September 17, 2022 at 11:22 am #407040
I think you’ve pointed out some interesting things. I don’t know why the cried when they knew I was seeing her. Their father is likely to have some influence over it. I can see him talking poorly about the situation. My wife left him because he was abusive. And I agree that it’s abusive for her to let her son sleep next to her. I think she feels guilty about some things and lets her kids dictate aspects where there should be boundaries.
I don’t know why I didn’t sleep in his bed when I was on the couch. It’s a good question. About my neediness. I think I wanted more attention than I was getting. Much of my happiness came from her which isn’t healthy. I would try to please her while neglecting my own needs. So I suppose I was just trying to be a good husband in the only way I knew how.
I love my wife my than anything and I have a really hard time being mad at her. I would like to think that in a few years when the kids get older than we could reconcile as she even hinted at that when we stared seeing one another shortly after our separation
When I say needs I can’t really pinpoint what exactly. I only really felt her pulling away near Christmas. Was there a lack of communication? For sure there was. As for the sleeping arrangements. I do believe that she wasn’t getting good sleep being next to me. I do snore quite loudly. Whether the fact the her son played a role in it is hard to say.
As for her son. I don’t think when the sleeping arrangements changed is when he started distancing himself. I also can’t pinpoint exactly when this started happening but it was probably around Oct 2021. We had a good relationship and something happened and I don’t know what. My wife said he was going through some stuff but didn’t tell me what that stuff was. I tried not to pry.
I certainly always tried to please my wife. Was I a “yes man”? I don’t know. I am who I am. Can I work on some aspects of my life? For sure. I know my strengths and weaknesses. In my first relationship I did voice myself more but I can say that I didn’t really love her. It was my first relationship we were both lonely and we just stayed together too long. The feelings I have for my wife is unconditional love. I want her to be happy and I tried to do that. I did a lot of good things. I was good with the kids and I was good ti her. And I will always be good to her and I will never hurt her. Have I been hurt? Yes. But I’m trying to take things in stride as much as it hurts.September 17, 2022 at 11:30 am #407042
I’m having a hard time letting go as I think that there could still be a future for us just not at this moment. I like to think that once the kids grow up the parents are out of the house that we can make it work. Like I said, I think this was more circumstantial than a failed marriage. Could things have been done differently? Yes but I can’t change the past. I need to move.September 17, 2022 at 11:45 am #407043anitaParticipant
“Was there a lack of communication? For sure there was… We had a good relationship and something happened and I don’t know what”,
“I love my wife my than anything… The feelings I have for my wife is unconditional love. I want her to be happy and I tried to do that. I did a lot of good things. I was good with the kids and I was good to her. And I will always be good to her and I will never hurt her”-
– like I wrote to you earlier, Dan: you are a good man and your love for your wife is admirable. If there is a remedy to the marriage, I would imagine that it would be better communication. It is a shame that marriage counseling was an idea that didn’t come to fruition. A capable couple counselor would have taught the two of you, in the context of ongoing therapy, how to communicate well with each other.
I am wishing you the best!
anitaSeptember 17, 2022 at 12:52 pm #407044
I haven’t noticed it before, but now that anita brought it up, I also feel that you don’t really know what was your wife feeling and thinking when she asked for separation. You don’t understand why it happened and are only guessing, because it seems you didn’t really have an honest and open communication with her.
You say that you had a good relationship with her son, until something happened, but you don’t know what. You asked your wife and she told you her son was going “through some stuff” but didn’t tell you what that stuff was. You didn’t ask further because you didn’t want to”pry”.
Actually, it wouldn’t have been prying because it was directly related to you, and he is your stepson. Prying would have been if you wanted to know intimate details about a neighbor, but not if you are worried about your stepson pulling away from you for no apparent reason. I think you deserved an honest conversation with your wife, but it never happened.
Also, you say that you don’t know why you slept on the couch and not in your stepson’s room. BTW I thought that you started sleeping on the couch only when your wife’s mother moved in. I thought that in Sept 2021, when you wife complained about your snoring, you moved to your stepson’s room and that you basically swapped places with him. But it seems this isn’t what happened?
I think it would be important to answer this question (if not here on the forum, at least to yourself): Why indeed did you sleep on the couch and not on the bed, in your stepson’s room, which was free at that time? Was it because his room was “off limits” and you wouldn’t be welcome there? Or it was you who didn’t want to intrude? Or no one offered you to sleep there? Please try to answer this question as honestly as you can, because it may reveal a few things about the dynamic between you and your wife, and about your place in this blended family.September 17, 2022 at 1:33 pm #407045
What happened was before her mom moved in I was in the master bedroom. My wife was downstairs and her son would sometimes sleep in his own room. Once her mom moved in she took my bed and I slept on the couch. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t sleep in my stepson’s room. I think it was because I didn’t want to as it’s his space. I suppose I could have had I wanted to.
I know there was a lack of communication. My wife is very independent and does have trouble communicating. She is more dismissive avoidant type whereas I’m anxious pre occupied and this is where my “neediness” shows up. I’ve done some reading on these styles and a lot of it makes sense into the dynamics of the relationship.
Im just hurt and thought we could still see one another and we did up until her mom moved in. I’m trying to find some peace within myself but it’s not easy.September 17, 2022 at 1:35 pm #407046
My wife told me that she wanted a separation because she was emotionally tapped out. She couldn’t do it all. Be a wife, mother and caretaker. She said that she loves me but wasn’t in love with me. She said a lot of things that at that time I don’t think she meant. As when we got back together she said she was in love with me. I think it was all just too much to handle and I came at the bottom of the totem pole.September 18, 2022 at 12:49 am #407165HelcatParticipant
It is interesting to learn that the father of the children is abusive. That makes sense. I was wondering why he stopped providing childcare during the pandemic?
Would you mind explaining a little more about how at times you don’t take care of your own needs?
I can tell that you are a loving husband. Thank you for the added details regarding sleeping arrangements. I was confused because previously I thought you slept in the basement upon your wife’s request. It is a shame that you have a snoring issue, I hope that you sought medical advice to treat it because snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea.
The situation with your ex-wife sounds very complicated with an abusive father to her children and a sick mother she needs to care for. No wonder she is feeling burnt out. It must be very stressful for you too to be on the receiving end of these circumstances. It is good that you have been working with a therapist. I’m sure that this will be helpful and help you work through the situation. I hope in time, that the pain you are experiencing lessens. Please take extra care of your needs during this difficult time.September 18, 2022 at 5:42 am #407169
My wife told me that she wanted a separation because she was emotionally tapped out. She couldn’t do it all. Be a wife, mother and caretaker.
I went back and read your first post more carefully, and realized that her mother stayed with you only for a few weeks in January. She moved out at the end of January (Her mom had moved out at the end of January), and that’s when your wife asked for a separation.
I can imagine she was felt very burdened during her mother’s stay, however, her mother moved out – so the stress should have been lesser. Instead of feeling relieved that things can now go back to normal, it is then that she chose to end things with you. It’s as if her mother’s stay was just the last drop in her feeling bad about the relationship for some time. It seems she was feeling “emotionally tapped” even when her mother was not there.
The major cause of stress, as it seems, was her son’s resentment towards you. But she didn’t tell you anything about it back in October 2021, when you started noticing it (and asked her about it). She said her son was going through some stuff, but didn’t say what those problems were. You didn’t ask because you didn’t want to pry. So you didn’t know, and she didn’t tell you, that her son’s issues were related to you, not to something else.
During that fall of 2021, the tensions grew (Our house got smaller and smaller with her and I both working from home), and you sometimes went to your mother’s place, because you “knew your wife needed some space”.
Around Christmas – when her mother was still not living with you – you felt that something was off, but again, you didn’t ask anything, and she didn’t say anything (Then Christmas hit and something didn’t feel right but I was kept in the dark.) She “kept you in the dark”.
At the end of January – towards the end of her mother’s stay – your wife started behaving visibly cold with you and it lasted for almost a week (the end of January my wife for almost a week was giving me the cold shoulder). Again, you didn’t ask anything, she didn’t say anything. Eventually, at the end of that week, when no one was at home, she told you she wanted a separation.
The fact that she never set down to discuss things with you, and that she was withholding the information that her son was resenting you – tells me that she didn’t really want to try to mend things. It seems to me that she made the decision to leave you, and was just waiting for the appropriate moment (when her mother left) to inform you about it. Probably that’s why she didn’t want to try counseling either. Her decision was made.
It seems to me that you didn’t try to understand what was going on in her head, even when she was giving you the cold shoulder. That’s why you don’t know what she really felt, what bothered her, why she left you, and why she doesn’t really want to communicate with you now:
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.
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.
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.
You don’t know because you never asked her. And she never told you. But maybe she would have told you if you asked her? It seems there was this wall of silence between you, and that both of you were reluctant to voice your concerns. Neither of you wanted to be honest with the other.
It seems to me that she saw herself primarily in the mother and care-taker role, and had lots of guilt about not meeting everyone’s needs. The problem is that you confirmed that role by not really communicating with her, not asking how she was feeling, what was bothering her etc. Instead, you would leave to your mother’s place when your wife felt overwhelmed (and couldn’t meet your needs).
Probably it only confirmed to her that she cannot count on your help in challenging times, but rather, that you too (like everybody else around her) have demands on her. She probably saw you more like another child of hers, not like a partner.
When you gave her a very favorable settlement for the house, she suddenly saw you as a man – as someone who can protect her and GIVE to her, not just ask from her. And that made her fall in love with you all over again! But it didn’t last for long, because the old patterns – both in you and in her – are still active.
Anyway, this is my view of the situation. What do you think? Would you agree that the dynamic between the two of you was more like that of a mother and a child, and not two grown ups?September 18, 2022 at 9:09 am #407172
I would agree that there was a lack of communication. As for me not being there to help in challenging times that is incorrect. I was always there to help her and I did, I did a lot to help with anything and she knew that. She even said that she felt like she was using me as I was always willing to help. When we got back together for a few weeks but then she said she needed space I asked her why. She told me that she needed to gather herself a bit as I think the feelings my have started becoming a bit too intense for her. I said that’s fine and she said it was hard to tell me that because I am always there to help and that I’m always nice. So that theory is a bit of a stretch, but I do understand what you’re saying and there could be a sliver of truth to it. Her mom did move out at the end of January however she did move back in in June and that’s when we stopped seeing one another again.
The father wasn’t overly abusive however I know he didn’t really step up as a father. He didn’t pay child support and my wife didn’t ask for it. I provided more for the kids than he did. In fact, with the settlement of the house happened, the only reason I didn’t take 50% of what I was entitled to is simply because of the kids. I took them in to full consideration.
As for my needs. Again it’s hard for me to say exactly what. I would often want to go on a mini vacation as we really didn’t have a honeymoon and she wouldn’t want to go. I also feel closet with her through physical touch. At some point that wasnt being reciprocated. I’m not just talking about sex but just any kind of physical affection. Anyhow, I may have wanted that too much and I think sometimes for her being more of a dismissive avoidant style of attachment this wasn’t always easy for her to do.September 18, 2022 at 9:12 am #407173
I guess I should say through when we were being intimate with one another it was good. We had very good chemistry in that regard.September 18, 2022 at 11:00 am #407183
As for me not being there to help in challenging times that is incorrect. I was always there to help her and I did, I did a lot to help with anything and she knew that. She even said that she felt like she was using me as I was always willing to help.
I apologize for assuming that you weren’t there to help. I assumed it because you said you went to your mother’s place when the “house got smaller and smaller” and when your wife needed some space. I thought that at those times your wife was very busy with her children and other tasks, and you felt like she cannot give you the attention you needed, so you got out of her way, not to disturb her. Even if the latter is true – that you felt a little neglected at times – I now realize that this doesn’t mean you didn’t help your wife in the household or otherwise (providing a generous settlement is a great example of that!). I am sorry for making that assumption.
When we got back together for a few weeks but then she said she needed space I asked her why. She told me that she needed to gather herself a bit as I think the feelings my have started becoming a bit too intense for her. I said that’s fine and she said it was hard to tell me that because I am always there to help and that I’m always nice.
She needed space because she needed to gather herself. Those are her words. Your interpretation is that “the feelings may have started becoming a bit too intense for her.” But you don’t know that for sure. I think she is conflicted and that’s why she needs to “gather herself”. She needs to decide what she wants. On one hand, she appreciates your help and generosity and the fact that you are always nice. But on the other, there is something bothering her, and I don’t think it’s just that her children have an issue with you.
I will dare to say that she too has an issue with you, and it could be because you never asked her those deeper things, and maybe she felt like you didn’t care? It’s again an assumption on my part, but if there was no communication between you, and the distance was growing, it’s very likely that there was some resentment on her part. She actually showed it by behaving strangely around Christmas and then giving you the cold shoulder in January…
I guess I should say through when we were being intimate with one another it was good. We had very good chemistry in that regard.
It could be that when you spend some time apart, she feels the spark again. But when you are too close together, and she feels burdened by a lot of things, and on top of that you behave emotionally needy (a little bit like a child of hers), that spark is gone.
I also feel closest with her through physical touch. At some point that wasn’t being reciprocated. I’m not just talking about sex but just any kind of physical affection.
I can imagine that if the emotional distance between you grew ever larger, then no wonder she didn’t feel like being physically close either. I’d say emotional intimacy is a precondition for physical intimacy.September 18, 2022 at 1:19 pm #407188
I think part of the problem was that I cared too much. If I felt tension I would always want to know what was wrong and I often burdened myself with wanting to make things right. I would often ask what did I do wrong. I was hard on myself.September 18, 2022 at 1:28 pm #407189
I think part of the problem was that I cared too much. If I felt tension I would always want to know what was wrong
At those times when your wife was giving you the cold shoulder and when you felt that the distance between you was growing – have you asked her what’s wrong?September 18, 2022 at 9:01 pm #407211
Yes.September 18, 2022 at 10:28 pm #407216
OK, so you would ask, but she wouldn’t tell you what’s wrong? When she kept you in the dark, you’ve tried to approach her, but she refused to communicate?