Unwillingly Separated - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Unwillingly Separated

I've been lurking here for a month now, and I'm finally ready to truly join this group.

A month ago, my husband (29) told me (28) he is no longer in love with me. We have been together for 10 years and married for 6. Our entire adult lives have been spent together. I was devastated. I thought that our marriage was strong- unbreakable even. I adore him and always felt it was mutual. Our sex life was good, we laughed together often, and he told me he loved me all the time. Hearing that he didn't love me anymore was the breaking of an immutable law by which I lived my life. He says that he needs to figure some things out and have some space. He's unable to define what these things are, how long he needs, or what space even means, except that it's to be away from me.

Since that time, he's become a ghost. He has left and is living with his 18 year old sister, her boyfriend, and their roommates, all under the age of 25. This includes a very beautiful 21 year old who he has become friends with, but insists there is nothing going on. I'm not sure what I believe, since everything else I thought was true about him and about us has been turned on it's head. Our 6 year old son doesn't understand where Daddy is or why he's not coming home. I am spending every ounce of my energy keeping things as normal as possible for our son.

I've read several books since finding out, including Divorce Remedy, Crazy Time, and Runaway Husbands. All have been valuable in telling me that I am not alone, and that there are things I can do to be okay. I am trying the 180, although it's hard with an absentee husband, with varying success. Some days, my husband comes home or calls me and it's as if nothing has changed. Other times he disappears for days without contacting me at all.

This week, I'm sending my son to stay with my Mom over school vacation. He will be gone for 5 days, which is the longest he's ever been away from home. My husband disappeared on Saturday. Sunday morning, as we were leaving to go to the gym, he rode past the house on his bike. My son called out to him, but he just kept going. I sent a message saying "we just saw you ride past the house, Son yelled to you". He replied saying that he had been having a panic attack that morning and was just out for a bike ride, followed up by telling me not to call him a piece of sh*t because he already knows he is.

It was one of the most bizarre things I've ever encountered. He has been a wonderful father. My son was completely confused. After those messages, my husband went dark. He didn't come home, and he didn't contact me again. I sent one more message, stating that I was sorry he was in pain, that I won't abandon him, and that he could call our son at my Mom's if he wanted to talk to him while he was gone. I expect that while our son is gone, he won't come to our house at all. In fact, I'm not certain if he'll ever come back now.

I have a lot of theories about what is going on with him. The part of me that believes in him and has hope that he will come back is hopeful this is a terrible bout of depression that has rattled his brain and made him irrational. Although he's said several times through all of this that he's a bad person, an assh*le, a disappointment, I have not agreed with him once. Even though I'm deeply hurt by his actions, I know that ultimately they aren't about me. I know the mistakes I've made as a wife, and regardless of whether or not we work things out, I'm seeing a therapist to work on those things and be better as a human.

The uncertainty of my future is eating away at me. I have an anxiety attack every single morning at 5am. It's like my new alarm clock. Then, I lie in my bed and play a game of Schrodinger's Cat with myself. As long as I don't get up, my husband is both out on the couch sleeping and not at home. Until I look, both realities are possible. It crushes me when I wake up and he's not here. It crushes me when he is. Every interaction feels strained and his tension at being in the same room as me is palpable. I feel like I've split into two different versions of myself. There is one who has accepted that this is likely the end of my marriage and it's time to move on. There is another who clings to the barest of hopes.

My husband has said that it "most likely won't work out" but he'll let me know when all hope is gone. I feel like I'm being strung along, and that he expected me to leave immediately when he dropped the bomb. Instead, I've doubled down on being committed to our marriage and trying to make things work, and I think he's racked with guilt. I wish he'd just let me go if he doesn't intend on fixing this. I'd rather take the final blow of heartbreak and piece my life back together. I've lost so much trust, and if we do come through this I have no idea how we will recover. I am trying not to get ahead of myself and live day by day, but I get crushed by the fear of what is coming next.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

He's cheating.

Virginia: "Why can't you kids leave well enough alone? Everything was fine until you started digging around."

Burt: "You sound like a Scooby Doo villain."
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:02 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

He is certainly cheating on you, but as to whether or not is that 21 year old is unknown.

Right now, you are allowing him to sit on the fence by giving him his space, which is cheater speak for distance from you so he can sleep with whomever it is he chooses.

You should have a very simple approach in this. And it won't be easy.

First, consult an attorney ASAP. Learn what you are entitled to. Get a picture for what you will take in a divorce. This will help alleviate the fear to a degree.

Next, have this conversation:

"Husband, this separation agreement no longer works for me. You can commit to our marriage, or I will be filing for divorce on X day. The longer you take to think about this, and the longer you take any other action besides total commitment to our marriage, the more likely divorce will happen. It is not what I want, but what I want even less than to lose you is to share you with somebody else."

Then completely ignore him. He will likely become even worse behaving than he already is, and will try and engage, blame shift, and gaslight (please google that term). You should have one simple response:

"You still have not committed to our marriage, and I don't discuss relationship problems with somebody who is not committed."

It very well may be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. But taking that hard line is really the best shot you have at kicking him off the fence, where he's clearly quite comfortable.

You must...must...MUST be willing to lose your marriage in order to save it.

I am sorry you're here.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Honey, I am so sorry you are going through this.

I agree with my fellow posters, he's having an affair. He's keeping you as his back up plan.
You need to get your ducks in a row. HARD 180. Show him you are moving on. Let him worry about what you are doing.

Start investigating his social media, your phone records etc.

Don't make excuses for him to your son. Tell him honestly, "I don't know where daddy is, or why he isn't coming home much. You can ask me or your daddy anything. So please ask him those questions so you can get an answer right from daddy." Then set up a schedule for your son to be with him half the time. Take him and drop him off in 20 year old world. He is a father and a husband. He can't just take a vacation from that. See how having his 6 year old son around partyville cramps his style...

After consulting an attorney, consider serving him with divorce papers. This may wake him up, and you can always stop the divorce if things change.

Eat healthy, sleep enough, exercise and take care of yourself and little sweet man.

I know you don't feel strong, but it's time to at least act strong. He can't just leave and feel no consequences. It's time for action. Keep posting here so we can provide a support network for you! I hope he wakes up and your family can be reunited.

Ciao,

Spicy
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:45 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

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Originally Posted by kaleknits View Post

I have a lot of theories about what is going on with him. The part of me that believes in him and has hope that he will come back is hopeful this is a terrible bout of depression that has rattled his brain and made him irrational. Although he's said several times through all of this that he's a bad person, an assh*le, a disappointment, I have not agreed with him once. Even though I'm deeply hurt by his actions, I know that ultimately they aren't about me. I know the mistakes I've made as a wife, and regardless of whether or not we work things out, I'm seeing a therapist to work on those things and be better as a human.

.
Agreed with everyone above. he is cheating. Follow their advice.

And next time he does the above.. AGREE with him because he is a disappointment, he is an ******* and he is a bad person. Dont coddle him.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:11 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

I agree with all the other posters. I think he's having an affair, and he's keeping you as his back-up plan.

Follow the other posters' advice about collecting evidence of the affair, make him take his some for half the time, because he is still a father, even if he's decided that he doesn't want to be your husband anymore. And tell him to either get his head out of his ass and get on board with your marriage, or you're filing for divorce.

What he's doing is INCREDIBLY cruel and unfair to you. You can't control his behavior, but you can make it clear that you won't tolerate it. Be kind and fair to yourself, and establish your ground rules with him. If he's not willing to be a husband to you... you're better off without him and all this BS behavior on his part.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:46 AM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

You sound smart and educated (the cat reference).

Are you able to support yourself?

Follow the advice of the others. See an attorney right now.

Needing space is code word for testing out an affair. He is trying out the new woman to see if it works. He is keeping his family as a backup.

Or he is running away from the responsibilities of being a husband and father.

Either way it sucks and the outcome is the same.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 12:15 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

His reactions to you are more than just "I have done something bad"... he has fallen to "I am bad" and the guilt/self-hatred is destroying him.

Without his humility and acceptance of the disappointment he has caused, the others have sound advice.

If you choose to reconcile, a counselor should be your first requirement as his emotional stability will probably be much more than you are able to deal with, such self-loathing and self-hatred he has expressed may be having some serious psychological effect on him.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 12:47 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaleknits View Post
I'd rather take the final blow of heartbreak and piece my life back together. I've lost so much trust, and if we do come through this I have no idea how we will recover. I am trying not to get ahead of myself and live day by day, but I get crushed by the fear of what is coming next.
He may not have a specific girlfriend, but he's likely enjoying the life of a single, carefree bachelor. That includes partying and pursuing women. What you are going through is especially cruel because he is keeping you in limbo, you do not have any answers for his bizarre actions, and because you have a six-year old son at home. This is a good place to seek some support because many here have experienced the relentless emotional pain and can relate to the feeling of not being able to eat, not being able to sleep, and the endless anxiety.

You might not realize this yet, but you'll never be able to trust him again, even if he eventually comes crawling back. Therefore the best thing for you to do now is to take back control of your life and stop being in limbo. If you don't take back control, you will still be equally miserable two years from now.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Cheating. No doubt here. File for divorce, dont let him dictate how you are going to live.


Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-c...ionships-fiff/
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 01:45 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

I echo everyone else's sentiments.

He has clearly done something to feel guilty about, hence his self depreciating comment about being a piece of bleep. I can only assume it's cheating since that falls in line with the other symptoms: telling you he doesn't love you, that he needs space to "figure things out." Basically, it's the most vague way of saying he's experienced someone else and he's figuring out if they're better than being with you. Sorry to be blunt.

The way he is treating his son is abhorrent. The poor little guy. Focus on being the best mom you can to him, because he must be very confused.

I'd change the locks if I were you and tell him to come get his stuff. You don't just leave your wife and child to go live what sounds like a frat existence.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:00 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Do not suffer through this alone. Specially tell your family and ask for help. Even if things get better their knowing would not do any harm. Can get details from his 18 year old sister,
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:01 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Totally agree with everyone else that he's cheating and all this take of being an a$$hole, disappointment and such is him feeling guilt about what he's done.

Has he suffered from depression throughout your life together? It sounds like it and that he's grown comfortable with a cycle. He feels worthless so he engages in behavior that validates that perception. This could be something like cheating on you, which he's likely doing now, or asking you to tell him what a worthless piece of crap he is. As someone that has battled depression, I can tell you that living in that space is intoxicating because it feels safer than being happy or comfortable. It obviously takes a toll on people around you and it's not fair to you at all. If this is a pattern, he'll have to get a lot of of therapy in order to move past this conditioned behavior.

I will slightly disagree with some other posters and urge you not to put your son into the middle of whatever lifestyle he has going on right now. He sounds extremely toxic to be around and your son doesn't deserve to be around that. Your husband ignored his son crying out for him, so I can't imagine he's equipped to deal with him on a regular basis. Being around him at this time could have long term consequences for your son.

What specific issues were present in the marriage? Is he bringing up anything that wasn't working or is he just asking you to validate how crappy he feels about himself? What's his work like? Any major changes in the past few months that could have triggered depression? Any suspicious behavior like working out more, change in style, late nights etc.?

Definitely get in touch with a lawyer ASAP and work on improving yourself as you've done already. Really sorry you're here.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:14 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaleknits View Post
I am trying the 180, although it's hard with an absentee husband, with varying success. Some days, my husband comes home or calls me and it's as if nothing has changed. Other times he disappears for days without contacting me at all.

This week, I'm sending my son to stay with my Mom over school vacation. He will be gone for 5 days, which is the longest he's ever been away from home. My husband disappeared on Saturday. Sunday morning, as we were leaving to go to the gym, he rode past the house on his bike. My son called out to him, but he just kept going. I sent a message saying "we just saw you ride past the house, Son yelled to you". He replied saying that he had been having a panic attack that morning and was just out for a bike ride, followed up by telling me not to call him a piece of sh*t because he already knows he is.

It was one of the most bizarre things I've ever encountered. He has been a wonderful father.

I have a lot of theories about what is going on with him. The part of me that believes in him and has hope that he will come back is hopeful this is a terrible bout of depression that has rattled his brain and made him irrational. Although he's said several times through all of this that he's a bad person, an assh*le, a disappointment, I have not agreed with him once.

My husband has said that it "most likely won't work out" but he'll let me know when all hope is gone.
A wonderful father doesn't do this. He rode by on his bike and completely ignored his own son. Any person with just an ounce of kindness would have responded! WTH?!

Next time he starts saying "I'm an *******, a disappointment, etc", you should agree with him. TELL HIM how big of a **** he's being to you and his own son. DON'T give him the validation that he's seeking.

Stop letting him come & go as he pleases! Put your ****ing foot down. He has no respect for you because he's walking all over you and you're letting it.

He'll let you know when all hope is gone?! How thoughtful of him.

You need to take the control away from him. Stop being a doormat. Start separating out the finances. Don't contact him at all. Change the locks on your doors. If you do this, he just MAY start respecting you.

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:28 PM
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Re: Unwillingly Separated

He's cheating.
He's guilty because of what he's doing.
He's stringing you along.

If this person he's seeing falls through, he will come running back to your open arms, just to do the same thing in the future, until he finds a replacement for you.

I digure if you file for divorce, he will come running back, and if you check up in him, you will find another woman on the scene---- no doubt.

I would learn to accept him for what he is--- a cheater.
If you want him back for a while until he gets comfy and finds another one, just file for divorce as well as expose his affair. If the OW is married, she'll dump your husband when her husband finds out most likely.

So sorry you're here. But yeah/-- he's cheating. His whole countenance shows it when you see him, does it not?
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