Living together while separated is a common arrangement than you might think. While living apart is usually the better option, there are some couples that find it easier and more convenient to continue living under the same roof after breaking up. Making this work isn’t easy, but it can be done. Below is a brief guide on how to do it.
Why continue living together?
Living together while separated is common among couples that have children together. It could allow both of you to continue spending maximum time with your children as they grow up. If your kids are older and you don’t want to disrupt their stability, you may even see it as a temporary solution until the kids move out.
You could also continue sharing the costs of your current home. Neither one of you will have to move out and downsize to pay the bills and you’ll both be able to continue affording the same quality of living.
Finally, some couples find that they still get along as friends even if there’s no love between them any more. The two of you may decide that you don’t want another relationship yet and living together may provide company rather than living single.
The biggest challenges you’ll face
Many couples fail to live together while separated. This is because it can often breed conflicted feelings. It may be a case of one person still having feelings of love for the other. If the relationship was toxic, there could be a risk of being wooed back. If the breakup was the result of some form of wrongdoing, there may alternatively be hostile feelings from one partner to another which may continue while living together.
Future issues can also arise. One of you may eventually want to get into another relationship. You’ll also need to consider whether to tell your kids (there may be no reason to tell young kids, but older kids may start to ask questions).
Living together while separated can sometimes be easier for couples that have grown apart slowly – you may already be content with living together while sharing no love interest. An explosive ending to a relationship is often better healed by living apart. Seeing a relationship counsellor such as Peter Sandhill may be the best option for figuring out the best steps going forwards. You may decide that living together isn’t the best option after all.
Deciding sleeping arrangements
The two of you won’t be able to continue sleeping in the same bedroom, but where should you both sleep instead? Ideally one person should stay in the same bedroom and another person should move into a spare room. If you don’t have a spare room, you’ll have to consider whether one of you sleeping on a sofa forever is really the best solution (even if it is a sofa-bed). Taking turns in the bedroom could be one way around this, but you have to consider whether you can do this long-term.
Can you live together while divorced?
Getting a divorce while still living together is very difficult. Living apart for six months, getting divorced and then moving back in together is a way around this – however it’s a complicated way of doing things. Weigh up whether divorce is really necessary, and if so, whether you’d be better living apart.
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