Stay married - live separately?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stay married - live separately?

Wife of 10 years became unhappy last year and we separated for a month and half before I moved back in...she said she was so glad I was back and everything was fine etc. Now 6 months later we're back in the same boat and I've moved out again after we went thru a 2 week "rough patch". In both cases she has said she wanted a 'D' and I've convinced her so far to wait and not make choices while emotional. In both cases there was/is a 30 day no contact period which never lasts more than a few days because we really do love and enjoy each other. We've always had a roller coaster/tumultuous marriage but with lots of passion also. The says she can't live with me but does love me. I do tend to be controlling/uptight especially with HER 2 teenage children - I admit it. I'm 43, she's 40. I've said to her lets just stay married but live separate for the foreseeable future - see and talk to each other whenever is convenient etc. She doesn't seem convinced that can work, but seems to indicate she wants the divorce but still thinks we can date and have sex after. My questions are....I'm not sure what to think abt continuing our relationship after a D...? Has or is anyone had experience with being 'happily' married but living separately? Thanks/Mark
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

My aunt and uncle did this. They did not live together for about the first 7-8 yrs of marriage and now they just bought a home together w/in the last 2 yrs and live together. It works for them.

In your case you did live together. I honestly don't know but will tell you to both sit down and talk about how you feel about this.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I've never seen this before but that doesn't mean much. I suppose it's how you two cope with each other. they say space makes the heart grow fonder. Who knows maybe if you two see how life is apart you both will start to appreciate being together even more. It's a tough spot to be in, but Jellybeans is right, the first step is to sit down, talk rationally, without upsetting one another, and airing everything out. This may be the first step to recovery and by listening to her and her listening to you maybe you can both make the necessary changes to hold it together for the kids and for your love. Good luck Mark.

One more thing. I've learned over the past month that when my wife is happy I'm happy. All the selfish things I did never made me happy, only caused turmoil and pain. I used to get aggravated bc she wanted to watch some stupid show or listen to music I didn't like or whatever...petty stuff. I would gladly watch any stupid show if it meant us being happy. what do I care what we are watching or listening to. It's the time together that one misses most when it's gone. You've got to retrain yourself to always remember that and never take that time for granted. As you know it can all be gone in an instant.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

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One more thing. I've learned over the past month that when my wife is happy I'm happy. All the selfish things I did never made me happy, only caused turmoil and pain. I used to get aggravated bc she wanted to watch some stupid show or listen to music I didn't like or whatever...petty stuff.
Same here....I've come to realize I'm a controlling type person and Im not sure why or exactly how to fix it. Too bad I'm mid-life just figuring this out. I guess God takes us down bumpy roads to show us and help us.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I don't think it's hard to fix any flaw one sees in themselves. You need to make the adjustments for you, not for her. Once you realize this then with or without her you are becoming a better man, a better person and a better dad...and ultimately a better partner. We cannot change the past. What has happened has happened. It's time to move on from it and make today and the future better. I know I want to change what has happened and I suspect so does my wife, but we can't, so we must re-learn how to trust one another, how to love one another and respect one another. But as long as we both want to it can happen. i feel the same goes for you. it's not easy but who said marriage was. I know I can forgive my wife for EVERYTHING. Sure, I'll have my moments when I doubt it, or when i question it, but that is something I will work through in order to be with her. So, you need to gage what you can and cannot deal with that has already happened and make your own decisions.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

Hi Mark, my husband and I lived apart following his short affair. We were apart for about 2 years, but seeing each other about 3 times a week, sometimes for our own pleasure, and sometimes in order for him to stay with the children while I worked. He was practically supportive, but we did not put pressure on each other to see each other, or stay over. Gave each other a lot more respect in fact. Decided to get back together as he lost his lodgings, but so it was not just because of that he took a room somewhere else but moved in with me. Kept the room just in case we needed to have a bit of space.

12 years later we are facing another separation, following a bad year or so. My husband is gonna try to get a room close to us. Intends to be involved with us still. Not taking of rings,not divorcing and not seeing anyone else. just feels he needs to find himself for various reasons. Although I am really sad,I tend to agree with him. Howeverthis time I feel we have issues which would be better addressed while he is in the home. From previous experienc,as I said,wh had a lot more respect for each other when living apart. This time we need to show respect whilst living together. If we separate I don't think it will prove anything so am aprehensive.

I will be really interested to see how you proceed and will keep you posted with how ours goes.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

My wife has wanted a separate home for many years. We would call it the mommy house. Where mommy can go and do whatever it is she wants to do, within reason. It would head off a LOT of problems. I'm still considering it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I could see it working. Why not give it a try?
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I am trying to convince wife right now to give seperation an honest go she feels she needs to find herself however she feels the only way to do that is by divorcing me...utter garage if you ask me, but she is thinking emotionaly right now
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

Staying married..Living separately. That pretty much sums up my own situation.

My husband often says "We're not separated, we're just living apart". He points out that there are many successful marriages where two households are maintained but both people still love each other and stay married. I can't disagree with that. Usually it's done due to career choices but for us it's a matter of maintaining each of our sanity.

Sounds bizarre, eh? But that is pretty much the way it is. We disagree on quite a few things about the nature of our relationship but one thing we both agree on is that living apart was/is the BEST thing that came out of all the events that transpired in our lives in the past year. Best for us a couple, best for our family and best for our own lives both together and apart.

Fact is, I love having my own place and calling the shots in my day to day life. Even when things were good with us in our marriage we drove each other crazy sharing the same household. My husband feels the same way.

In many ways we just aren't compatible when it comes to LIVING with each other. Chalk it up to being two different people who are similar in that we are both strong willed, stubborn, independent people who don't like answering to anyone else. Personally, I'm not sure I can live with anyone ever again. I just LIKE having my own place!

Until recently I thought that this was a situation that was temporary and in about 6 years when my both my kids are out of school and out of the house (they live with me in my apartment right now), my husband and I would move back in with one another, if only to share living expenses and not maintain two separate households. Fiscally this seemed logical.

But lately things have happened that have reinforced in me that we just can't or shouldn't be living with one another. As it stands now I'm pretty much convinced that I'll be keeping my own place even once the kids are on their own. If/when I ask my husband if we'll ever live with each other he says "I don't know but as it stands now we'd tear each other apart".

IMO He's right. Things ARE better in many ways right now between us but I'm convinced that if we moved in together things would go right back to where they were before we separated. In fact, it might be worse now that we've experienced independent living.

Having two households works very well for us both practically and emotionally. Living in an apartment I don't have access to a lot of things I need (a place to park and service my work truck, someplace wash and work on my Jeep, storage space for a lot of my stuff, a place for our family to gather for holidays, etc). His having a house alleviates many of the problems I have with apartment living.

Conversely his house is in a town with a lousy school system and my apartment is where there is one of the best school systems in the state so that works for our kids going to school.

So why do we stay married? Well, we still love each other and enjoy each other's company..We want to be with each other but not all the time. I don't see the point of divorcing someone I love and want to be with. We have problems still but until there is a resolution one in one direction or another..be it we grow closer together or drift apart I think the best thing is to stay and continue living separately.

I don't know what will change first. Guess only time will tell but for now it's what we do.

I guess our biggest problem is determining the nature of our relationship. Now that my husband is sober and functional I had hoped we could start over and "date"..be boyfriend-girlfriend. He seems to want me to be his buddy and be platonic. That is where our conflict lies now. But that's for another thread.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

If a man is wanting to be buddies and platonic....that is most likely because he is feeling guilty about taking pleasure in wanting someone else. So, he is not wanting to lose your emotional support, but wants sexual support elsewhere. That is not a good sign. Unless, he is like my husband....who just doesn't care about sex either way....he doesn't need it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I had married aunt & uncle who lived seperately for decades. They lived next door to each other. The kids went back and forth at will. They 'dated'. Spend time in each other's house. It worked for them.

My ex-husband remarried in 2002. The has a bit blowout a few years later and started a divorce. But the divorce never went through. They now live in seperate houses (not next door but across town). According to my son they don't date anyone else and only see each other, they spend holidays as a family. It seems to work for them.

If i were you, I would tell her that you will only see her as long as the two of you are still married. Being divorced and dating will not cut it for you.. push back with what you need in boundaries.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

If you do divorce her, she shouldn't get anymore sex from you. Divorce is divorce. Make that clear to her, don't let her mow you over thinking she can have her cake and eat it too. Living separated while married is one thing, divorce is a whole other animal.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

I am in a similar situation. He misses having the kids everyday, but I was the primary caregiver anyway, so not quite sure what it is he misses.

I love having my own home and living my own life with my children. I see him most days and the kids see him on weekends if not during the week as well. We are friendly but platonic, which also suits me as after my children I lost libido and he was so stressed at work, ended up with same prob!.

We are having holidays together with his family for 2 weeks, will be an interesting time in their house, travelling interstate.

I see this living arrangement working quite well for me, (though dreadfully sad at the beginning). I know if either of us meets someone else, I think it would not work and we would have to D unless we got our problems worked out.

I get on better with his teenagers since I stopped living with them 100% of the time, and now that I am not around to look after them, especially during school hols, they see their mother much more often.

Also I am better off financially as I am not providing for them anymore. I am still the one who bought their xmas presents though, otherwise they wouldn't get much.

So, living separetly can be workable, it really depends on so many variables, only you 2 can really decide if it will work with your situation.

Good luck with it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stay married - live separately?

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Originally Posted by markl67 View Post
Wife of 10 years became unhappy last year and we separated for a month and half before I moved back in...she said she was so glad I was back and everything was fine etc. Now 6 months later we're back in the same boat and I've moved out again after we went thru a 2 week "rough patch". In both cases she has said she wanted a 'D' and I've convinced her so far to wait and not make choices while emotional. In both cases there was/is a 30 day no contact period which never lasts more than a few days because we really do love and enjoy each other. We've always had a roller coaster/tumultuous marriage but with lots of passion also. The says she can't live with me but does love me. I do tend to be controlling/uptight especially with HER 2 teenage children - I admit it. I'm 43, she's 40. I've said to her lets just stay married but live separate for the foreseeable future - see and talk to each other whenever is convenient etc. She doesn't seem convinced that can work, but seems to indicate she wants the divorce but still thinks we can date and have sex after. My questions are....I'm not sure what to think abt continuing our relationship after a D...? Has or is anyone had experience with being 'happily' married but living separately? Thanks/Mark
Remember when you cross the river, burn the bridge and no going back.

Or if you sale to island just destroy the vessel or boat.


It will be in your mind that no options left for you both except to live together. Then only you both start adjusting with each other.

Kill all options.

That is the Answer.
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