Some of you know that I am following Dr. Dobson's Tough Love in regards to my separation. I've been married 24 years and last Oct. I get the "I love you, but no longer in love with you" speech.
During that time, I've tried it all. In March, he decided that he wanted a divorce. I still continued to try. Nothing would do, begging, convincing, talking, sex, marital counseling, etc.
That is when I gave up and said, this is what you want then you got it! Up until the day that he left, we still did everything as a family..church, dinner, shopping, sex (initiated by me 90%).
There are no affairs past or present and no abuse. I am lucky. We don't fight or enjoy drama. In fact, his best friends says that as a divorcing couple we get along better than most married!
A few weeks before he was going to with a lawyer I suggested a separation. He agreed. He moved out mid July.
It has been 11 days. I don't call or have any contact with him unless I have to (kids/mutual business). So far I had no reason to contact him. Our boundaries/rules were set up before he moved out (no dating other; no unnecessary contact; no big purchases without each other knowing)
He called briefly a few days after moving (he lost something). He called last Sunday to make arrangement for picking up our daugher after church. He asked us to lunch after church. At first I hesitated and said "ok." I later texted him that I couldn't go and I had plans.
This is part of the Tough Love. He fought so hard to leave. I am giving him a taste of the "grass is greener." He doesn't get to eat as a family, when he is divorced.
BOY! DOES THIS SUCK!! It goes against what is natural for our relationship.
I am looking for some support during this time. We have agreed to meet in a month (after the moved out) to reevaluate the situation. Are we to stay as is or divorce or reconcile.
I feel like a crazy person sometimes. I have to plan for this meeting in 2.5 weeks. Almost to prepare myself for the worse (divorce). I don't want to fall apart in front of him.
My goal for this separation would be him wanting to reconcile and work on the marriage. I don't want him to enter back into the household without wanting to work (100%). So, I even need to prepare myself for that.....wanting to come home because of loneliness, etc.
I am doing alot of praying. I pray that I will follow GODs plan for me in this relationship.
Location: Temporary Resident of Earth Lord Only Knows Where Next
Re: Separated..now what?
Hang tough Corpus
I still believe your tough love approach is the best available for your situation. Hopefully he will see what he will be losing and recommit to the marriage. Only time will tell. Pray for the best but prepare for the worst. Stay strong. My best.
Oh sweetie....I will pray for you too. I know this is hard. It's similar but not exactly what I have gone through....but my hubby decided that the grass was definately greener. Not someone else...at least I don't know it for sure...but just not having the responsibility of me and the kids.
I would prepared heavily for the worst.....just because you are not wanting to break down in front of him.... expect him to not change. I hate to say that...but it's for your own protection.
He owes you a lot more than this. You need to tell yourself truths...not lies, too. You are beautiful you are smart and you are worthy of love. If he chooses to ruin the marriage then it is his choice( a horrid one) and it has nothing to do with you.....you have done all you can.
Then you need to decide if you want to waste your time waiting on someone who doesn't even want to make you happy. God knows what is in your heart...he knows when you have done all you can. He knows that this isn't what you want and that you would give anything to make it all better...and he knows at what point you can't do anymore.
I agree with what you are doing.....but don't let him come back until he has met your criteria for change....make him show you that he has really changed and then you can let yourself forgive him and love him again. I think my husband came back the 1st time out of guilt....maybe for the kids..(nope ...don't buy that one.) Guilt. Unless it's the right reasons....he'll just leave again.
Take care of yourself and your kids.....and protect them. It's like instinct...trust me.
yes, hang tough. You are not the only one there, I am seperated with papers filed after 23 years. Similar story, just drifted apart, but neither of us can find the spark that we used to have. Keep looking up!
I wouldn't limit yourself to a month. Make it six months, or a year. What's the difference? In a month you are just starting to get an idea of what changes are in store, both good and bad.
As someone that has been separated for nearly a year, is currently going through a divorce and has seen my family's standard of living absolutely decimated financially - trust me, give it time.
From a pain management perspective, your instinct may be to rush into a divorce. I can tell you that both my stbx and myself went through incredible arcs of emotion over the course of months.
I would never tell someone not to divorce if it is warranted. But I will also say unequivocally, it is far cheaper from an emotional and financial perspective to repair your marriage if you are both willing, than it is to rebuild two separate lives, especially if there are children in the mix as well.
Thank you for all of your support. As you all know, this is a very difficult time in all of our lives!
Denise: You have alot of wisdom in your words. You are right regarding not letting him back unless it is for the right reasons...not kids, not guilt, not loneliness, etc. I plan on doing that, if given a chance.
Deejo: I agree with not limiting it to a month. I suppose, when I brought the option up of separation rather than divorce, I thought if I am limiting contact how will I know where we are in the relationship. I asked him, when we should get together and evaluate the relationship....he said how about a month? It is short, but it's merely a time for reevaluation. He suggested meeting at an Italian Restaurant. WHAT? Nothing like a romantic restaurant to discuss our personal lives!!! This is all part of his "mixed message assault campaign!" I am almost prepared for him to hold my hand at the table, look into my eyes, drink a sip of wine, and say...."you know we might as well divorce." My response will be...."you are right, it is probably the best thing!" (nothing that I want but what are my choices???)
Yes, I've seen the "First Wives Club." I can't remember the scene...bad memory I have.
I know that I am doing my best to stay strong. I've done really well. I hate the unknown. Never been good at waiting. I've always been a take charge kind of person as far as life goes. I guess this is just one of lifes lessons.
I hate the fact that he has such control over me. Although, I've stated my boundaries and all. Grr.
This is all part of his "mixed message assault campaign!"
Not trying to defend him but merely providing a different perspective. I believe my wife would say the same thing about me and mixed messages. I don't do it intentionally. In my case, I feel very justified pursuing a separation or divorce given my situation, however, it's extremely difficult giving up the idea of family and everything that goes with it. Therefore, I flip-flop and drive my wife crazy. Soooooo many emotions....ugh.
We have been through the mediation process, and planned on filing in September, and we both still flip-flop.
There are moments when it is absolutely crystal clear what should, or needs to happen. All of the reasons why it won't and can't work, make perfect sense. Then at other times you share a moment together or with the family and think, we still have something - are we really going to just give up?
Feelings are what they are, and they are often messy, and very confusing.