The following is adapted from my new book: Boot Straps & Bra Straps: The Formula to Go from Rock Bottom Back into Action in Any Situation
Relationships painfully fall apart, but sometimes, they can be repaired. If you’re currently feeling estranged from your partner, how can you tell whether you should stick together or part ways?
Giving your relationship a ninety-day “last shot” can provide the insight about yourself, your partner, and your future that you need to make the call.
In this article, I’ll guide you through how to put your relationship to the test and make the most informed decision possible when debating a divorce.
Should You Try to Save Your Marriage?
At some point in your marriage, you may realize that you and your partner have grown apart, and reconnection isn’t just going to happen by magic. You may have gone to a therapist, sought religious counseling, or seen a life coach, but nothing changed, and agreements continue to be broken.
There’s a point where you agree that if it doesn’t work, you need to honor what you’ve had and move on. You can make a conscious choice not to keep trying to reconnect. There is no right or wrong choice. Whether you try to save your marriage or part ways depends on your vision for the future, your relationship with your spouse, and what you’ve tried before to improve the partnership.
However, if you both agree that you want to make it work, giving your relationship a ninety-day last shot could be the catalyst you need to save your marriage. It’s important that you’re both on the same page about wanting to salvage the relationship. If there isn’t full buy-in from both parties, the next step won’t work.
Rewinding the Clock and Dating Again
Once you’ve decided to commit to the ninety-day trial, it’s time to rewind the clock. You and your significant other need to date each other again, and you should use this time to try to renew your love for that person.
Here are some ideas for things to try during those ninety days (feel free to customize them to fit your situation):
- Spend time doing things together as a couple. Take your lover out for a movie or favorite dining experience.
- Dress up the way you used to when you first dated and create fun, spontaneous things to do, like you both used to really enjoy.
- Find a babysitter or puppy sitter and take a mini vacation away together.
- Create a romantic bedroom at home if travel is not in the budget. Dim the lights, dress up in something sexy or nothing at all, give your mate a hot-oil massage, and get as loud and passionate as you did when you were young lovers.
- Write love notes or send romantic or steamy text messages to your loved one.
- Have an adult ditch day: take an afternoon off from work while the kids are at school and invite your spouse to do the same. Time for adult play!
Don’t discuss the issues or the disagreements during this time, just focus on the love as much as possible.
Reaching the End of the Trial Period
If by the end of the ninety-day period things still don’t change, you’ve set that date and now you’re honoring your own agreements to yourself.
Each person has a responsibility to themselves to honor their own standards and needs. You’re going to have to set that boundary and, at a certain point, you’re going to have to follow through on the decision you’ve made.
If the trial period helped rekindle your love and respect for one another, wonderful. You can move forward and maintain the new baseline you’ve set for your relationship. If, on the other hand, you decide to leave, you can’t keep threatening your spouse hoping they’ll change. This is it; you’ve had the talk, and you’re done. It’s been however many years—plus ninety days—and it’s hurting both of you, so you agree to stop. You gave it one last try, and now you can go forward in a loving way to move apart because you’re not aligned anymore.
Moving Forward with Your Choice
Whether you choose to stay with your spouse or not, you can move forward in life knowing you did everything you could to try to make the relationship work. You deserve to be in a relationship with honesty and integrity and to surround yourself with people who are aligned with your values. By giving your marriage the ninety-day last shot, you’ve empowered yourself to make informed decisions and can leave the painful, estranged period of your relationship behind you—together or on your own.
For more advice on divorce and relationships, you can find Boot Straps & Bra Straps: The Formula to Go from Rock Bottom Back into Action in Any Situation
Sheila Mac’s innate ability to find a glimmer of light in even the darkest of situations sets her apart from other mentors. With a focus on “Life-Style Re-Boots,” Sheila’s mission is to teach women how to find that light, as well. Along with speaking, teaching online courses, and coaching individuals, Sheila has also been a property investor and real estate team leader at Keller Williams in Beverly Hills. Through her book Boot Straps & Bra Straps, Sheila shows up for all the women who have shown up over and over for the people in their lives and now need someone to show up for them.