My wife and I have been married for seven years and have a two year old son who we both love dearly. About 2months ago I finallly confronted my wife about why she had been so distant and spending time with friends instead of with me. (I know this sounds like many other situations I have read in this forum). She responded that she had given up on us a long time ago and was just going through the motions to keep things civil for our son. I was completely devastated( I knew things were stressed but blamed it on the current situation) I work long hours and she is working on a master;s degree and trying to raise our son, with what she sees as minimal help from me. I went through a couple weeks of utter hell when I thought she was cheating on me( iasked her about it as calmly as possible, but I know i hurt her to think I didn't trust her) We agreed on counseling and I have really put an honest effort into it( we started seeing a counselor together and I have been seeing a pastor from a church i was involved with before my wife and I met) He has really helped me see the areas I have failled in and I feel as though I have a much better understanding of what made my wife end up feeling like she does. My probelm now is that she feels like she is too far gone t come back. We have been talking more, but she keeps going back to the issues that forced us apart while i am trying to focus on correcting my past behavior. She says she appreciates the effort I am putting in, but that she can't just change her feelings even though she wishes she could because it would mke things better for our families and our son. She keeps saying that she thinks that serpartion would help her clear her head and give her a more clear picture of what she wants and needs, but I feel like she needs support right now and to seperate would be me abandoning her and my son and she would interperet that as me giving up and reverting to old habits. She said she is willing to give it until after the holidays to see if her feelings change, but I am at a loss as to how to act or what to do. I have been trying to help as much as possible around the house and give her the attention she deserves, but on the other hand am I tryin too hard and making it more difficult for her to come to a decision in her mind. It feels like I have finally realized what I have, just in time for to watch it leave. I love my wife and son dearly and want nothing more than for them to be happy. I think I am approaching this the right way, but am seeing no change in her and she says at times she feels herself becoming bitter because i am trying and she is not. The counselor has been of little help to either of us so far, simply guiding us through the issues that got us to where we are over and over. any one who tips or advise please help. I know I have omitted many details. so please don't hesitate to aske for more info i am not shy.
Your situation is eerily familiar to my own. I have felt the same way your wife has felt, and it has had a huge impact on our marriage. My husband can tell I feel differently towards him. It sounds like you're doing a lot of positive things to help your marriage. I would continue that. My husband has expressed the same desperation as you...he doesn't know what to do to make me feel differently towards him. He has changed some of his behaviors and truly has been a wonderful husband lately. Nevertheless, as in your wife's situation, I have struggled to make myself feel differently. We have 2 children, so I understand the difficulty of this for you.
My husband and I decided to take a break...this week, I am staying at a hotel to give me some space, which I feel I need desperately, and to give me time to reflect on our marriage. Both of us hope this will help improve our situation. I already miss him, which I didn't think I would. This may not be a good solution...but it sounds like your wife is asking for some space, so it would be a good idea to give it to her. It might be hard for you...but it might be beneficial for her. My suggestion could be an alternative to separation. Just something to think about. I hope things improve for you and your wife.
Thanks for the reply, I have been thinking more and more about it and I don't want her to feel like I am trapping her and forcing her to either stay and be miserable, or to just leave out of deparation. She is going on a trip in a few weeks as part of her class requirments for school, but I think I will try to talk to her about it some more in different way to let her know that if she feels like time apart will help her I will support her decision and try to help. It is good to have a woman's perspective that is dealing with the same thing. Please keep me posted on how your situation is progressing and I will do the same. I think the encouragement from others helps more than anything else in situations like this.
This to is similar to my issues.... my husband also likes going back to back issues instead of plowing forward to fix things. I am no expert, but to me, it's a sign that they can't grasp into anything else, but bring old issues up....
Similar to my situation, sadly, it seems they have other intentions other than making things work... If counseling is not helping, then maybe talking to her directly and asking her what she wants to really do with the relationship and go from there....
I wish you luck...
I'm glad you are so receptive..that will make a huge difference! My husband's positive attitude about this has made me see him in a different way. I will keep you posted. This forum has been such a blessing for me. I really hope you taking these steps will help...but if it doesn't, you can feel good about giving your wife what she needs. However it turns out, it's not your fault as long as you keep trying. My husband keeps telling me not to give up, so I'm trying to take his advice to heart.
I talked to her this evening about my taking a week off of work and going to visit my family during that time so that we could both have some time to clear our heads. She was very receptive to the idea and I also explained to her that my previous unwillingness to spend time apart must have made it much worse on her( making her feel trapped in a hopeless situation). It won't be until the end of the month before I can take time off(if they let me off) so until then I will continue to support her and treat her like the queen I know she is. Thanks again for the support, I know each of our situations is different, but in many ways they are the same, I will continue to watch for progress from you all and keep you updated as to how my situation progresses also. You are all in my prayers, and even if you aren't "religious" which I am not(but I know God loves me). Remember that Much comfort and wisdom can be found by prayer, meditaion or self reflection. The thing that has given me the most encouragement is remembering who I was even before my wife and I met, and remembering what iy was like to happy. That is the energy I try to focus towards my wife and son. You didn't need that spouse to be happy before and you can find that peace and happiness inside yourself. When you do it will begin to pour out onto everyone around you and you will find that, like sadness and despair, joy and hope are contagious too. Sometimes I think we try to over-analyze situations too much when really we could help ourselves by just standing back and thinking about the simple things that used to bring us so much joy. I know I am ranting here and you all have heard these word a million times, but I think I am preaching to myself more than anyone else. I took my son out into the yard this afternoon and we laid in the grass and looked at clouds and the moon for a while and I never once thought about the problems of the day. To see the world though the eyes of a child is the most beautiful thing of all.
That was beautiful! I am religious, and I will pray for you too. It seems that since I have been feeling this way, it's all I can focus on. You helped me realize that I should be focusing my energies on more positive things..."the simple things" as you said. I wonder if I can remember such things. I'm going to try and do what you suggested. Peace and happiness within myself sounds wonderful...gotta find a way to get to that place.
I'm glad that your wife is receptive to this idea and it sounds like you're handling the situation beautifully. Keep it up! Thanks again for this wonderful post...it was very touching.
The thing that has given me the most encouragement is remembering who I was even before my wife and I met, and remembering what iy was like to happy. You didn't need that spouse to be happy before and you can find that peace and happiness inside yourself.
I posted a message and maybe you should read it...reading yours was helpful b/c my husband and I are in the EXACT situation, minus the kids....
I have been asking for space and he feels this will only make things worse b/c that will be even less talking....and I have been avoiding him and not talking b/c I can't tell him how I feel....I didn't know how I felt and I am not still sure...my head is swimming....
I never knew you could fall out of love with someone you have loved and cared for for so very long....I was surprised by guiltgirl's comments that she actually found herself missing her husband....b/c I too can't imagine missing mine....he spent time away for work (a few days) and I did as well, and I felt nothing but relief...but I didn't have total separation and space (he called constantly)...it is encouraging, even though I have serious doubts for myself, that she missed him....
I can promise you that if she is asking for space, she NEEDS true space....w/o it, you are probably just smothering her and pushing her even further away.
I can't speak for her, but as for myself, I wake up EVERY single day DESPISING myself and wishing I hadn't waken up b/c of the pain I am causing this wonderful man who has (despite the bad ways he's made me feel) done nothing (in more ways than one) but love me....he is obsessed with me (his words) and I am the only person that matters to him (his words)....you wife is hurting too and I am sooooo very sorry for you both.
I also feel like your wife in the respect that things are too late to make me change my mind....not fair to you...but, feeling trapped and like you are in a prison or are someone's janitor is also not fair....
I am sorry I don't mean to babble, but I want to let you know that you are doing the right things and I hope it turns your relationship around.....if it doesn't though, I truly, with all of my heart, hope you will find happiness and peace. Also, if you have any thoughts about what I should say or do for my poor husband....I want to take all of his pain away, but I feel like I may self-destruct in this marriage, I would be forever indebted.
Best of luck my friend....know you are doing the right things, but sometimes, there is little that can be done....I do not mean this to sound flippant, but it is almost like "a day late, dollar short"....very sad....very, very sad, but sometimes true.
Take care of yourself and no matter what happens, know you tried and find the happiness you deserve too!!!
Great response stuckandscared...great name too. Honestly, I just posted a reply stating how confused I am. I really missed my husband, especially the day we said goodbye...because in my mind, it was like I was leaving for good. I didn't want to leave. Yesterday and today, I feel differently though, after being around him for a few hours. It's like I still just don't "feel the love". I am curious though as to why it seems like "we" can't change our minds. What holds us back? I feel just as you...that I am really hurting my good husband.
Do you really believe it's too late? There's no hope???
Your post was honest and hopefully insightful to md250r.
md250r- I don't think you should give up hope yet...everything you are doing could help turn things around. Each of us is different in how we make decisions. Your wife may find her way back to you. I don't want to get your hopes up...your wife may not change her mind. Regardless of what happens though, you have this forum as a support and I will continue to pray for you and your family.
Thanks for talking....I am sorry for you and for your husband that you were back a few hours and feeling the same way again.
I so wish I could come up with a reason as to why we can't just change our minds....I don't know if they realize that we wish we could change and make our hearts feel the way they used to (this is assuming they are really even to terms or coming to terms with how me are feeling)...it would be SO much easier if we could flip a switch and change our minds. I asked my counselor "how does someone fall out of love with someone they have loved for so long....and it is not like they have changed (which oddly is some bit of the problem)....he told me, "it can't be explained...they are emotions...biochemical changes.....just like the ones that made you fall in love...." It kind of makes sense....what do you think?
I didn't think it was too late...things started changing for me about a year ago...then 6 months ago (there was one particular incidence that was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back) things really went to hell...I still thought there was hope...but somewhere over the past few months, I have grown more distant, and I have gotten more tired.....a few changes had been made (well, they were made for 2-3, maybe 4 weeks) and the fact that it took mention of the "D-word" to make him attempt to make changes that I have been asking for for 7 1/2 years, was quite frankly hurtful, insulting and showed me that he would see how far he could try and push me...get as much out of me as possible....then when things hit the fan, THEN he would try to make an effort?! So, even though my best friend, whom I finally talked to and filled in today, tells me that without separation and space, I "can't know that I don't love him any more....and that I'm not emotionally in a place to make that call....that I may find that I still love him if he would JUST give me the space and time I need" Despite her opinion, I really just don't see there being any hope....Earth shattering, I know...but I am being honest....but like you told md250r, everyone is different and for you and for md250r, there may be hope....I wish there was for me, really for my husband's sake, but crushingly, I don't think there is hope for me:-(
I am sorry this was so long! Thank you so much for talking with me, and if you would like to talk more, please do NOT hesitate to write me.....Although we don't know each other, this heartache has bonded us, and I will help you anyway I can!!!
Please take care of yourself....and like I used to always say (and still believe...despite the fact that it's easier said than done)....life is TOO short to be unhappy and you have to be true to yourself!
thank you both for your honest opinions. At times I want to just say to hell will all of this and walk away. I know however, that this is not the answer. I am really starting to see the value of spending time apart, but because of our money situation and all the uncertainty, we both do not know how to work out the logistics of it. I feel like if I went to a hotel or something that she still won't get that complete distance that she wants because she knows I would run out of money and have to come back after a set amount of time.
As for you guys and what would help your husbands, I think would be just to keep confiding in them how you feel. If you feel like crap tell him and tell him why. If you feel good tell him that and why. The hardest part is this for me is feeling in the dark and knowing how bad she is hurting and not being able to comfort her or even knowing exactly how to pray for her. This is without a doubt the most difficult time I have ever experienced and I have to talk to God constantly to keep myself going. You guys and this forum have been a big help and please keep me updated on your situations and if your husband does anything that really "makes a spark".
md250- My heart really goes out to you. I know this is very painful...keep leaning on Him and He will help you through this difficult time.
The money situation makes it a challenge. I know I have been thinking about that for months...my husband makes twice as much as I do. I'm not sure how well I would make it on a teacher's salary. We have a house and we have been doing serious remodeling lately and bought new furniture. During all of this, I'm thinking about prices on apartments (only as a possibility). Also, we have two children...I don't cause them any pain.
I don't think you should start planning a full separation yet. Perhaps you can do what we are doing...take a break and see where it goes. You can just take it week to week. I'm no expert because I'm in the midst of this right now and have no idea where things are going. You don't have to figure everything out right now. Just start with planning some time apart, whatever will work for your situation. I didn't want to stay with family because I don't feel like I would get the space I'm needing, and I don't want to be a burden. I hope you can find a solution. It's really difficult though just thinking about following through with this, isn't it? Believe me, I know.
I appreciate your advice on how we should deal with our husbands. It's so hard though. I got off the phone with my husband a little while ago and I saw him earlier. It feels so awkward, like I don't know how to be with him. He is desperately reaching out to me, but I'm not sure what I feel. We're going to meet up this weekend. I told him I was having trouble sleeping because I was thinking about us. He sounded hurt and worried. I have no idea what I am going to say to him when I see him. I want to be open with him, but I know he was hoping this week apart would improve things. I'm not sure it has made a difference. It's weird how I could feel one way before I "left" last Sunday, and now I feel different. I am baffled and can't understand any of it. I can imagine from the husband's perspective it has got to be excruciating. I will keep you posted if anything "sparks" between us...not that what works for us will work for you, but I'm happy to share. Please keep us posted as well. May the Lord comfort you in your time of difficulty.
Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated and rest assured I have also included you and many others from this forum in my prayers. I feel like there is this fight going on inside myself that really isn't about what I want, but more how to find out what she wants. In another post I explained the situation of her talking to a classmate of hers on the phone a lot and having an emotional affair with him. Many people commented that I should give her an ultimatum basically and force her to decide between me and him, but I really feel in my heart that this is not the right way to handle the situation. I have told her how I feel about it and I think she realiizes that this is an issue for her as well, but I think that demanding she cut contact with him would have a very negative effect. I have to somehow create a desire in her to want to distance herself from him. I just don't know how to do that other than love her and trust that she will make the right desicions. Like I said before the hardest part of this is when I talk to her and do things for her and get no real reaction. I wish sometimes that she would just give me some feedback and I don't understand why she can't. Just keep being honest with your husband and don't hold back just because you think it would hurt his feelings. Understanding brings peace, even if it is understanding that you are wanting something totally different than him. Getting it off your chest will also give you some relief and help clear your thoughts. I know its sounds cliche' but if he really loves you it won't matter what you say or how you act to him, he will understand and will try to help you. Don't fear holding back your feeling because you might push him away.
As far as what your wife is going through with an old classmate, there is really nothing you can do about this except what you said...love her and trust her to make the right decisions. You can't control her actions, and if you try to, you will push her further away.
I think that what she is doing is typical with women who want to get out of their marriages. You know...the grass is always greener. I have fantacized about being with anyone but my husband because I have been unhappy. I think it's human nature. Hopefully, she does make the right decision, but if she doesn't, it's not your fault. You are doing everything you can to make things work.
I know you must be frustrated with getting no responses from her. I can tell you from my point of view, my husband does the same thing. I always tell him how much I appreciate what he does, but it doesn't change how I "feel" towards him. Don't ask me why...it makes no sense. I also hold back, because I have no desire to give him what he needs...very mean on my part. Your wife is wanting to keep distance between you, it seems.
Thanks for the advice with my husband. My problem is that I am not even sure what I'm going to say to him when I see him tomorrow..."Sorry, sweetie, my feelings are still the same. I don't know how I feel about you. Now, what's for dinner?" I'm not being completely serious, but I don't know how I will approach this. I guess I'll just try to speak from the heart. This is usually easy for me...yet, I don't want to hurt him more than I have already. I know that he loves me and wants things to work out so badly. That makes me feel so pressured and I think that's part of the reason I am ambivalent. I haven't felt sad or missed him since Monday. That's crazy, right? I'm not sure what's next...but I don't want to hurt my family. This is so frustrating.