- Sarah Seidelmann, 56, and husband Mark, 57, moved into separate rooms
- The parents of four would still have ‘intimate visits’ that they called ‘sleepovers’
- The pair, from Minnesota, successfully revitalized their 32-year relationship
A couple who took a seven-month ‘sabbatical’ from their marriage after becoming ‘more like co-workers’ claim their relationship is now ‘better than ever.’
Sarah Seidelmann, 56, and husband Mark, 57, moved into separate rooms in a bid to revitalize their 32-year relationship.
The parents of four would still have ‘intimate visits’ – referring to them as ‘sleepovers’ – but would otherwise spend the night alone.
The pair, from Duluth, Minnesota, branded the break as a ‘sabbatical’ and say it has strengthened their bond.
Sarah, a writer and artist, moved into a separate room in February.
She then moved out of the house in June after the death of her dad, before moving back in with physician Mark and into the same bed in September.
‘It was this period where I just felt I need space. I was craving space of my own,’ Sarah explained.
‘We went through a huge transformation as a couple. The relationship is better than ever. It was like a sabbatical.
‘Maybe we all need a sabbatical from marriage.’
Sarah and Mark have been together 34 years and married for 32.
They have four children: George, 27, Katherine, 22, Josephine, 20 and Charlie, 18.
‘After being together as long as we have, both working intense busy careers and raising four kids, we had gotten really disconnected,’ Sarah confessed.
‘We had become a little more like co-workers. We needed the space to find ourselves separately.’
When Sarah moved into a different bedroom in February, they both found they liked having their own space.
‘I felt bad sleeping in a separate bedroom and I worried my husband would feel terrible about it,’ she said.
‘But he also felt better too. We’d have intimate visits. Sleepovers.’
Sarah decided to move out into her own place in June after struggling with the loss of her dad.
‘I said, “I’m going to move out.” It was just painful,’ she said.
‘It felt so good to be in my own space. I did a lot of soul searching.
‘I really enjoy my own company. The idea of divorce did come up.
‘But we wanted to repair and restore the relationship.
‘We restored the vulnerability. The feeling of safety.’
The pair went on a trip to Ireland in September, and decided they felt ready to be living together and sleeping in the same room again.
‘Now are back in the same bedroom and it feels really amazing,’ she said.
‘It feels miraculous.’
Sarah said she was ‘so glad’ she took space from her marriage.
‘Thirty years is a long time. I took a sabbatical from work 15 years ago,’ she said.
‘I feel like it’s the same thing. You learn a lot from doing that. The relationship is 100 fold.
‘It’s really great.’
Mark admitted: ‘Sleeping in separate bedrooms was a huge energetic relief for me. I felt like I could have my own space without feeling both of our anxieties all night.
‘I felt much more relaxed and comfortable. This was all very metaphoric of our relationship in other areas.
‘I learned that I have no difficulty caring for myself and living alone. In many ways it’s much easier.
‘But there is also a desire to experience life with someone.
‘I realized more fully the deeper connection and love that Sarah and I share beyond the dysfunctions of our marriage.
‘The inner work and the relationship work we had done helped foster a feeling of deeper connection with each other. We both feel more relaxed.
‘We don’t need to feel on guard constantly. We feel safer to be together and feel more comfortable in that vulnerability.’