09/09/2013 02:51 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2013

Can Taking a Timeout Save Your Marriage?

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have decided to take some time apart. While a divorce could be in their future, they are apparently taking a moment to themselves to see if that is where they want to go. The majority of celebrities and other's whose marriages are faltering usually go right toward filing for a divorce. This decision by Douglas and Zeta-Jones could be setting a new trend of timeout's in marriages.

Taking a breather to think things over in many instances in life works, so why not in a marriage? In professional sports, a coach will call a timeout to readjust the game plan. When a child is acting up, a parent will give them a timeout to calm them down. If a marriage is in jeopardy, a couple who takes a timeout to regroup might be able to save it. This is an especially important step to take if they have children. Here are some reasons that a timeout in a marriage could possibly help toward resolving differences.

You Visit a Therapist: During this timeout you may consider going to therapy. It usually is a great opportunity to look at things more clearly with the help of a professional. Their advice could be crucial in saving your marriage.

You Reevaluate Your Futures: You both begin to look at your futures and where you see yourselves. If you want to stay married, you need to talk about going in the same direction together.

You Start Communicating: If you have been arguing with your spouse and can't just talk normally with each other, a timeout could get you both back to a place where you can discuss things.

You Stop Blaming Your Spouse: A timeout can help you realize that blaming your spouse for the marriage not working isn't going to fix the problems. This will only pull you both apart.

You Fix What Is Wrong With You: Your spouse may be difficult to deal with, but you may not be the easiest to get along with either. See if you can fix some things about yourself during this timeout.

You Try Co-Parenting: This is an important step when you are considering a divorce. The children have to be the main focus regardless of what the outcome is. During the timeout, you both can begin to see what it would be like to co-parent.

You Miss Each Other: After a month with little contact, you may have the desire to see your spouse. Time helps to heal hurt feelings and you would be surprised how different you may feel.

For helpful divorce tips, pick up Lois Tarter's new book The Divorce Ritual.