Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave
agree with caladen, many women are not afraid at all after considering what they can and can't ccomplish, or are willing to take the risk anyway.
I'm in very simular situation, wife of 16 years feels neglected, minimized and unappreciated. We also have very taxing special needs D of 15 that just through her normal activities adds complicating factors to everything. Like the original poster, recognizing after all this time what she was really asking of me, the potential rewards and how bad I made everything through not communicating is so f'n painful, but I always have to remember that I have done this to myself.
Don't believe mine is or has been in a EA or PA, have looked HARD, she just feels that she wants to be herself, rely on herself after all these years and make her mark in the world, not only as a mother and wife. Not naive though, but believe have prepared myself to deal with a A, if there is a R in the future. I haven't done anything myself either.
I have gone back and forth between trying to demonstrate to her that I can change for good and/or doing the 180. Both seem have some merit and impact, but differntly. I think she may be hoping to see the changes but I know she is VERY reluctant if not afraid to acknowledge any changes, would be a lot easier right now if things stayed the same and she didn't have to think about any decision she's already made.
Still living under the same roof, have about 6 months before there is a "milestone" that may help decide our future, so looking at this remaining time as mine to demonstrate to her how serious I am. Hopefully she will be willing and able to see this and be willing to risk her heart again - to me!