February 7, 2023 at 12:36 pm #415133
I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been sleeping on the couch for two weeks and that it’s gotten the stage of one last try before separation. I can understand feeling worried about the couples counselling. Please let me know how you find it.
The text was beautiful, I can see the love behind it. You’re truly doing the best you can to heal the relationship.
Good luck with the couples counselling session.
Wishing you all the best 🙏February 8, 2023 at 1:52 am #415151
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
DaveFebruary 8, 2023 at 4:34 am #415154
I’m glad to hear that your couples counselling session went well and that your wife wanted to cuddle as a result of it. That is a very positive sign!
I hope further progress is made in the following sessions. I look forward to hearing how things go.
Wishing you both good luck!February 8, 2023 at 6:18 am #415160
I am so glad that you & your wife went to couples counselling & that it was a positive experience and that your wife was able to verbalise her need for a cuddle and that you were able to overcome your initial ambivalence and literally embraced the situation to nourish her & your relationship.
If you both wish and are active in taking care of your precious family unit you will bring happiness not only to yourselves but will help with peace in a greater sense
RobertaFebruary 8, 2023 at 9:48 am #415165
This is good news, Dave!
Both you and your wife are exhausted and when this happens the intimacy between the two of you naturally takes a hit because any sliver of free time either of you has is spent tending to your own individual basic needs. Your basic needs are different from hers, just like my husband’s are different from mine. So we compromise and lower our expectations and become radically supportive of one another, even through our hurt feelings. Give it a try. Watch what happens.
BFebruary 15, 2023 at 4:39 am #415422
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?
Please help?February 15, 2023 at 1:46 pm #415433
The mere fact that she was willing & did go to couples counselling means that she has not completely closed the door on the relationship. Does the counselor give both of you homework to do to help you focus on growing your relationship between sessions? It is quite normal for people to yo yo, think how many times a day we do that….. what shall I wear……what shall I eat etc we certainly dont have a wardrobe full of identical clothes and eat the same meal 3 times a day 7 days a week so working thru issues in a relationship will involve a lot of waxing & waning of whether to stay or go.
Hopefully by the end of the 8 sessions you will both have a clearer idea on whether you both still wish to nourish the relationship.
RobertaFebruary 15, 2023 at 1:56 pm #415434
It’s nice to hear that you had a short family trip. It’s a shame that the older kids are catching on. That would be a challenging conversation to have.
Your second couples counselling session sounds intense.
The communication and initiative comment is confusing to me. You seem to communicate well. What exactly does she want you to take initiative with?
I can understand your feelings of feeling out of control and emotional. It seems like the ball is in your wife’s court to decide what to do.
I can understand wanting you to have other activities in your life.
So do feel like your wife is holding back because she feels like if she goes all in then she believes that you would go back to how things normally are?
I can understand the confusion caused by your wife’s hesitation when it comes to making this decision.
I would also add that it’s not the worst sign. She might not be ready yet. But she’s not on her way out of the door either. If all she can do is wait and see, it’s technically her trying to give you a chance.
What exactly she wants you to do in the relationship, I’m not sure. You’ll have a better idea of that.February 16, 2023 at 10:12 am #415472
Work hard on those things she’s concerned about: 1) your negativity…get to the bottom of why you’re negative and fix that, 2) your tendency to allow her to take the lead on things…time to correct this too. 3) communication issues 4) not having independent interests/hobbies, 5) your defensiveness…maybe she’s looking for you to take ownership of some things.
It’s like you said, decide to be the best version of you that you can be. Individual therapy can help you achieve this. Make the big changes in yourself! Decide to become a genuinely more more positive person (a gratitude journal can help), have your own healthy hobby that you do independently from her, communicate effectively with her, start taking the lead on things, be less defensive. It takes time. Be patient. Work on improving yourself every single day. Show her how important she is to you.
BMarch 5, 2023 at 12:41 am #416014LilibethParticipant
I’ve been reading through the thread a little and this is what I see:
you guys have grown apart emotionally because there was just not enough energy left for the want-to’s after taking care of all the have-to’s for years.
If you really want to reconnect emotionally and physically, make a plan together to get there.
1. Describe what you both want to achieve in a realistic way (being intimate, how does that look like for you). Describe it in details, even if it feels awkward.
2. When you’ve got your goal clear, start making plans on how to get there from scratch. Start with defining a moment where you are both available on a weekly basis, or more often. Like every Tuesday at 9PM and every Friday at 9:30 PM for example.
3. Then describe what you will do in those moments. She massages your nek for 10 minutes, you massage her feet for 10 minutes. While doing so you ask what she likes or dislikes and she does the same while massaging you. Afterwards you cuddle and discuss what you are feeling honestly. Were you scared to be rejected, or just started feeling that emotional connection already? Were you distracted with thoughts about the have-to’s? Write these questions down so you have them ready when the moment comes.
4. Add steps to get closer to the intimacy you both want (your defined goal) .
5. Commit to these times and block them in your agenda. And call it exercises at first. Before you move on to the next step in the plan, first check in with eachother, are you both ready to proceed?
6. Have fun together doing the intimacy-exercises and hug at least 8 times a day for at least 30 seconds. It will increase your happiness-hormones.
Things are not lost, you both need to recommit to being emotionally intimate.June 15, 2023 at 8:24 am #420088
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!June 15, 2023 at 2:00 pm #420089TeeParticipant
I am sorry your wife seems to have made up her mind about separation. I see how you care about her and are willing to do your part, but she is becoming more distant.
You said earlier that she complains about your sarcasm, negativity and your being defensive. Can you give me an example of a sarcastic remark that you used to make? Or an example of your negativity, as well as defensiveness?
To be honest, I get the feeling that your wife might be a little too strict with you, expecting you to be a certain type of person (someone with the initiative, more energetic and bold in making decisions), when you are not that type, but are perhaps more passive and indecisive.
What I noticed as a possibly problematic behavior on your part is going out with your friends and coworkers for a drink and regularly coming home later than agreed:
I like to party and go out with friends and work colleagues often coming home later than agreed,
How often did you go out with your friends and coworkers? And may I ask how much later did you arrive than agreed?
You also said that you shared half of the household chores and care about the children. Which would indicate that you didn’t go out to drink on a regular basis, but only occasionally? So perhaps your wife is judging you a little too harshly and accusing you of things you are not guilty of?
In other words, it could be that you are “guilty” of certain things, but not of everything that she holds you against you.June 15, 2023 at 6:47 pm #420097
You’ve tried to resuscitate your marriage but if her mind is made up then perhaps it’s time to begin to accept her decision, as difficult as it may be. Commit to being an amazing single father to your kids and explore what really motivates you in life and brings you joy. It’s easy to lose ourselves in life’s many pressures; maybe it’s time to find yourself again. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Raising kids is hard, and your sons will be teenagers soon. You’ll need a strong sense of self to guide them through those turbulent years. Maybe your wife is pulling away because she senses that you’ve possibly lost that. A man of integrity who’s focused on clear goals, has high standards and a positive outlook on life can’t help but be an positive role model for his soon-to-be teenage sons and, trust me, their mother will notice. Get that guy back, Dave!
BJune 16, 2023 at 3:45 am #420100
Your drinking and lying are probably the last nail in the coffin of your marriage as you came across as unreliable and untrustworthy. I know this sounds harsh but your wife tried albiet maybe unskillfully to vocalise her needs and the problems that she felt she was encountering both in daily life and the relationship.
So where do you go from here? Some deep reflection about the needs of your children and resolve about how you wish to conduct yourself in the future. Being consistent in your commitments to the children & household requirement, this will build trust. Also offer to look after the children so yours wife can have “me time” maybe she used to have a hobby that she used to enjoy but has not had the time or energy ie you could pay for half a dozen yoga classes. and when you take the children out do not over treat them keep it simple like playing football in the park as you don,t want to get either into a competitive cycle or make her feel inferior. After you have put your daughter to bed make your wife a cuppa and do the dishes if there are any and ask her if there is anything you can do to help.
Remember being responsible, & reliable will mean more rapport with your wife.
Wishing you all the best on this next leg of your lifes journey.June 18, 2023 at 7:07 pm #420129Sarah Jeanne BrowneParticipant
It seems like you both have some work to do on yourselves. You said you prioritize going out or work and she gives all her energy to the kids and not to you. Could you guys afford a nanny? just curious!
The question you need to ask yourself is this – When was the last time you were vulnerable to her and showed her any pain or fear or frustration in an expressive manner?
I feel that communication, energy and possibly differing priorities are causing the strain. It’s not necessarily that you don’t love each other.
In the moments you are together, look into her eyes and brush back her hair and just stay in that space as long as possible. You don’t have to talk, or can if you want to. Tell her you need time with her where you just exist for each other – no expectations.
When you’re in love you want to make out all day and can’t leave each other’s sides. That fades out when you stop opening up to each other.
Perhaps even writing a letter of all that you want to say and giving it to her. Have her do the same to you.
It’s a lost spark that CAN be rekindled.
But also NEVER stay with someone because of the kids. They will feel the strain either way.
Lastly, love yourself. You’re detaching from yourself too. You need to focus on yourself in a different way. You won’t be happy in ANY situation if you don’t self-reflect and turn inward. Your circumstances don’t dictate happiness. Your character and inner peace do.