Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

My wife just sent me an email saying that she'd like us to meet later to discuss separating.

This is my first post here. I imagine that many threads in this section of the forum start off this way. I would appreciate some help from those of you willing to provide thoughts/opinions/advice.

To say that I'm in a state of shock right now would be an understatement. I'm at work right now with a long list of items that I have to complete for a huge project and I can't even think straight. I know I won't be able to deliver now.

Background/Profile:
- Married almost 14 yrs (together almost 19)
- Two daughters (14 & 9)
- Late 30s

In her email, she states that this isn't intended to hurt me. But it does hurt. A lot.

We've had our ups and downs, but things have been nose-diving for her personally for the past year and I'm sure that these problems are contributing to her making this decision.

We had an argument this past Friday. It only differed slightly from our usual arguments since this time I decided not to be the doormat that I tend to be with her. In what felt like me being torn down for my character and her making demands for things that she said I needed to do to "change", I responded saying that I know who I am and I know my value and that I'm NOT going to change. She looked stunned (this was much different than my usual apology and "yes dear") and responded with somewhat of a veiled threat. "Oh... you're not going to change? Fine. I'll change. You watch!"

Much against my inner voice, I approached her later that evening and told her that I regretted us having that argument and that we could seek out marriage counselling. Or that I could seek out individual counselling as a pre-requisite to marriage counselling. She said nothing and walked away.

So I suppose this is the change she had in mind.

Her problems with me:
1. Lack of Communication: I keep it limited. I tend to communicate facts, not feelings. Yes, I'm an introvert. Conversations with her feel uncomfortable and unsafe to me. I feel judged and feel like things I say are eventually used against me in future conversations. I often feel like my thoughts and opinions are dismissed.
2. Lack of Support: (She says she feels unsupported by me, but she's not referring to chores or parental duties. I do plenty of those... even to the point where it's unconventional. This gripe I'm not clear on, but can only imagine that she's referring to "backing her up" when she's in a state of conflict... either with someone else or a general situation that she's struggling with)
3. "We don't share the same core values/priorities": These are her words and I'm unclear on this as well. I find she usually says this when she's angry and seems to be plucking anything out of the air to hurl at me. I think it has to do mostly with me having a laid-back approach to situations, which aggravates her since she wants everything done and addressed yesterday.

In her email, she said that my "soft spoken nature" earned me the praise of others while her "confrontational nature" earned her malice from others. This has always been the dynamic of our relationship and the way others view us and I'm pretty sure she resents it. Makes it difficult for her to share her version of an argument that we had and convince her friends (who may know me personally) that she played as small a role as she's claiming.

There's been little said between us since that argument. Mostly just talk regarding our bathroom remodel (part of what triggered the argument on Friday). On Sunday, I was doing some cleaning and she walked up behind me and just started staring at me. She was sad. I put the vacuum down and gave her a hug and she cried on my shoulder. Probably dumb, but I took that as a sign that things might start mending. It was probably her saying goodbye to me in her head.

Her email said that we should separate to address our own internal struggles.

Anyway... I haven't responded to her email. I dread going home and seeing her. I dread having to consider a life where we're divorced. I dread how this will affect our kids.

I think I just want advice on my approach with her. I don't converse with her well (hence problem #1 above) and likely to be even more guarded when we have this conversation.

Thanks in advance,

Mangoseed

P.S. - Our problems run pretty deep, but I didn't want to make my first post too heavy. I'm pretty certain that I'll be able to peel back some layers as the conversation goes on.

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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:22 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

I feel like counseling together and individually, would help you both, rather than separating. She might have chosen to suggest separating because she doesn't know how to bridge the gap between you both. I think it's good that you're standing up to her though, it's important to not let her treat you like her voice is the only one that matters, but she was still shocked at the same time. She sounds like she doesn't respect you, and you have accepted the role of trying to earn her respect.

I'd suggest counseling tonight, but if she keeps pushing separation, I'd ask her about the logistics of it all, because to live in two separate homes, etc will be costly, and that might cause you both MORE stress. Doesn't sound like there's any major deal breakers, but sometimes, people allow small issues to mount up until there is a tsunami coming at them.

I would suggest marriage and individual counseling, and see what she says. Sorry you're in this place right now.

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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:25 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Man that is cold....has she always been methodical in personality?

aside from that....can you tell me has she said anything of these issues in past conversation...have you ever engaged in marriage couseling ?

and what is her expectation you leave the home?
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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:32 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

she have a new boyfriend?
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:33 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

When a woman wants a separation and she's constantly coming up with bad things about a man that don't amount to huge problems---- There's usually an unknown 3 person in the marriage.
That's all I'm saying.

You should: check on an attorney.
See a doctor about anti-anxiety drugs like zoloft or zanax.
Stop being a doormat to your own special narcissist.
Start working on a new life. I hate to say it, but once this stuff starts, it rarely gets better.

JMO
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:47 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

When a spouse sends an email like that, it is usually because they don’t feel safe in just started a deep conversation in real life. She’s giving you time to think about it beforehand so it can be a rational conversation later, as much as possible. So, think about what your needs are and if they’re being met or not. Vice versa. What do you think are her needs and which ones aren’t being met?

A separation where one spouse leaves the house is usually never recommended. There are success stories of that, but not many. You can try an in-house separation though. That gives both of you space (Look up the 180) and allows you to co-parent.

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:51 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Whatever the case, I suggest you meet your W as requested, sit and just listen. No retorts. No interrupting. Keep eye contact. Let your W get it out on the table. That is your first best start at this juncture. Do not take a defensive posture or respond in a defensive way. Do not point blame. Express your desires in the continuing of the marriage.

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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:59 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Check your phone bill, OP. Rule out a third person involved in the marriage before you take any sort of action.

That said, I would not encourage nor would I participate in any sort of separation. Either we work together to fix the marriage under the same roof, or we can move to divorce.

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

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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:06 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

I would also rule out a third party's involvement before going any further. Pick up a couple of recorders before going home tonight, then place them where she is likely to speak to someone on the phone later, i.e, in her car, bedroom, kitchen etc. Then go ahead and have the talk with her, but commit to nothing. If she insists that you need to separate, ask her when she will be moving out. Let her know that you aren't going anywhere away from the kids.

If there is a third party involved, she will discuss your meeting with him (or her) the next day, and then you will know what's going on.

FWIW, armchair analyzing what you wrote, your wife sounds borderline to me.
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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Check your phone bill, OP. Rule out a third person involved in the marriage before you take any sort of action.

That said, I would not encourage nor would I participate in any sort of separation. Either we work together to fix the marriage under the same roof, or we can move to divorce.
I agree whole heartily with this.

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post #11 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:11 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

An e-mail of all things. That's not only cold it's really telling...and that you shouldn't feel bad about it?? Sorry hun, it's business nothing personal. She obviously doesn't want to tell you in person probably because she is incapable of facing you with this. She also seems quite selfish about this, you have two daughters at ages where something like this could have a very adverse affect on their lives. Meet with her sure, but not on her terms. If you do meet with her, meet her with a marriage counselor, so that she knows that the result will not be separation only trying to make things work better. You have say in this to and make that very clear. She's a woman with two daughters, she knows that a divorce will probably work to her advantage financially, so it easier for her to quit instead of trying to fix the marriage.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #12 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:12 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

I think your first goal should be to learn what is making her unhappy. Don't be defensive, don't argue, try not to get upset, just get facts on what she wants. This is not the time to then say why you are unhappy with her, this is a fact finding mission.

When you know what it is she wants, you can decide if you are willing to comply. It may be largely miscommunication and you can easily change to meet her needs. It may be she wants something completely different from what you want to be, in which case divorce is the the best option for both of you.
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post #13 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Deidre* View Post
I feel like counseling together and individually, would help you both, rather than separating. She might have chosen to suggest separating because she doesn't know how to bridge the gap between you both.
Thanks for responding.

In her email, she said that we use this time to address our individual "traumas".

For her, I mentioned in my original post that she's been nose-diving. Downward spiral in terms of losing people who she considered her friends and losing her favourite past time. That's a long story that I want to share when I have more time.

For me, I told her that her constant berating is my trauma. Her constant need to be angry and to hold on to anger. I feel no confidence in her presence.

We've tried counselling in the past. Considering we're where we are now, it's hard to say whether or not it worked. Maybe we just didn't follow-through on the things that we were counselled to do. I'd be willing to try again.

She's been binge-reading self-help books. I haven't been keeping up with all of them, but we don't talk about them either. I just see them laying around. The current one seems to be instructing her to write a daily journal.

I don't think that she'll suggest me (or her) moving out. Probably just avoiding each other, except where it has to do with the kids, and sleeping separately.

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.
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post #14 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:28 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangoseed View Post
Thanks for responding.

In her email, she said that we use this time to address our individual "traumas".

For her, I mentioned in my original post that she's been nose-diving. Downward spiral in terms of losing people who she considered her friends and losing her favourite past time. That's a long story that I want to share when I have more time.

For me, I told her that her constant berating is my trauma. Her constant need to be angry and to hold on to anger. I feel no confidence in her presence.

We've tried counselling in the past. Considering we're where we are now, it's hard to say whether or not it worked. Maybe we just didn't follow-through on the things that we were counselled to do. I'd be willing to try again.

She's been binge-reading self-help books. I haven't been keeping up with all of them, but we don't talk about them either. I just see them laying around. The current one seems to be instructing her to write a daily journal.

I don't think that she'll suggest me (or her) moving out. Probably just avoiding each other, except where it has to do with the kids, and sleeping separately.

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 just hit me hard. I'm finding the same thing in my current relationship. Luckily, I'm not married. If I can't find a way to fix this, I'm walking.
I was told as recently as last night, "if you don't like it, the door is open"---concerning a problem that she won't address whatsoever......
What you're experiencing, I believe to be the symptom of a person that is all about themselves, lacks respect for you, and does NOT consider your feelings. It's all about her. I don't know if that can be "fixed". Likely she is incapable of saying she is sorry, correct? And, if you do point out an obvious wrong she has committed, rather than say she is sorry, she deflects blame on past wrongs which you supposedly did that she considers "similar" to what she did that was obviously wrong.
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post #15 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:29 PM
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Re: Email from Wife: I Should Consider Separating

Quote:
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.
So your W is being coached by this friend? Your W needs a new friend because misery likes company.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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