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Separated At Midlife - Where Do We Go From Here?

This week, we continue the story of Mofe and Lola. If you have not read part 1, click below to read it first

Midlife Marriage Cracks

Now that you have read part 1, let’s continue.

Mofe and his wife endured the trials in their marriage for a long time and now, fast forward a few years later, Mofe and his loving wife are now separated.

Wow! What happened?

For many friends and family they did not see it coming. Why? Because everything looked calm and peaceful. The conflict was not loud and expressive because of Mofe and his partner’s personality.The separation rocked the foundation of the extended family, social network, and the church.

Zero conflict does not suggest peace.

When the mediation process started in church, firstly, the church mediator had a disposition that became counterproductive “Whatever the issues are - Resolve it and come back together.” Mofe felt that the mediator did not have the competency, insight, patience, and empathy to resolve the issues. They seemed to have been basically running an errand for the church system. The church mediator acted without sight and showed a lack of empathy, maturity and visionary pull towards resolution.

Mofe also felt that the second group of mediators who were friends had love, concern and empathy for him and his wife but lacked the competence to ask the complex questions and unearth the real issues, while not just playing with the symptoms. Most of these friends came to Mofe and his wife from a very emotional viewpoint and that made it difficult to objectively deal with the issues.

Unfortunately, most of these friends became polarised after listening to both parties or one person a few times, and as they became more emotional, they headed towards the blame game, and sometimes unconsciously deepening the conflicts.

The third form of mediation they experienced was family mediation and this is the most complex, having different people with different interests. More complex is the fact that the family members have the history and the experiences with both Mofe and Lola. So they come with advice, wanting you to succeed and resolve the conflicts but also ready to protect and align with their own family members or siblings.

In all these groups you will find people who are truly praying for the conflicts to be resolved but who are not well positioned to provide the most appropriate support.

The mediation made the couple reconsider the relationship and have a partial reconnection for a short while to help them reassess the issues, the underlying concerns, the hurts, pains, misunderstanding, assumptions, and expectations. The few months of separation and the process of talking to the 3 categories of mediators allowed Mofe and his sweetheart to re-examine their relationship. It allowed them to talk to themselves individually, to the mediators, and to each other.

The experience of separation and dealing with mediators helped to put things into perspective and also to put things into words and clarity. The duo had deeper conservations that unearthed the 20-year old hurts, pains, and misconceptions. They tried to push the restart button to help them start all over again.

Separation at midlife comes with a lot of complexities and hardships. Separation will disrupt your family routine, break your emotional boundaries, rattle your friendships, rock extended family foundations, impact financial structures and investments, erupt your self confidence, make you a fighter, blame caster, and many other things you won’t believe can come out of you.

Many couples think that separation is an easy solution to conflicts or challenges in a relationship, but not understanding the complexities and emotional pain that comes along.

If you are considering separation, first consider allowing competent mediators to come in and help you assess the current issues, discover solutions and carefully take you through the complex network of future issues that may arise.

Second, make an intentional decision to spend more time with your partner and understand your partner better.

  • What are the things your partner constantly complains about?

  • What are those unspoken words that your partner portrays in their attitude towards you?

Always remember that marriage is not a time to become over-familiar with your spouse. You keep learning about your spouse everyday because human beings change and evolve.


What other ways do you think midlife separation can be avoided?

Let us know in the comments.

Are you almost at the point of separation? Are you currently going through a separation? Have things gotten so bad that you are on the brink of a divorce?

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