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
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.