Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

Hello,
I know there are a lot of similar stories out there, but I really need to vent.

My wife just told me that she is leaving me. We have been together for 11 years, married for 6. We have no kids, but we do have 2 cats and a very high maintenance dog. There has been no mental or physical abuse, infidelity, or any other major event. We have seen a counselor twice in the last couple weeks, and it actually seemed to make things worse from her point of view. The counselor brought up a lot of really good points and I now see things from her eyes. I thought my wife saw the same thing.

My wife has always complained about things that I do. Specifically about me criticizing her. I see it as me trying to make our lives better together by getting things out in the open. She just sees me tearing her down. I never realized how much this hurt her until literally the other day when the counselor advised us to take the love language quiz. When I read the explanation of hers: 'Words of Affirmation', I get it. All those things I say just destroy her inside.

I truly didn't know that this kind of thing bothered her that much. I tend to let stuff like that roll off my back. Things like, "Please don't buy any more cereal, we already have a year's supply". Or "please let me wash my uniforms from now on, you just ruined my shirt." This is no exaggeration, and I don't know how much nicer to say things like this.

Since we found out our love languages, I have been doing everything I can to lavish praise and kind words on her. She is basically telling me that my efforts lately are too little and much too late. But I only realized what I needed to do to fix things a few days ago...

I feel like she is rushing this, and not giving me a chance to change. She tells me that I had years to change, but didnt. She says that she still loves me, will always love me. But maybe she just can't handle the truth; that she doesn't love me anymore?

My question is, why did we just start seeing a counselor a couple weeks ago if she already made up her mind to leave?

What have I done in the last couple weeks to push her away?

Can I get her to change her mind at this point? She is actually out right now presumably signing papers at an apartment complex and getting boxes from the store so she can pack.

She asked for a separation about a month ago, and then again a week ago. Both times I told her no, and that if counseling didn't work, we need a divorce. (STUPID) I had major misconceptions about separations, and have read a lot about them since then. I would be all for a constructive separation, but now SHE says no.

I will do anything to save my marriage, but I don't know what move to make right now. Everything I do seems to make her want to leave more. I actually think she wants me to give her a real reason to leave. She actually asked me if I wanted to hit her today, and then said that it would be ok if I did. WHAT?! The thought has NEVER crossed my mind, and I can't believe she would say something like that.

I can't think straight. On top of me losing the love of my life, I am going to lose my two best friends. Both my wife and my dog. There is no way I can take care of him on my own.

Maybe no one can help, but maybe someone can. I've always been completely honest with her, and the last two weeks I have opened up to her more than in the last 11 years combined. I have done everything but literally get on my knees and beg her to stay.

Any advice would be appreciated, and thank you so much for reading.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

I don't think I mentioned that I'm not perfect, but neither is she. All this time I had my own complaints, but there is nothing about her that I couldn't live with. I just figured that the feeling was mutual. After all, is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?

People are going to get on each other's nerves, its just how you handle that scenario that counts.

I think its too late. I'm reading about the 180, and I might as well give it a try, but I think she wants to move out in the next day or two.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

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I don't think I mentioned that I'm not perfect, but neither is she. All this time I had my own complaints, but there is nothing about her that I couldn't live with. I just figured that the feeling was mutual. After all, is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?

People are going to get on each other's nerves, its just how you handle that scenario that counts.

I think its too late. I'm reading about the 180, and I might as well give it a try, but I think she wants to move out in the next day or two.
Hi Unwind. Just because she moves out, doesn't mean it's too late. You can absolutely do the 180, but do it for yourself, not because you think it will win her back.

Have you scheduled another MC session and if so is she willing to go with you? If she refuses, perhaps putting it to her in terms of learning about yourselves so that you don't make the same mistakes in future relationships might at least get her in the MC door. Have you considered IC? sounds like you have some interpersonal skills to work on. If you really talk to your wife like the examples you gave, no wonder she has had it!

When you say that people get on each other's nerves and it's all in how you handle it, you sound like my husband! He never got how a person's actions can drive another person to distraction. You are partly right and partly wrong. We can't control people, we can can only control how we react to what they do. HOWEVER, if you know that something you do really bothers the person you love, then why would you continue doing it? Sounds like you now realize how damaging your words could be and are trying to change. Be careful not to overdo the praise however. In large amounts, it can sound phoney.

If she continues with her plans to move out, keep doing the 180. Work on yourself. She will notice the difference. Whether it gets her back or not, its the best thing you can do for yourself. And please, get some help with those interpersonal skills. Learn how to talk to people you care about.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

We had a counseling appt for Thursday, and I asked her if she cancelled it. She hadn't, and I asked her not to, and told her that I would go alone. I need to talk to someone about this. She surprised me though, and asked me if I wanted her to go with. My first reaction, was "why?". But then I took it back immediately and said "Yes I want you to go with me". I am leaving it at that until our appointment. She tells me this as she is packing boxes.

What is going on here? She tells me she wants to leave, gets an apartment that she will move into tomorrow, tells me NO separation just divorce. Now she is interested in going to our counseling session that we scheduled last week.

I am so confused, and in real physical pain over this.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

FrostFlower, thank you so much for responding.

I have told her that I would go to individual counseling, but it seems to fall in the too little too late category. I know I have plenty to work on, but I truly only learned of the distress she was in just recently. I hate that this has been going on for years, but only now we have been communicating effectively about it. Now that we are doing that, I am able to make changes, but its too late.

I will do the 180. Like you said, if nothing else it can only make me a better person.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

No separation, straight to divorce, but willing to go to MC with you....she sounds confused. Go to counselling with her. Give her time and spac, even it that involves her moving out. Work on yourself. It is a shame that you have finally understood the impact of the way you speak to her and she is ready to call it quits. But don't plead for more time. Let her go if that is what she needs. then speak to her respectfully whenever you do interact.

If she has been feeling hurt for years, but hasn't said anything, then she is partly responsible for the mess you are in. You are obviously not a mind reader. Did she try to tell you that your way of speaking to her was tearing her down? Perhaps she did and you didn't 'get it'.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

She has told me how she felt, but no, I didn't get it. My thought process was somewhere along the lines of "What she is doing irritates me, so what if it irritates her when I criticize her about it? Maybe that will get her to stop doing irritating things." Since I was able to live with it, I figured so was she.

She is moving out now. I am helping her load the truck. I am trying so hard to hold myself together, but not having much success. She still says that she'll go to our MC appointment tomorrow, and that she wants to call this a separation for a week. I asked her the goal of the separation, and she got angry. I dropped it. I honestly don't know what she's thinking about.

I said that since she wants to call this a separation at first that meant there is hope. I don't know her exact words but she said something along the lines of "no, I don't want to give you hope". (she said it much nicer somehow)
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

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I said that since she wants to call this a separation at first that meant there is hope. I don't know her exact words but she said something along the lines of "no, I don't want to give you hope". (she said it much nicer somehow)
You talking way too much. She is feeling smothered by you right now. Your insecurity will push her away even further if you don't get it in check. Trust me, I know. I made this mistake

Detach. Give her space. Let her come to you.

It will be the hardest thing you have ever done. But its your only chance.

Continue to push her for answers, and there's not a chance in hell she is ever coming back.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

Spun, I agree. Thank you.

It is the hardest thing to do, but I am trying.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

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It is the hardest thing to do, but I am trying.
Come here every time you want to reach out to her to find out what she is thinking.

Post your insanity. Listen to what people are telling you here. The collective knowledge and wisdom is indispensable

You may get a smack upside the head now and then.

But if you do, you deserve it.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

Unwind,

I was your wife. Down to the "Words of Affirmation" being my love language and feeling like I was at the end of my rope.

It sounds like you WANT it to work so that is a good thing. My advice is to listen to her, empathize with her, and tell her you are committed to your marriage and seeing it through. Tell her you realize you've been wrong and want to make an effort to change/impove that and that you want her to also participate.

If she is game, awesome. Don't pressure her. If she's not, then all you can do is concede.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

Thanks guys, it feels good to talk to someone about this.

Jellybeans, I have admitted fault and told her I can and will change. She says that I cant, won't, and she doesn't want me to change. I told her I would change careers (I'm a pilot and gone a few nights a week). She says no way. She has shot down every single idea I have had over the last two weeks.

It is painful and terrifying, but I think the best thing to do at this point is to wave goodbye. Hopefully she will come back.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

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Thanks guys, it feels good to talk to someone about this.

Jellybeans, I have admitted fault and told her I can and will change. She says that I cant, won't, and she doesn't want me to change. I told her I would change careers (I'm a pilot and gone a few nights a week). She says no way. She has shot down every single idea I have had over the last two weeks.

It is painful and terrifying, but I think the best thing to do at this point is to wave goodbye. Hopefully she will come back.
Stop telling her you will change. She's seen nothing that says you have.

Give her space. Become a better you. It might not make her come back. But you will feel better about yourself if you quit giving her reasons and opportunities to reject you.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?

Actions over words, always.

Do not beg or plead.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Spun, I agree. I have been consistent with the 180 since last night when I first posted. All the deviations that I mention were from beforehand.
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