin in another room! She won’t let me move out saying if I move out it’s over !! She also says I love u but I am not in love wit u!! But then also says she suck we r goin thru this but Thai will makes us stronger or makes us drift apart!! So I am confused!! She left to her friends house after I made a vegan thanksgiving! We both are vegan

  6. Ok I’m really not the one to publicly share my problems on social media but I’m in dire need of a solution or at least some hope. Me and my wife have been having problems for years now we have been separated 2 times this is the 3rd time our lines of communication have been totally broken for years but I still love her idk if she feels the same way and I’m really crushed right now and I don’t know what to do I miss her very much and I just want to know can this marriage be saved.

  7. What do you do if your spouse no longer loves you and is seeing other women’s attention? How do you save your marriage?

  8. I’ll keep this short. My wife loves me, but she isn’t in love with me. This has been going on for months. We have been to counseling and it didn’t help. Im still very in love with her. I decided to move into the guest room. Basically a separation within our home. Any advice?

  9. My wife is fantastic loyal and hardworking, but we always have arguments, blame games, past family issues, fights, difference in opinions etc it’s non stop, I’m thinking to join military so we both need to reset our minds and finally understand the value of a wife and husband too..

  10. I hope we are doing the right thing, both my husband and I are quite depressed at this point and in that negative loop you mentioned. Our relationship has zero intimacy and we generally just try to stay to opposite sides of the house. We have two small children and I am just desperately hoping we can learn to appreciate each other again as well as break the cycle of disdain. Thankfully we have the money for him to rent an apartment and we are setting very strict parameters (ie no cheating, a weekly date and therapy). We have been married for 7 years, my thought is 6 months but I would really like your opinion on what might amount of time is right to come at it “fresh”er

  11. Hi Brad… I’m so lost… My husband and I have been together 15 years, married 7. We were 19&20 when we first got together, the first 4.5 years were on and off, but the last 10 steady, until he decided to leave.
    He left this past fall, said he needed space to figure stuff out (I wasn’t doing the best mentally, had pushed him away etc) and he jumped into a relationship, a few weeks later said he wasn’t coming back and moved with this girl….
    I know he acts happy most the time, but we have kids and history, is there any hope getting him back… It’s been 5 months since he initially left… Thanks for any advice

  12. My husband has left for the third time. Mad over something that happened before him. His brother and I where Intimate before I ever knew my husband. I told him two years into our marriage four years ago. And he has been angry and hurt for a while now. Which causes him to be emotionally abusive. We have three kids together who miss him a lot. Two weeks now since he’s been gone.

  13. My husband file for divoice.. but living togather and yes its damaging me mentaliy so finally i am going for separation…move on ..

  14. I broke his trust😞 I invaded his personal space and I got so many chances from him with other issues so I don’t think it’ll ever be a chance of him to come back to me.

  15. In order to get a divorce from my wife because I do love her but however financially the burden is all on me I’ve tried to encourage her to go to school or get a job she does not trust me with my son he’s 3 years old and I would never hurt him because in my life I was abused I don’t know what to do anymore we’re always bickering and arguing and fighting the point to almost where it gets physical and is as of 4/1/19 I broke my foot on January 26 2016 and have been using my tax return to pay all my bills don’t have much money just need help figure out what I can do to save my marriage

  16. I have thought about separating from my husband for a while. We have been together for 8 years, been married for 6, and have a 5 year-old daughter. I am deafblind with epilepsy. We don’t live together. He has his own flat, and I live in a flat above my mum and dad’s. mum helps me with my daughter. My husband says that his family need him. they are in "Eachother’s pockets." His brothers have nobody else. His mother has issues. I and my dad feel angry because our daughter and I should be my husband’s priority. I have told him and told him. Now I feel so resentful

  17. My technically not-wife of 16 yrs just decided she wants a month of separation to recenter herself. 3 weeks prior we had several long conversations about things she was unhappy with and that I finally understood how to start fixing them. She said she would give it time…but 3 weeks for 16 years?? That’s NOT an adequate time. I’ve never been in this situation before and don’t know how to treat "us" during this time. First she said I’m too inattentive, taking her for granted. I opened my eyes and started falling in love with her all over again. Then she blindsides me with this because I’m "hovering" and "too clingy." WTF?

  18. Hello Brad. My wife is moving back to Canada and I will be in Buffalo. We have been married for almost 11 years and she said she hasn’t been happy for the last two years. Now she wants to leave and see if she will miss me. She says she doesn’t want a divorce, that she doesn’t want to throw away 11 years and that she hopes it’s just a trial separation but I don’t know that I believe her. I love her more than anything and want to do whatever I can to save the marriage. Is the separation going to be the nail in the coffin? Thanks for any advice.

  19. I have been married for last seven months..Everything was going ok back then even if there were many things i wasn’t satishfied of i tried to understan d and took everything as a part of lifes ups nd downs.We both belong to an average family type but my husband family never thinks me of their part of a family ….i need to count on me myself if i have to go to hospital ,clothes everything Otherhand ,they aspects every domestic works to be handled by me.I feel so humilated and unfit for what they makes me feel.I even hate and forget to smile when around them.They just treats me as a maid.But i do love my husband..And here he has a different character,he says he loves me ,he says he hell knows how his family been treating me ,he says he does understand and loves me dearly but can’t make a single appeal or talk abt mine comfortenss with his family.He says he loves me ,he has seen me dying crying all day night but never puts a single effort for me to stay.What should i do ,do i need to move on ?

  20. What can I do if my husband wants a divorce/separation without trying everything? We have only being doing individual therapy for a month and a half.

  21. My husband decided to seperate with me today. As in today he said he needs time and space to think, The reason i know he’s cheating on me and when i told him about that i saw to his phone how he contacted the Mistress , He get angry to the point he angry to everyone . Now he asking for temporarily seperation he said it work if we will do that. But i think he gonna lived with his mistress. Now i know that seperation isn’t working. Thankyou for the video!

    Update today : August 17 he doesn’t come back to me , And he change all his number 😢 Meaning he just tell that separation is the best way to think for what wrong we did but that’s his reason to left me here.
    After i petition him got visa and help him to get a job He just left me.
    He use the word seperation that it is working? Absolutely For my marriage ISN’T WORKING. 😢😢😭

  22. I’ve recently packed my bags an moved out of my home. As I found out my wife has been messing with the neighbor. I had a feeling about this for the past 4 weeks. As she was starting to act strange, hiding her phone, going the extra mile regarding her appearance an so forth. Constantly looking for arguments with me for no reason. Then suddenly out of the blue she tells me she never loved me in the 11 years we’ve been together an wants a divorce. I tried to suggest counseling and she simply said no. I made the mistakes of trying to do anything that makes her happy hopping this would get her back but didnt. Everyday in that home was toxic as she would belittle me and make me out to be the joke as she has someone else in her life. Shed go out an return at 5am in the morning. Not worrying about our daughter. I’ve come to the point in my life where I’m in a situation do I try fix this or do I give up and move on.

  23. I’ve messed it up by texting because it was my first marriage. And when she separated from me I’ve gone mental by texting her using sometimes nice and romantic or with negative.

  24. Hi brad, me and my wife have been separated for 2 months and recently she moved in with her parents.I moved back in our apartment with our kids. We fought a lot during separation but same time had sex too. I want to try to save our marriage, do you think it can be saved?

  25. I ordered mend the marriage and read and watched through all the material and trying my best to do the things you talk about throughout and she is still separated from me with my kids aswell the only thing that has changed so far is I’m able to speak with my kids on the phone now and I’m supposed to have them this weekend but she is still showing no interest in talking with me or seeking marriage counseling I can only sometimes have a small conversation with her via text any recommendations on what I should do I’ve made the necessary changes and am working diligently on myself but how am I supposed to win someone back that I can see or talk to I want this relationship to work more than anything in the world and I am ready to do whatever it takes to save it

  26. Been separated since October and it’s killing me!!! He says he wants to come back home but don’t want to come back into the same situations . First counseling appointment next week 😔

  27. In a separation time right now, and while it has seemed beneficial, it does also seem like I am not truly missed and there has been less affection than there was even soon after the separation. Any ways that you can think of to help or to focus on during this time apart so that I do not become bitter or jaded?

  28. Hi there my husband and i are currently experiencing separation. We are always into fights in regards to just about anything. What I feel is that all mistakes will be pointed out to you and for some reason you are always the cause regardless of what issue it is or his ideas come from some fantasy world. My mind is slowly getting tired and i always feel sad. One day he said I wasn’t a good wife because i keep on saying no. No is simply just maybe you don’t want to do something and you are pushed regardless how you explain things. I fee lost. Alone.

  29. Hello there so my husband and I have been separated for a little now and he decided to block me off all social media and have no contact . We have a 2 year old son and I want to know if it’s best to give him space , move on or what to do . I’m stuck idk what I should do at this point . I moved out of our apartment and we haven’t spoke . Seems like he’s out partying and living his life . At this point I’m not sure if he has someone else . What should I do ? I love him with all my heart . We’ve been together for 4 years and almost married for 2

  30. So I filed for divorce but he wants to try separating but I said no. I dont think nothing can save this one

  31. My partner said he is not compatible anymore with me jokes what advice do you have for that

  32. Staying separate saved ma marriage he stopped his alcohol his philandering ways stopped. He actually started respecting me n got a fear of losing me. N I go everyweekend now to him n he is very gud to me now

  33. My husband and I are separated for almost two months now. We are working toward fixing our relationship by getting our friendship back but he has bitterness and resentment toward me and situation in general. His bitterness and resentment is frustrating me because I feel like he’s holding on to the past. What can I do?

  34. I am into a week of separation so far. You made made some very helpful points that really hit on some issues in our relationship. Thank you.

  35. 1st..I appreciate you and your work immensely, so thank you. 2nd, I’m a bit 💔 and at a loss. My husband of 15 years and I are living together again after an 8 month separation where he felt so much resentment/contempt & seeming hatred for me bc of some choices I made during our marriage. Namely continuing to consume alcohol when he didn’t want me to. While he continued to drink. Anyway I feel there’s no forgiveness or willingness on his part to even consider me or my feelings. It doesnt seem to matter how I approach him, he responds with eye rolls or says something like "why did I think things could be different" ..etc. (And sometimes he’s quite mean compared to this). I feel insignificant and like he will always treat me as less than valuable or worthy. But when he’s kind and easy it’s exactly as it should be.. with our 3 young daughters it feels like we belong together. I’m sorry to ramble but I’m almost desperate at this point. He has a ton of uncovered and undealtwith trama from his childhood which has carried me this long through empathy & compassion but I fear what I’m modeling and what I’m losing inside myself ya know? Any and all help/advice welcome. Thanks 🦋

  36. My husband is an alcoholic. He refuses to get help and hates counseling. When we agree to an arrangement where he only drinks a 2-3 days a week, the very next day he breaks the arrangement. The cycle continues endlessly. We have two very little kids together. I would rather fix the marriage but how can I do it if he doesn’t even try?

  37. My husband hasn’t spoken to me in over two months. The last conversation we had he hung up on me. Long story short, 7 months ago I moved out because I found him on a dating website (among other things). He claimed in the beginning he still wanted to be with me but in all that time he has barely made any effort. I’m thinking legal separation may be best. When do you know it’s not worth it anymore?

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