Question: Is separation healthy if one person wants to decide when it will end?
Don: It is healthiest when both people are ready and willing to re-enter the relationship in a more skillful way.
Not just get back together with the same attitudes and point of views that created the situation and fueled the need for a separation. When it is forced or pressured by either party, the person feeling pushed will feel resentment toward the partner wanting to control the timeline to re-start the relationship.Resentment is the number one indication of both unhappiness and probable divorce, or at least a mental divorce, if it continues to grow.
If you feel pressured or under a threat, speak up for what you need to happen before you consider re-entering the relationship. If that is not welcomed, get counseling for yourself to strengthen your emotional backbone. This is most likely your growing edge in and outside of marriage. Trust your gut. Find your truth (voice) and use it. And, use that new voice in a soft, inviting manner. Instead of like a “dog” command: sit, roll over, fetch; try a cat approach, “Here kitty kitty.” This is the time to learn new skills and the impact your emotional tone and impressions are having on what you are trying seek understanding.
If there is emotional or physical abuse in the relationship, then the person who is asserting control in the timing of the separation may be feeling unsafe. They are doing it because they are scared. If they have voiced or accused you of emotional or physical abuse, then it is best to step back and get more information. You will only get reliable information if you are calm and respectful. If this is the case, then you need some professional help to navigate the situations and help you approach this in a respectful and safe manner for you both.