i just found out yesterday that my wife whom i have been with for 17 years married for 9 wants a seperation. it is so hurtful to know that this may be the end of a relationship that lasted so many years.
she explained to me that she just feels so empty inside because i neglected her feelings and what she needed from me emotionally for so long. i have anxiety and have had it from a year after we got together. the anxiety has prevented me from doing things that a normal couple would do together but it has improved over the last 6 or so months to the point where we did go out and socialize with her co-workers a few times and she was really happy that i made a genuine effort. we went to vegas for my birthday 2 weeks ago and a had a good time. this past tuesday she asked me if i wanted to go to a nightclub with her coworkers and i said sure. its really not my type of thing but i agreed to go because i know she wanted me to. on wednesday we got into an argument which was real petty and had no meaning to me whatsoever. leading up to saturday she barely talked to me and kinda made it clear that she was still angry with me. every time i would try to strike up a conversation she seemed irritated so i backed away. she was getting ready to go and asked when i would be getting ready and i replied that i did not want to go and that she should just go and have a good time. what i did not do was explain to her why i was not going. i felt that if she was still upset with me that it would not be so good for me to be around her because i knew that anything i said could trigger an angry response or just wierd looks that other people would notice. anyway she came home about 1 am and i was awake. i asked her if she had fun and she said yes and she even showed me pictures that they took at the club. i thought we were on our way back to speaking terms when 5 minutes later she says we need to talk and she drops the "seperation" bomb on me saying that she needs this for herself. she has no feelings inside for me already because i have neglected them for so long. she also says that there is no chance of us getting back together because she does not have it in her anymore.
this hurts me so much because i truly have always loved her. she knows that i love her very much and has even told me that she knows so. i have also aknowledged her in that i knew she loved me very much also. i just cant get over the fact that i let it get to this point. i was so blind to what her emotional needs were. i have been praying to GOD alot to give me that little glimmer of hope that we can work this problem out. i know that it will be tough but, i am going to fight for my marriage.
if anyone has some comments, suggestions or anything it will be greatly appreciated. thank you for reading
Sometimes when women say things, even really heavy things, they are not always cut in stone in the way that men's statements are. Women speak as they feel in the "moment". It's clear that she had the separation thing on her mind for some time, and you finally triggered it.
Rather than ask her to change her mind - which merely reminds her she made up her mind - one approach to try is to act as if she only said it in the heat of the moment. For this to work, you will have to produce such a whirlwind of change, that she forgets her mood.
Suggest going to the night club again - tell her you really want to get out more. Do it at the next opportunity.
Also, if you want to be the man of mystery, start looking really happy, and be a bit flirty with her. Run through her list of complaints in your mind, and pick the easy ones. Do not whine at her like a sick dawg. Don't ask her to reconsider - make her want to reconsider by being a good catch.
thank you very much for your insight. i will try to do these things that you suggested. i think i might have to wait a couple of days though because it is so fresh on her mind. i dont want to make it any worse.
i surely will try to be cheerful. it probably will make me feel like that in the first place and it probably can start helping to build up some self esteem. i feel so deflated since the news that i cant even eat. thank you so much for your advice and support.
But for me, men are like classical mechanics, and women are like quantum mechanics.
With men there is the appearance of certainty. With women, there are only probabilities. But more importantly, there is what the Copenhagen Interpretation calls the collapse of the wave function:
In a quantum system many possibilities can exist simultaneously in a state of superposition. When the system is forced to make a concrete decision, these probability waves collapse into a definite outcome one way or the other.
So going back to your wife... there was the possibility of telling you she wants to separate, and the possibility that she would not. OK, so she used the S word. But with women, you can sometimes get another chance and pretend the wave function did not crystallize.
One of the tricks is to play for time. Don't let things get as far as one of you moving out. Then if the mood between you improves, her desire to separate will fade over time. Let this be a wake up call to you, don't slip back into your old ways.
Also, if you know you have low self esteem, get working on it. Timid people can always get a huge boost just by leaving their comfort zone and confronting situations like a night club. Play with your anxieties, and show them who is boss.
did not really understand the science part but i understood the rest of it. she has made up her mind on moving out and i probably feel she is about 95 percent sure of it as of now. that is the one thing that i think would help save our marriage is if she does not go. i think some time will pass and she will begin to see a change in me and then she will be more open to working things out. once again i really appreciate your advice. it is begining to make me feel a bit better and give me some strength.
had a talk with my wife yesterday and it seems that things are not going to change. i understand that it has been only a few days and that i need to let time work its magic. the one positive thing on my behalf is that she said that she would move out at the end of november so that gives me a little more time to try and reoncile. i am not going to keep asking her about our situation but i am going to show her by my actions. i hope i am doing the right thing. if anyone has any other suggestions or words of encouragement they will be greatly appreciated. thank you for reading. i also left her a little note saying that i appreciated her and put a flower beside it saying that i thought she might think it was pretty. this morning it was still there and not in trash and i know she had to have seen it.
i also left her a little note saying that i appreciated her and put a flower beside it saying that i thought she might think it was pretty. this morning it was still there and not in trash and i know she had to have seen it.
i think little tokens are valuable in the relationship rebuilding process...i'd do it regularly...without looking desperate...little thing that take burden off her work so well...and it's stuff we shoulda been doing all along...arrange for her to have lunch at work...pick up her dry cleaning or set up an account for it to be paid when she picks it up...do you have kids??? dovetail your activities around the kids so she sees you as "good daddy" (they love that) and don't let your guard down...be good ALL THE TIME..because they know when you're manipulating the system...
watch this...over a period of time..you'll find yourself falling deeper in love...i swear...
thanks for the words of encouragement. i know those little tokens should have been done a long time ago and i did not realize how much these little things meant to women. sometimes i know that they are much more meaningful and important than if you were to buy an expensive gift or whatever you might think is important. as for falling deeper in love i can honestly say that as a result of this situation and doing some serious soul searching i have already found how much more i love her than ever before. i hope that in time that she has a change of heart and realizes that what i want out of the marriage is just as much as she ever wanted out of it. i am dertimined to prove it to her. i know it wont happen over night but i think that she knows i am trying.
good. lemme tell you a story. i have had pretty hateful thoughts about my wife recently (we are separated. see the thread "separated...it's killing me") and they almost came out last night. hey, i had an incredibly serious stroke. my thoughts were "how dare you call yourself a compassionate person and abandon me now." i had to put good self-talk to work. told myself that she has not abandoned me. she's around almost every day, she DID have a justifiable reason to leave. she hasn't really left except that we don't live together right now. we still date. we still spend lots of quality time together. etc. anyway by the time i was done, i was deeper in love with her. it works.
aslo, the part about trying. i am assured by women to regularly post here that our efforts ARE noticed. that's the biggest thing for us. we are trying so f-ing hard to be the RIGHT man, when the hell is she gonna notice? because our idea of notice is that we get a ticker tape parade. hey, remember this: all we're doing is the things we shoulda been doing all along. so what do we realy deserve?
hey, look, it's normal and natural to do some "serious soul searching" right about now. relax. don't beat yourself up. and stick this in your head. i read it here on someone's signature: "i will save my marriage." say it often. commit to it, actualization is the key. you'll do fine.
oh, yeah. say a prayer once in awhile. hey, it couldn't hurt.
I don't have any advice but I can provide some insight from where your wife may be sitting. 2 paras of background then the perspective:
My wife is recovering from some childhood issues that have burdened our marriage for almost 20 years (many control issues and almost non-existent sex life you can probably guess the rest).
I stupidly thought that by giving her space, time and no pressure, she would improve by herself. This has turned out not to be the case, and a couple of months ago I told her to get therapy and deal with the past or it would finish us. She did so almost straight away.
Here's the thing...she does seem to be trying to work through things and will probably improve. What I can't explain is that I feel resentful for all the rejection & loneliness I endured for all those years. She knew her past was a problem for us from year 2 in the marriage. WHY did it take her so long (& then only when I pushed her) to address things?
So, it struck me when reading your post that your wife may be feeling the same... all those years of dealing with your issues, then you do some work & improve the situation (well done by the way), I wonder if she is resentful as well?
I am still in my marriage & will remain so for the next 3 years or so until our teenage kids are a bit more self sufficient. She has that time to win me back but I must confess I am not trying much from my side because I am worn out. It seems that your wife has given you less time than that so you may need to really pull something out of the hat & soon.
My wife wants me to go to marriage counselling with her after she has a couple more months of her own work behind her. I probably will but we have tried it before & I thought the counsellor was a clueless galah (or maybe I have a bad attitude...)