My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

Friends, I want to say, oh my god, I never ever would have believed that I would be posting in a forum like this. But I guess, none of are immune to life's perils.

First the facts - my wife says she does not love me and more and wants a divorce.

My wife and I have known each other for almost 20 years, a couple for 13 and married for 10. We have two wonderful children, 6 and 3. We are, how to say, "fundamentally good people".

A month ago my wife dropped a bomb. I honestly don't know what I started the conversation about (seriously, I am blank) but apparently I asked her if she loved me at one point. And to my shock and horror, she said "no, I don't love you".

I will attempt to avoid a long and drawn out description, but here is the story. There are two sides to it. My side, is that because of my work, and yes, personality flaws, I have neglected my wife emotionally, not been attentive enough, not loved her properly (though I love her dearly), and other mistakes. From her side, she was hurt by all these, over a long time, and apart from that, has now at the age of 39 discovered herself (with the help of philosophy and other studies) and feels that she wants to take charge of her life, make something of herself, not live in my shadow, etc etc.

She says that she stopped loving me about a year ago she thinks, though she can't pinpoint it. She says that she searched her heart and soul, and that is the honest answer she has come up with. She will not consider separation, will not go to counseling, and is adamant about not loving me and simply wants a divorce.

What I find so terribly difficult to come to terms with, is that now, it is clear to me, just how preventable this was. Yes, she did speak to me, told me things, but I was too closed to really listen to her and I did not perceive these things as a threat to our marriage. We never really fought, and she never ever put her foot down.

So now I have basically agreed to the divorce, because you cannot keep someone captive if they do not want to be with you. I asked once or twice (or three times) for her to consider but the answer was always no.

Now, I love my wife dearly, and I don't want to lose my children. But these two powerful forces, my emotional neglect (and other bad characteristics like pessimism, being sad all the time etc) combined with her inner awakening and spiritual quest, have caused this terrible situation and hardened her heart.

So what is my plan? Well, I don't want to give up. That is, even after the divorce, I want to try and win her back.

But is it possible? This is not just a case where I forgot a few birthdays so I can send flowers and say I am sorry. This is a case where she feels very deeply in the core of herself that she does not love me.

Is it possible to win someone back from a situation like that? And that too after a divorce?

Or am I naive and foolish to think so and just need to get on with my life.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

My wife had gone to bed early, like she started doing since the workout routine started at the gym. One night after she had gone to bed, I went in there and sat next to her. Just leaned against her and stroked her hair.

I went back into the living room to watch the t.v. and she came out to tell me the exact same things. I dont love you anymore, dont know why, youre more like a brother to me....

ALL B.S. EXCUSES..

because she had for the past six months to a year been involved with another man from Facebook, who was a highschool boyfriend at one time or another.

That was in Sept of 2010 when I found this out.
August 2011 was our divorce.
Today, I am in my own house that I struggled to find, have my daughter over every other week for a week at a time, and my ex wife has since moved another man in , three months after I moved out.

I truly do not hope that your wife is doing the same thing.
But I thought it prudent to explain my situation because it may be something you need to investigate.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

Yes Op Exactly same as my story - Shooboomafoo is right - she's screwing someone else - put a keylogger on her computer and all will be revealed.

You can get a free keylogger here

Free Keylogger Software by IwantSoft

You will be surprised, but be ready for the hurt
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

I left my husband back in October for what sounds like a similar situation, although there were some other issues as well. There was/is no other man at all, I simply reached my limit of what I could take any more and decided that I did not want or need to live the rest of my life being treated the way I was being treated. Since I have left, my husband has given me hardly any space, and has pushed and pushed for me to change my mind, and it has only served to push me away further until I now know there is no chance for reconciliation. I would say you should give her some space - if there is any chance of her changing her mind, you will have to give her space and time, and a chance to miss you.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Guys, no, no other man. It's not one of those stories. How can I know? Of course there is always a chance, but I know my wife, I asked her, and our circumstances do not make it a viable option.
It is simply a case of long drawn out emotional neglect, combined with her own personal growth. This has been, apparently, festering for several months and she has reached a conclusion and wants out.
I asked for us to give it a chance, she is very adamant, that no, she does not love me any more and that she wants to go on this next phase of the journey on her own (and please believe me, I know her, she is telling the truth).
I was a fool, neglected her, put work first, and so many other things. Yes, she spoke to me, but I didn't REALLY understand. And now it seems too late, and divorce seems imminent. She says the intimate love is lost (of course she still feels for me as father of our children etc).
I desperately want to win her back. I love her very much (to which she says by the way that if I really did, it would not have happened, but I don't think that is correct as we all have our issues).
I have another 2 months or so of us living together (we are in another country right now and have to move back) and then another 1-2-3 months as we process the divorce.
I realize, seriously, that people change and grow apart etc etc. But this did not have to be.
I want to save our marriage and family but I don't know how.
Help.....
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesopen View Post
Friends, I want to say, oh my god, I never ever would have believed that I would be posting in a forum like this. But I guess, none of are immune to life's perils.

First the facts - my wife says she does not love me and more and wants a divorce.

My wife and I have known each other for almost 20 years, a couple for 13 and married for 10. We have two wonderful children, 6 and 3. We are, how to say, "fundamentally good people".

A month ago my wife dropped a bomb. I honestly don't know what I started the conversation about (seriously, I am blank) but apparently I asked her if she loved me at one point. And to my shock and horror, she said "no, I don't love you".

I will attempt to avoid a long and drawn out description, but here is the story. There are two sides to it. My side, is that because of my work, and yes, personality flaws, I have neglected my wife emotionally, not been attentive enough, not loved her properly (though I love her dearly), and other mistakes. From her side, she was hurt by all these, over a long time, and apart from that, has now at the age of 39 discovered herself (with the help of philosophy and other studies) and feels that she wants to take charge of her life, make something of herself, not live in my shadow, etc etc.

She says that she stopped loving me about a year ago she thinks, though she can't pinpoint it. She says that she searched her heart and soul, and that is the honest answer she has come up with. She will not consider separation, will not go to counseling, and is adamant about not loving me and simply wants a divorce.

What I find so terribly difficult to come to terms with, is that now, it is clear to me, just how preventable this was. Yes, she did speak to me, told me things, but I was too closed to really listen to her and I did not perceive these things as a threat to our marriage. We never really fought, and she never ever put her foot down.

So now I have basically agreed to the divorce, because you cannot keep someone captive if they do not want to be with you. I asked once or twice (or three times) for her to consider but the answer was always no.

Now, I love my wife dearly, and I don't want to lose my children. But these two powerful forces, my emotional neglect (and other bad characteristics like pessimism, being sad all the time etc) combined with her inner awakening and spiritual quest, have caused this terrible situation and hardened her heart.

So what is my plan? Well, I don't want to give up. That is, even after the divorce, I want to try and win her back.

But is it possible? This is not just a case where I forgot a few birthdays so I can send flowers and say I am sorry. This is a case where she feels very deeply in the core of herself that she does not love me.

Is it possible to win someone back from a situation like that? And that too after a divorce?

Or am I naive and foolish to think so and just need to get on with my life.
I'm in the exact situation, except, in the heat of the moment, 6 months ago, I filed for D. Now, I don't want to D, but we are so close to agreeing and signing.

After hearing it again, in front of our MC, that she is hopeless for the M, doesn't want to work at it, etc., I'm somewhat knocked back as to my options and what to do.

Yes, I'm working on me, and this is new (3 weeks).

1 day at a time
Appreciate what you have control over
pray
patience - it may be a week, month, year, 5 years, etc.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Read Divorce Remedy/Divorce Busting for ideas
Hang out here at TAM for support


Those are a few suggestions. I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy. It comes down to coping skills.

Stay strong.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

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Originally Posted by eyesopen View Post
Guys, no, no other man. It's not one of those stories. How can I know? Of course there is always a chance, but I know my wife, I asked her, and our circumstances do not make it a viable option.
It is simply a case of long drawn out emotional neglect, combined with her own personal growth. This has been, apparently, festering for several months and she has reached a conclusion and wants out.
I asked for us to give it a chance, she is very adamant, that no, she does not love me any more and that she wants to go on this next phase of the journey on her own (and please believe me, I know her, she is telling the truth).
I was a fool, neglected her, put work first, and so many other things. Yes, she spoke to me, but I didn't REALLY understand. And now it seems too late, and divorce seems imminent. She says the intimate love is lost (of course she still feels for me as father of our children etc).
I desperately want to win her back. I love her very much (to which she says by the way that if I really did, it would not have happened, but I don't think that is correct as we all have our issues).
I have another 2 months or so of us living together (we are in another country right now and have to move back) and then another 1-2-3 months as we process the divorce.
I realize, seriously, that people change and grow apart etc etc. But this did not have to be.
I want to save our marriage and family but I don't know how.
Help.....
Yes, it sucks. There is no other man in my situation. Read about WAW - Walk Away Wife Syndrome.

My wife isn't giving me/us another chance to fight for our 12 year marriage either. Not for me, not for our small children.

I feel for you.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My wife isn't giving me/us another chance to fight for our 12 year marriage either. Not for me, not for our small children.
Yes, my wife also is so adamant, she will not even hear of giving a chance. That is, of course she will hear me, I asked several times, but she always says no, and the reason is "why I do with the feelings, I don't love you any more". That is the ultimate answer since what can you say against that? She feels deep down in herself that it will not come back.

I am so distraught, I don't know what to do. This is about one month old. In the first two weeks I was in shock and physically sick. Then I slowly started to understand. Now I can narrate what happened. It was ALL out there in pain view, I was just too blind to see (work pressure, bad habits, etc). We were behaving like a normal couple, having sex, etc. Yes, she did talk with me over the past 1-2 years, but never in a strong way, never put her foot down. She says it is because of her nature not to be overbearing. To tell but not to push. Well, then I get the bomb.

This also has to do with her "awakening" (age 39 right?) and seeing her life go by and not wanting to "live in my shadow" and wanting to do something with herself. She wants to go on this journey or self development and also spirituality (she studies Buddhism). And she says she can't do it with me there as her partner (plus, she does not love me).

I don't know, I just don't know. I am wracking my brain thinking about what to do. How I can save this. I don't have a clue.

Yes I am going to change myself. Of course she says she is happy "for me" for these changes. But it does not impact her.

I just don't want to chalk this up to "one of those things". It's not that I can't live without her. Of course I can. Time heals. But I love her, and I love my children. I don't want this to end, but I am not getting a chance to fix it.

My plan at the moment is that even if the divorce happens, as is likely, I will stay close to them, share taking care of the kids, change myself (while being true to myself), and try to win her back by my actions. I don't know, it will take huge amounts of energy and be extremely difficult. I know odds are against me. But what else am I to do? What can I do?
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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OP, I'm in the same position. I neglected my W for some time -- not with malice (I always loved her very much), but I was just stupid and lazy. She never confronted me about her feelings until telling me she wanted a divorce two weeks ago. Since then, I have been like a puppy dog, chasing her around, begging for forgiveness, etc. I could actually see her going from apathy to anger and resentment as I started helping more around the house, playing more with the kids, and telling her I love her every chance I get. She told me I had been "in her face" all week and she didn't like it. There is nothing in this world that I have ever wanted more than to save my marriage and to show my wife how much I am sorry and how very much I love her. I think of nothing else and want to spend every moment working on it until it is fixed. I feel like if I do something else -- work, watch tv, sleep -- I'm wasting precious time. But the truth is, it's not going to work. I'm not a robot -- I need to sleep and eat. The emotional toll this has taken exhausts me. So, I told her that I was not going to stop trying -- I am going to be a better person; I'm going to take care of myself; I'm going to not let opportunities to tell my family I love them go by. Not b/c I am trying to win her back, but b/c she woke me up and this is who I am and who I am going to be. BUT, I'm also going to stop pushing her. She says she doesn't love me as a husband anymore. She says she wants a divorce and I can't change her mind. I'm going to work with her toward separation when the kids get out of school this summer. I won't make excuses or try to delay it. Maybe she sees that I am a changed man and that wins her back; maybe she doesn't. That's easy to say and hard to accept, but I'm going to try. Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am in the same boat. No other man, but very similar story to those posted in here.

It has been a month, and she has been moved out for 2.5 weeks.

She agreed to MC and she comes to the sessions, but other than that she has wanted no contact.

Apart from the first few days, I have made a very concerted effort to leave her be. I am not calling her or texting her except for the rare important thing regarding a bill or household need. I am trying to give her all the space she needs/wants and hoping and praying for the best.

I decided that if she wanted to come back, she wouldn't do it for a weak, crying, sniveling man that had shut down. She would want to come back to an independent, strong man that can take care of himself without her if necessary.

I'm not saying that's what any of you are/were doing, but it fit in my case for the first couple of days.

It's been extremely hard. I went from having what I thought was a strong marriage (we had all the typical probs, but no big ones, I thought) on a Friday night, to the world nearly ending on a Saturday. She wasn't just my wife, she was my best friend. I could talk to her about anything and everything, and I did. Little did I know that she didn't feel the same and was always holding back.

Makes me wonder how well anyone ever really knows anyone else. I don't think people ever really know themselves, or why they do certain things.

Anyway, I'm trying to stay busy, work on myself to change the things I want to improve in my own character/life, and praying and hoping for the best. I'm also willing to give her some time, how much I'm not sure. I suppose I'll wake up one day and that will be the day when I have moved on, if she doesn't have a change of heart first.

Those are really the only things I have control over.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Eyesopen, you are writing my exact feelings as the wife in the situation. I have not yet reached the point of asking for a divorce but I am very close. The main difference is that I have articulated for years my growing concerns with our relationship, sought couseling and tried to engage my husband to fix it together.

I do NOT agree with others who have posted "there must be another man". It may suprise some who post here but there are people that respect themselves and their partner enough to end relationships before they start new ones. Not enough of them but some.

I think your plotted course of taking care of yourself and maintaining a very strong relationship with your children is essential and right minded.

Sadly, I think long term emotional neglect in a marriage is very hard to overcome even it the neglectful spouse has a moment of awakening.

Its hard to reconcile "I love you and want you in my life" with years and years of not caring, not being there, not being involved. No one wants rejection on a daily basis. And failing to value you wife and show it for long periods of time is rejection. At a certain point the message sinks in. "I may love you but I don't/won't show it". That is a pretty useless love in my book. Why would anyone stay with that?

I do not say any of this to pile on or hurt you, just explaining based on my experience how the emotional shut down has happened in my marriage.

That being said, I do not feel my husband is putting forth effort to engage in our marriage even now. I am tired of begging.

No matter how the marriage crumbled, I am sorry for your pain.

Regardless of what happens between you and your wife, focus on the children. It does hearten me to hear a man so concerned and involved with his kids. It will be good for you and for them to cultivate that relationship through this trying and emotional time.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sadly, I think long term emotional neglect in a marriage is very hard to overcome even it the neglectful spouse has a moment of awakening.

Its hard to reconcile "I love you and want you in my life" with years and years of not caring, not being there, not being involved. No one wants rejection on a daily basis. And failing to value you wife and show it for long periods of time is rejection. At a certain point the message sinks in. "I may love you but I don't/won't show it". That is a pretty useless love in my book. Why would anyone stay with that?
I can totally comprehend what you are saying here. My wife described our situation as "death by a thousand cuts." A couple of years of emotional neglect and failing to pull my weight in the relationship -- some that I didn't see until now, some that I did but was lazy, some that I did intentionally b/c I misinterpreted her actions toward me.

What I still can't comprehend is why she refuses to give it another try -- or, more accurately from my point of view, a first real try together. I love her. Always have. She used to love me, but claims those feelings are gone. But how can she be so sure that they can't return? We are going to MC. I am willing to do whatever I need to do and I'm already doing it (gym, more helpful around the house, more loving with the kids, just a better overall person). What would be the harm in letting her guard down one last time to see if the man she once loved is still there?

A "death" by a thousand cuts is still a death; I get that. But little cuts can heal over time. If there is any life left, or just the slightest possibility that there is life left, why not give it a chance?
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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John1024 & Eyesopen,

I can only answer from my experience so take everything I say with a helping of salt.

For me, the failure of my husband to engage emotionally in our marriage and family life has been a breaking of trust, not just "death by a thousand cuts" (curious because I used that exact verbage with my husband when expressing my feelings...).

I don't trust him to be there for me. I don't trust him to emotionally be supportive in tough times. I have never been able to lean on him. I don't trust him to be a good friend to me. I don't trust him to take care of the kids in a way that will help them grow into happy, emotionally healthy adults.

I think a key difference here may be responsibility. My husband continues to make excuses for his actions, blaming his past while continuing the behaviors which are selfish and painful to those around him. His early family life has had such a profound affect on his current life and he seems unable (unwilling?) to step out of that functioning mode.

I can't control that.

I have tried so hard for so long to show him a different way of being. I am tired. I am worn down and I know I cannot keep living in this emotional desert. 17 years is a long time trying. (I kinda smirk at those freaking out after 6months of marriage on here talking about how tough it is...lol)

You seem to be in a very different place. It breaks my heart a bit to see a husband willing to try and a wife not engaging. I know how that feels. Its frusrating and painful. There isn't much I wouldn't give to feel my husband was REALLY trying to save our relationship. I wish it were different for you.

The thing about death by a thousand cuts? Those wounds don't heal without major scaring. If they heal at all.

Like I said before, focus on you and the kids. You cannot control or plan your life based on her. Get into some couseling: it can give you clarity and help you deal with a wide range of emotions you have to be feeling.

Be careful not to buy into some of the paranoia that floats around on this site.

Last edited by nnoodle; 03-23-2012 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes, my wife also is so adamant, she will not even hear of giving a chance. That is, of course she will hear me, I asked several times, but she always says no, and the reason is "why I do with the feelings, I don't love you any more". That is the ultimate answer since what can you say against that? She feels deep down in herself that it will not come back.

I am so distraught, I don't know what to do. This is about one month old. In the first two weeks I was in shock and physically sick. Then I slowly started to understand. Now I can narrate what happened. It was ALL out there in pain view, I was just too blind to see (work pressure, bad habits, etc). We were behaving like a normal couple, having sex, etc. Yes, she did talk with me over the past 1-2 years, but never in a strong way, never put her foot down. She says it is because of her nature not to be overbearing. To tell but not to push. Well, then I get the bomb.

This also has to do with her "awakening" (age 39 right?) and seeing her life go by and not wanting to "live in my shadow" and wanting to do something with herself. She wants to go on this journey or self development and also spirituality (she studies Buddhism). And she says she can't do it with me there as her partner (plus, she does not love me).

I don't know, I just don't know. I am wracking my brain thinking about what to do. How I can save this. I don't have a clue.

Yes I am going to change myself. Of course she says she is happy "for me" for these changes. But it does not impact her.

I just don't want to chalk this up to "one of those things". It's not that I can't live without her. Of course I can. Time heals. But I love her, and I love my children. I don't want this to end, but I am not getting a chance to fix it.

My plan at the moment is that even if the divorce happens, as is likely, I will stay close to them, share taking care of the kids, change myself (while being true to myself), and try to win her back by my actions. I don't know, it will take huge amounts of energy and be extremely difficult. I know odds are against me. But what else am I to do? What can I do?
Wow, that's almost exactly my W. Are you sure we're not married to the same person?

I've heard it too. She's happy I'm making changes, she'll be my bff, she loves how good a father I am, she wants me to find my perfect mate who will truly love me, etc. At the same time, she fears if we get back together 1 day we'll return to the misery, she doesn't think she can ever love me again like she once did, she's not willing to try. Any upset emotion on my part stirs her guilt/regret/misery higher and pushes her away even faster.

And, I asked her if it made her decision easier knowing that the children have adjusted so well (in all areas). Because, we do stuff as a family at least once a week, we get along. Her answer - Yes.

I am reconsiling life after divorce. Even think about her meeting another man, dating, entering another relationship. Because, that probability is likely. And what happens if/when that new relationship fails? does she then realize the grass isn't greener and come back? Or, does she dig in her pride, push through the regrets and doubts, and continue to deny us a chance?

Things to consider. And then. How fair would that be to us? We are going to wait for our W's? For how long? Through what circumstances? Yes, we say that now, but.....

Right now, I ask my W for time. So that she can see how I'm changing to better myself and in return truly show her how much I love her in the way she needs and understands. In addition, I ask for 1 more chance for the children's sake.

I cope by praying and surviving each minute.

I pray you find peace and wisdom.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife does not love me and wants a divorce, can I win her back?

[QUOTE=john1024;641264]I can totally comprehend what you are saying here. My wife described our situation as "death by a thousand cuts." A couple of years of emotional neglect and failing to pull my weight in the relationship -- some that I didn't see until now, some that I did but was lazy, some that I did intentionally b/c I misinterpreted her actions toward me.

What I still can't comprehend is why she refuses to give it another try -- or, more accurately from my point of view, a first real try together. I love her. Always have. She used to love me, but claims those feelings are gone. But how can she be so sure that they can't return? We are going to MC. I am willing to do whatever I need to do and I'm already doing it (gym, more helpful around the house, more loving with the kids, just a better overall person). What would be the harm in letting her guard down one last time to see if the man she once loved is still there?

A "death" by a thousand cuts is still a death; I get that. But little cuts can heal over time. If there is any life left, or just the slightest possibility that there is life left, why not give it a chance?[/QUOTE]

My W is resistant to 1 last chance as well. She said she has tried, we have tried. No we haven't. This rocked me to the point where I do have a new mindset. And, I'm not talking about returning to our M. It didn't work. I'm talking about renewal and forging a new M.

My thoughts now are that she is/will suppress any doubts/questions/hope no matter what happens, or what she truly sees and appreciates. She seems so determined in her path that if any R were possible, she would still fight it to prevent it.

I'm just praying.
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