*** Cross-posted on Relationships but few responses there ***
My DH left a few weeks ago, renting a room in another guy's house. His stated reasons are to find out if he can take care of himself and not be dependent on a woman. We are both in our 50's and have no children at home. We have been together a little over 7 years, married for 6. It was truly a fairytale romance, other couples have always been jealous of how close we are...or were. Now he communicates with me nearly every day by email but won't see me and doesn't want to talk on the phone (although we've had two good phone conversations).
My therapist says "separations are only useful if you work together toward something" but aside from agreeing to ignore gossip about us, he and I are not jointly working on anything. He doesn't really respond when I ask him to tell me his goals or intentions. He just says, "I have to see if I can take care of myself, alone".
I love my DH and feel he is confused, hurt over some difficulties in our marriage and afraid to trust we can recover the magic. I am willing to wait the 3 months he asked for, but would like to feel there is more I can do than *just* wait (I'm not good at being totally passive!) I believe in our marriage vows and believe we shouldn't just give up at the first sign of trouble. I don't know how to help him believe again, or if that is even possible.
So now to my questions: Have you been separated? For how long? How and why did you decide to get back together, if you did? If you did not get back together, what was the deciding factor on that? Did anyone go through with divorce after separation, even though they still loved their partner? If you went back, what actions of your partner made it easier to return? If you didn't, what actions of your partner made it easier to end it?
Any insights or advice will be read and pondered, and greatly appreciated.