Re: Just Separated and Feeling Hopeless
Jenny, I certainly understand what you're going through, as my wife and I have had much difficulty over the past 5-6 years within our own marriage, as we've been married now for 23 years. It has involved 3 different separations during that time. There have been a multitude of issues that have come to the surface between us, on both of our parts, so it's equal there, and it has been a difficult thing to go through. Currently, we've been separated consecutively for 2 years. I have my own place, and she remains in our home with our three remaining children who still live at home. I continue to provide 100% financially for both myself and our family, and she has gone back to school as well. We have worked together to coparent our children and try to minimize the size of the hole this has created in their lives. It has been a roller coaster.
I applaud you for wanting to save the marriage, if it is salvageable, which certainly is a case by case issue. Despite everything my wife and I have been through AND the large amount of time, we continue to try to work through things as well. Progress is very very slow, and we've both been receiving professional counseling for our own things as well as together. Our real quest is for healthy intimacy, and we're trying to find it. In the middle of everything we were going through, my wife became an alcoholic, and she gained a lot of weight. I lost attraction for her. I stopped thinking of her as a sexual being, so to speak. I couldn't imagine myself with her intimately anymore. It was just one thing in the plethora of things, but it has been difficult for me to get past. I can honestly say now, as a 40-something year old guy, who's healthy and active, and who really strives to take care of himself physically and otherwise, that, as a man, I MUST have physical attraction for my wife. That HAS to come back. If it doesn't, then our intimacy will be incomplete. I have to be able to think about her and lust after her in a good way, on top of the admiration I have for her as a person.
Having said all of that, I definitely agree with Keke. You have to adjust and make a transition to this new normal for you, not really knowing what the future holds. I don't know what is going on with your husband, but the fact that he's really not communicating with you does say that his interest is low it would seem. In your mind, it is important for you to take care of yourself, and not worry about him. As far as he knows, you've moved on. Get your groove back, be confident, not defeated. Take care of yourself in what you eat, how much you sleep, and exercise. When you communicate with him, make sure he gets the indication that you've mentally accepted things as they are, and that you're a strong and capable woman. As I alluded to earlier, in my own situation, the physical realm for a guy is huge, and sex is huge. I don't know if there's attraction between you guys, or how your sex life has been, but I know if there's no interest there on my part, then it's hard to get past that. What comprises a healthy sex life for each couple and person certainly is not uniform, and how important it is, because as we all know, as we get older, companionship and friendship take on much much larger roles. But I think the physical bond in the years of youth and until you get old is irreplaceable. I would like to know more as to what issues you guys may have from being able to enjoy real, robust intimacy. Has it ever been there? Does he have some underlying set of issues which prevent that?