'Give Me A Break!' 7 Types of Marriage Separations and How to Choose the Right One for You

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When you don’t want to divorce, but you can’t stand to be around your partner, try managed separation. Find out from Robert J. Buchicchio, professional counselor and author of “Taking Space: How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship,” how to choose the type of separation that is best for you.

When the feelings of appreciation and love languish, or your mate-in-mid-life crisis starts buying tiny sports cars and spends more time with friends or at the office than with you, divorce may seem like the only option. It’s not.

Managed separation offers a viable alternative to divorce and increases the chances of keeping your marriage and family intact. But choosing the right type of separation is critical.

“Deciding your type of separation helps you define and clarify expectations and responsibilities,” says Robert J. Buchicchio, author of Taking Space: How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship (CharLer Publishing, http://www.TakingSpace.com).

One of the first counselors in the United States to develop a 10-step problem solving guide to help couples manage periods of both short and long-term separation, Buchicchio has spent over thirty five years in relationship, marriage, and divorce counseling, and has helped hundreds of couples sort through conflict.

He has observed that separation is either physical or psychological. Physical separation usually involves some kind of moving apart and can take on many different forms including:


In-House – partners remain in the same house with more space


Brief separations- partners remain in the same house but plan to spend time apart


Trial – one partner moves out for a specific period of time


Predivorce – partners physically separate with the intention of ending the relationship

Psychological separation allows you to gain some mental distance and can involve:


Individual psychological separation – one person focuses on growth and development of self


Therapeutic (relationship) separation – both partners focus on self-growth and changing damaging patterns in relationship

The way you choose to separate will be unique to your situation. See what works best and make the most of this valuable opportunity to learn from the time apart.

Think it’s time for a “time-out”? Get “10 Tips to Manage Your Separation from a Spouse Effectively” at http://www.TakingSpace.com.

BIO: Robert Buchicchio, LICSW, DCSW Expert in Separation Managment

Robert J. Buchicchio, LICSW, DCSW, has spent thirty-five years

counseling couples about relationships, marriage, divorce and separation.

He was one of the first mental health professionals in the United States

to develop a specific 10 step problem solving guide couples can use to

successfully manage both short and long-term separations. In addition,

Buchicchio offers professional training on separation management to

mental health and mediation professionals. He is also in the process of

developing a series of self-help courses on CD, DVD, and VHS for

professionals, individuals and couples.

Buchicchio earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of

Rhode Island and his M.S.W. in clinical social work from

Ohio State University. He has taught at Vermont College and Norwich University, and worked as a professional associate with the American Humane Association and Action for Child Protection, Inc. Buchicchio also served as the chief.

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