My wife had a talk with me the other day. She told me she is not sure she loves me anymore and thinks she wants to separate. She says our 5 years of marriage has worn on her. She says i'm not emotional enough for her and don't show her enough attention and affection like I did when we were dating. She feels like I always reject her in public when she trys to kiss me or hold hands. Ive told her im not a PDA person and it makes me uncomfortable. We have to young children, and she doesn't work.
I apologized for not paying enough attention to her and promised I would be better and told her I was actually thinking I wanted to spice up our marriage a little more. It seemed to fall onto def ears.
So the plan is to sell the house in 4 months and go our separate ways(as much as we can) I told her Id like to try in those four months to turn our marriage around, she said ok. Then, the next day she text me while I was at work and said she changed her mind, she doesn't believe I will change and we will be right back to square one again. So basically she wants to just be roomates til she finds a job and we sell.
She has talked me before about these issues. I guess I didn't take her seriously enough. I don't want a divorce and am at a loss. I feel like she is being selfish in a way and is going to blow up our family to see if the grass is greener somewhere else..
I'm in your wife's shoes. I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest to you that your wife has been honest with you and is not cheating as several others here suspect. It's important that you decided what you want to believe regarding this because your belief about this issue will dominate how you choose to proceed.
I'm going to put two options in front of you.
If you begin to act on suspicion and start checking up on her (phone records, emails, etc), then you will also begin to doubt everything she tells you. As your mind tries to grasp for meaning behind this, you will naturally gravitate toward explanations that are not your fault. Thus, it will be even easier to be suspicious.
The problem with this road is that your heart becomes hardened to her and you pretty much solidify her decision to leave.
Let's assume you travel this path and find nothing. She will still leave you because you have been focusing on finding blame rather than focusing on listening to her needs, admitting your failures, and attempting to reconcile.
Let's now assume you travel this path and find that indeed, she is having an affair. Let me ask you; what have you accomplished besides causing yourself anguish? If she is having an affair, will you really want to reconcile at that point? If she is having an affair, your marriage is over.
In both of the above scenarios you still end up apart.
Now suppose you make the decision to believe she has been honest with you. You have four months to work on yourself. You cannot change how she "feels" day to day and you shouldn't focus on whether or not she says she doesn't want to try anymore. If you just focus on LISTENING to her needs, and focus on becoming a better you, then at the end of that four months, your actions will speak to her heart and she will either stay with you, or leave. It really depends on whether or not she sees by your actions that there is any hope.
Her behavior is out of your control. What is in your control is becoming a better you. I'm not suggesting that all the problems you are having are entirely your fault. There are always two sides to a story in every relationship and very seldom is one person entirely innocent or entirely guilty.
I want to point out something you said in your post. She has talked me before about these issues. I guess I didn't take her seriously enough.
I can tell you that with that statement, she has just given up. She's tried too many times to convey her needs to you and you have ignored them. If you want any chance to save your marriage, it's time to change that. I feel like she is being selfish in a way and is going to blow up our family to see if the grass is greener somewhere else.
This statement is a huge red flag to me that you are still not ready to accept your part in the demise of you marriage. She is not the one being selfish. From her perspective, she has been trying for years to get your attention and you have been too selfish to even hold her hand in public. That is a rejection to her womanhood.
I've been begging for scraps of my husbands attention for most of 23 years. Your wife is giving up much sooner (as she should). No one should spend 23 years begging to be loved.
One last bit of advice. So many times here people suggest doing the 180 to save your marriage. Not sure if you are familiar with that but if I understand correctly, it's basically becoming more alpha, withholding affection, focusing on yourself and being careful not to beg her to stay.
While I am going to agree that you should definitely not show her you are desperate, and you should certainly not beg her to stay or even to meet you halfway, I think that if you withhold affection and become a stern alpha male, you will only re-enforce to her that you don't understand what she needs and the marriage is over.
She has made it clear that affection is a big deal to her. I don't know what the other issues are in your marriage but you need to find out and address them.
I suggest that you ask her out on a date. Wait for the right moment and be clear that you have no expectations and you are not looking for promises. You simply want to take her out. Handle everything. Make babysitting arrangements, make the decision about where your are going and what you will do. PLEASE do not take her to a movie. There is no interaction in a movie theater unless you are in the back row at 15 years old. Then just enjoy your time together. At the end of the evening, thank her. Do not try to kiss her unless you sense that she wants you to.
Make a point of asking her out again for a more casual meeting within the next week. Say... something like lunch together. During that second date, apologize for neglecting her. Be honest. Explain that your intentions are to show her that you have finally heard her and will be attempting to show her with your actions over the next four months that you love her.
Make it clear that you do not have any expectations of her helping you in this effort and that you are okay with that. Make it clear that you will also be doing things to get yourself prepared in the event that at the end of four months she does leave. Make it clear that you will allow her to go without any drama. Also, ask her for permission to date her. If she says no, respect that. Do not get angry. Do not ask why. Do not beg. Give her space.
One more thing. She says i'm not emotional enough for her and don't show her enough attention and affection like I did when we were dating. She feels like I always reject her in public when she trys to kiss me or hold hands. Ive told her im not a PDA person and it makes me uncomfortable.
This is your wife's primary love language. If you are unable to speak love to her in this way, you will not make it.
I'm only asking this rhetorically, but have you ever asked your wife to do something for you that perhaps she wasn't completely comfortable with? Anything at all? Did she do it? Sometimes, saying I love you is all about getting out of your comfort zone for the sake of your spouse.
I know this has been a long post and I hope it hasn't come across as being judemental in any way. I'm not standing in judgement. I'm posting because your situation resonates with me and I hope I can give you some practical advice to save your marriage.
Regardless of the fact that she says she doesn't want to try, there's no reason why you can't try. Her feelings will change from day to day. Read my threads and you will see that is true.
When I came on here, I didn't want to try either. There are still days that I don't but there are more days that I do. This is your time to prove to her that you love her. From her perspective, she has already proven it to you and is tired of trying. Respect that. Do what you can and let go of expectations.