Join Date: Jun 2012
| | Strange situation, very confusing...
I just signed up to see if anyone can offer some insight or advice, as I'm totally lost.
I'm in a very difficult situation, which warrants some background information.
I've been with my wife for around 9 years now, married for 3. 7 years ago I became sick and suffered a brain injury that caused all sorts of problems, mostly with my problem solving abilities and memory and triggering chronic fatigue. I was practically bed ridden for 6 months on two occasions. It has taken my nearly 6 years of extreme effort and willpower to recover; ultimately becoming a much stronger, wiser, healthier and more capable man in the process. In that time, my wife and I had a child and bought a house. We've struggled, but we've managed ok.
For the last few years, my wife has questioned whether she loves me or not. The first time she kicked me out, she had me back home within 2 weeks. Every year since, she presents the same problem; she doesn't know if she loves me or not. She even asked for an open relationship at one stage, because she wanted to 'try' other people, but didn't want to risk losing me for good either. She kicked me out again late last year over Christmas and struggled to cope with her demanding career and being a mother, so I happily looked after our daughter throughout that time.
She gave herself 3 months break from me to 'find herself'. In January she asked me to come home, but expected me to give up one of my weekly activities in exchange (I collectively spend 10 hours a week maintaining my health and keeping in touch with friends; the later I had to sacrifice). I reluctantly did as she asked, as well as address all her other issues; namely appreciating her more, supporting her more and communicating more effectively. By now I was doing most of the house work and parenting; effectively living like a single parent with two children! Things were going great at first, despite me gradually feeling more exhausted and less fulfilled. I managed to convince her to let me continue spending time with my friends again (albeit online from home), which was fine at first, but then she dropped another bomb shell on me.
In May, she explained to me that she "was done with us" and wanted to separate, as long as it was a mutual agreement. Being totally heart broken AGAIN with nothing left to offer her, I agreed. The next night, having cut her out of my heart, I tried to explain to her that she needed to take responsibility for this and leave; leaving our daughter with me, as it was a much more comfortable and familiar environment. She grabbed me by the throat and I could tell she had trouble holding herself back from doing something even worse. I talked her down, but we haven't been able to discuss the wellbeing of our daughter since.
Since then, she has remained at home and each night she kept repeating to me, "I'm still not sure about us...". My approach was to avoid her and give her the space to leave of her own accord, but she behaved as if nothing had changed. each night I asked her, "what do you want to do?" "what are your intentions?" Each time she replied, "I don't know."
This went on for weeks. Finally I told her we need to separate. Well, suddenly this was all my doing and I had to take responsibility for it. Only now does she tell me, "I wanted to fix us, I was willing to try". Heaven forbid she could have told me that when I actually asked her! Still though, she remains at home as if nothing's changed. I've even accepted responsibility for it if it means she'll leave, but she still remains at home and acts as if nothing's changed.
Here's my perspective on the matter:
We used to be very romantic and affectionate lovers, but my illness forced us both to evolve in completely different ways in order to cope with the difficult situation it put us in. She has wanted to separate for a long time now, but finds life nice and easy keeping me around, as I now have the energy and determination to deal with just about anything. She's afraid of being judged poorly by others and instead wants to be seen as the victim. When I told her that she had to take responsibility for the separation, she couldn't handle the pressure. When I told her that she couldn't take our daughter with her, she turned violent. She has then been biding her time and prodding me for a reaction until I snapped. She has used this opportunity to point the finger at me and have me take the responsibility; as if I'm some sort of antagonist.
I'm no longer interested in trying to fix our relationship. She has proved time and time again that her heart isn't in it; she just likes the easy life I provide. She's kicked me out twice before and expressed an interest in separating many other times. She's immature, irresponsible and unaccountable and I don't want to be with a woman like that anymore. I just want to get on with my life and do what's best for our daughter.
my question is, am I wrong? I know there's not enough information there to really give me a straight answer, including her side of the story, but I'd be interested to hear other opinions. I've seen three different psychologists who each explain that I'm doing the right thing and the best I can and the rest is up to her. They've also explained that it's not fair for me to be with someone who does'n't appreciate me. We've been to relationship counselling, but their advice was to find an acceptable compromise, which is hard when we both have such a different view on what an acceptable compromise is. My friends and family tell me she needs to leave, but her father tells me I need to stick it out and keep her with me no matter how bad I feel and just do things differently(?).
Does anyone have an alternative view? Can anyone offer advice on how to initiate this separation as painlessly (and peacefully) as possible? Is there anything I might be doing wrong or need to pay closer attention to?
Thanks either way.