Separation is a serious issue, and not every trial separation will result in renewed feelings of love and understanding. Many, if not most, will show the couple that their lives are on different paths and that a divorce will be the best option.
But how do you know whether you should get back together or not? It's one of the most profoundly important decisions you could possibly make in life, and certainly the most important you will ever make in the life of your marriage.
Well first, if you're going to embark on a trial separation, make sure that it's structured in a way that will not create more resentment than necessary. Make sure that all aspects of the separation are negotiated, financial arrangements are made, visitation with the kids is scheduled, and most importantly, make sure that your spouse understands that a trial separation will not necessarily doom the marriage or lead to divorce. Making sure that the beginning of a separation is set up in this way will reduce additional stresses so that you and your partner can focus on the real relationship issues at hand.
Also, make sure that there is a plan in place for doing emotional work. Make sure that you both know why the separation is taking place and what it is exactly you are both supposed to be working out through this time apart. This way, when it's time to evaluate the time you've spent apart and the emotional work you've done, it won't be clouded with other elements, stresses, or resentments.
Now, after a certain prearranged period of time has passed, examine your feelings honestly and frankly. After a few months, you will undoubtedly begin developing feelings about whether you should remain in the marriage or call it quits, but it's good to refrain from acting on these feelings until the entire separation period has passed.
One of the most important elements in coming to a decision is whether anything fundamental has changed. Frequently, a couple will feel a renewed surge of sexual attraction and romance after being apart. This is a good sign - but if the core issues that drove you apart to begin with haven't been remedied, or at least addressed, they will resurface and cause the same problems again.
If you decide that continuing the relationship will result in a dead end scenario, with no hope for improvement, then it's best to cut your losses, find emotional support to get you through the divorce, and move on. On the other hand, if you decide to get back together, be sure to lay the groundwork for a healthy and renewed relationship.
Begin by spending more and more time together, avoiding a situation in which you simply move back in together immediately. This will ease you both back into the rhythms of a marriage
Most importantly, don't expect everything to be perfect. All marriages have their problems, and you and your spouse will continue to have setbacks, but a mutual understanding of problems and issues and a commitment to solve them is really what matters.