Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating - Page 4 - Talk About Marriage
Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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post #46 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:52 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Sorry buddy, every time I hear the words Dr Harley or whatever his name is, I cringe. This is the same guy that would tell you to sit on your ass and compliment her as she goes to bang her boyfriend if she was or is having an affair.

You seem pretty nonchalant about what was obviously an intense EA on her part before she got hurt. I guess you are lucky on that one because if she had not gotten injured you'd probably be writing about a full blown PA.

So now you are taking the brunt of her anger because she is not a man magnet any more. You need to tell her you will work on the marriage together or not at all and that you are not going to be a punching bag for the release of her anger at being dumped by her training boyfriend or his social circle.

Or you can play the pick me game and be a punching bag. When she believes she is about to be an injured overweight wino fighter all by herself, maybe her piss poor attitude might change.

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post #47 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

So, we talked.

She came to the kitchen table where I had been working. Sat on the other end and just started staring at me... one of the things she does when she wants to prompt me to start talking to her.

I ignored her for the most part. It got awkward after a while and I gave her an update on the bathroom reno that the contractor had texted me.

She said, "Ok" and then stared at me some more.

"I got your email. I'll let you know when I'm ready to talk"

Then she got up and left.

--------

After the girls went to bed, she came back to the table and stared at me some more. She asked me if I was working and I told her about the project that I've been working on. Did some small talk about work stuff. Then she started with the questions.

Her: "If we didn't have kids, would you still want to be in this marriage with me?"
Me: (after a long pause where I asked myself if I should even be entertaining her questions) Yes. We've shared a lot together. I'm not interested in just throwing that away. I would want us to try to work on things.
Her: I doubt that's true

F@*&

Fell for her usual trick where she asks me a useless question, I answer, and she dismisses my answer. Decided to go back to being short and succinct with her next questions. But there really weren't any.

She actually started talking about the current book that she's reading and how it's given her some clarity and insight into her issues. The issues that she hopes to address.

She mentioned trauma... childhood trauma to be specific. She was molested by a female cousin who had been living with her while she was a kid. And raped as a teenager. She didn't bring these up while speaking, these were just things that came to mind after she mentioned childhood trauma.

She spoke on the fact that, while she may have masked the trauma while she had the ability to be more active (fighting, working out, etc), she doesn't think that she "addressed" it. She talked about having multiple coping mechanisms, but didn't identify them. The fact that few, if any, work.

She also referred to her knee injury as a trauma. It's robbed her of her hobby and the accolades she once received as an amateur fighter. She had created such an identity with that.

She mentioned holding on to 'hurt' and not knowing why she does that.

I chose this time to just stay quiet and listen. She hates when I just listen quietly, but at this point I no longer feel like I have to pander to her preferences.

She didn't have that much to say. She looked like she was trying to choose her words carefully.

Last thing she mentioned was the importance of raising our daughters as two 'whole' individuals rather than as a broken couple.

When she first sat at the table, I was preparing for the usual. But I appreciate the fact that she made the talk more about her and what she sees as her own personal demons.

Once she was done, she took one last gulp of her wine and went up to bed.
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post #48 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:41 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

If it were me I'd move her stuff out of the bedroom and start spending some time doing what I wanted.

Perfect time for you to give her what she wants. Unless you like living the beaten down, woe is me martyred lifestyle.
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post #49 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

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Originally Posted by straightshooter View Post
You seem pretty nonchalant about what was obviously an intense EA on her part before she got hurt. I guess you are lucky on that one because if she had not gotten injured you'd probably be writing about a full blown PA.

So now you are taking the brunt of her anger because she is not a man magnet any more. You need to tell her you will work on the marriage together or not at all and that you are not going to be a punching bag for the release of her anger at being dumped by her training boyfriend or his social circle.
My post might make it seem like all of our problems are recent, but much of this is nothing new.

Similar problems existed even while we were dating back in university. We would break up, then get back together. Rinse, repeat.

Me taking on the brunt of her anger existed long before Ted or her body image. These are just recent events. Prior to these, there were many other things that would trigger her to lash out. These are just her most recent disappointments.

There are family-of-origin issues at play here as well. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses for her, but just want to paint a complete picture.

There are no married women on her side of the family. Mostly single mothers who've never had a stable relationship, or others who were married and then divorced. Conflict isn't seen as something to avoid, but rather something they embrace.

All of her family members have forgiven the cousin that molested her and insist that she do so as well. Her refusal to do this (and I support her completely in this area) has made her a bit of an outcast who doesn't get invited to family functions since said cousin is usually present.

Lots of mental health problems among her siblings and other relatives. I'm certain she must've inherited some of it.

It's all just a handful. I want to find ways to support her but it's hard.
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post #50 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:02 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

She is provoking you for a reaction, then projecting an answer on to you to fit her need to sit in the victim chair.

Help her step on the gas pedal, unless your fear losing her more than living with someone who is emotionally abusive.

Have you read this yet?

https://www.lynneforrest.com/article...ces-of-victim/

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #51 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:59 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangoseed View Post
So, we talked.

She came to the kitchen table where I had been working. Sat on the other end and just started staring at me... one of the things she does when she wants to prompt me to start talking to her.

I ignored her for the most part. It got awkward after a while and I gave her an update on the bathroom reno that the contractor had texted me.

She said, "Ok" and then stared at me some more.

"I got your email. I'll let you know when I'm ready to talk"

Then she got up and left.

--------

After the girls went to bed, she came back to the table and stared at me some more. She asked me if I was working and I told her about the project that I've been working on. Did some small talk about work stuff. Then she started with the questions.

Her: "If we didn't have kids, would you still want to be in this marriage with me?"
Me: (after a long pause where I asked myself if I should even be entertaining her questions) Yes. We've shared a lot together. I'm not interested in just throwing that away. I would want us to try to work on things.
Her: I doubt that's true

F@*&

Fell for her usual trick where she asks me a useless question, I answer, and she dismisses my answer. Decided to go back to being short and succinct with her next questions. But there really weren't any.

She actually started talking about the current book that she's reading and how it's given her some clarity and insight into her issues. The issues that she hopes to address.

She mentioned trauma... childhood trauma to be specific. She was molested by a female cousin who had been living with her while she was a kid. And raped as a teenager. She didn't bring these up while speaking, these were just things that came to mind after she mentioned childhood trauma.

She spoke on the fact that, while she may have masked the trauma while she had the ability to be more active (fighting, working out, etc), she doesn't think that she "addressed" it. She talked about having multiple coping mechanisms, but didn't identify them. The fact that few, if any, work.

She also referred to her knee injury as a trauma. It's robbed her of her hobby and the accolades she once received as an amateur fighter. She had created such an identity with that.

She mentioned holding on to 'hurt' and not knowing why she does that.

I chose this time to just stay quiet and listen. She hates when I just listen quietly, but at this point I no longer feel like I have to pander to her preferences.

She didn't have that much to say. She looked like she was trying to choose her words carefully.

Last thing she mentioned was the importance of raising our daughters as two 'whole' individuals rather than as a broken couple.

When she first sat at the table, I was preparing for the usual. But I appreciate the fact that she made the talk more about her and what she sees as her own personal demons.

Once she was done, she took one last gulp of her wine and went up to bed.
So basically, she's not apologized for her actual cruddy behavior, but it's all about her being damaged.

I think that was obvious given the way you described her kind of behavior. You really should have said, "so what are you doing to address your trauma?" My point is, all of throse things are HER responsibility to fix in herself. You can't do jack about them even if you wanted to.

I'm no professional, but there's undeniable narcissism, grandiose delusions, push-pull, and black and white thinking at work here (the Easter story is but one example) and we all know what those three things are highly indicative of...

You're really going to need to grow a bomb squad uniform from your skin, because your focus should be on learning to diffuse her tricks and tactics. And don't make the mistake of thinking she won't drag the girls down to hell with her. She's a drunk mom, I don't know any women in my 36 years on this planet who had a substance abusive mother for a role model and had a good life. They were all severely damaged, lacked resiliency, selfish, wild, bullish, threatening, and had a knack for sabotaging all romantic relationships. They were angry at the world and thought the world owed them something. Sound familiar? So, her spiel about maintaining a stable household, as if you are guilty of creating the instability, is hilarious. Add denial for any wrongdoing to my list.

Keeping quiet will only take you so far with a person constantly looking for a fight. I agree with @farsidejunky, you'll need to give her exactly what she wants.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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post #52 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:25 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Help her step on the gas pedal, unless your fear losing her more than living with someone who is emotionally abusive.
Well it's obvious the answer to this is yes... He's another codependent who thinks this screwed up woman is the best he can do.

So why in the world would an abusive and clearly broken person respect him if he doesn't have an ounce of self respect for himself?

We can give him all the advice we want but he doesn't need advice. He needs to take back the pair of balls his wife has stolen from him.

OP it might be in your best interest to call up Ted and join his gym. Maybe being around some dudes kicking ass will give you some swagger back.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou

Last edited by BetrayedDad; 04-19-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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post #53 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:48 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

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Originally Posted by Mangoseed View Post

One of her "friends" (more of an acquaintance) recently went through this. I was actually surprised (again, looking at their relationship from the outside). They did an in-house separation. They co-parented, but he slept in another room, so I'm sure she'll want to follow that model. I haven't checked in to see what their status is now, but I'm pretty sure they're divorcing.
This is a problem, it was for me too. During a good part of my marital problems I knew that my wife was talking to one of her closest friends about our problems. This was a big problem because her closest friends marriage is and as long as I've known her, has been ten times worse then our marriage. They often sleep in separate rooms, go out without each other frequently, hide a lot of what they really do from each other, and fight quite often. If your wife trusts and is taking advice from someone in a failing marriage it certainly isn't going to help your situation, it'll only make things harder. And unfortunately there is really no way to stop it without making yourself look like the bad guy by disliking or trying to keep her from her friends.

My advice would just be to stand your ground. Don't get confrontational about anything, don't raise your voice and don't apologize for anything. My wife also wanted me to move out for awhile at the beginning of our problems, and what I found out later was it was the idea of her friend. I told her that was not happening and that if we were going to try and work things out we would never be able to really do that if we were apart. She told me she felt the opposite so I told her that she could clean up the guest room and I'd sleep there, but not until she cleaned it up (She uses the closet in the guest room as hers and that's kind of expanded to the entire room, lol). Needless to say that never happened and everything else that she's "suggested" that I didn't agree with I just stood my ground on without getting confrontational or argumentative about and things really have changed and gotten better.
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post #54 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:00 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

For the meeting:
1) Be prepared to listen and if needed, take notes.
2) The only reason to talk is to ask her to clarify something she said. Or possibly, if she brings up the "not shared core values", ask her to explain what her core values are that she thinks you don't share.

As for you -
"support" - this is THE most critical element in a love relationship, per Sue Johnson. Emotional support. It doesn't mean you agree with her emotions, it means when she's having unpleasant ones, you acknowledge that they probably don't feel good. "My boss nailed my ass to the wall today at work, I feel ****ty". "Oh, geeze, that has to feel awful". BING! You're on the right path.

Sue Johnson says that what people want in a romantic relationship boils down to A.R.E.:
A = Are you there for me? When I seek emotional support, will you be there?
R = will you Respond to me when I need you? Fairly quickly? Even if you, yourself, are having struggles maybe even with me?
E = Are you Engaged, actively, in an emotional way with me?

Her book, "Hold me Tight: Seven Conversations" is an attempt to explore this, but sadly, it's hard to read...the invented conversations between people feature people with such little personality that they're hard to follow. I learned Sue Johnson's stuff by seeking YouTube interviews with her and watching.

In order to come across as supportive, you also have to express your own emotions. You feel too vulnerable to do this. The "inner work" she's talking about is that you need to figure out why you're so afraid. So what if someone else uses what you say against you? Some of the most important people in your life will do this, learn to roll with it. It is possible to selectively decide "for this moment, my wife's opinion of me does not matter"...long enough for her to let it out. This is easier said than done, so a counselor may be in order.

My wife and I are working on similar issues, although in our case, we're both wimps. Well, I should say, I'm working on similar issues, while she's hoping the troubles will go away. We did not separate, but on the other hand, her drive for solitude means we're not together much anyway.

Good luck.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #55 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:22 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

@Mangoseed
You say that she’s drinking a bottle of wine each night? Do you think that she’s an alcoholic or a problem drinker? Read up on this; there’s a difference between the two.

Additionally, she went from being overweight to being obsessive about the fighting/gym time. It’s common for people with addictive behaviors to shifts their addictions to something else. The addiction shifted from eating/drinking to Ted/fighting/gym rat. Then once she had the injury and wasn’t able to fight, she went back to the addictions of eating/drinking. Did the drinking ever stop when she was a gym rat?

What exactly did you get out of the “Talk”? I read a lot of her being the victim of everything. Was the talk all about her (is she looking for empathy from you?)? And perhaps she’s self-medicating all of these issues that she doesn’t address. Is she talking about the addictions as her coping mechanisms?


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post #56 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
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@Mangoseed
You say that she’s drinking a bottle of wine each night? Do you think that she’s an alcoholic or a problem drinker? Read up on this; there’s a difference between the two.

Additionally, she went from being overweight to being obsessive about the fighting/gym time. It’s common for people with addictive behaviors to shifts their addictions to something else. The addiction shifted from eating/drinking to Ted/fighting/gym rat. Then once she had the injury and wasn’t able to fight, she went back to the addictions of eating/drinking. Did the drinking ever stop when she was a gym rat?

What exactly did you get out of the “Talk”? I read a lot of her being the victim of everything. Was the talk all about her (is she looking for empathy from you?)? And perhaps she’s self-medicating all of these issues that she doesn’t address. Is she talking about the addictions as her coping mechanisms?
Yep.

BTW, I have personally found that the greatest enemy we have to having a successful, happy relationship is OURSELVES. We really do train people to treat us a certain way.
Your wife has been training you to accept horrible behavior. You have two choices--- either don't accept it and do only what you think is fair and ignore the rest of her BS, or get out of the relationship and actually enjoy life with a person who is not a nut case like your wife. It really is your choice. You've just been choosing poorly for years.
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post #57 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:34 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalbeachiwish View Post
@Mangoseed
You say that she’s drinking a bottle of wine each night? Do you think that she’s an alcoholic or a problem drinker? Read up on this; there’s a difference between the two.

Additionally, she went from being overweight to being obsessive about the fighting/gym time. It’s common for people with addictive behaviors to shifts their addictions to something else. The addiction shifted from eating/drinking to Ted/fighting/gym rat. Then once she had the injury and wasn’t able to fight, she went back to the addictions of eating/drinking. Did the drinking ever stop when she was a gym rat?

What exactly did you get out of the “Talk”? I read a lot of her being the victim of everything. Was the talk all about her (is she looking for empathy from you?)? And perhaps she’s self-medicating all of these issues that she doesn’t address. Is she talking about the addictions as her coping mechanisms?
I was thinking this too about addictive behaviors... and don't forget that any MMA training will take an already confrontational person and enhance that aggression... the bottle of wine a night needs to go away for awhile so she can communicate with herself "unfiltered" for any future conversations. In fact, that would be my first boundary for any conversations to come... 48-72 hour sobriety before any relationship discussion.

We often allow ourselves to carry another's balance pole as we try the tightrope in these conversations... a response of "F@*&" to an antagonizing or testing expressive is being thrown that pole six feet into the wire, so it better to not catch it and let it fall. Better yet have your "I'm sorry you feel that way" pole in your hands so even if "F@*&" is felt, your hands are already full.

"I'm sorry you feel that way".

"I see things differently".

"I'm not okay with x (whatever x may be)".

These fill your hands with successful self-control in jabs and criticisms.

Every female on her side is a tough exposure to unlearn... the standard has been set. As others pointed out, provocation is the norm, as seems separation and divorce. Her attempts at intimidation by staring and you ignoring don't really seem to be calming much. Perhaps I'm wrong and that is the best there is at the moment, but forget about her being able to lead in her role for a moment as that expectation is not ready to be counted on.

The next time the staring begins, stop what you are doing... full stop no matter what it is and get up move next to her, take her hand and ask to breath with you... 4 seconds in, hold for 3, exhale for 7 and do this for a couple minutes. If she thinks it silly or refuses, do it yourself anyways... show her that with breath, comes calm. After you are done give her a smile and ask "now where were we" and address her last statement with your last... "I'm sorry you feel that way" and if you mean it, look into her eyes and tell her in a single statement you love her and your family but the hurting another has to stop or the family will not survive, because it won't.

Boundaries are going to need to be your new friend... but remember, they are for you and your calm first, her's will come after that. With that, I highly recommend doing some wine-replacing calming activities together... meditation, Tai chi, yoga. You may think you have no interest in them, but it is the movement your wife needs to rebuild her confidence and let go of her insecurities... plus you'll meet the right kinds of friends in these classes.

Her role models have failed her... but that's ok, time for her to choose to create a new one for your daughters if she chooses to. Breaking the cycle can be an incredible motivation, I wish you both the strength it will take to move beyond this moment of suffering.

नमस्ते 🙏
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post #58 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:46 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

I agree with Emerging Buddhist- set firm boundaries with your wife while showing her compassion. She might be doing all of this as a cry for help, and may not believe you really care about her. The way she's going about this is not right, but her search for self-help and identity do signal that she's having a tough time and is not in the best place.


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post #59 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 11:17 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangoseed View Post
So, we talked.

She came to the kitchen table where I had been working. Sat on the other end and just started staring at me... one of the things she does when she wants to prompt me to start talking to her.

I ignored her for the most part. It got awkward after a while and I gave her an update on the bathroom reno that the contractor had texted me.

She said, "Ok" and then stared at me some more.

"I got your email. I'll let you know when I'm ready to talk"

Then she got up and left.

--------

After the girls went to bed, she came back to the table and stared at me some more. She asked me if I was working and I told her about the project that I've been working on. Did some small talk about work stuff. Then she started with the questions.

Her: "If we didn't have kids, would you still want to be in this marriage with me?"
Me: (after a long pause where I asked myself if I should even be entertaining her questions) Yes. We've shared a lot together. I'm not interested in just throwing that away. I would want us to try to work on things.
Her: I doubt that's true

F@*&

Fell for her usual trick where she asks me a useless question, I answer, and she dismisses my answer. Decided to go back to being short and succinct with her next questions. But there really weren't any.

She actually started talking about the current book that she's reading and how it's given her some clarity and insight into her issues. The issues that she hopes to address.

She mentioned trauma... childhood trauma to be specific. She was molested by a female cousin who had been living with her while she was a kid. And raped as a teenager. She didn't bring these up while speaking, these were just things that came to mind after she mentioned childhood trauma.

She spoke on the fact that, while she may have masked the trauma while she had the ability to be more active (fighting, working out, etc), she doesn't think that she "addressed" it. She talked about having multiple coping mechanisms, but didn't identify them. The fact that few, if any, work.

She also referred to her knee injury as a trauma. It's robbed her of her hobby and the accolades she once received as an amateur fighter. She had created such an identity with that.

She mentioned holding on to 'hurt' and not knowing why she does that.

I chose this time to just stay quiet and listen. She hates when I just listen quietly, but at this point I no longer feel like I have to pander to her preferences.

She didn't have that much to say. She looked like she was trying to choose her words carefully.

Last thing she mentioned was the importance of raising our daughters as two 'whole' individuals rather than as a broken couple.

When she first sat at the table, I was preparing for the usual. But I appreciate the fact that she made the talk more about her and what she sees as her own personal demons.

Once she was done, she took one last gulp of her wine and went up to bed.
Quite the cryptic talk from your W. You did well with just listening. However, when your W stated, "I doubt that is true." you should have said your sorry she feels that way but that is something she needs to deal with. Nothing worse than someone in a round about way telling another they are lying. What do you have to gain with your statement that you would continue on with the marriage if there was no kids? A new car? Door #3?

Concerning her trauma(childhood), this is something you can't help with but attempt to support your W in resolving the issue and professional help should be considered. You and everyone here is not equipped to handle such trauma. Concerning the knee injury, that loss of identity can not be laid on your lap. You can only say your sorry for her losing the ability to fight due to knee just so many times.

Concerning coping mechanism, who gave her the suggestion of what type of mechanism? Is this something your W worked up on her own. Is tying you to the whipping post one of those mechanism?

The only flicker of good from the conversation is being two whole individuals other than a broken couple. Your W did not lay out the terms of separation as indicated by the email that this is one the table.

Get the wine out of the house. Your W appears depressed. Wine added does not help the situation.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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post #60 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

OP, no one has asked, but what do YOU really want? Are you happy with your current relationship? I really feel the best thing for you to do is to focus on what you want and what you need. Your story is similar to mine. I won't retell it here but I went through a lot of the same things you are going through now.

You may truly want to save your marriage. There is nothing wrong with that. But you must decide what you are willing to accept to do so.

As for your children - forget all the non-sense about kids from broken marriages. Your wife is correct in the fact that your daughters will be better off being raised by two whole human beings than by a broken couple. They will mimic what they see their parents doing when they get older. Do you want them to think it is OK to behave as your wife does? Do you want them to think it is "normal" for them the be domineering and abusive to their husbands? Or do you think it important that they understand, every action has a reaction. If you mistreat some one then you should not expect that person to want to remain in your life?

The bottom line is that YOU need to do what is best for YOU. Whatever is best for you, will be best for your children

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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