What Should I Do - Wife Wants Space
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Should I Do - Wife Wants Space

My story... my wife and I have been together 10 years (married 4)... we are both later 20s now. We've always had a good relationship for the most part. Recently we've grown apart and have had a lack of communication. I have a tendency to drink more than I should and I know this upsets her as her mother divorced due to major alcohol abuse by her spouse. I don't always get drunk, mainly just a buzz to cut through the stress of the day. Not a good way to handle this, I realize this. I've promised her that I would cut back and did, but always seemed to slowly creep back to at least a few beers a day.

This weekend things really unraveled and now she has been gone for 2 nights. It seems that she has mentally checked out and may possibly be preparing to leave for good. I love her more than anything and these issues and the severity of them have really made realize just how much she means to me. We've had a huge breakdown in communication and also a lack-luster to non-existent sex-life for a couple of years. I know in my heart that I can change to be the man she wants me to be. I didn't realize the distance had become so large as it happened gradually of quite some time.

At first she was reluctant to try MC, but after lunch with her mom she wants to go. What scares me is that she is approaching it as a way for either help or closure. My concern is that we may not get a good counselor or she may not give 100% towards trying to save what we have. The good parts of our marriage are REALLY good and has been what has kept us together for so long. From the outside looking in, we are the couple that most people want to be.

I have told her repeatedly that we owe it ourselves to try and work it out and that I was willing to do what it takes to make it work. She says that she loves me, but doesn't know if I can be the man that she needs. There is no other love interest involved for either of us, so no concern there. I'm at a loss for what to do... I don't want to lose her without having a chance to show her that I can change.

I've read into the 180 approach, but not sure if the timing is right or if it would be valid for this situation. I've slept a minimal amount this week thinking about all of this and just don't know what to do with myself. Divorce is not an option for me, but it seems to be one for her. It's hard to let go and I'm having a tough time not hanging on too tightly.

Is there any hope for us??
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Should I Do - Wife Wants Space

I'm going through almost the same thing, GIVE HER SPACE. I choose to try and convince my wife she was wrong by crying, begging, pleading, yelling, and all it accomplished was her losing all respect for me whatsoever.

It may be too late for my marriage, because I kept telling her I could change, instead of just working on it. Show her that you truly want to change by going to counseling on your own, really work on yourself and stop worrying about what she thinks. One way or another, you have to better yourself, but know that she cannot help you do that.

BE AWARE, this is a 2 way street, she has made mistakes too. You cannot change the way she feels, she has to be in enough pain to change. Do not try to make her feel guilty, do not point fingers at her, do not act like I did, a wussy.

I promise, I may have played my part to destroy my marriage for good, I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did. I have some things I need to work on, but so does my wife, and it takes 2 to reconcile. All you can do is clean up YOUR side of the street, if she isn't willing to do the same, that's on her, and (I'm sorry, this is gonna hurt) YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HER.

Please read and re-read this, you will thank me later if you follow my advice.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My story... my wife and I have been together 10 years (married 4)... we are both later 20s now. We've always had a good relationship for the most part. Recently we've grown apart and have had a lack of communication. I have a tendency to drink more than I should and I know this upsets her as her mother divorced due to major alcohol abuse by her spouse. I don't always get drunk, mainly just a buzz to cut through the stress of the day. Not a good way to handle this, I realize this. I've promised her that I would cut back and did, but always seemed to slowly creep back to at least a few beers a day.

This weekend things really unraveled and now she has been gone for 2 nights. It seems that she has mentally checked out and may possibly be preparing to leave for good. I love her more than anything and these issues and the severity of them have really made realize just how much she means to me. We've had a huge breakdown in communication and also a lack-luster to non-existent sex-life for a couple of years. I know in my heart that I can change to be the man she wants me to be. I didn't realize the distance had become so large as it happened gradually of quite some time.

At first she was reluctant to try MC, but after lunch with her mom she wants to go. What scares me is that she is approaching it as a way for either help or closure. My concern is that we may not get a good counselor or she may not give 100% towards trying to save what we have. The good parts of our marriage are REALLY good and has been what has kept us together for so long. From the outside looking in, we are the couple that most people want to be.

I have told her repeatedly that we owe it ourselves to try and work it out and that I was willing to do what it takes to make it work. She says that she loves me, but doesn't know if I can be the man that she needs. There is no other love interest involved for either of us, so no concern there. I'm at a loss for what to do... I don't want to lose her without having a chance to show her that I can change.

I've read into the 180 approach, but not sure if the timing is right or if it would be valid for this situation. I've slept a minimal amount this week thinking about all of this and just don't know what to do with myself. Divorce is not an option for me, but it seems to be one for her. It's hard to let go and I'm having a tough time not hanging on too tightly.

Is there any hope for us??
The 180 doesn't apply here. If fact, if you did that, you will kill your marriage for good.

Yes! What you need to do is show your change. Don't just talk about t, DO IT! Real men get things done, take charge, better themselves. Talk is really for the weak.

Btw, are you craving the beerZ. You are headed down a slow road to alcoholism if you fFEEL you need them to unwind. It may not feel like it, but one day you will be.
I suggest going to the gym. Get a hobby. Shoot guns. Do manly thinks. Whatever. Just involve yourself with life and make some positive changes. Your wife will notice, which is really what she wants here...action, not false promises. This is really important to her! She sees behaviors in you and doesn't want to go down that same path as her parents. This should tell you she cares enough about the marriage to want you to stop your destructive behaviors, as she sees them.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wanttobehappy56 View Post
I'm going through almost the same thing, GIVE HER SPACE. I choose to try and convince my wife she was wrong by crying, begging, pleading, yelling, and all it accomplished was her losing all respect for me whatsoever.

It may be too late for my marriage, because I kept telling her I could change, instead of just working on it. Show her that you truly want to change by going to counseling on your own, really work on yourself and stop worrying about what she thinks. One way or another, you have to better yourself, but know that she cannot help you do that.

BE AWARE, this is a 2 way street, she has made mistakes too. You cannot change the way she feels, she has to be in enough pain to change. Do not try to make her feel guilty, do not point fingers at her, do not act like I did, a wussy.

I promise, I may have played my part to destroy my marriage for good, I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did. I have some things I need to work on, but so does my wife, and it takes 2 to reconcile. All you can do is clean up YOUR side of the street, if she isn't willing to do the same, that's on her, and (I'm sorry, this is gonna hurt) YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HER.

Please read and re-read this, you will thank me later if you follow my advice.
Thank you for the reply... it helps more than you know. I've been through the crying and asking for another chance, etc... and it hasn't really helped much. I've been doing little things like sending her flowers and telling her thank you for nice things that she's done for me, like little kisses, hugs, etc. It's hard to let go because the natural reaction is to hold on tighter. Hopefully space will help bridge the distance. I still have some hope, but it's not really clear how it's all going to end at this point.

It really sucks, because we are great with money and having fun together, just lost the intimacy and closeness along the way. I can't imagine what a divorce must be like... we've worked very hard to establish ourselves and to think it could all be gone in a flash is really hard to swallow. I can't even stomach the thought of having to date again in hopes of finding a new mate... it's not something I ever wanted to do again.

Very sorry to hear about your struggles, your input and advice is very much appreciated.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The 180 doesn't apply here. If fact, if you did that, you will kill your marriage for good.

Yes! What you need to do is show your change. Don't just talk about t, DO IT! Real men get things done, take charge, better themselves. Talk is really for the weak.

Btw, are you craving the beerZ. You are headed down a slow road to alcoholism if you fFEEL you need them to unwind. It may not feel like it, but one day you will be.
I suggest going to the gym. Get a hobby. Shoot guns. Do manly thinks. Whatever. Just involve yourself with life and make some positive changes. Your wife will notice, which is really what she wants here...action, not false promises. This is really important to her! She sees behaviors in you and doesn't want to go down that same path as her parents. This should tell you she cares enough about the marriage to want you to stop your destructive behaviors, as she sees them.
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I don't necessarily crave them, just enjoy them. I do have a bit of an addictive personality and that applies to anything I'm interested in at the time.

What approach do you suggest in terms of contact with her? Do I let her contact me or do I reach every so often to talk with her? I want to give her space, but also want to show her that I am working on myself. She seems to be contacting me a bit more than at first and also opening up about how she really feels. I take this as a good sign. We are calling a counselor on Monday to setup an appointment.

Working on myself and crossing my fingers at this point.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Should I Do - Wife Wants Space

You should probably let her initiate contact, be in a positive mood when you talk, but don't tell her how you're feeling unless she asks. Let her see you as a strong person who doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve for the whole world to see. MEN DON'T DO THAT. Again, another issue I learned the hard way.

If she tells you she's upset, listen and offer support ONLY if she implies she wants it. DON'T KEEP APOLOGIZING OVER AND OVER for your mistakes, just let her know you are aware of them and are working on avoiding making the same ones.

It may be a long tough road, but I promise you will discover a lot about yourself.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You should probably let her initiate contact, be in a positive mood when you talk, but don't tell her how you're feeling unless she asks. Let her see you as a strong person who doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve for the whole world to see. MEN DON'T DO THAT. Again, another issue I learned the hard way.

If she tells you she's upset, listen and offer support ONLY if she implies she wants it. DON'T KEEP APOLOGIZING OVER AND OVER for your mistakes, just let her know you are aware of them and are working on avoiding making the same ones.

It may be a long tough road, but I promise you will discover a lot about yourself.
Yes, I can see this is going to be quite the journey. I've learned a ton already and it hasn't even been a full-week since everything finally came to a head. Do you have any book recommendations? I was thinking of picking up something weekend to read to help kill time and also wrap my head around the situation.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hold onto your nuts

Way of the superior man

For men only

There's some more good ones listed in the men's forum
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The 180 doesn't apply here. If fact, if you did that, you will kill your marriage for good.


Work on yourself first, then the marriage.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good advice here guys. Thanks for the support. Will keep you all posted.

Last edited by PurpleandGold; 04-08-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Update:

Wife came home this morning and decided she needs more time away. We had a long talk about he future... a very honest and mature conversation that most people going through this couldn't pull off without getting mad or upset. It was quite good to get her take and also understand where and how we began to split apart. I love her dearly and willingly accepted the fate that we won't see or talk to each other much at all moving forward.

We are setting up counseling on Monday and I think everything hinges on the outcome. I've spent the day with friends and tried to stay busy. We bought her a new car this morning (were a 1-car household, also had a scooter) so we can each have a vehicle to get places. We parted around lunch today and I don't know when I'll see her or talk to her again. I did try to call about an hour ago as we've been keeping in touch, but she didn't answer and didn't call back.

Not really sure what to do at the moment. I am trying to prepare myself to move on if that is the route that we go down, but it's very hard to let go. I am past the begging and crying, just can't wrap my head around how to proceed. Very confused and hurt at the moment, but know that I will be fine either way things play out
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Should I Do - Wife Wants Space

Wow, love does some crazy sh*t. Wife leaves so I'll buy her a car. Granted she's not in to the drinking thing but what ever happened to "for better or for worse"?

I always get a bad feeling when a spouse pulls the "I need space" card.

You better get your head on straight and start doing the things you need to do to better your self. Do the gym or take some classes. Something tells me you need to start meeting people and get used to not having your wife around.
Right now show some confidence in your self and make the changes that will make you happy even though your wife is gone, so focus on your self, stay a way from the wife and show her you can move on with or with out her. Improve your self and then maybe she will be the one that does all the calling.

Just admitting to the problem is great and for your wife not to stick around and help is off. Something is not what it seems.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow, love does some crazy sh*t. Wife leaves so I'll buy her a car. Granted she's not in to the drinking thing but what ever happened to "for better or for worse"?

I always get a bad feeling when a spouse pulls the "I need space" card.

You better get your head on straight and start doing the things you need to do to better your self. Do the gym or take some classes. Something tells me you need to start meeting people and get used to not having your wife around.
Right now show some confidence in your self and make the changes that will make you happy even though your wife is gone, so focus on your self, stay a way from the wife and show her you can move on with or with out her. Improve your self and then maybe she will be the one that does all the calling.

Just admitting to the problem is great and for your wife not to stick around and help is off. Something is not what it seems.
In all fairness, she needed a vehicle so that she can have her space. Her taking our car to go and leaving me home without a car to get across town just wasn't working. A car probably symbolizes independence for her and I wanted her to have that as much as it hurts. We've spent way too much time together in our relationship and a result of that is that we've lost who we are as individuals. She has been working out with friends and gaining her confidence and I have not. I am working on this now. I believe her 100% when she tells me its not another guy or want for one, just that we're not who we used to be together.

It's by far the hardest thing I've ever heard and had to deal with.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow, love does some crazy sh*t. Wife leaves so I'll buy her a car. Granted she's not in to the drinking thing but what ever happened to "for better or for worse"?

I always get a bad feeling when a spouse pulls the "I need space" card.

You better get your head on straight and start doing the things you need to do to better your self. Do the gym or take some classes. Something tells me you need to start meeting people and get used to not having your wife around.
Right now show some confidence in your self and make the changes that will make you happy even though your wife is gone, so focus on your self, stay a way from the wife and show her you can move on with or with out her. Improve your self and then maybe she will be the one that does all the calling.

Just admitting to the problem is great and for your wife not to stick around and help is off. Something is not what it seems.
Well you nailed it on the head here with something is not as it seems. I just confirmed this morning after much digging, snooping and evidence gathering that my wife is involved in an affair and with a supposed mutual friend no less. She has lied to my face on at least 3 occasions and with conviction each time. First I found the phone records, then found the emails and then finally this past weekend her car at his house late at night on a Sunday. Just this morning after ignoring several emails and texts, she goes crazy and blows up my phone.

I had every intention of keeping it all in, but just couldn't. I was very firm with her and let her know that deep down I knew she was lying and didn't appreciate or deserve to be treated like this. She's made me out to be the fall guy when her emotional affair turned physical affair is the main issue here. I certainly did some things to drive her to this point, but nothing catastrophic... at least in my mind.

When I asked her about the emails (which basically insinuated sex the following day... the day she moved out) she said it was just an innocent kiss. Just like i was right about the first lies, I ended up being right about this one too. This morning I really laid it out on the phone and her answers, while not admitting, were no longer denying. The said part is that I know she is in the fog and want dearly to salvage what is left. I am man enough to do that.

I saw her tonight and we talked for 10 minutes or so, before I walked away without even saying goodbye. She way crying when I pulled out of the driveway. It was hard to do, but I felt like it was the right move. She has been very selfish since this started and I finally feel that we have a level playing field for the most part. I am leaving to go out of town tomorrow until Sunday and very much looking forward to being away. The ball is in her court as the last thing I told her on the phone this morning was that I didn't have much to say unless she was willing to put effort into saving our marriage. I hope this is the right approach. I plan to ignore her for a while and implement the 180 and see what happens. Being at her beck and call was not working and only made things worse. Ignoring her seems to be one of the few things that gets through to her.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wanttobehappy56 View Post
I'm going through almost the same thing, GIVE HER SPACE. I choose to try and convince my wife she was wrong by crying, begging, pleading, yelling, and all it accomplished was her losing all respect for me whatsoever.

It may be too late for my marriage, because I kept telling her I could change, instead of just working on it. Show her that you truly want to change by going to counseling on your own, really work on yourself and stop worrying about what she thinks. One way or another, you have to better yourself, but know that she cannot help you do that.

BE AWARE, this is a 2 way street, she has made mistakes too. You cannot change the way she feels, she has to be in enough pain to change. Do not try to make her feel guilty, do not point fingers at her, do not act like I did, a wussy.

I promise, I may have played my part to destroy my marriage for good, I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did. I have some things I need to work on, but so does my wife, and it takes 2 to reconcile. All you can do is clean up YOUR side of the street, if she isn't willing to do the same, that's on her, and (I'm sorry, this is gonna hurt) YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HER.

Please read and re-read this, you will thank me later if you follow my advice.
Excellent advice!
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