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Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate the help and support through this. I just dont want anyone to think I have given up hope… but for all the time I have hope I put myself in limbo. Meaning I hope she will change her mind and reconnect, but then that makes me pause at trying to move on – catch 22 scenario and the cycle continues!!
Taking the control for myself is all I can do, I will continue to be a loving and supportive father and I have the children with me 50% of the time including through the week and weekends and I really do not anticipate any change there. I feel very alone when my children are not there and I am a very affectionate and loving person. Holding on to a hope of reconnecting is me looking backwards instead of forwards and I am making a change for me and nobody else, who knows what will happen! But it has been 17 years since dating and being with another woman…
One thing I am sure of is that I feel equipped and ready as an independent father and responsible adult to allow myself to move on and meet new people.
I will of course keep you updated as the journey continues
A great note and it helps to read that you have had some experience being perhaps a little more relaxed shall we say. I am a good man, but like any man or women people have certain flaws and some of which cannot be changed. That doesnt make people bad just different and its important to focus on that which is unique for everyone as an individual.
Again it has been quite some time since I updated this thread and I feel it is important to try and update, my SO and I have now been separated for 6 months and I have settled into a new place ready for my 1st Xmas. My wife and I are still in a good place in terms of communication back and forth regarding everything including the children, which really helps. Nothing has really changed on the relationship front, we are still very amicable and text most days but very surface level and transactional I would say.
A few months ago I went to the house to help with some internet issues and we got to talking and one thing led to another and we enjoyed some time in the bedroom, but it felt like thats all it was just a physical thing. That has never been our issue previously – and we both said it felt soo good to be together that way just not right to be together as in a relationship! Since that I havent really pushed the issue, I’m in my lane and she is in hers so i like to think of it…
I am spending xmas eve and day at my old house and we are going to sleep seperately to be there together for the kids and have xmas dinner together which I am looking forward to, I will add that I still have the same feelings for her and still feel drawn to her – even though I know she doesnt feel the same way, which hurts but I’m starting to move on.
I don’t think there will be a chance for us to reconnect, which makes me sad but also thankful that I am 41 and can potentially go out and find someone who will appreciate all the good things I bring and want to be close to me etc. Although I can’t shake the feeling that this shouldnt be happening yet, I feel i’m ready to maybe go out on some dates and meet someone new! At the end of the day I could continue to wait around for her to change her mind which doesnt seem likely or I can try and get myself back out there.
Or am I making a mistake? I don’t know…
Yes 100% accurate with your feedback and statements above, sorry I haven’t responded earlier as I am sure you can appreciate this is a tough time emotionally.
I think your last couple of points really hit me hard in the fact that I have seen this woman as superior for so long and been quite used to just accepting that. Over time that has eroded the attraction and emotional connection because I haven’t dealt with it or made a change or really delved into why my mindset and mentality hasn’t picked up on it. I think only now when I am thrust into the situation of formal separation can I start to pick that part of my mentality apart and find out who I am and what I truly value from life – If anything I think I need to discover who I am not 1st if that makes any sense?
Things have progressed further with us, and we are now selling the family home. This feels really fast to go to separation and selling the family home all within a month… I mean financially it probably needed to happen and this will relieve some of the financial strain from both of us but it just feels fast.
I also think me moving into my own place and setting up a separate life will really have a change in my thinking and feelings about myself – I will have to be accountable and responsible and mature enough to make my life and interactions with my children work. For me I feel I will start to work out more who I am and what I want, and that could be good or bad for our marriage but certainly something that is happening.
I very much love my wife and want everything to work out and be who I think we could be as a couple, but your point makes a lot of sense – I have been pretending that I am her equal when mentally I still feel inferior and I need to dig into that.
Maybe we can recover from this and maybe we cant, but either way I have to discover the real me, own it and not deviate from what that looks and feels like – I need to find the strength to be at peace with who I am and what I stand for. I am also concerned in part, that if I get to this point and realize my true self and self worth, I may not want to to go back into the relationship.
I start 8 sessions of individual counselling next week so lets focus on the things I can influence and embrace a voyage of self discovery.
Thanks for the notes your words are tough to read in parts but also the truth, I’ll try to answer some of the above where I can. Negativity, can be something as simple as one of the boys doing something and I repeatedly continue to ask him to stop, to a point where my voice changes and isn’t nice to hear, rather that a tactic or redirection it starts to grind on me that he doesn’t listen. I then take it as a bit of a personal insult that I have to repeat myself and it boils my blood at times. My wife has no more time to continue pacifying the situation and it gets on her nerves.
Partying, I no longer really do this and it was a problem previously but certainly not something we are ending our relationship over. The main problem is she no longer trusts or respects me, and for that reason cannot see a future in our relationship. This is coupled with the bombshell that she said she has felt we have been growing apart for the last 5 years or so but just paints a pretty picture of everything, but she cannot do this anymore.
I don’t think she wants a divorce just yet, but the longer I am out of the house she seems to be actually enjoying the time without us arguing, I want her to be happy of course and I never intended to damage the relationship this way but if she doesn’t want to be with me anymore I cannot force it. I am happy to work on myself and prioritise my children but its 15 years of marriage and a lot of life, house, job, kids etc and can be a little overwhelming at times.
I think her mind is made up, but she isn’t saying it directly. I feel there are 2 categories of Separation: 1. Separate and we are done, there is no way back – we will eventually end our relationship as a couple 2. Separate from each other – who knows what will happen, time will tell for our relationship
I sit currently in 2<sup>nd</sup> category as I have hope to resolve our issues and move forward. I honestly believe she is in category 1 but keeps hinting it is category 2, which is really confusing.
I watched Crazy, Stupid Love last night and in a lot of ways there are some similarities in our situation and although I am glad my wife has not moved on to another partner, I have lost my sense of self, mojo or whatever you want to call it. I’m not suggesting that I start hanging around bars trying to pick up girls but at least I know I have to change for me, for my kids and be the best role model I can be
I really appreciate all of the help and advice, I’ll try and keep everyone posted
I thought it was worth sharing with you an update after a number of months of back and forth with my wife.
I havent provided an update for 4 months, so here I go:
Factually, we are now seperated and living apart amicably, meaning I can come to the house and see my children including taking my daughter to bed 3 nights a week. This is a challenge and one that I do not like but have to respect my wife and her wishes. In early March this year i made a terrible mistake and it seems to have been the straw to break the camels back. At the time we were spending time apart but living in the same house and I had arranged to stay at a friends house one evening after work to give us both some time apart.
After work I went for a few drinks, and a few more meaning it wasnt possible to drive to my friends house (also a friend of my wife) I said I’m going to stay local as the price of a cab was going to be expensive and stayed with a friend who i went for drinks with. This is where I have f*cked things up… I then suggested to the original friend that he say that I had stayed there instead of just coming clean and telling her that i just decided to stay elsewhere. There wasnt anything sinister in my actions but lying is one thing, convincing someone else to cover for me is another.
My friend ended up telling my wife and she confronted me and I came clean about the whole thing and explained my reasons and rationale, which in my mind make sense but the whole thing has caused her to questions if she can ever trust me and has now lost all respect for me as a person.
Coupled with the fact she thinks we have nothing in common, I never tell her what i want/dont want and effectively behave like a 4th child in the house – this is all too much for her and she wants to end the relationship. We are currently living apart as mentioned and decided to take some time apart (as we are saying to our kids) but after the 3 weeks of time apart her mind appears to be made up.
I know i havent been a great partner, and I know I could do so much better. I have to be honest i really don’t want the relationship to end, I still love and adore so many things about her – any advice would be greatly appreciated once again!
Just returned from a short break as a family of 4 to Amsterdam, we didnt take our 3 yr old as there was a lot of walking and exploring.
Spent some time together and all still feels awkward as hell, the older boys have an inkling as to what is going on with us at the moment as well which we will need to address at some point.
We had our 2nd weekly couples counselling session last night, again a wave of emotions and negative thoughts are present.
My wife feels that I am constantly around as opposed to having our own things going on, like the gym or work things for me. I am just in a constant state of feeling out of control and emotional about our situation and I need to just be the best version of me and see if she wants to make an effort to turn toward me.
She feels that there is an issue with communication and initiative on my part and I am not happy at the lack of intimacy in our relationship. We have been here before and it feels to me that she doesnt want to focus on repair for fear of me slipping into old ways – being negative, defensive and letting her lead on everything. So for me she isnt fully out nor fully in and this doesnt seem to be right! I get that we are in a make or break situation for our marriage but surely she has to decide she either wants to try and work with me or make a decision to part ways. Floating between the 2 is just confusing to me or am I misreading or overanalyzing everything?
Thanks for the kind words Brandy!
We had our 1st of 8 sessions yesterday with a couples counselor and I felt it went quite well, we were very open with each other and the lady we spoke with.
Quite surprised really but maybe this is what we need to re-connect – remained on the sofa last night but started to feel a little more optimism, and this morning she wanted to cuddle which never really happens. I have to admit I initially didnt want to embrace, as I am still very confused but I love her and above all else I want to make things work.
I will update further this week and again thanks so much for the kind words of support
Just to further add to this, we start our couples counselling sessions tonight which I am a little worried about if I am honest. Having spent the best part of 2 weeks on the sofa my feelings are still the same, although I totally understand her position. It seems counselling is really the last and final thing we can try before starting the official process of separation / divorce.
Kills me to even write these words but I am realistic about the limitations and lack of connection we have.
I wanted to seek your advice on the text that sent her yesterday and I will take on board any feedback you can share
“So just wanted to share something with you… I would do anything to make our relationship work and it hurts to be where we are.
I’m very aware our communication and way we generally interact are not great.
I am very much looking forward to speaking more in depth with someone who is impartial and hopefully we can more clearly understand each other before we decide to work together to repair or go our separate ways.
Regardless of which way we go I just wanted you to know that I am here for you. I would love to move forward and repair what we have not for the sake of the children but for us and what we have the potential to be as a couple. If not I will cherish fantastic memories that will live forever in my heart and with our beautiful children.
I don’t need you to reply or say anything just know where I am…”
I will revert following our session with a couples therapist. As always very much appreciate any thoughts and advice!
Apologies for the delay I have been working away.
Having a 3 yr old certainly keeps us on our toes, i think if i was in a position to take her out on a regular basis (date nights) financially i think this may not be where we are. We have the option of babysitters and rely on them at times to get a little free time for ourselves, it can be tricky but that is more of an excuse and i have to move past that and perhaps she will engage with me more.
Time will tell i suppose – wish me luck and thanks you both so much for the input, I will hopefully come back to this thread with a further update in a week or so
We share the household chores and I do more than my fair share around the house and with childcare etc, I would say its as close to 50/50 as you can get.
Its the lack of initiative and sarcasm that she finds draining and she explains its really tough to remain positive and want to be close without passion and in her eyes the passion come through a drive to be a great person and someone who wants to get things done and also has a positive outlook on life.
I just feel I am trying too hard to pull her towards me, when I should maybe be focusing on the things that are important to her and it might happen naturally.
Right now we are at a crossroads, we both feel a break and trial separation would be best to take stock of the situation and whether we want to build the bond and work on the relationship or go our separate ways.
The whole situation is just baffling to me in some ways as I have not done anything specifically major, like cheat or abuse or anything. More that our situation is a result of just growing frustrated with each other, “huffing” as I like to call it through life instead of working towards something that is deeper and long lasting.
Hope this makes sense?
Yes I find the comparison extremely infuriating as I don’t view myself in that way, friend and social interaction are important to me. My sadness is not that my father is the way that he is but that I appear to be giving off a similar impression to my wife. My dad lives 60 miles away and is who he is, and its not particularly something I think about too often. Only when she draws the comparison, and admittedly I have times where I can be lazy, unmotivated and this is likely why she uses this example.
To add some further depth to the situation, we spoke further at length yesterday about our situation and my pain in the above summary. Her thoughts and feelings I can understand in some way, she feels that I can be lazy, sarcastic, unmotivated and show a general lack of initiative, almost like I have given up making an effort to keep the excitement and passion in our relationship. For this reason she explains it is difficult to connect with me and me affectionate and intimate. Like if I am not make an effort to remove some of her feelings above then when would she want to be close or intimate with me.
I totally get it and can see her side, I know I haven’t been a good enough partner and she does lead on most things in terms of planning and organizing. I always say that’s just not my thing, and your really good at that part where as for me it causes me stress and anxiety. This isn’t fair to her really I see that after our chat last night!
Most of the time it feels like a catch 22, I have to change things to draw her closer to me. I also feel that I would make more of an effort to do that if the closeness and affection was there in the 1st place, so I’m sort of stuck if you know what I mean.
I really appreciate your thoughts and comments, look forward to hearing from you further
Thank for the note in response, I absolutely would work on the relationship and try to repair it. I’m just not sure that’s what she wants that, we spoke further about this yesterday and it appears that she just doesn’t have the energy to make more of an effort. There is more context to this which I will also detail below