Marital Separation

Have You Recently Been Separated From Your Partner and Family?

If you have been separated from your family against your wishes, you are probably feeling a mixture of emotions including: shock, disbelief, anger, remorse, sorrow and sadness. If these painful feelings override your common sense you might say and do things that make your situation even worse. You may desperately attempt to return to your family as soon as possible or punish them for rejecting you.

During this difficult time there are a number of things you should and shouldn’t do. 

Making Changes

When relationships collapse it’s common for people to blame their partners.  It takes courage to admit you may have said and done things that damaged your relationship as well.  You will likely repeat the same pattern in the future no matter who you are with until you learn greater self-control. Counselling can help you with this.

Remember, that a family crisis is a short term event that represents a turning point.  Be pro-active and get counselling to deal with your emotions during this challenging time.

Things that will make the situation worse!


  • Harass your partner by telephone, mail or in person, either at home or at work.

  • Threaten to harm your partner, the children or yourself.

  • Pressure relatives and friends to “talk some sense into your partner.”

  • Use the children to manipulate your partner.

  • Push for a quick decision.

  • Withhold money for household bills.

  • Act up until you get arrested.

  • Quit your job and leave the area.

  • Take your frustration out on police officers or other authority figures.

These actions will cause your partner to have even harder feelings and may result in a permanent separation. 

Things that will improve the situation
for you and your family.


  • Seek counselling to help you deal with the crisis more effectively.

  • Join a treatment group, if you need to, such as Alcoholics, Narcotics, or Gamblers Anonymous (Check the phone book for listings.)

  • Obey restraining orders and other legal obligations.

  • If there is no restraining order, write one letter to your partner stating that you wish to patch things up then…

  • Leave your partner alone to decide when your next contact will be.

  • Accept the fact that empty promises will not solve anything and only constructive actions can help now.

  • Live up to all of your commitments. Be prompt and polite.

  • Keep working. Pay the bills. Keep yourself and your place clean.

  • Find out where you can obtain marital counseling and pay for it if you can. 

  • Find a support group for separated/divorced people. Contact your local Mental Health Clinic or Community Information Centre for information.

  • If you get back together, follow through on your promise to obtain professional help as a couple or individually.

Internet Resources: 

Edmonton - Alberta

Anger Management Online

Recommended Books:

Used as a guide by support groups for separated and divorced people, Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends by Bruce Fisher et al, helps reduce the suffering associated with returning to singlehood. Main points.


What counts in
making a happy
marriage is not
so much how
compatible you
are, but how you
deal with
Leo Tolstoy




Divorce is like an
Sometimes it's
necessary but it
should be avoided
if at all possible
because it brings
about a

Bill Doherty

Divorce is one of the
most financially
traumatic things you
can go through.
Money spent on
getting mad or
getting even is
money wasted.

Richard Wagner