Can A 30-Day Separation Save Your Relationship?

March 15, 2016  |  



Absence makes the heart grow fonder—or it can cause it wander—depending on who that heart belongs to.

Over the weekend, I decided that I needed a break from my weekly Saturday true crime show binge-watching marathon, and settled on an old episode of MTV’s “True Life.” This particular episode was called “Save My Teen Marriage.” The story followed two twenty-something couples who married as teens and were reevaluating their unions. Both couples were married for five years. Couple A (Kyle and Amanda) seemed to have issues with clinginess on Amanda’s behalf and a lack of consideration on Kyle’s behalf. Couple B (James and Rasheda) faced infidelity issues. Rasheda caught James having an affair and since then, she has been doing her own thing. In one last ditch effort to save their marriages, the couples sought marriage counseling and began a 30-day separation period during which they were each given hall passes to sleep with other people if they chose to.

(Editors Note: spoiler ahead.)

The young woman in the marriage that was plagued with infidelity utilized her hall pass. Her husband, James, attempted to do the same; however, things didn’t quite pan out for him. From what the cameras captured, Couple A opted not to use their hall passes. In the end, Couple A realized what they were doing wrong in their marriage and chose to stay together. However, Couple B broke up after Rasheda decided that she wanted out of the marriage despite James’ vow to change his ways.

I don’t know how I feel about separating once vows have been exchanged, but I suppose I can see how a break can help a couple to realize whether they truly want to be together. In my own life, I can recall a particular break-up-to-make-up that actually changed a relationship that I was in for the better. Although we split believing that we were breaking up for good, when we did reunite shortly after the split, we realized that the time that we spent apart changed the both of us for the better. All of those silly fights we used to have over and over ceased and it really felt like a brand new relationship. However, I have also been in a break-up-to-make-up situation where making up only caused me to realize that I really didn’t want to be with that person. The break-up was extremely painful at first, but similar to both women in this episode, as time went on, I really began to enjoy being single. When my ex finally came back around and decided he wanted to try again, I agreed, but I immediately realized that I didn’t want to be in that relationship anymore. I let it drag on for three or four miserable months before I finally worked up the courage to end it.

Perhaps what it all comes down how committed the couple is to the relationship and whether or not the relationship was damaged beyond repair before the separation.

Do you believe in temporary separations in relationships?


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