22 July, 2021

Making the decision to temporarily separate can be tough enough, but choosing a trial separation in the same house can bring some added challenges.

Trial separations don’t immediately mean the end of a relationship. This time can provide the space and opportunity for both people to consider whether they want to end their marriage or if they want to work on things.

And while a trial separation while living together may seem awkward, it can work really well if the partners are on relatively good terms.

You might be staying under the same roof due to financial circumstances or for the sake of your children. Whatever your reasons, we hope this advice helps you navigate your in-house trial separation a little easier.


Establish Boundaries and Rules

It’s important to set some ground rules early on to ensure you’re on the same page and avoid disagreements.

Some things to consider at the start of your trial separation might include:

  • The length of the separation
  • Where you’ll each be sleeping
  • How you’ll divide finances/expenses
  • If you’ll tell your children, friends or family
  • Whether you’ll be seeing other people during this time
  • How you’ll divide household chores and responsibilities
  • Whether you’ll remain sexually intimate during this time
  • Whether you can still call/text each other during this time.

It can help to speak to a relationship counsellor if you need help communicating and agreeing on respectful personal boundaries and guidelines.


Maintain Open Communication

Don’t wait for tensions or resentments to build up before speaking.

Check in with each other and maintain honest communication to see how you’re both feeling.

While a trial separation can provide an opportunity for some space, it’s important to keep a temperature check on what’s working and what’s not – especially during an in-home trial separation.

Touch base regularly to discuss where you’re at and whether you’re both still working toward the same goal. You might even like to schedule a set time in once a week to have those conversations.


Try Relationship Counselling

Every couple faces challenges from time to time. If you’re struggling to communicate your needs or navigate issues – big or small – relationship counselling can help.

Our experienced relationship counsellors can help you talk through any difficulties you’re experiencing in a safe space free from judgement. They can work with you as an individual or with you and your partner to help you find ways to manage your situation more effectively.

“We can help clients restore and rebuild their relationships – sometimes to be even stronger than they were before,” says RAQ Family and Relationship Counsellor Val Holden.

You can learn more about relationship counselling or make an appointment by calling 1300 364 277.

Learn more about what you can expect from relationship counselling here.