Married couples who broke up while dating

When a relationship stops being what it once was and loses its pizzazz and compassion, couples have a few options.

They can air their grievances and work to fix the underlying problems. Or, if they are unable or unwilling to do either of the above, they can "take a break."What exactly this entails varies by couple, but implied in this approach is at least a sliver of hope that the relationship will continue, but only after both partners spend some time apart to figure out if their hearts are still in it.

They remain in relationships they know aren't working either because of fear, inertia or comfort, Katz added.They're grown-ups now, ages 45 to 59, scattered across the country.Don't let your relationship become "on-again, off-again." Couples who decide to take a break once shouldn't let it become a habit.Coleman said she sees this pattern far too often with couples who "stay together for the wrong reasons," break up and then get back together hoping the situation will be different — only to find it is the same.But if you eventually pick up where you left off, don't be surprised if the problems stuck around."People often return from the break with renewed hope, and yet once again face the disappointment that the same issues remain glaring in their faces, unchanged," said Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist based in Beverly Hills, Calif.

"Taking a break is really a form of avoidance." Tyson Runkle and his pals drew stares when they ducked into the grocery store for some 21st-century party essentials: beer, steak and a month's supply of diapers. I have a great job and a busy social life in an awesome city that I adore. Without any warning, I got the "we need to talk" text while at work on my THIRD day of my new job. This is because about six months ago, my pretty close to perfect, 5 year relationship with the love of my life (I'm talking Pinterest-planned wedding) abruptly ended.But once every year, they travel to various locales to become kids again, short-sheeting each other's beds and dousing showering roommates with ice water. (Leslie Mann)In theory, a break is meant to give both partners the latitude needed to honestly evaluate the relationship and decide if it's worth saving.In reality, spending time apart only further inhibits a couple's ability to "actively deal with the issues that led to the suggestion to take the break in the first place," said Toni Coleman, a psychotherapist and relationship coach based in Mc Lean, Va.It's easy to not fight with someone when you don't see or speak to that person for two months.