| | Considering Reconciliation, Looking For Advice
I found this forum last year when searching for advice on how to cope with separation. I did a lot of reading and enjoyed the site but never posted. Now I find myself in a situation I wasn't really expecting and I'd really appreciate some advice. Apologies in advance for how long this is, but I feel like writing it all down may be therapeutic. Skip to the end for the TL/DR version.
First some background. My wife and I were high school sweethearts and continued dating through college. I dropped out of school and floundered for a little while before I started my current career. I do pretty well now, thanks in large part to her pushing me to be better. We were together for almost 8 years before we got married 3 years ago.
This past fall, my wife told me that she was no longer in love with me. She said she still cared about me, but that she had grown to resent me and felt more like a parent than a spouse. She also admitted to having developed feelings for someone she met in graduate school. I'm pretty sure it didn't progress beyond an emotional affair, but it was still painful for me. Thankfully, we haven't had any children so I only had my own pain to deal with.
After a lot of reflection, I can understand why she came to feel the way she did. Reading this and other forums, I'm fairly sure I fit the "Nice Guy" description. I would always put her before myself, even for unimportant things, because I was happy just being with her. I'm also often indecisive, not particularly ambitious, and around 50 pounds heavier than when we first met. She on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She's self motivated, decisive, assertive, and even occasionally manipulative in order to get what she wants. In short, we both got complacent and it ended up being toxic.
We stayed together for several more months while we attempted marriage counseling (both together and separately). While I felt we made some progress, ultimately her feelings didn't change and we separated this spring.
Getting separated was a massive wake up call for me. After a month or so, rather than continue to dwell on it, I decided that I would focus on improving myself. I established an exercise routine and started eating healthier (I've lost a little over 30 pounds). I also started working on changing my personality, attempting to be more decisive, trying more new things, getting out and socializing more.
I've since moved into an apartment with a friend from work closer to the city and my job. While I still missed my wife, I was beginning to get over her. I had accepted that getting divorced was the right thing to do for us both and was planning to start the process of filing next month.
That is until a few weeks ago when she called me out of the blue and wanted to see me. We met for lunch and she ended up coming over afterwards. Ever since she's been talking about what a great time she had (I had a good time too), how she misses me, and that she wants me back in her life. She's impressed with the changes I've made, and feels like she had taken me for granted. Her doctor also started her on anti-depressants. A few months ago, I would have been likely to jump at this chance. Now I feel like it's too late and I'm not sure what to do...
Some part of me still wants her back. I'm still attracted to her, I still enjoy her company, and I still see a potential future with her. I also worry that nothing has really changed, that we still have fundamental compatibility issues. I worry that we'll be right back where we were last fall and that she's just lonely and looking for companionship. If that happens it would be just as painful, if not worse for both of us.
Another part of me was looking forward to being single. My wife is the only person I've ever been in a long term relationship with. I had accepted this because I thought we were great for each other. Now I wonder if I made a mistake because I never really took the time to see what else was out there. I was honestly looking forward to meeting new people and dating.
She's suggested that we try dating and see how it goes, but I'm still anxious. Is that evidence enough that this is a bad idea? I feel like I should be over the moon right now, but I'm torn.
As much progress as I've made, I still struggle with indecisiveness, especially with big decisions. I can see myself being happy with or regretting either choice. I guess I'm just looking for any advice on what to do or stories from people who've been there.
If you've made it this far, thank you. I really appreciate your reading this.
TL/DR: My wife said she no longer loved me and we separated after several months of trying to save the marriage. Was making progress on improving myself and moving on when out of the blue she wants me back. Torn on what to do and looking for advice.