Is there life after marital separation? The emotional turmoil brought about by a failed marriage haunts a couple with this daunting question. Marital separation can rip apart one’s sensibilities shattering hopes and dreams of a bright future for the family. The thought that walls have closed in and there is no way out of the darkness would most likely enter the mind of a married couple breaking up. Anger, anxiety, loneliness, and doubt make up an entire gamut of reactions for both spouses regardless of who is at fault.
The fact is, both spouses are responsible for how their marriage turns out. The breakup story would appear to have a good guy and a bad guy but at the end of the day, it cannot be denied that both spouses played a part in its sour ending. This may not be clear in the beginning as the wounds are too painful for the couple to see the bigger picture from a place of acceptance and surrender. Hence, time is of the essence in allowing spouses to heal from this devastating chapter in their lives.
In healing from a marital breakup, one must remember that pain teaches us important life lessons. There is truth to the saying that “lessons hurt before they are learned.” How well these lessons are learned depends on how much one is willing to let go of the ego. Otherwise, the same mistakes will keep showing up in succeeding relationships leading to more chaotic outcomes.
If the separation was triggered by the husband engaging in an extramarital affair, it would do well for the wife to take the high road and open her mind to the lessons presented by the situation. Seeing her husband as “teacher” instead of “cheater” enables her to welcome the growth experience and forgive her offender. The wife is able to look beyond the pain and into her accountability for her husband’s behavior. What is this experience trying to teach her? Was she an enabler? Did she turn a blind eye to his indiscretion? Was she too scared to speak up and rock the marital boat? Did she give her power away by allowing her husband to disrespect her?
One must prioritize the growth process for the painful experience to serve its purpose. Otherwise, it will be a futile struggle. A wife who has been cheated on must learn to stand up for herself. She must learn that she is a human being with inherent dignity, worthy of love and respect. Though she is the offended party, she must also muster the courage to look for the same repulsive traits of her husband within herself. She must learn to be honest at all times, to tell no lies or she will be lied to. Indeed, the healing process, hard as it may be, is a cleansing process. It allows one to see life and the world at large with fresh eyes so she can start anew.
There is life after marital separation but it is a changed life. For the better or for the worse? It will have to be an individual choice.