separate, together road sign illustration design over a white background

The GEM Debate:
Can This Really Save A Marriage?

Not sure if you heard the news that Hollywood power couple Michael Douglas and his wife of 13 years, Catherine Zeta-Jones, are separating; taking time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage, according to their spokespeople.

They’re not alone; Clint Eastwood and his wife, Dina, are splitting after 17 years of marriage.

Can I say for a moment…

I understand.

Okay, wait, before y’all start freaking out thinking I’m leaving my husband of nearly 20 years that is NOT what’s happening.

Related: What’s Love Got To Do With It? 19 Lessons In 19 Years Of Marriage

This is more of an..

I get it.

As you know I travel the country, taping Sweet Retreats and am away from home, on average 10 days out of the month, sometimes more, sometimes less.

When I’m away, I miss my home, I truly do. But there’s something else.

The opportunity to have my time be all my own, to eat when I want, to wake when I want, to work when I want that is, frankly, intoxicating. I can think, devote time to just me, figure out what the rest of my life is going to look like.

Like I said, when I’m away, I miss home, but  re-entry, as I like to call it, isn’t that easy either.

The other night I came home after a long swing out west and woke up at 4 am. I went into other room to work, but soon after, Buff was peeking his head in, wondering where I had gone, what I was doing. As soon as I heard the door open, I knew I was going to have to explain.

I’ve always had an independent streak a mile long; being on the road alone only feeds into that.

Where am I going with all this?

I think there might be a time in a marriage, where a little time, space, distance might be a good thing; at least I think so based on my own experience. In my case, the space is helpful; I come back to my family refreshed (for the most part) and I appreciate them a bit more. I daresay they probably appreciate me more too.

But I think that may be because the foundation of our marriage, even with its ups and downs, is still strong. A little distance isn’t one step out the door with the others following close behind. It’s more of a chance for us both to revel in our independence and then come back together as a couple.

Related: 5 Key Rules To A Successful Trial Separation 

I can’t speak for Michael Douglas or Catherine Zeta-Jones because, as we know, the only people who know what’s going on inside a marriage are those in it, but I do wish them the best, whatever the outcome.

What about you.. do you think a trial separation helps bring couple together? Or is it a step closer to divorce?

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