Is it OK to take breaks in relationships?

If you are constantly fighting, if the sight of your partner puts you in a foul mood, and if agreeing to disagree stopped working months ago, it may be time to put things on pause. How about taking a break? Does that idea appeal to you? If it does, is it even healthy?

A break refers to a period in which people who have constant and continuous disagreements separate to assess how they feel about the relationship, about each other and if they feel better together or apart. After weighing all the pros and cons, the couple should then assess if reuniting is the best way forward.

It sounds like a lot of heavy stuff, but some marriage and relationship experts claim that nothing is wrong with taking a break because they feel it can be a positive method of repairing a union that has been damaged. Just like a car or even your hair, everything needs maintenance, and taking a break can be a way of repairing your relationship. Establishing a little distance between you and your partner could give both of you an opportunity to heal and even miss each other again. Some distance can grant you added perspective that you could not gain if you were in the thick of the emotional quagmire. Stepping back and getting refocused can provide you with clarity.

A break is could also help you to address and acknowledge personal doubts and fears without reproach or condemnation. In short, it is the perfect time to work on you and hope the other person is doing some self-evaluation as well.

Note, breaks are not for everyone, and some people fear them because they see it as the first step to breaking up. But it does not have to be. Establish some ground rules for the break, such as not seeing/sleeping with anyone else during the period. It shouldn’t be longer than say six weeks, and it should be used for personal reflection about what you and your partner bring to the table.   

At the end of the day, breaks should heal, not harm your relationship. If taking a break leads to a permanent break, you can pretty much guess that the relationship was broken beyond repair long before.

Written by C.W.