Wife wants to leave, but still loves me?
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.