19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Hi Ladies,
I need a womans point of view. I am 44 as is my wife and we have been married 19 years. My wife told me recently she wants a divorce and doesn't want to give counsling a try.We also have two kids 11,15. We have been living basically as roomates for the last 3 years and while we do things a s a family with the kids she has started to do things much more with her freinds. She says she feels she has become very independent over the last couple of years and does not want to go back and like the way she feels now.

There has been no abuse or anything like that but she did say she thought I had been controlling and when we did fight I would say mean things(I would curse but never thought I was abusive) that chipped away at her heart. She had told me this over the years after we fought but being a man I just thought it was a heat of the moment thing as I guy we get over the fights real quick I now understand this is not the case in my wifes situation.

I want to make things work and have been changing how I react to things she has pointed out as problems. I have read books on saving my marriage and how to help myself change some of my poor habits. I really feel we can work this out if she will just open her heart and mind just a little bit. We are getting along fine and really have not talked much more about the divorce but I know it is coming (she hates confrontation of any kind).

My question is wht should I be doing to win her back without over doing it and driving her away faster.Her telling me for the first time she wanted a divorce made me see clearly things needed to change. I just wish we would have been communicating about all this through the years . I had no idea she was at this point even though I knew things were not great.
Thanks for any advise
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Keep improving the communication. Suggest counseling again. Try to do things that will show her you have changed. The thing is, though, if this has been building for a really long time (as you indicate), it won't be easy to convince her that you have changed and that the relationship will change.

My best advice would be to tell her you understand you've hurt her, you'd like to change this, but you can't force her to do anything. Then ask her, if instead of divorce, she'll consider a separation while keeping an open mind towards you and the possibility that you've changed.

I know, for me with my ex, when I reached the point where I told him I wanted a divorce, I'd also reached the point where nothing could change my mind. I let it build and build and build (well, I did talk to him, but nothing ever changed) until I'd just had all I could take and even if he'd turned in a saint, a prince, whatever, it wouldn't have changed my mind.

But it's always worth trying. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Thanks for the feedback. I have been doing the things you said and just hope it is not to late.Frustrating to say the least but I know it will take time after all it took time to get us where we are.
Thanks again it is really appreciated
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

You are doing the right things. The only thing I can add is for you to go to counseling. Go for yourself and leave the door open for her. If you are a religious family now would be a good time to speak to the minister or priest. I really feel for you--I know how hard all of this is.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Are you positive that these friends she is going out with are not really some guy she is involved with?

Call me a cynic...
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Yes I am sure when she goes out with these friends it is not someone else but believe me it certainly went through my mind. Some of them are mutual friends and nothing else is has made me think there is something else going on. I do still wonder at times just becuse I can't imagine someone wanting a divorce after all this time without a outside influence being invloved.Even though it has not been great for years it has not been abusive(physical or emotional) or anything like that.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

In a woman's point of view, I can say it is very possible for a woman to want a divorce without any outside influence, because that is where I'm currently at. You say there has not been physical or emotional abuse but then you say she accused you of being controlling. This is a form of abuse. Even in the absence of abuse, there can still be an issue of neglect (not saying this is how your W feels) that over time can make a woman withdraw from the marriage and start thinking about divorce without any outside influence. Just being unhappy is enough.

I wish I had some advice for you. My H isn't listening when I say things need to change, even when I tell him it may one day be too late. It sounds like your W has gotten to that point. I hope you can somehow manage to convince her you want to make it work and she has a change of heart. Good luck to you.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

I have read a few things and have learned some facts. 59% of married women say they would leave their husband if they could afford to take care of themselves financially. Another fact is that women are 2 times more likely to file for divorce than men. So the last fact is obvious: women initiate a divorce more often than men.

You should read the article "Why Women Leave Men" at Why Women Leave Men

I am a wife whose been married for the length of time you have. His neglect of my needs has destroyed my feelings for him. Many times men wait until it is too late to assume their responsibility in the relationship. Your wife does not get over things like you do. We women can be hurt emotionally, and never be able to get over it. I know in my case I feel like I am in a losing situation. If I stay, I lose because I am stuck in an unhappy relationship where I feel no love for him. And if I leave, I lose because the kids will be hurt more from divorce than if we stay together. I feel like a prisoner to the biggest mistake in my life: my marriage to a man that I have nothing in common with.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Here's a great example of how a woman decides to leave a man, from my experience last night. My H and I are remodeling a building to start a business with a woman; we were applying primer to the new walls; she came by and started talking about next steps; they got into an argument; I kept painting. When she finally left, he looks around, sees all the work I'd done while he was solely concentrated on his argument with her, and started railing at me about how I did it wrong, how he had TOLD me how to do it, and how here I was going back over the work he had already done, and now he was going to have to stay until 3 in the morning to wait for this coat to dry, and on top of that, I had just wasted half a bucket of KILZ and he was going to have to go buy another bucket. Oh, and why on earth did I stop at this level instead of going all the way to the top? Now there's a line he can't get rid of, and he'll have to apply another coat on top of the next coat, just to get rid of my stupid line. What was I thinking?!

During all of which I said not a single word. And I continued to work while he was embroiled in an argument with the woman and her male friend that he didn't need to have, but continued because he's a man and can't let someone else be 'right' over him. So it was ME who was getting something done but, in the end, in HIS eyes, he felt he had the right to berate me to the point of tears.

That is not technically abuse. But I'm here to tell you that, after 30 years of such tirades, I can't get away from him fast enough.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

turnera:

You are a patient lady. Good things come to those who wait, plan and do not fall into the trap. I hope you are on this list.

Wishing you all the best
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Wow, thanks, Wisp. I don't have anyone in my life telling me stuff like that. It's nice to hear it. You have no idea how nice.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

well he was wrong to do that and if he has any conscience at all he knows it. now will he step up and apologize
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

When I left angry last night, after working another 3 hours without saying a word, he called and asked me if I was mad. I chickened out and said I was just tired (I know, I know!), but he knew. So he 'tried' to apologize. He said "I'm sorry I snipped at you, but if you hadn't..."

I just hung up the phone.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

By "living as roommates", I'm guessing this means sex has been sporadic or nonexistent for the past 3 years. You said she only recently announced her intention to divorce. Who's idea was it to discontinue the sex and romance? Why? You're anxious now that your wife has asked to pull the plug on the relationship, but it sounds as if the patient has been in a coma for the past 3 years. I'm trying to understand your situation. Didn't the loving part of this relationship die 3 years ago? Why does a formal burial cause you so much pain, now? I'm guessing you haven't really been happy with the marriage for a long time and she obviously hasn't, either. You asked what you could do to win her back. You've lived with her for 19 years and surely you know better than any man alive what makes her "tick". You know how to start her motor and you know where the "off" switches are. When you were winning her the first time, I doubt you worried about being "over the top" in your courting behavior. Like most of us, you probably showed her affection in embarrassingly over-the-top ways. I expect she wants to feel beautiful, sexy, appreciated, respected, heard, forgiven, and understood. Some relationships die quickly from a single act, like when a person's murdered. Others die slowly like in a negligent homicide, by being starved of nourishment or through the infliction of a thousand small cuts. What a precious gift is a good wife and mother. I've got this little theory that works for me. I figure we're working on the marriage every day. Either we are working to improve it or we're working to destroy it, but it has to change. Anger isn't a killer, but cruelty and meanness are.
She's your woman and has been for a very long time. You know the way to her heart. You know what she means to you and you know how to show/tell her. Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: 19 years married and she wants a divorce.Help!

Your wife sounds like me. I avoid confrontation but there were plenty of times that I told my husband I felt unloved and told him what I needed for him to do but he didn't listen or he just didn't take me serious. Me and my husband are now separated [in the same house] and I told him I want a divorce and he acted shocked. I allowed hurt to build and build. Before I had a chance to forgive on thing he said he would say another. The hurt just became hurt on top of hurt. I felt like I would burst at the seams. I put up walls to block the fact that I was being ignored and was miserable. In order for my husband to get me back [I still love him as we have 2 children but am not in love with him nor do I want to be with him] he would have to show me change and prove to me that this change would last. This would take some time. My feelings didn't come overnight and they won't go overnight. He would have to initiate a face to face talk with me. He would have to apologize and ask me to forgive him for months of neglect. He would have to apologize for not listening to me and for hurting me and ask me to forgive him. he would have to give me space yet always somehow creep into my thoughts [surprising me with flowers delivered to my job, a surprise card on the window of my car, little romantic things like that could put a smile on my face]. He would basically have to treat me as if we were dating and are newly in love. It would also help if you told her that you are going to counseling with or without her. And do you know what he could say that would make most of my walls come down? He would tell me that he is going to fight for me. When I told my husband I wanted a divorce only 50% of me was sure but the other part of me wanted him to say No way am I letting you go. I love you. I need you. I can't live without you. I will fight for you. But I got none of that and now I am 85% sure that a divorce is what I want.
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