A recent article “Separated but Under the Same Roof” published by Joanne Kaufman in the New York Times notes that couples who have ended their marriage continue to live together for a myriad of reasons. According to the article some reasons for this interesting arrangement include financial concerns or co-parenting issues. Living in separate homes may force one to invest their income into finding new accommodations and the other to pay bills that were once shared, on their own.
Each relationship is unique and dependent on the circumstances of each partner and the reasons for the end of the relationship. If you have found that the relationship lacks intimacy but you are still able to effectively communicate with your partner then living together while separated may be suitable for you. To make this work, individuals must be willing to work through current issues. This approach may also ease financial hardships for partners with children.
For families who decide to continue to live together after divorce or separation it is best to set some rules for the home. First, speak honestly with your children about your marital circumstances. Your child’s well being may be negatively affected due to the stress of a separated family. Second, try implementing child centered activities. This can be as simple as having the child spend time with one parent while they perform a simple chore, such as cooking or doing the dishes.
Third, dedicate one day of the week to have family time. Let your child choose a game or movie for everyone to partake in. This may better develop the parent child relationship and promote the social and emotional well-being of your child. Children require familial love to efficiently develop. If they are able to witness their parents respectfully cohabitating the family structure may be strengthened.