Hi Everyone. First post on the forums because I'm at a loss with my situation. Figuring people on these boards have heard stories similar to mine and might have some advice.
My wife (29 and I'm 34) of 7 years, 11 years together, told me in August that she wanted a divorce. Three days later she moved in with a friend for a week before getting her own apartment. Her reasons where: 1) She felt neglected and thought I didn't like her. 2) She felt like her needs had taken a back seat for too long. 3) She had wanted a baby before 30 and last year I expressed doubts (which she interpreted as me lying to her all along) and now she felt like her time had passed and that left her heartbroken. 4) She snooped through my chat history and found conversations between me and a coworker in September of last year that she felt signaled an emotional affair (we were really good friends, but no romantic feelings ever developed and I never talked badly about my wife to her).
For the first two months, we kept in almost constant contact and there were a ton of mixed signals. For the first month she talked about how lonely she was and reminded me of things we used to do together. It was torturous and every time I would plead my case that we should work on things. That was always met with either silence, a rebuttal like "I wish things had been different", or a swift change of subject.
In October, I made a grand gesture by buying us tickets to Disneyland (I proposed there) so we could make new memories at our favorite place on Earth. She called that night and repeatedly asked why I had done it and each time I responded that it was because I love her and wanted to do something nice. She thanked me and we chit-chatted for a bit before getting off the phone.
After talking with my therapist, I decided that I needed to send her an email requesting we meet in person and talk about how she was feeling. I said that limbo had been tough on both of us and clarity was needed, even if she simply needed more time, for our emotional health. I sent it on a Saturday and the next night she responded via text that she had started filling out the divorce paperwork but needed some information from me. She said she could either send an email with what she needed or we could meet and do it in person. I was obviously crushed, but told her I understood and needed just a bit of time to cope with it. She agreed.
Three days later she texted that she had gotten her car back (she'd been in a hit and run accident and without a car for nearly 3 weeks). I didn't respond. Four hours later, she sent a text saying, "Ok then." I still didn't respond because that's passive aggressive and she wants a divorce. I started feeling sick so I went to sleep at around 1030 and woke up at 220am. I looked at my phone and there were tons of notifications via Facebook and she had sent an email accusing me of blocking her number (I had definitely not done that). As soon as I checked Facebook, she tried calling me through the site. I ignored the call but immediately texted that it was great news about her car and that I had gotten sick and passed out. She asked why I'd blocked her number and I told her I hadn't. Eventually, she texted that she was sorry to hear I wasn't feeling well. The next morning at 730am she sent a text saying, "I hope you're feeling better!" I responded that I was a bit better but still not great. Then she asked if I was home resting with our cat, which seemed like she was fishing for information and didn't really believe I was home sick. I mean, where else would I be at 730am when I'm sick. I told her I was but that I was going into work and she responded, "Ah, okay. Go to the doctor if you need to!"
Halloween weekend came a few days later. I had a show (I play music) that Saturday that I'd posted about on Facebook and two hours before it started she tried to call (I missed it because I was rehearsing) and so I texted her back asking her what was up. She texted that she was walking around a mall by herself with a sad face. I told her I was sorry to hear that and asked if she could make plans with some of her friends. She responded that she had no friends and was lonely. So, I took a chance and invited her to my show that night. I got no response and the entire performance I kept watching the entrance to see if she'd show—she didn't. Afterwards, I texted asking her what she'd gotten into and she responded, "Ate alone in my car, cried and now I'm home alone with my cat on my favorite holiday because this is my life now." I was confused, sad and hurt so I asked why she didn't come to the show and she responded, "I just would have cried the whole time and that wouldn't have been respectful to you." We texted throughout the night and at one point she accused me of being rude (I wasn't) but we ended things on a good note.
I texted her Happy Halloween on Monday and she responded in kind. I asked her what she was up to and she sent a picture of her bed with a bowl of salad on it and her cat. I again urged her to go out with friends and she got defensive and said she isn't some social butterfly and that she's alone 90% of the time.
November came and for the first two weeks we were texting regularly. One of her favorite things to do during this has been to send me pictures of baby onesies. She used to do this before she left to express how much she wanted a baby with me. So in mid-November she was nearby our old apartment, where I still live, at the Target she used to shop at and told me how sad it made her and then sent a picture of a baby onesie with the words, "I hate this
" I told her again that I wanted that with her and that it could still happen. I said that I'd actually bought a pack of onesies before she left and it was part of the surprise I mentioned earlier. She bit a little and expressed disbelief and asked if I'd bought them before or after she left. I told her before and she responded with, "I wish things had been different." I responded, "Well, they still could be." An hour later she sent me a picture of her cat.
The next day she was having dinner with a coworker of mine (we used to work together and are both friends with this person) and asked if she knew about us because she didn't want to get into it with her. I told her that she didn't know and then she asked if there's anything she should be prepared to find out, like if I was dating the coworker she thinks I had an emotional affair with. I told her that we weren't dating and that it was only ever a friendship and that the woman is now 8 months pregnant. She responded, "Good for her." She had dinner with the coworker that night and the next Monday I talked with the coworker about it and she said my wife seemed like she really wanted the divorce. As we were talking, my wife texted me and asked if I was ready for her to send the email. I made another plea but agreed to give her whatever she wanted once she sent the email.
A week and half went by with zero communication. I went to a basketball game and posted a picture on Instagram and she immediately tried calling me (we used to go to games together). I was at the game so I didn't pick up, but I called back at halftime and got no answer. The next day she sent a text asking if I'd want to meet up that coming weekend to fill out the paperwork. I ignored it, because I'd agreed sending her what she requested in an email but not meeting up to do it in person. That's just too painful.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving came and she tried calling again and sent a bunch of texts. I finally responded with, "Why do you want to meet up?" She claimed that I had wanted that (never asked for that and never will) and that she appreciated my response because she really didn't want to get lawyers involved. I ignored that and she texted again an hour later with, "I guess you just don't want to talk to me at all anymore."
The next night I sent an email again telling her how I felt, but agreed to send her what she needs once she let me know. I told her that I thought it was a mistake and that while we have our issues, we also bring more love, joy and happiness to one another than anyone else on Earth. I checked my email obsessively for the next three days and got nothing back.
I went to a friend's place out of town for Thanksgiving and while I was there I went to a basketball game and posted a picture on Instagram. A couple hours later she sent a text saying, "Who are you in Portland with?" Now, I have to admit this pissed me off quite a bit. First, she knows our friends moved up there recently and second, it really isn't any of her business if she wants to divorce me. Part of me thinks she's seeing someone else and wanted me to be with someone else as a way of relieving any guilt she might be feeling, but another part of me says she might just be confused and unsure of what she wants. Or it could be a combination and things I haven't even thought up.
That was last Friday and after I responded with the truth there has been zero communication. I'm honestly just completely adrift and don't know what to do. I don't want this divorce but feel like I'm stuck in permanent limbo. I feel like she wants me to snap and justify her decision. My wife needs a lot of affirmation and I feel like she wants me to validate her decision by being an active participant or by lashing out.
What do you all think I should do? I wrote up another email to collect my thoughts and I'm debating sending that or calling her (she hasn't picked up a call from me in some time). However, I'm not sure how that will play out any differently than my other attempts. Do I just sit back and do nothing and wait? Do I confront her somewhere I know she will be (that seems creepy to me but maybe it would work)? Or is there something else I should do to get some clarity?
Thanks in advance for any advice.