Wife of 20 years wants to leave
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife of 20 years wants to leave

I need help. We met young and married young. I was her first everything. We have been married for 20 years, most that were not good, I was involved in online porn, viewing. I did not give my wife what she needed emotionally or physically. We have two children that are almost 15 and 17. Once she told me that she wanted out I woke up. I went to treatment, therapist, etc. I have changed out of fear, but am changed out of getting help and seeing what I have had all along was all that I ever wanted, but was to stupid to know. I am caught up in the obsessiveness of being around her, which I know pushes her further away.
She says she wants out but isnt sure. She lives in the basement and she doesnt want much from me as far a contact. She has had an affair via texing with a friend, sending messages about wanting to be together and graphic pics. He is married and I dont think wants to ruin his, but wants to have fun with my wife. My wife wants her freedom, to go play and be free sexually. IdK what to do, I cant function, I want her so bad, yet can't do anything right.
She wont get couples counseling, she just says she needs time and space. She says she needs to find herself. I think she wants a divorce, but wont admit it or cant admit it to herself or maybe just to me.
Any help would be appreciated.
Sorry that this is so jumbled, I am trying not to make it long and get the just of it out here.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

The worst thing you can do is let her keep living in the basement and continuing her EA while holding on to the safety of your marriage with the other hand.

You give her a choice to stay and work on the marriage, stop contacting the OM, do MC, or GTFO of my house, like today.

Giving her space (to explore relationships with other men) while holding on to all the comforts of her old life is not going to get you what you want.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

Whist I don't condone what wife is now doing, this is what can happen when one partner continually pushes their partner away and will only notice them once things reach crisis point.

jp - before you go all out to get her back, I think you need to ask yourself if, assuming you do manage go win her back, whether or not you will then just become complacent again and simply end up pushing her away all over again. Think further ahead than simply winning her back. You are going to have to convince her by your words and your deeds that you are willing to put in effort for the LONG TERM.

Think back on all her needs that you may have ignored in the recent and distant past and whether or you can (and actually want to) meet these needs for life. If you are not prepared to meet these needs for the duration then you might be doing the both of you a favour to let things go now!

FWIW, I bet your wife wants you and not this other man (or she wouldn't have put up with you all these years). It would be cruel for you to put forth effort to win her back only to let things slide a few months down the line. Do you REALLY want the same things as her or do you only want them now because you don't want to split or are afraid to be on your own?

For your sake, let's hope it isn't a case of too little too late.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

Advocado,
Your advice is true, I am working from a point of fear of losing her. I cant articulate how, but I do want her for the long term and am willing to make major changes in myself to make that happen. The paradox is that I am so caught up in losing her that I can not focus on changing myself and thus push her further away.
I am expecting her to forgive 20 years of crap from me so that we can have what she has wanted from day one. Yes it certainly may be a little too late, but I hope not.
She is wanting to do things that married people don't, well aren't supposed to do to punish me and to just have fun, not have to deal with the stress of where we are at.
So I may have made a huge mistake... I contacted the guy she has been sexting and requested him to not contact her anymore, period. I talked with him before and and said he was hurting our chances to mend our marriage, to my surprise he said he would end the friendship, yet they no longer text, but email... So I said stop communicating with her period or I would inform his wife of everything. He is married with a daughter and says he is happy and this is just exciting and fun for him and my wife. I may have over stepped on this, but I am mad and hurt. They are friends that got caught up in something fun and exciting and neither want to stop, and given the chance I am sure it would become physical.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

In short you are going to have to calm yourself or you won't be able to make any changes. I think you'll need to be very methodical, disciplined and determined in yourself. Anthing less than this is likely to be met with disdain by your wife.

Do be very clear and specific in your own mind about what needs to change and how you will go about making changes and realistic about how difficult/do-able such changes are. Be sure the changes are actually the changes she actually currently desires, not just what you think needs to happen.

Hopefully some others will chime in with words of wisdom but mean time

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

I contacted the friend my wife has and asked him to stop, he said he would. He blocked her email. So she asked me and I confess I talked to him, now she is moving out. I said so not being friends with him is a deal breaker and she said not just that, but it obviously is.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I contacted the friend my wife has and asked him to stop, he said he would. He blocked her email. So she asked me and I confess I talked to him, now she is moving out. I said so not being friends with him is a deal breaker and she said not just that, but it obviously is.
I'm sorry you're in this situation. There are people here that will be able to advise you far better than I could. What I've gathered from reading here is that the more you beg and/chase, te further you push them. So you start taking care of you first. Make sure you are your first priority. If she wants to move out, then you cannot force her to stay. However, she needs to feel the consequences for her choice. As I said, just wait a bit. The veterans will show up and explain it all much much better, but I think this is what it comes down to.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I contacted the friend my wife has and asked him to stop, he said he would. He blocked her email. So she asked me and I confess I talked to him, now she is moving out. I said so not being friends with him is a deal breaker and she said not just that, but it obviously is.
Great. Sounds like you got rid of two birds with one stone. The OM is afraid he is going to lose his marriage now and cut off contact with your wife. And your wife is going to move out which will totally upend the comfortable life she had with you.

Next time you catch them communicating follow through on your threat and tell his wife.

Once she remembers what it is like to be all alone, she'll come crawling back. Just make sure that when she does, she agrees to all of your terms and that you enforce them.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

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Great. Sounds like you got rid of two birds with one stone. The OM is afraid he is going to lose his marriage now and cut off contact with your wife. And your wife is going to move out which will totally upend the comfortable life she had with you.

Next time you catch them communicating follow through on your threat and tell his wife.

Once she remembers what it is like to be all alone, she'll come crawling back. Just make sure that when she does, she agrees to all of your terms and that you enforce them.
Really? Do you have stats to back this up?

She may come back. She may not. Not all women are afraid of being alone.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default 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!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

Rather than going full 180 or show her the changes I am thinking of a more consistent but middle ground for myself,

As much as I would love R. Right now I am only talking the talk about changes so even if she said lets try, I would be better served for ME by making those changes without her. that said it's 99% that she wont change her mind even down the line. I have to get my stuff in order, for me and my boys. having the boys means if i make the changes i won't need to show her, she will just see it naturally.

I have pushed her away and neglected her while wrapped up in depression, I owe her more than 180 and NC but truth be told, I feel like a frightened boy in a mans body and sorting that out has to be my priority.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So my wife wants to move out as living in the basement is not giving her what she needs. Do I let her move out and find herself or do I step up and move out? TO be honest I feel that if she moves out she may be more likely to meet someone else, yes I am thinking of myself, but being honest. ugh
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So my wife wants to move out as living in the basement is not giving her what she needs. Do I let her move out and find herself or do I step up and move out? TO be honest I feel that if she moves out she may be more likely to meet someone else, yes I am thinking of myself, but being honest. ugh
She wants space?

She moves out.

You don't want to hear it, but if she is seeking happiness in someone else, she will do so regardless of the living arrangement.

Let her go.

She will never miss you if you dont.

And if she doesn't?

Then you are on the path to where you need to be anyway.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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We talked to our girls last night about one of us moving out. They agreed that it would be a good idea as they are both tired of home life now. I asked what my wife would ideally want, to remain home with the girls or move out, she said home with the girls. I offered to leave, but she said since she needs space she would go. She wants to let the girls one or both go with her, but I suggested that it would be better for them to remain at home. She agreed. I guess I feel it would be better for her to leave and me stay home with the girls?
She says she doesn't want a divorce, that she wants to move out to work on herself, to be away from me. She said that she may find that it is a mistake and that she will move back or that it may be what she really wants, to be on her own.
I think she wants to see if she is happier on here own, my issue is that of course it will be better, new apt, freedom, getting away from stress, etc. I fear that she wont see the long term.
She wont agree to marriage counseling as she wants to work on herself and feels that she cant focus on us right now.
I guess I let her go and focus on me and the girls, but this is the hardest thing I have ever been through, I feel sick all the time. I wake up in panic attacks, I cant shift my mind away from her...
What if she starts sexting other guys again, do I just ignore it? Let her have her fun and see what happens?
Ugh...
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife of 20 years wants to leave

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We talked to our girls last night about one of us moving out. They agreed that it would be a good idea as they are both tired of home life now. I asked what my wife would ideally want, to remain home with the girls or move out, she said home with the girls. I offered to leave, but she said since she needs space she would go. She wants to let the girls one or both go with her, but I suggested that it would be better for them to remain at home. She agreed. I guess I feel it would be better for her to leave and me stay home with the girls?
She says she doesn't want a divorce, that she wants to move out to work on herself, to be away from me. She said that she may find that it is a mistake and that she will move back or that it may be what she really wants, to be on her own.
I think she wants to see if she is happier on here own, my issue is that of course it will be better, new apt, freedom, getting away from stress, etc. I fear that she wont see the long term.
She wont agree to marriage counseling as she wants to work on herself and feels that she cant focus on us right now.
I guess I let her go and focus on me and the girls, but this is the hardest thing I have ever been through, I feel sick all the time. I wake up in panic attacks, I cant shift my mind away from her...
What if she starts sexting other guys again, do I just ignore it? Let her have her fun and see what happens?
Ugh...
"I need space"

"I want to work on myself"

"I need to find myself"

Translation: "I'd like to pursue a new relationship with someone else without you in my hair."

Let her go. Focus on yourself and your kids.

She needs to crash and burn on her own if she is to ever realize what she is walking away from.

You want to be in space where it is you deciding whether you want her back if she ever changes her mind.

Read up here on the 180 and implement it.

Last edited by spun; 01-09-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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