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  • #407003
    Dan
    Participant

    Maybe writing this out to the world will help me.  I’m heartbroken. My wife and I have been separated since January. We were only married for 2 years and dated for a year. We are both in our early 40s. She has 2 kids from a previous relationship aged 10 and 14. We fell hard for one another. It was her first relationship in 4 years since leaving the father of the kids. I was coming off of a bad 12 year relationship one in which lasted about 10 years too long. Our separation wasn’t bad, our relationship wasn’t bad but things in life happened that made it very difficult for her to be the wife she says I deserve.

    Let me explain a bit. When we first me we had the kids one week on one week off. We had time together and it was great. Then Covid made it so we had the kids full time which was great. And things continued to be great. The kids and I got long well and we were happy. Then as the months went along at some point I felt her son aged 10 started pulling away from me. I felt this happening and I asked my wife and she said that he’s going through some things. Our house got smaller and smaller with her and I both working from home. I would go to my moms place to get away as I knew my wife needed some space. Then Christmas hit and something didn’t feel right but I was kept in the dark. I do consider myself to be a bit clingy needing reassurance (something I’m working on) and I felt the distance growing further and further. Then her mom moved in with us in January as she’s disabled and I think this was the straw that broke the camels back. I think my wife was overwhelmed with responsibilities and I came at the bottom of that list.

    The house was already small and now her mom is living with us. I had no space and was sleeping on the couch. Anyhow, and the end of January my wife for almost a week was giving me the cold shoulder and when the kids left for the weekend that’s when she said she wanted a separation. I was and still am devastated. She said that she was emotionally tapped out and that she couldn’t be there for me the way that she thinks she should. She said that her son had told her that he felt like I was stealing his mom away from him and that resentment was building. She felt super guilty about that. I love her son and that’s the last thing I wanted but I really had no control over that.

    Fast forward a couple of months after our separation. I gave her an incredible settlement on the house that we owned because I didn’t want her to have to sell the house. After emailing her the settlement she asked if I could go and see her to talk about some things. When I arrived she ran into my arms. We rekindled the relationship for a few weeks as I would go see her on the weekends while the kids were at their dads. At this time she told me how she doesn’t want to lose me and that she loves me and that she was happy. She did say that she felt guilty for everything that was happening but I understood. The lasted about a month and then she said she needed a bit of space. I gave her the space once again. After a couple of weeks I asked if she wanted to go on a date and she wanted to however this never materialized. Her mom had moved out at the end of January but in June she moved in again. Also she said her daughter didn’t really want to go to her dads place on the weekends. I don’t have my own place just yet (I’m at my moms) so we didn’t really have a place anymore to be alone.

    So she has the responsibility of taking care of her mom and the kids and her job once again. Things get even more confusing though. We saw each other to finalize the settlement of the house and she told me that in September her mom is moving back to her own house but that her dad is moving in for a couple of months as he’s going through a divorce (not from her mom but from someone else).  After seeing her that last time we went about a month with no contact. A couple of weeks ago she texted me asking if I could come pick up the rest of my belongings from the house. I did that and I asked her if she still wanted to go see a concert I had bought tickets for pre Covid that was cancelled but she show is now in November. When we had reunited she asked if I still wanted to go to the show so I figured nothing had changed. It took her 3 days to reply to me saying that she didn’t think it was a good idea. This left me feeling a lot of sadness and grief. I didn’t express any of this to her and just said I understand.

    Im having a hard time with everything that happened. We both love each other but I guess the timing is bad. I want to let her go and let the universe sort it’s way out. I want to hold onto hope that maybe once the kids get a bit older then we could reunite. She even told me this. But for now we aren’t seeing one another and we haven’t been communicating and it’s been hard. Thanks for reading, I know it’s a lot.

    #407006
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Dan

    I’m sorry to hear about your separation and heartbreak.

    You’re a very kind understanding person giving your ex-wife a good settlement on the house.

    I don’t necessarily understand why the separation happened. From my understandig, her 10 year old son got jealous a couple of years into the relationship? Is this correct? It seems like there is a lack of boundaries for the child.

    And she is caring for her sick mother. I can understand feeling overwhelmed with childcare and caring responsibilities. I don’t really understand how that impacted your relationship. Lots of people have children and relatives to care for.

    #407008
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    I hope that your heartache doesn’t last long and that you will feel better real soon. Your story brings the lyrics of a song to my mind: “I loved and I lost, It happens to the best”, and reads like you are one of the best that this has happened to. If it helped you to post here once, you are welcome to post a 2nd time and a 3rd…  and share more about anything you’d like to share about.

    anita

    #407009
    Dan
    Participant

    Well I know we did jump into things quickly. Her son is super attached to her and yes there is a lack of boundaries there. He was still sleeping in her bed. I know I made mistakes (we both did) no infidelity or anything but we both enjoyed our drinks on the weekends together and maybe she didn’t want that anymore. But I don’t think that this was a big factor. Maybe a small one. Also, as stated I was a bit needy and wasn’t really getting any of my needs met. But again, I know this is something I can work on. When her mom started living with us I was unhappy but I put up with it and didn’t really voice my feelings and she probably sensed that as well. I don’t know. I know it’s hard having a blended family but she had even said that she would go to marriage counselling before leaving, however that didn’t happen. She’s very independent and I think she just wanted to be a single mom again and not have the responsibility of being a wife as well. I don’t know. All this has left me very confused as I haven’t really had any closure but I’m trying to move on without that.  Again, I want to be hopeful as not a lot of this makes sense except I know that maybe had I stayed things would have become worse. We hold no ill will or bad feelings towards each other and I guess that’s a good thing.

    #407011
    Dan
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for the kind words. I was also listening to a song by Mumford and Sons called “White Blank Page” which is how I feel.

    #407012
    anita
    Participant

    If the following gets to have excess print I will re-submit it.

    Dear Dan:

    White Blank Page:
    <div class=”verse “>Can you lie next to her
    And give her your heart, your heart
    As well as your body</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>And can you lie next to her
    And confess your love, your love
    As well as your folly</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>And can you kneel before the King
    And say I’m clean, I’m clean</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>But tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart
    Oh tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>A white blank page and a swelling rage, rage
    You did not think when you sent me to the brink, to the brink
    You desired my attention but denied my affections, my affections</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>So tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart
    Oh tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life
    O lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”verse “>Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart</div>
    <div></div>
    <div>–I be away from the computer for hours but when I am back, I would like to respond to this song as it relates to your situation.</div>
    <div>anita</div>

    #407013
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    White Blank Page:

    Can you lie next to her
    And give her your heart, your heart
    As well as your body

    And can you lie next to her
    And confess your love, your love
    As well as your folly

    And can you kneel before the King
    And say I’m clean, I’m clean

    But tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart
    Oh tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart

    A white blank page and a swelling rage, rage
    You did not think when you sent me to the brink, to the brink
    You desired my attention but denied my affections, my affections

    So tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart
    Oh tell me now, where was my fault
    In loving you with my whole heart

    Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart

    Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life
    O lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life

    Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart

    –I be away from the computer for hours but when I am back, I would like to respond to this song as it relates to your situation.

    anita

    #407016
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    I am truly sorry for what you are going through. I’ll try to give you my perspective of what is going on. I think your wife sees herself primarily as a care-taker (and is possibly a people-pleaser). She probably stretches herself to meet everyone’s needs. And she feels guilty if she doesn’t succeed in doing that. This is how she explained the separation to you:

    things in life happened that made it very difficult for her to be the wife she says I deserve.

    she couldn’t be there for me the way that she thinks she should.

    It seems that she believes that she should give you more, but isn’t able to, because she needs to give her attention to her children (specially her son who believes you are stealing his mom from him), as well as her parents.

    If you are somewhat needy, as you said, you might have felt frustrated about all these people requiring your wife’s attention, and you ending up sleeping on the couch. You might have expressed your frustration to your wife (or she might have sensed it), and she felt guilty that she cannot provide to you. With her son complaining about you, she might have felt that she had to choose between her children and you, and naturally, she chose her children.

    I don’t know how much frustration you showed to her, i.e. how needy you behaved around her, but probably it played a role. But the biggest problem, as I see it, is that she feels guilty for not meeting her children’s (and everybody else’s) needs perfectly, and also for having a life of her own – outside of her role of the care-taker. I say this because she was meeting you in secret when no one was at home, probably because she felt guilty about her children finding out.

     

    #407021
    Dan
    Participant

    Thank you for the reply. I agree 100%. And I’ve learned a lot about myself since the separation. I’ve learned that I have attachment trauma stemming from things in the past. I’ve learned that I’m an anxious pre occupied style of attachment. I’ve learned those things and understand now what could have been different. And yes she is a care taker and does take on that role.

    And it’s funny you mention that we were seeing one another in secret after the separation. I wasn’t sure if she had told anyone but she said that the kids did know about it. In fact (and here’s an important point) she said that when the kids got back after a weekend at their dads, that they started crying when they found out I was with her. I understand they’re young and don’t fully understand everything but I think this has played a role. It’s just hard now that she has kind of cut communication and doesn’t want to go see the concert we bought tickets for. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t want to open up, maybe it’s because she finds it too hard to see me. I don’t know. I’m trying to let it go but I take things personally like I did something wrong. It’s again my lack of self worth and things I have to sort out by myself. I thank you again for your reply and if you want to reply again I would like to hear more.

    #407023
    Dan
    Participant

    Also. I didn’t show any frustration. I maybe should have but I didn’t. But I think she did sense. Actually she said one time that she thought I was jealous of her son. This is farthest from the truth but I guess she was being pulled in all different directions.

    #407025
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    You are very welcome. You say you didn’t show any frustration, however she probably sensed it. You say:

    When her mom started living with us I was unhappy but I put up with it and didn’t really voice my feelings and she probably sensed that as well.

    I am sure she sensed that you were displeased with the situation, because people who are in the care-taker role are very attuned to other people’s needs… so she felt it and probably felt guilty that she wasn’t giving you enough…

    Actually she said one time that she thought I was jealous of her son. This is farthest from the truth but I guess she was being pulled in all different directions.

    Perhaps you resented that e.g. her son gets to sleep in her bed, while you ended up on the couch? And she interpreted your resentment as jealousy? If I may ask – what were the sleeping arrangements before covid, when her children were staying one week at a time at your place? Did her son sleep in her bed then too, while you slept separately? Or it only started happening during covid?

    Sleeping with her 10-year old son on a regular basis, and separately from you – her husband – does tell a lot about her. I think it tells about her guilt and, as you discussed with Helcat, about her inability to set boundaries with her children.  She felt guilty for setting those boundaries, and she also probably felt guilty for not giving you what you expected from her. And so she found the solution in separation, which is very unfortunate for both of you. But you cannot do much about it, apart from working on your side of the problem.

    And I’ve learned a lot about myself since the separation. I’ve learned that I have attachment trauma stemming from things in the past. I’ve learned that I’m an anxious pre occupied style of attachment. I’ve learned those things and understand now what could have been different.

    It’s good that you are aware of your anxious attachment style. People with anxious attachment style (this was my attachment style too!) are attracted to motherly types i.e. care-takers, so it’s probably a part of the reason why you were so attracted to your wife. She was probably a dream-come-true for you, or rather, for the needy child in you. Because the child wants to feel safe and protected, it wants to feel cared for and nurtured, it wants to feel No1 to his care-taker…

    I remember my needy child wanted to feel No1 for my then-boyfriend (now husband), and I was hurt if he had to attend to other people and if I wasn’t his center of attention at all times. I am not saying you are the same, but this is typical for anxious attachment.

    If you want to grow out of this neediness, you would need to work on becoming the care-taker for your own inner child. Strengthening the adult part in you, who can become the care-taker for your wounded inner child. It’s called self-parenting or re-parenting. Best if you could do it in therapy, if that is available to you.

    I would be glad to talk to you more about anxious attachment and how to heal it, or anything else you might be interested in.

     

    #407026
    Dan
    Participant

    Thanks so much Tee.  So before Covid we had the kids one week on one week off. Because of our house we only had two bedrooms as the other one had been flooded. So her son slept in his own bed but it was in our bedroom. Once we had the other room finished her daughter went into that bedroom and her son went into his own bedroom.

    Im not easy to sleep with as I snore loudly and about 4 months before our separation my wife said she needed her own bed as she wasn’t getting good sleep. So we bought a bed and set it up in the basement. This now allowed her son to start sleeping with her again. I didn’t mind because at least she was getting better sleep.

    Once her mom moved in, her mom took my bed which basically left me with no bed to sleep on, so I had to sleep on the couch. Did I resent that her son was sleeping in her bed while I was on the couch?  Yes I can honestly say part of me did. Maybe that’s me being selfish, I don’t know.

    I would love to hear more about self parenting. I am in therapy right now however I’m not sure if I have the right therapist. I’ve also done a lot of reading and watching videos on attachment styles. Again, thanks for your help.

    #407032
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    You are very welcome.

    So after the renovation, you did have 3 bedrooms, if I understood well? In one bedroom slept you and your wife, in another her daughter, and in the third one her son, right? (during the renovation, her son slept in the same room with the two of you, but in his own bed).

    So after the third bedroom had been renovated, there was a time when her son slept separately, in his own room? Was he happy with you while you were all sleeping in the same room, but then started pulling away when he needed to move to his own room? It could be that this triggered his feeling of abandonment, and he started to complain to his mother? And it culminated by your wife proclaiming that she can’t sleep due to your snoring, and basically sent you away to another room? And this enabled her son to return to sleep with her…

    Of course, it’s also possible that she really couldn’t stand your snoring any more, but was too polite to mention it earlier, not to hurt your feelings. And then in September 2021, after almost two years of being married to you and living with you, she finally had enough and told you. But it also could be that she wouldn’t have done it if her son didn’t complain about the new sleeping arrangement… Can you shed some light on that? Do you think that her son started pulling away from you when he was sent to sleep in his own room?

    You said:

    Also, as stated I was a bit needy and wasn’t really getting any of my needs met.

    When did you start feeling first that she wasn’t meeting your needs? And what where those needs exactly, i.e. in what way did her behavior towards you change?

    #407033
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Dan

    So… your ex-wife regularly sleeps next to her 10 year old son. This is abusive. A 10 year old boy who at this stage would be well aware of his sexuality. A 10 year old boy wouldn’t ordinarily choose this, this tells me that your ex-wife encouraged him to sleep next to her.

    You say that 10 and 14 are young. It’s not. But at their age, they are doing some things that they shouldn’t be doing. This tells me that there is some manipulation going on. A 10 and a 14 year old shouldn’t be crying when their mum sees her ex-husband. Who is encouraging them to cry I wonder? Who encouraged them to resent you?By not having any boundaries with her son, your ex-wife was definitely involved. I wonder if their father is involved too?

    I have a question. After the room was made up for the son and he still ended up sleeping with your ex-wife and her mom moved in. Why didn’t you sleep in his bedroom instead of on the couch? I’m assuming that he has a single sized bed.

    Can you explain a little more about your neediness? Because all I can see is you being treat poorly and you accepting it. I actually feel angry about the way you were treat. I’m surprised that you don’t feel angry about it too.

    #407035
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    I am sorry for your heartache and I hope that you will feel better soon. It may take feeling worse before feeling better because learning important lessons in life is often painful. But then, when you learn important lessons, life gets better.

    “I was coming off of a bad 12 year relationship one in which lasted about 10 years too long. Our separation wasn’t bad, our relationship wasn’t bad but things in life happened”-

    – did you notice that you wrote in two consecutive sentences that the relationship (at least 10 years of it) was bad and that it wasn’t bad? I know people who see and yet they do not see the reality of their relationships, putting aside painful information so to have a picture as rosy as possible. It is a way to lower stress, to keep going with less stress.

    Christmas hit and something didn’t feel right but I was kept in the dark. .. and I felt the distance growing further and further“- you were kept in the dark, meaning there were no conversations, or no clarifying, honest communication between you and your wife about what was going on, and without such communication the distance between the two of you grew.

    “Then her mom started living with us I was unhappy but I put up with it and didn’t really voice my feelings and she probably sensed that as well. I don’t know“- there were no conversations between you and your wife about her mother moving in and living with the two of you. Your wife didn’t ask you beforehand how you’d feel about it (or she asked and you said it’d be alight?), and/ or you didn’t volunteer information to her in regard to her mother moving in or living with you. You are guessing that she probably sensed how you felt but you don’t know because…  you didn’t tell her?

    I think she just wanted to be a single mom again and not have the responsibility of being a wife as well. I don’t know. All this has left me very confused“- again, you don’t know because there were no conversations, at least not honest and clarifying conversation about what she wanted and what her motivation was for the separation. As a result, you are very confused.

    “She.. doesn’t want to go see the concert we bought tickets for. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t want to open up, maybe it’s because she finds it too hard to see me. I don’t know“- again, no conversations=> you are guessing because you don’t know.

    About your prior relationship, you wrote: “Our separation wasn’t bad“.  About your separation from your current wife, you wrote: “We hold no ill will or bad feelings towards each other“- no conversations, no honest communication=> no bad separation, no bad feelings?

    About your prior relationship, you wrote: “Our relationship wasn’t bad but things in life happened that made it very difficult for her to be the wife she says I deserve“. About your most recent relationship, you wrote: “she said she wanted a separation… She said that… she couldn’t be there for me the way that she thinks she should“- I am getting the picture (and please correct me if I am wrong, Dan) that in relationships with the two women you mentioned, you are eager to please, not voicing negative feelings, being a yes-man perhaps… so overall, in relationships, you take on the “good guy” role and the woman feels like the “bad guy”, and as a result they feel guilty (?)

    I’ve learned that I have attachment trauma.. I’ve learned that I’m an anxious pre occupied style of attachment“- too anxious to voice your feelings, to ask questions?

    “She said one time that she thought I was jealous of her son. This is farthest from the truth…  Did I resent that her son was sleeping in her bed while I was on the couch?  Yes I can honestly say part of me did. Maybe that’s me being selfish, I don’t know”- it is not selfish to feel what you feel, but judging yourself negatively for how you feel, you deny what you truly feel from yourself?

    White Blank Page, the song: “Can you lie next to her- And give her your heart, your heart– As well as your body…. And confess your love, your love As well as your folly“- when one feels foolish (folly), it takes courage to give another person your mind: your true thoughts and feelings.. for fear of being thought of as foolish or faulty, is it?

    But tell me now, where was my fault- In loving you with my whole heart“- no fault in loving her with your true heart. It’s just that there has to be a good measure of honest, open communication between two people in order to have a good, healthy relationship.

    A white blank page and a swelling rage, rage- You did not think when you sent me to the brink, to the brink. You desired my attention but denied my affections, my affections“-  I know how troubling feeling anger can be, it can feel threatening. Does it feel this way to you?

    Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart- Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life- O lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life“-

    – Elsewhere, about the truth: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free“- it is a fascinating journey to face and get to know the truth. It is painful at times, but the state of mental and emotional freedom is worth it!

    anita

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