When couples reach the point of separation, it is often assumed that a divorce is imminent, but according to The Wall Street Journal, many marriage therapists recommend separation as a last-ditch effort to save a union.

One couple in Washington spent three months apart after 35 years of marriage to truly understand that their relationship was worth saving. The husband, Mark Earnhart, moved out, and after much soul searching by both parties, the couple got over their bickering and lack of communication and got back together.

Taking a break before the resentment and hatred truly takes hold can sometimes save a marriage, says the publication.

According to dating and relationship coach David Wygant, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, divorces can often be “cured” by taking the time to consider the needs of each spouse before the relationship spirals out of control and both partners emotionally close down.

“Instead of shutting down, putting up your dukes, or setting down your battleground lines – basically letting your ego take over – what if that moment, when everything started going haywire, you actually do the exact opposite of what you normally do? What if, instead, you thought to yourself, ‘What does my partner need right now, what does my partner need today that makes them feel loved, and how can I provide that for them?'”

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