| | Re: Separated for a month and still in limbo land
Here is my supposition:
Your wife feels overwhelmed by your emotional baggage. It can be challenging to love someone struggling with depression. It sucks the life out of you. You become so caught up in being emotionally available to your partner – that the other partners well-being can become lost, diminished, overlooked.
Even worse, if you are the supporting partner – you provide support, encouragement, a positive outlook, love – and the distressed partner challenges it, minimizes it, or ignores it. At the absolute worst? It grows into a parasitic co-dependent relationship. The only way that the distressed partner feels validated is by continuously challenging the supportive partners commitment.
I’m not saying this is the case with you, Sinatra. But I will break it down in very simple terms:
Don’t make your wife responsible for your happiness and sense of well-being. Don’t ever make someone else responsible for your happiness. She may contribute to, or detract from it – but she doesn’t own it. You do. It’s yours. Be selfish with it.
The more you take care of you – the more attractive you become to her. It’s that simple.
The less you seek out contact with her, you begin to increase the likelihood that she will seek contact with you. Odds are, that she really does still love you – but if she does not perceive that there is a light at the end of the emotional well-being tunnel for you – then she remains overwhelmed and over-burdened.
The empowering piece of taking care of yourself is that you exponentially decrease the desire or ‘need’ to have someone else take care of you (figuratively, from an emotional perspective). Instead of pursuing the object of your desire feeling compelled to make them ‘see’ that you love them, and ultimately pushing them away – you remove the emphasis on ‘them’ and make it about you. By seeing to your own needs, (addressing your mother’s death, employment, your health, your mental well-being) you reduce your dependence on her. In classic human fashion, the less she feels you need her – the more likely she is to want to be there for you. Crazy – but in my professional opinion, this is 100% fact. I should point out that my profession has nothing to do with relationships or emotional well-being.
What makes choosing this path the best decision you can make regardless of the outcome, is that by taking these steps, you increase the likelihood for reconciliation, and if reconciliation doesn’t occur, you are still better prepared to face that challenge as well.
Your wife left to take care of herself – in what you have written, I get the impression that it was not an easy decision for her. You need to emotionally separate from her, and do the same – take care of yourself.
Here are two more tacky affirmations you can apply to your situation:
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.” (What you are doing is not going to get you the results you are looking for)
Don’t focus on finding the right person. Focus on being the right person. (You reap what you sow. If you are emotionally healthy, grounded, confident and happy, you are much more appealing than captain Emo)
I’m not trying to at all make light of the seriousness of your circumstances, or appear crass about your suffering, I have experienced much of the same. Take what I have offered with a grain of salt. It’s an opinion. Mash up a bunch of opinions – and make something that works for you. I wish you well.