Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

By Tallie Rabin-Claasen, M.Ed.

Separation is not always the right next step for people who experience difficulty in their marriage. Based on my research, and my experience as a practitioner who coaches people considering separation and those who are already separated or divorced, many divorces are a result of a knee-jerk reaction to a problem or challenge in the marriage.

That reaction is either immediate, when an incident presents a challenge where one party decides to separate, or occurs after a period of time where there is a recurring issue or several issues that are not talked about openly until one day it becomes “the last straw.”

When people separate as a knee-jerk reaction, it makes it difficult for the couple to pursue an amicable process. What many couples do not realize is that separating or divorcing doesn’t mean that they’re rid of the other person. When the couple has children, they move from “married” to “co-parents.” If they’re in business together, they may move to “business partners.” Even if the couple go their separate ways, each person brings their past habits into their next  relationship, thereby never being fully rid of the issues.

So what is the alternative to the knee-jerk? Assuming there is no abuse involved, where someone’s safety is at risk, stop and talk. Before you make your choice, talk to a trusted, objective person about the issues. This step is often forgotten when one is emotional about one’s situation. Having another perspective on the matter can provide a sense of ease and peace of mind, while also opening up new ideas for how to deal with the issues at hand.

Who should one talk to for support? It could be a friend or a family member. But sometimes, even the most intelligent and rational friends or family members can be emotionally attached. Another trusted person may be a therapist, counselor or psychologist. And a more recent approach to dealing with these matters is to speak to a Coach or Mentor who specializes in family matters.

Ultimately, the ideal person to speak with would be the spouse or partner themselves. For many, a support person is useful to help with that. With professional support, some people may be surprised that they discover a new passion in their current relationship, where others will set the foundation for a workable future relationship.


Tallie Rabin-Claasen completed her Masters Degree in Adult Education, focusing on “Peaceful divorce and family forever”. She is a Peaceful Divorce & Family Life Coach

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