Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated: A Practical Guide for the Brokenhearted

LInda W. Rooks
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A home ripped apart by one spouse leaving reverberates with a host of unanswered questions. Simple answers don't exist—heartrending complexities do. In the midst of the turmoil, reconciliation may seem out of reach. But there is still hope for those who are willing to fight for their marriages.

In this transformative guide, men and women who are separated but hopeful for restoration will discover life-changing truths about God, themselves, and their marriages. Linda W. Rooks explores practical answers for men and women in the midst of a marriage crisis, guiding them step by step toward hope and a positive outcome, even when fighting for the marriage alone.

After finding hope, strength, and encouragement for their marriages in Rooks's first book, Broken Heart on Hold, many readers continue on their journeys with new questions as they take the next step. Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated begins where Broken Heart on Hold left off, continuing to guide readers through the labyrinths of separation, this time with practical answers to their questions.

From diving into topics such as relationship dynamics and healing, protecting children, and praying for restoration, to deciding on boundaries and learning to live with the same spouse in a new marriage, Rooks illustrates what reconciling and rebuilding a marriage looks like—and how the sweet intimacy of Christ is in the waiting.

Through biblical wisdom, the personal experience of navigating toward her own marital restoration after a three-year separation, and eleven years of ministry to marriages in crisis, author Linda W. Rooks offers hope to many who feel hopeless by sharing true stories, practical answers, and Scripture-based truth to guide readers along their journeys toward wholeness.


Linda W. Rooks is the author of Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation and knows what it's like to fight for your marriage. She and her husband were separated for three years in the nineties. Today, not only is their marriage thriving, but together they lead a crisis marriage class in Central Florida. Linda's writings have appeared in many national publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family, Homelife, and Today's Christian Woman. She is featured in Who's Who and has appeared on TV and radio across the North American continent.

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"I love the stories and the vulnerability with which Linda shares from her own experience and leads us readers to Jesus! I especially like the practical 'Heart Work' at the end of each chapter. I will be recommending it to all my married clients!"
Roger Shepherd, President and Director of Florida Counseling Foundation; senior supervisor in the counseling program, Reformed Theological Seminary

"A marriage doesn't deteriorate overnight nor is it rebuilt in a day—but how do you rebuild? What do you do while standing in the midst of the wounds and wreckage of a separation? In this impactful book, Linda Rooks brings wise, compassionate, and practical insight for a couple trying to piece together a broken relationship."
Matt Heard, Lead Pastor of Northland Church, Orlando, Florida; author of Life with a Capital L: Embracing Your God-Given Humanity

"Linda shares what she learned in her own separation and reconciliation and what she has learned from others. We especially appreciate the practical suggestions for walking a messy road rife with various opinions on how to best proceed. The insights into a healthy reconciliation process will be invaluable to those on that path. This is a great resource we will recommend."
Gary & Mona Shriver, Authors of Unfaithful: Hope and Healing after Infidelity; cofounders of Hope & Healing Ministries, Inc.

"Marriage on the rocks? Wondering if you are the only one who cares about your marriage? Linda Rooks has written HOPE and HELP into your future! This book is a healing balm for one of life's very unwelcome, unwanted, and unbelievably difficult journeys. It's a must-read for anyone finding themselves struggling to hold on to his or her marriage."
Pam Farrel, Author of forty-five books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti; codirector of Love-Wise

"Practical, powerful, confidence-building, and enlightening describe this book by Linda Rooks. Her wisdom is greatly needed and will embolden those who feel lost and hopeless in the midst of marital separation and abandonment. As lay counselors, we will be recommending Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated knowing it will give others biblical hope in God's care and the Holy Spirit's empowering."
Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller, Lay counselors, speakers, and authors of many books including Never Ever Be the Same

"Powerful! Practical! Biblical! Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated walks couples step by step through separation to possible reconciliation. Linda Rooks, with a heart filled with understanding and hope, shares biblical truth, her own three-year separation, and real-time stories of brokenhearted couples. A must-read for anyone contemplating the end of their marriage. You may not fix your marriage, but God can!"
Elaine W. Miller, International speaker; author of We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can

"When you open this book, you enter into an intimate conversation with a trusted friend. Linda Rooks warmly extends a hand of compassionate support to the brokenhearted spouse, offering both biblical hope and wisdom. With great purpose, she draws upon countless years of serving hurting spouses. We highly recommend Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated not only to spouses in crisis but to counselors, pastors, and other marriage champions."
Clint and Penny A. Bragg, Authors of Marriage Off Course: Trusting God in the Desert of Unwanted Separation or Divorce

"Linda Rooks not only understands what it means to fight for a marriage—she understands what it takes to win the war that separated couples face. The book you are about to read is filled with hope, direction, and 'Heart Work' exercises that will help guide you through whatever battle you are facing in your marriage. A tremendous book we will have on our resource list for every separated person."
Joe and Michelle Williams, Authors of Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved; founders of Marriage 911 God's Way Ministry

"As a counselor, I've witnessed firsthand the heartbreak of a person who wants to save his or her marriage with someone who has no interest in reconciling. Linda Rooks has not only successfully navigated this confusing, complicated path herself but offers hope through her true-life stories and excellent strategies. While making no guarantees, Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated lays out helpful do's and don'ts, showing that a restored marriage is possible."
Georgia Shaffer, PA Licensed Psychologist; professional certified coach; author; founder of ReBUILD, small-group internet coaching for the separated and divorced

"Anyone who is dealing with separation in marriage or works with those who are in deep marital distress can benefit from reading Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated. Linda Rooks shares her story of separation and reconciliation with vulnerability, encouragement, and hope. She doesn't offer a quick fix, but gives practical wisdom for navigating the difficulties, as if talking with you over a cup of coffee."
Nancy Kay Grace, Speaker; author of The Grace Impact; member of the board of directors for United Marriage Encounter; former presenter for United Marriage Encounter

"Fighting for your marriage is absolutely essential, even while separated! God has a process and a plan for our lives, and waiting and going through a wilderness period may be just that plan for a time. Linda's book is an incredible resource for walking this out, keeping you focused, and potentially waiting for God's direction for your marriage!"
Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs, Speakers; biblical counselors; authors of I Do Again; founders of Hope Matters Marriage Ministries and Thriving Beyond Belief podcast for women

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8 Reviews

  • 5
    A Guide to Marital Sanity

    Posted by Michael Philliber on 09 05 2019

    It’s not just a book about restoring a marriage where there is presently a separation. As important as that is tiny manual is far bigger than that. Linda W. Rooks, author, Resource Member on the Troubled Marriages Team of the Association of Marriage and Family Ministries (AMFM), and leader of a marriage reconciliation ministry in Central Florida, has given a hopeful hand to many whose marriages are disarrayed and desperate in her 176 page paperback, “Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated: A Practical Guide for the Brokenhearted.” Though this little guide has marital separations in mind, much of the material applies to those whose spouses are shackled to addiction, who are abusive, or adulterous. But it is also useful for those who simply desire their marriages to be healthier and never fall off the cliff. Rooks takes her readers, men and women, through the various stages and traps that accompany a limping or broken marriage. She deciphers the ploys a “remaining” spouse will be tempted to play, the maneuvers the leaving person may likely employ, as well as the traps that await both parties if they’re not watchful. The author conducts us through the various parts of the path: from separation, through present relationship, to friendship, and then potential reconciliation. But she does this discerningly and wisely, such as, forgiveness and trust are not identical, and so forth. Many of her categories are meaningful, like discussing those who are overbearing in a marriage, and those who are passive; or the difference between letting go and giving up. All her material is buttressed by plentiful real-life examples and personal stories. What adds muscle to the volume is that Rooks and her husband walked through this vale of tears in their own three-year separation many years back and have surfaced on the other side. “Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated” should be in the libraries of every Christian minister and counselor. But those who are married, divorced, separated, or thinking about getting married will find valuable resources between these covers. It is easy to read, and substantive. Not only do I highly recommend the book, I have just handed off my copy to a person whose marriage is in serious trouble because I earnestly think they will find sustenance and support from its pages. My thanks to New Growth Press who willingly handed me a copy of this volume at our denomination’s General Assembly in June 2019, when I asked for it. They laid down no stipulations. Therefore, the evaluations presented herein are mine, freely made and freely given.

  • 3
    Every page is filled with wisdom

    Posted by Stan Michael Johnson on 06 10 2019

    Linda Rooks shares her story of marital separation with vulnerability, but also with hope and encouragement. She gives practical advice that comes through the wisdom gained from her own experience with separation and reconciliation. Rooks's wisdom is evident all throughout the pages. She lovingly shares advice on several topics related to marriage and separation. She also encourages her readers to use this time to get closer to God. This book is for all married couples, not just those going through a separation.

  • 5

    Posted by Manda Jane on 06 10 2019

    I really appreciated this book, with it's honesty and wisdom! The personal stories throughout each of the chapters are encouraging that couples can work through their struggles and fight for their marriages even when separated. I really appreciated the wisdom on how to handle being separated with children and on what level to bring them in. This is an excellent book!

  • 5
    Remedy before the storm!

    Posted by Donna on 06 10 2019

    This is one of those books I wish I would have read before going through something like separation and divorce. I think couples take for granted one another, not understanding that NO ONE is exempt from going through a marital crisis. I was in my 23rd year of marriage when all started to fall apart. To my understanding we were a Christian marriage and we had a Christina family along with our four children. Therefore, I never thought we could get a divorce. But no one knows exactly what goes on in each persons heart, and one day, all can finally burst out, and that's what happened to me and my ex husband. All came crashing down and we did not know how to handle our crisis... Linda's first book, Broken Heart on Hold, and Linda's 911 Ministry gave me the tools I needed to survive a marriage crisis, that I thought was going to kill me emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically. Although in my case, my marriage did not survive. However, God DID used this time and crisis in my life, to restore my personal life. I recommend Linda's new book to anyone who is eager to learn how to go through and survive a crisis such as a marriage separation and/or divorce. The depth and experience of her new writing on this topic, it's simply the "antibiotic" or "electric shock" for a marriage that is sick and dying! Take each word at heart and trust that God led you to this book because that's exactly what it is! (Love you Linda! God bless)

  • 5
    Absolutely amazing. You HAVE to get this NOW.

    Posted by Amy C. on 06 10 2019

    Oh my gosh. This book is completely from Jesus. God is using Linda Rooks to encourage those stuck in and STRUGGLING through separation. As I read this book I understand, FINALLY, what God is wanting me to do. Linda explains and encourages, she gives the most wonderful advice (which I pull on every single day). Thank you Lord for Linda, for her husband, and for their ministry to help and love on others who are in separation. I just wish I could hug her, cry with her, have coffee with her.

  • 5
    Don't Give Up - Get This Book And Fight Back!

    Posted by Create With Joy on 04 17 2019

    If you are in the midst of a challenging marital situation where you and your spouse are currently separated, it can be difficult to feel hope for the future most days, but Linda W. Rooks wants you to know that: You are not alone… It’s time to charge into battle. Together, we are going to fight for your marriage. In Fighting For Your Marriage While Separated: A Practical Guide For The Brokenhearted , Linda shares her story and the stories of others who have successfully navigated their way through the murky waters of marital separation and their biblical tips for finding your way back to one another and to resolving your differences – even in circumstances like hers where her husband walked out on her and swore there was no chance they would ever get back together again. Linda does not whitewash her experiences. She acknowledges that each marriage presents its own unique set of circumstances and challenges to work through – but she also knows there are a lot of things that we can do (even though they won’t be easy) to facilitate the process). For instance, we can give our spouses the time and space they need to figure things out, set limits, and trust God for whatever happens. Not every marriage will have a fairytale ending, but reading this book and employing some of Linda’s hard-earned wisdom may greatly tip the scales in your favor.

  • 3
    Practical and General Counsel for Separated Couples

    Posted by Theron St. John on 04 08 2019

    Nobody goes into a marriage with the hope it will not last. Yet, for too many couples, months and years of arguing and drifting apart head down toward the road of divorce. Before one arrives at that destination, however, a pitstop is made for separation. Whereas divorce finalizes failed hopes, separation is the critical juncture where decisions of direction need to be made. Couples need a roadmap to head in the right direction, a direction where marriages receive hope and are held together. It is for that purpose Linda W. Rooks has written Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated: A Practical Guide for the Brokenhearted. Words of Counsel from Experience As someone who went through a three-year separation herself, Mrs. Rooks speaks from experience and shares her story along the way as she provides counsel to those who are struggling through a marriage separation. She walks the reader through reacting to a separation (chapter 1) while also talking them through how to deal with communication with their spouse (chapters 2-4). Linda also reminds the reader of other relationships in the person’s life, particularly learning to draw on others as outside help (chapter 5) and realizing and protecting a child’s heart through such a season (chapter 6). The strongest part of the book is where the author emphasizes the importance of prayer throughout this process (chapters 7, 10). Numerous pieces of advice are given on how to handle the time of separation, fighting for and being wise in possible reconciliation, and coping with the reality of divorce. In the end, the point of the book shows fighting for marriage while separated means holding onto God and understanding hope is found in Him and not a spouse. Practical and General Counsel From the opening email letters and stories to the “Heart Work” questions and exercises at the end of each chapter, Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated is practical. The discussion in chapter 2 on assertive and passive tendencies provides helpful counsel into understanding some communication problems. Likewise, the topic of chapter 13 “Knowing If It Is Time To Reconcile” shows a spouse who is truly humble and willing to make sacrifices to reconcile will be transparent with their spouse and accountable to other godly people in their life.For all of the practical help present, the book does seem to be lacking counsel that is biblical and robust practical at times. For all the talk about God in the book, there does not seem to be as much emphasis on the gospel. One of the biggest recommendations the author gives in the book is for program called “Retrouvaille”, which is sponsored by the Catholic church but welcoming to all faiths. While there is no doubt the program helped the author and her spouse’s marriage, in a book written particularly to Christians, this recommendation is found lacking. To be fair, this book does reference Jesus and even says “why we all need Jesus” (chapter 6) but showing how the gospel informs separated couples to hope is not focused on in this book. Chapter 10 does bring in a gospel response but more discussion on how the person and work of Christ impacts marriages was not in view. The book offers other recommendations at times too, which are more often general than specific. There may be an encouragement to read Christian books or listen to Bible teaching without giving specific titles and speakers. While this is not necessarily a point of critique, it is good for a reader to know that so they can decide or ask what other resources to turn to. These criticisms aside, if you are currently facing a marriage separation and are struggling with how to respond to what you are dealing with, then maybe Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated could be the practical and general counsel you could use for starters. I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

  • 5
    Incredibly wise and practical book!

    Posted by Mark Karris on 02 20 2019

    Linda Rooks, “Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated,” is an incredibly wise and practical book that can offer hope to couples struck by the tsunami of pain, confusion, and disconnection. I highly recommend this book to couples looking for a biblical, down-to-earth, and life-giving guide for couples on their journey toward restoration!

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