Separating from each other is often a last resort to see if a troubled marriage really can work. Time away from the problems to reflect on what the two of you actually want can be good, but only if some ground rules are set and agreed upon before one of your packs your bags to leave. The ground rules you and your spouse consider are going to be dependent upon your situation, but there are some common items the two of you will want to cover.1. Dating. This is a big one. If the two of you are truly separating to save your marriage, then you don’t want to be dating someone else and complicating things further. If you are considering dating someone else during your separation, then you really need to consider if your marriage is worth saving.2. Time span. How long are you going to remain separated? If the first thought that you have is 5 years, then you are probably separating for the wrong reasons. A common time span for a separation is 3 months. At the end of the agreed upon time period, both parties need to evaluate their position again and decide if they are going to give their troubled marriage another try or call it quits.3. Contact time. Chances are that you will need to have some sort of contact with each other while you are separated, but agree upon what is appropriate. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Don’t be showing up every 5 minutes because you supposedly need something from the house, this will only become annoying to your spouse and possibly cause more resentment.4. Agree to counseling. There should be a neutral third party involved to help each of you work through your problems while separated. Complaining to your girlfriends or guy friends will only get you biased opinions and advice. A counselor will help you work through your personal problems and frustrations.Sticking to the ground rules the two of you have set for your separation period is important to getting the results you and your spouse are looking for to fix your troubled marriage. If one party cannot stick to the rules which have been set, then a separation probably won’t be healthy for a troubled marriage.