When a marriage is in trouble and both partners are unable to live together any longer but not ready to file for divorce, separation is often their choice. Separation serves an important need. In a sense, it allows both partners to go to their corners, regroup and figure out the next step. Sometimes, you just need some breathing room.
Reconciliation may happen quickly, once conflicts are resolved-or, the issues can remain, leaving each of you in limbo. You may be holding out hope for the marriage, and not want to act suddenly. Or you may be done with the marriage, but not ready to admit it to yourself and others. No matter how long you've been married, nobody wants to accept that the relationship is no longer working. So you drag your feet. Perhaps you stay separated for several months. Then the months turn into a year. You know this isn't perfect, but it's working out. But there are several pitfalls to a long-term, unofficial separation. Without knowing it, you could be setting yourself up to lose quite a bit by not filing for divorce and cementing a deal for yourself.