After a decade of marriage, Carrie* and her husband decided it was time to split, but not physically right away.
"He was just getting more and more unhappy, and then I became unhappy too. We were becoming different people. I'm turning 40 and I knew it would be better to make a hard decision rather than drag something on that really wasn't serving us," Carrie told Mamamia.
After some couples counselling and open discussions, Carrie was the one to call time on the marriage. And in July 2022, they officially decided to separate.
It was a hard time for the couple. Divorce was completely foreign to Carrie, as no one in her family had gone through it before.
"We talked about the practicalities of separating. And that's when we decided we'd continue living together for a period of time and 'consciously uncouple' as Gwenyth Paltrow says! And for our two boys, aged four and seven, we wanted the separation to be a gentle transition for them."
Now, after eight months of continuing to live together while officially separated, the family has learned a lot of lessons along the way. They've created their own set of 'rules' if you will - a personal guide on how they live under the same roof.
1. No family dinners – only on special occasions.
"Yes, we live under the same roof but that doesn't mean we're always on top of one another. We don't have dinners together anymore. Fortunately, we live in a pretty big house so we make it work - we have separate beds, separate office spaces and just make sure we're not in one another's spaces," Carrie said.