Break up to Make Up

Have A Break to Revive Your Marriage!

Huda Gamal Al-Deen

What is the ‘break’, is the break to maintain a healthy marital relationship. A Break in a relationship could have a positive outcome for some of us, if one wants to avoid a ‘break up’.

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My first time to hear about the notion of a ‘break’ in a marital relationship was from a friend of mine who was newly married. My friend was joining us on a 3 day trip. I could not hide my astonishment when I found her joining us on her own. She had only been married for a year at this point and I thought it only logical to see them as a married couple. I did not discuss the issue with her, as I thought that there must have been a kind of personal problem between her and her husband. I was sure that my speculations were right when on the first day of the trip she did not receive any phone call from her husband.

By the second day, I noticed that my friend was on a pretty long phone call, and it was very obvious that she was enjoying that conversation, while walking on the beach at sunset.  I knew then that she was talking to her husband.  I decided to go ahead and ask her directly, why her husband did not join us on the trip? I was surprised when she told me that her husband was with his friend on a three day trip, and I was astonished when she told me that they were having a ‘break’.

For a while, the word ‘break’ sounded so strange to me, it was more like ‘break-up’ or something else with a very negative meaning. I asked my friend about the meaning of the ‘break’.

A Way to Breathe Life into the Marriage

She told me that the ‘break’ is a healthy way to revive, strengthen, and give life to the marriage. My friend, who was taking the advice of a marriage counselor, as her marriage was not working out well lately. She said she had started to get bored with marital life, and lots of problems were creeping into their marriage.

After trying lots of unworkable methods to control the constant arguing and quarreling, her counselor told her that this is the right time for both of them to have a ‘break’.  A ‘break’ whereby each of them can calm down, relax, think alone, and get their energy back to continue the marriage in a calmer manner. 

I contacted my friend later after the trip, and she said that al hamdu Lillah things were going better between her and her husband. She told me that the ‘break’ gave both of them the time and space they needed to get rid of their personal loads, think clearly, and honestly evaluate themselves as partners in this marriage. Each partner is responsible for the success of this valuable marital relationship. She also said that the ‘break’ made them both long for each other,  a feeling that they both have not enjoyed for such a long time, due to the wear and tear of everyday routine.

There are some concepts you may need to make a use of. A successful ‘break’, as I figured out applied in the wrong way could seriously lead to a tragic ‘break-up’.

Make sure that it’s the right way: The first thing you should know about the ‘break’, is that it’s not always the right way to solve the problems between married couples. That is why taking the decision to ‘break’ should be based on a marriage counselor’s direct advice, and with both the partners approving. When taking a ‘break’, both partners should be involved and should enjoy the break. This means that each must have a time off in the way he/she would prefer.

Willingly not forcibly: If a partner decided ,after consulting with the counselor, that the ‘break’ is needed to heal their relationship, he/she should firstly take their partner’s permission.   A ‘break’, is not a decision that you can take on your own, and then force your partner to accept. It is a decision that needs both of the partners to sit together and discuss whether it is the right solution to the problem or not. If one partner sharply refuses the ‘break’ concept, the partner in favour, if not able to persuade, should review the idea and be patient. Then they should try to search for more workable solutions that would suit both of them.

A pause not a separation: When taking the ‘break’, both should keep in mind that it is only a temporary stop to think quietly and clearly. The ‘break’ is only a method that can lead to solving the joint unsolved problems between couples, thus it is important for both partners to remain in touch with each other. It’s not a ‘break up’ or separation period, but a pause. Marital life should resume in a healthy manner.

To think not to run away: Some couples do treat the break period as if it is a period to run away from marital problems.  Nobody can deny that the break can give both partners time to unload the daily stresses of life, but marriage is a responsibility.   

Use the time to think about solutions and methods to make marital life more balanced. If both consider the ‘break’ as only a vacation from their marriage, their unresolved problems will remain the same when they both come back together. The ‘break’ is not only to relax it is an opportunity to think. 

Short not long: As some old words of wisdom say “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, the long term ‘break’ is the shortest way to ‘break-up’. The affective ‘breaks’ are those short periods ‘break’, which only make a couple longing for each other.

There’s no specific duration of a successful ‘break’, as it mainly depends on a couple’s personal needs and nature.  For those who experienced a successful ‘break’, the acceptable period never passes a week.

The most important thing to realize at the end is that, the ‘break’ is only a suggested method to heal your marital problems, and it is not always the right solution.  A warm discussion, an outing together, or straightforwardness could be more effective than the ‘break’ in some cases. You as a couple are the best to decide the right way to solve your problems, and how to sail your marital ship safely on the rough sea of life.

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