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Can “Taking a Break” Help Your Marriage? The Case of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

As initially reported by People Magazine, celebrity couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are reportedly "taking a break" from their marriage of 13 years. Although the couple has not released an official statement concerning what is prompting the break, it is likely that the stresses faced by the couple over the last three years, including Douglas's struggle with cancer and Zeta-Jones' bipolar diagnosis has taken a toll on their marriage. Although neither Douglas nor Zeta-Jones have taken steps toward divorce or even legal separation, it appears that the couple has been on a break for the last few months.

According to sources close to the couple, reconciliation is not out of the question, and this time the couple is taking apart may help facilitate that. This begs the question, can taking a break actually be a good thing for your marriage? Yes, separating in an effort to become closer may seem illogical, at first blush, but this Hollywood couple may have the right idea. Remember the old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder?" If you are experiencing marital difficulties, divorce may indeed be the answer. On the other hand, it may not be the answer. But, how do you know? A brief separation period may give both you and your spouse time to reflect on your marriage, each other, and what you both can do to rebuild and fortify your marriage.

Remember though, taking a break does not mean taking a break from your vows. You're still married, and if your goal is to save your marriage, don't take any actions or make any decisions that may negatively impact your marriage.

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