Two weeks ago, while our 16 year old daughter was away at camp, my husband announced one morning that he wasn't happy and knew that I wasn't happy either. I was totally blown away as I was not unhappy either and couldn't figure out why he thought that, and I told him so. Regardless, he said he just needed to get away from me and think things out.
Truly, he is the kindest, gentlest, loving man I have ever known and have always found myself so lucky to have him. So for him to say this came out of nowhere. We don't fight, maybe argue sometimes but nothing serious.
After two days, he came back and said we needed to take things slowly. I agreed but I had no idea how to do this as I wasn't sure what was wrong. He finally said that he was scared of our finances( we are currently selling our house and buying another) and that I needed to lower my housing budget. So of course I agreed, found a house he loved(not me so much) but it didn't matter. I thought this would help him stay and feel more secure. It also came up that he resented me from quitting my more than difficult job 5 years ago, whereas then he agreed it was fine to take a year off. I got a part-time job in the meantime to help bring in a little money, and after the year went by, he stated that until our daughter started driving I could continue to do what I was doing. Occasionally, he would comment that I need to find a better job, but I never took it as a sign of resentment.
Our daughter came home for a week, then left on a trip with a friend. I asked him if we could take just a couple of days off to spend some quality time together, that I needed this, we needed this. He said that he couldn't take off work and that it would be too expensive with boarding our pets and the cost of the trip. I had a meltdown at that point and told him that I needed some us time but he refused. Three days later, yes, I was still sulking from his refusal to spend time with me, he said that he was leaving again and he'd come home when our daughter came home.
At this point I could see it a little more clearly. I told him that if he came home it was to work on us, to see a counselor(which he refuses to do) and not just bc our daughter was back, that I couldn't take this coming and going and not what to do or say around him. He swears there is no other woman, and I do believe him on that one.
So the day after she comes home, with her running errands, we sit down and talk. He tells me that he is done with us, that I have pushed him away emotionally, that I never seem satisfied with our lifestyle and want more than he can give. I told him that I agreed and am seeing a therapist this week, at least for my own sake but hopefully to help figure out my issues to help our marriage, and that if he could wait patiently for me to address these maybe we could work it out. He thinks I can't be fixed. I begged, pleaded, and tried to convince him that life without us would be destroying everyone. He finally said last night he'd think about it. This morning he said he still didn't have an answer, would be home this evening, and he didn't need me pressuring him.
It is all I can do to keep it together here. I need an answer, but I don't want to drive him further away. What should I do? Any advice on any of this would be helpful. Thanks!!!!
Keep seeing your therapist. I think the therapist will tell you that the marriage can't be fixed unless he is willing to discuss the issues with a plan to try to resolve them.
If he won't, you are on your own.
One thing I saw with my wife was that she wouldn't go to counseling until pushed to the edge, that being she realized I was looking for another place to live. If he won't go to counseling and isn't willing to work on this, you have to send signals that you are planning to separate as he wishes. Either he will see what he is doing and work on the marriage or he will go ahead and separate and you will be that much further ahead in the planning for the event.
Unfortunately, if he really wants to leave...he will leave. All you can do is work on yourself. I think its great you are going to see a counselor...whether he goes or not. The most attractive thing to a man, is to see a self-sufficient woman who doesn't NEED him. You may want him in your world, but get to a place where you don't need him. Don't let him see your struggle. Right now, he doesnt deserve to see your vulnerable side. He should have to work for it- and if he wants it he will.
He tells me that he is done with us, that I have pushed him away emotionally, that I never seem satisfied with our lifestyle and want more than he can give. I told him that I agreed and am seeing a therapist this week, at least for my own sake but hopefully to help figure out my issues to help our marriage, and that if he could wait patiently for me to address these maybe we could work it out. He thinks I can't be fixed. I begged, pleaded, and tried to convince him that life without us would be destroying everyone. He finally said last night he'd think about it. This morning he said he still didn't have an answer, would be home this evening, and he didn't need me pressuring him.
If he's not actively pursuing someone, he at least has someone in mind. Begging, pleading and convincing will only make things worse so stop it. Predicting an negative future for you, ie you can't be fixed, is seriously destructive thinking on his part. Of course you can be fixed, one can always fix oneself and you can always reach out for help. Make a point to communicate satisfaction with your lifestyle. Quit voicing any wants. Stand back and watch. Let him do what he has to do.
Since he feels justified enough to blame you, he may be leaving some clues. Try to identify who might be the object of his attentions. An old friend from high school, someone new on the job. Observe carefully and see if you can read through his email or text messages without him knowing. This will clarify a lot more than you might think.
Re: What to do when your husband says he's leaving
Thanks for the advice, as it is really good, and helps me look at things in a better place and get some peace of mind from this. I realize I can't stop him, that what he wants to do, he will.
I am going to try to improve myself, also see my family doctor tomorrow for some hormone blood testing, I think it is fine, but I just need to be sure. Maybe get some depression meds or anxiety or what she may think will help. I just need to show him that I am fixable and that even if it doesn't help matters, at least it will help me.
My only concern is breaking this to our daughter, who is an only child and will not see this coming at all. It really breaks my heart for her, but if she needs counseling, I will send her too. I am hoping my husband will seek counseling for himself also. Not sure that he will. I don't there is anything more I can do, and like he just texted me,"We need to take it one day at a time." That is open ended, and still not sure about that, but we will see.
When he starts talking like that, you need to start responding with one theme: "I want a marriage we are both invested in, or I don't want this marriage."
His 'one day at a time' means he is prepping you so that you will go along with his 'need for space' which all cheaters ask for so they are more free to come and go to meet up with hot mamas while you stay at home and say nothing.
Let him know up front you will NOT sit back and wait for him to figure himself out - either he wants to be married or he doesn't. He's counting on you sitting back biting your nails while he tries out his new freedom; that's part of the thrill, the cake eating. Disavow him of that notion.
You avoided mentioning it, but if I was a betting man I'd lay odds that you two don't have much of a sex life. And just a little FYI; that doesn't make for a happy husband, or a happy marriage.
I would not necessarily think there was an affair. I would think like WOM said, your sex life is bad and has been for some time. If this is the case, your H may not even understand why he is feeling so distant or emotionally neglected. Good luck.
Obviously, I am shooting in the dark, but it is likely presenting your H with neediness will not help keep him. Telling him that you are working on this problem and that and that you need him to help you through this or need him as a crutch while not saying what you want to do for him is likely not helpful for your situation.
Another way of saying this is that you may need to tell him you want to keep him/fight for him because of who he is, not because of what you need from him.
One thing not to do is go ballistic victim martyr avenging angel. More than once this topic's been broached here and wife's response was so far out of the parameters of normal it was like a cartoon. Cancel all the credit cards, empty all the bank accounts, try to get an order of protection or threaten me with arrest over a completely made up asserting of abuse. And if it was at nighttime, wake up the kids crying and screaming that they have to get in the car and run away with her because daddy wants to kill them....etc.
Yeah I wouldn't recommend that. At first it's shocking but after a while it's laughable.
He probably has someone else and is stringing you along in case it doesn't work out with them. He could have a secret cell phone you know nothing about - my husband did for over 6 months before I found out. He also had secret email accounts.
Don't go to therapy with the attitude that you want to fix yourself so that he comes back. YOU didn't leave, HE did. If you want to 'fix' yourself that's great, but don't do it for him - do it for YOU. The attitude you need to have is that you will be just fine without him, thanks, and the next time he leaves, that is THE END. Then stick to your guns.