Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Hi all, I'm new on here and after some advice really. Have been reading some other threads and looks like people can really help each other.

Bit of background - My wife and I have been together 5.5 yrs and married 3.5 yrs. we have a gorgeous 4 yr old daughter and she also has a 12 yr old and 8 yr old daughters from previous relationships (all 3 girls have different fathers). I am 39, she is 35. She is very beautiful. We were friends for a couple of years before getting together. When we did things happened quickly. We lived together after 6 weeks, she was pregnant after 5 months, we had the baby then got married after 20 months. Life was awesome, we had an amazing connection and did everything together. We both felt like we'd found the person to spend our lives with.

Then reality of raising 3 children started to set in, I was at work and she was a stay at home mum (which she was brilliant at). Anyway we got a bit stressed and had the normal arguments etc. we moved to a bigger house and started watching tv in different rooms some nights and started drifting apart. After 3.5 yrs together she asked me to move out as she wasn't happy. I was devastated and shocked, but did for 3 months and we went to MC to work on the marriage.

MC was great, we really worked on it, communicated much better and got back together after 3 long hard months. It was awesome at first after I moved back in and we went to Vegas to celebrate!

This was 18 months ago. Gradually life returned to normal and we started drifting apart again after christmas last year.

I was raised in a stable family ( both parents married 40 yrs) but not encouraged to show my feelings much, so I struggle with this even though I'm an emotional man. This has led to me not wanting to talk about feelings etc. with her too much and preferring to sweep issues under the carpet. she was raised by her mum as her dad sadly passed away when she was only 2 yrs old. Her mum is a strong woman but clumsy sometimes with her comments to others.
She had some weight issues when she was a teenager and her mum used to call her fat etc. this led to an eating disorder which she overcame, but has had an effect on her. One thing she had instilled in her was to just live for today as you don't know what's round the corner tomorrow. She does this big time ( not great with money and NO long term thinking).

We went on a family holiday to florida in late April this year which was brilliant. Her mother came too and we all got on great apart from a silly argument my wife and i had in the airport on the wayhome ( about extra baggage charges). Anyway We went out one night when we came back and I was conscious she wasnt being too affectionate with me and asked her about whether she saw us staying together for life. She said she didn't have a crystal ball, but yes unless one of us Cheated on each other then it probably would ( cheating is her big no no as her 1st husband did this to her and she left him- they were both young). Neither of USA has cheated on the other as this is both of our values.

Fast forward 6 weeks and we had a stupid argument one night. I ask her why she's being distant and not affectionate and she says " I dont know" then she says she thinks we're different people and should be with someone who is more like each of us. We talked for ages but didn't make any progress. The nex t night she said she didn't fancy me anymore because of lots,of little things that i'd done - like being grumpy when we went out sometimes and worrying about things at home when they went wrong. She also said I didn't have her back sometimes as she thought I'd criticised her rather than supported her sometimes.

I tried to talk her round, pleaded etc. as I lover her so much. She is a strong, independent woman ( like her mum who had to bring her and her brother up without a father for 16 yrs+). Nothing worked, she was adamant it was over. This was 3 months ago. She found a place to rent 10 miles from home and moved in 6 wks ago with the children. The day she moved out was the worst of my life ( I had to help her and she was cold and detached the whole time- like a stranger - she didn't even thank me). I let her take everything she wanted from,our house ( now regret this) as she had left the door open for me slightly by saying there were grey areas and she wanted space to think.

I manned up and didn't contact her much one she moved out apart from when we did handovers for the children. I get to see all 3 girls for 1 night midweek and my daughter every weekend. There's no issue with access and I'm paying generous child maintenance. I also bought her out of our home so that she could afford to move out to this new place.

Since she has moved she has spent 4k on a new car, 2k on new stuff for the house and clothes and paid off her overdrafts for another 2k. I think it's partly to make herself feel better about things. I know she feels bad and is guilty about uprooting the children. She also admitted she still has feelings for me and is guilty about how I'm hurting. I have been struggling to cope because I love her so much and miss her and the children as don't see them every day.

I have good friends and work colleagues who've been brilliant and really supportive. I don't know what I'd have done without them. I can't afford IC at the moment with buying her out but am keen to go ( I found out I have an abandonment issue when we Went to MC last time). Two of my workcolleages are counsellors in their spare time so they have helped me understand better. She has refused to go to MC or IC as she says she knows it won't work this time. She is guarded and detached.

I am getting stronger but not sleeping great and still think about her all the time. Go to the gym and eating well. She has been cold and detached and treats me like her two exs ( fathers of the other daughters) whom she's been split from for 8 and 12 yrs respectively. It's soul destroying and like she's a totally different person who just looks like my wife.

We do have some deep discussions sometimes, but it's on her terms... When she wants to. She has basically reinvented herself and has admitted to doing this before to cope with relationship breakdown.

I think she is carrying some real hurt inside as its hard to get close to her. She just gets,defensive and is fantastic at always being right. You can't really argue with her as,you'll end up worse off. She is good at blame shifting.

I have tried everything I can think of to get her back but she's not having it, so I'm at the point now where I think I just have to move on, as much as it hurts me. I have read about the 180 and am trying to implement, but we have to speak about the children some haven't had massive success so far.

I dread speaking to h or seeing her when we exchange the children as I still have so many strong feelings for her.

I guess I'm after any advice really, but it's helped just trying this all out. Thanks
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Sounds like 180 is the only way to go. It may be difficult with kids and whatnot but you need to develop a plan and stick with it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Thanks. I am trying to just let her initiate contact with me and not contact her at all unless I need to about the children. Is this still 180?

I am still thinking too much about her rather than just focusing on me. I know I can't control her actions but I needed to try everything so that I can look the children in the eye in future and say I fought for the marriage. I still want her back.

I am angry she is so distant and seemingly not bothered about the effect of all this. I wish I was as good at detaching as her.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Yeah, it is difficult no doubt. Realize that she has probably been "detaching" for a lot longer than meets the eye. Possibly even for years, that is why it seems easy.

Don't focus on her words, focus on her actions. If she WANTED to be with you, she would. You need to do whatever it takes to become the type of man she would WANT to be with again. This will be difficult if you are in contact with her. 180 means NO CONTACT other than strictly business. You are not there for her emotionally, mentally, or physically. You need to take care of yourself.

Buckle up, cuz you're in for a rough ride. Just gotta take it day by day. Keep posting on here, we'll try to help you out as much as possible
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Bottle,

Based on your description of her childhood home, you're dealing with a very angry person.

The people that were supposed to be good to her were not good to her. You are now the stand-in for her anger.

There are ways to deal with this, but the only one who can fix it is her.

Has she been to any sort of therapy - other than your MC?

She needs individual counseling.

It wouldn't hurt you either.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Conrad, she did used to lash out at me and was very angry sometimes. We used to talk about it but she referred to it as just being frustrated! She had a reputation as being a bit fearsome at work before I met her but in reality most of it is a front, she's not as strong as people think. She has got really angry with me a few times since she left, without much foundation. I am very accommodating of her. I'm aware of the drama triangle and she's been persecutor to my victim a lot lately. I think she wants to fight with me as it will justify her actions. I'm not having it though.

I have tried to get her to go to IC but she says not now, maybe in future. Like you say it's up to her to do it off her own back. I don't think she wants to delve too deep. Even in our MC most of it was about me/my behaviours that needed to change.

I am planning on IC soon - the MC was my first experience of counselling and it was brilliant.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

FM, I understand about becoming the man she wants again ( wasn't too long ago I was as she told me earlier this year all she wanted was me).

I guess even though I will pull back from her she will still have contact from me via our children. This is the bit I don't really get - how do they see the changes if you've pulled back? Maybe through the odd children handover?
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Bottle,

The tough part is, you can see it's a front.

But, she thinks she can keep everyone from detecting that.

The deep seated fear is that she's not worthy of love (because those that were supposed to love her did not).

You actually sound very healthy. I think the counseling will help you work through this, but think of it more as an adjustment than an overhaul.

Here's the thing.

"Accommodating her and giving her room to heal..."

Bad bad idea.

She won't do it unless she bottoms out and has no alternative.

Make of that what you will.

You said she's 35? And really attractive?

That works against you. She likely will find another "buyer" if she convinces herself that you are totally at fault.

Sounds like that's what the MC was all about.

Sad to say, it's usually a waste of time.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Bottle,

The tough part is, you can see it's a front.

But, she thinks she can keep everyone from detecting that.

The deep seated fear is that she's not worthy of love (because those that were supposed to love her did not).

You actually sound very healthy. I think the counseling will help you work through this, but think of it more as an adjustment than an overhaul.

Here's the thing.

"Accommodating her and giving her room to heal..."

Bad bad idea.

She won't do it unless she bottoms out and has no alternative.

Make of that what you will.

You said she's 35? And really attractive?

That works against you. She likely will find another "buyer" if she convinces herself that you are totally at fault.

Sounds like that's what the MC was all about.

Sad to say, it's usually a waste of time.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

So I've not had a good day today. Found out from my step daughter at school drop off that W went round her dad's on Saturday and was baking cup cakes with him for her and her friends. Probably really innocent but she'd never have done this previously. It's really got my back up and made me angry and jealous. The good thing is I've not texted or called her about it. Just about to go to the gym to get my frustration out. Thing is this guy treated her badly when they split so it seems the worse you treat her the better she treats you? Maybe its just sour grapes on my part.
Still want her back and struggling to let go. Have got in touch with IC and just waiting for a call back to confirm appt. so that's good
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

Given her background, she likely has very low self-esteem. Therefore, it makes sense that being treated badly is what she deserves.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Conrad, It does make sense. The thing is I can't bring myself to treat her poorly. I can be too much of a nice guy sometimes, especially when it comes to her!

She just takes advantage of it though so iit's got to stop. I don't want to be her doormat.

She just texted me as her car is being fixed in the garage and she left the key to our (my) house in it so couldn't pick up our D's fav cuddly toy for her to take home (D stayed with me last night and couldn't take it to school). Normally I would've offered to take it straight over to hers but just said she could pick it up tomorrow (D will be asleep by now with another cuddly toy anyway).

Been a struggle today not to call her and try to fix it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

I know the territory.

Your insides tell you to "fix"

Yet, what good has that ever done?
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

I know, I know. I have tried everything already!

I needed to as not having her and the girls with me is horrendous.

Part of me is just ready to let go as I can see her faults and think do I really want to live with her for the rest of my life?

The other part is desperate for her back -guess this is the abandonment issue rearing it's ugly head! Maybe the counselling will help me sort this out.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife left 3 months ago.... Not sure what to do

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Originally Posted by Bottle View Post
I know, I know. I have tried everything already!

I needed to as not having her and the girls with me is horrendous.

Part of me is just ready to let go as I can see her faults and think do I really want to live with her for the rest of my life?

The other part is desperate for her back -guess this is the abandonment issue rearing it's ugly head! Maybe the counselling will help me sort this out.
When you search for a counselor, interview them. I think the ones that use Internal Family Systems are good. They help you get in touch with yourself.
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