November 20, 2019 at 8:44 am #323741
My wife and i have been together for 13 yrs, married for 7. Have 2 children ages 5 & 2. Both of our parents are still married, never divorced or anything. For my job i travel a lot and would spend many days working 730am to 630pm, putting all of the house chores and what not on my wife. On Halloween 3 weeks ago it came out that she doesn’t know if she wants to be with me anymore because she realized that she can do everything by herself. So since that day i have been working very very hard at being a better husband and father. I’ve been doing chores, helping with the kids etc but she is still very distant. We went to a marriage counselor and he wanted us to 1) have a date night, 2) do a personality test and share with one another and 3) discuss out 5 yr,10yr and retirement goals with one another. She has done #2 and that’s it, she is completely stonewalling me. Yesterday she texted me that, she feels that we have grown apart and that we’re roommates not husband and wife. So i asked her on a date this Saturday and she said no. So last night in bed i said i love you and i am here for you, she leaned over and gave me a kiss and says “she knows” then i asked if she would like to talk at all, she said no. She still kisses me everyday and says “i love you” but other than that shes very distant. I am just heart broken, a defeated man. I have realized i need to work on only things i can control, my actions/thoughts/words/etc.. But, i just want to fix this. We meet with our counselor next Tuesday but i need mental help, i am hurt and want to fix this but i realize it’s on her to do so. She said she has noticed me trying very hard but her feelings of being distant and grown apart are not going away. The counselor and I have asked her if there is another man and she has said no every time. I have asked her if she thinks she may have depression, she said no.. I am a faithful, hardworking, honest, loyal man who loves his wife very much but i do not know what to do, divorce is not the answer, that is just running away from your problems and showing our kids it’s OK to “quit” when things get hard. She agree’d with me when i said that so, idk if she actually really wants to do that or not. I believe she is in a “funk” and is hurt by my ignorance and unappreciative actions lately. But like i said, i need mental and emotional help, i’ve reached out to my mom and brother in law who’ve helped but, i need someone’s advice who doesn’t know us.November 20, 2019 at 10:13 am #323753
Your wife feels that the two of you “have grown apart”, living like “roommates not husband and wife”, yet she is not motivated to grow toward you (“I asked her on a date this Saturday and she said no… I asked if she would like to talk at all, she said no”).
“She said she has noticed me trying very hard but her feelings of being distant and grown apart are not going away”- as she noticed you trying very hard, she did not respond with empathy for you, empathy for you caring so much and therefore trying so hard. If she felt empathy for you, she would have felt closer, not distant like before.
You wrote: “I am a faithful, hardworking, honest, loyal man who loves his wife very much… I believe she is in a ‘funk’ and is hurt by my ignorance and unappreciative actions lately”-
– what do you mean by “ignorance and unappreciative actions lately”, what were those actions?
anitaNovember 20, 2019 at 10:37 am #323759
i have never been married nor do i have kids so i can only imagine the pain you are experiencing. I had 2 friends go through a very similar situation, and the problem ended up that it was “too little, too late” in their case. They went into a panic when told that their wives didnt feel for them as the did before, and went bombarded the woman with their love and emotions that she hadnt seen in quite some time. This caused her to become even more distant. Both cases ended in divorce, the first one the woman regretted leaving after she realized she put an end to their marriage too soon and decided not to work on things. The second woman left for another man and actually is attempting to rekindle with her ex husband at this very moment, and this is 2 years later.
what i would suggest is that you seem to have put all of your emotions and efforts out there. Shes well aware of how you feel now. You cannot change what has made this situation occur. Go about your life as you were before, but make the proper adjustments, and show that you are a man of his word. Let her know that you still want this to work and that you still love her, but not in a means of panic. That will only drive her away from you. She needs the space to figure out why she is being so distant, but in the mean time, make sure you continue to work hard to keep up with your work and the additional chores your have been trying to absorb to help out. I always say to avoid conflict, work around the house that needs done, act as if nobody else is going to take care of it and just take care of it yourself when things need attention. Think about it, whats worse, absorbing the responsibilities or having conflict with your family?
also take into consideration that you can only believe that she is telling you the truth on why she is distant. If there is another man, there is absolutely nothing you can do to control that situation. As far as date night goes, she has already said no, so take her for her word. It is now up to her to reach out for a date or to talk about the love you have for one another.
i had a woman fall out of love with me after years of dating and living together purely because i did not seem to show her the affection she desired for the last month we were together. Thats how quickly a woman can change her mind. I went on to smother her, it pushed her away.
sometimes we lose track of what we are doing in relationships, but the lack of communication along the way compounds the issues. She didnt communicate this to you until it was too late, and you continued to do the things that were driving her away, not even realizing the damage. Just know that you are not a horrible person for this, and that we all make mistakes.
trust me when i say, the worst you can do is panic and smother. If there happens to be someone else involved, its out of your control, if not, you can still mend this, it will take time.November 20, 2019 at 11:22 am #323767
Thank you for responding. By those i mean, the last few months putting my job first, not being there to help out around the house and the kids.November 20, 2019 at 11:29 am #323769
Thank you also for responding. I completely understand what you mean by smothering. I guess this totally blind sided me so now months of me not doing what i should have done is pouring out like crazy.
I will continue being the man of my word and doing what needs to be done, although it’ll be hard I know i can do it, for my kids’ sake.
She had sent me a text after i wrote the first post saying “i feel we are in separate places, wanting different things. I feel we have become more like friends than anything else” which i would agree, but it takes two to keep the spark alive. I feel like she’s already given up hope. I almost feel bad for her, what happens if we end this then she’s onto the next relationship then things go stale, she’ll move on again and never be happy.. that’s awfully sad.
But again, thank you for the words of encouragement and support.November 20, 2019 at 11:59 am #323773
there is no fault in panicking when being blindsided. Ive done it myself and every man will if they have never dealt with these situations.
having your children as your priority will always keep you straight.
as for her text to you, thats heart wrenching to read, as i have read it before myself. She has to deal with this situation on her own, and all you can do is wait and continue to be there for your kids and provide. I wouldnt write this off completely though. Feelings change like the weather and can surely change for the better in this particular situation. I know from experience that ive felt one way before, and felt different a month later as a male, and females can change as well.
if she moves onto relationship, there is no changing that. What women often do is “check out” long before they notify the man, so they grieve on their own before the break up, so when it actually happens, they have gone through the stages already, as opposed to the man who had no idea it was even coming, and will look to struggle for quite some time ahead. Women seem to move on easier as well because of this fact, and i truly believe they follow this exact method. Men seem to deal with much more regret when leaving situations, as they trust their instinct initially, followed by seeing how they feel about their decision afterward.
you cannot feel bad for someone if she did not actively communicate the issues to you in order to save your relationship. By that i mean it should have been voiced many times in a marriage because a marriage is supposed to be a forever bond, for better or worse. If she did make attempts and you did not change, taking her for granted, then you will learn from this. But lack of communication can be often overlooked when you have the amount of responsibilities that he two of you have had for the length of time you have been together.
time will expose the entire situation for what it actually is. I have always followed my gut instinct on these things and have found there is always more to the story. One thing is, if there is a lack of clarity, there is something being left out. If it were straightforward, you may not like what you are being told, but there would be no question as to why it ended. So keep in mind that you may not be totally at fault.
<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Consider how hard it is to change yourself, and youll understand what little chance you have in changing others.
feel free to ask me questions anytime. Like ive said, ive never been married and dont have kids, but i have been through both sides of some tough break ups, as well as witnessed a handful from ones close to me.November 20, 2019 at 12:17 pm #323779
Maybe your wife is guided solely by her feelings, as in no-spark, no-marriage. Doesn’t matter that she has two young children, and a loving, hard working, loyal husband, what matters to her is that she doesn’t feel the spark?
A marriage and family is a heavy duty commitment and a long term project, it requires a commitment independent of a spark (which cannot possibly be experienced at all time, nor can it be forced). It requires a partnership, common goals, common values. I suppose that is what the marriage counselor aimed at the two of you discussing your “5 yr, 10 yr and retirement goals with one another”.
It is possible for your wife to experience a spark with another man, but that too will not last, the spark that is. And your two young children, two dependent lives- traded for a temporary spark?
anitaNovember 20, 2019 at 12:39 pm #323789
I truly believe she is driven by emotions, but how can someone be so callus towards someone they love. She is stonewalling me and dropped that bomb on me then doesn’t say hardly anything.. Only time she talks is through text and that started yesterday.. It’s almost heartless… maybe she’s gone, her loss i guess..
I am not giving up though, tomorrow is a new day. Putting one foot in front of the other, making the best of a crap situation.
I am in love with that woman!November 20, 2019 at 1:02 pm #323793
Humans are emotional animals, what drives us is emotion, that energy-in-motion. But we also have logic available to us and that thing called values, such as trust, being worthy of our partner’s trust, being that safe place for him (or her), where he doesn’t have to worry about an on-and-off spark. And there is the value of parenting a child one brought into the world, doing the right thing by that child.
Here is my current input regarding her off-spark: the more you try to reignite it in her, the less likely it is to be re-ignited. No use chasing it. Your recent efforts to help her, suggesting a date and so forth, that didn’t make a difference. Better not repeat what doesn’t work.
Consider moving to another room, in the same home with her, so to give her the physical space, her own bedroom. Do the opposite of chasing her- give her all the distance she can handle. Maybe in that distance, a spark will be born. I think this is your better bet. What do you think?
anitaNovember 20, 2019 at 1:14 pm #323795
I’ve always been a fixer. I’ve always been a very sensitive man who wears his emotions on his sleeves. This will be a very difficult task but you make absolute sense “better not repeat what doesn’t work”.
My only fear is, my wife is very stubborn and prideful, i fear that my distance will “reaffirm” her decisions to start winding this marriage down. That’s why I’ve been reluctant to do the distance thing but, i guess that’s not working for me either so i guess i will try the distance approach.
Again, thank you so very much for the support and taking time out of your day to help, and that goes for everyone who comments on this.November 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm #323801
You are welcome. I think that the distance approach is more likely to get you what you want. I wouldn’t take a rude-distance approach, that might not work with a “very stubborn and prideful” woman. Present to her the idea of her having her own bedroom for the time being as something that she may prefer, something that will make her more comfortable. And be nice about it and throughout the distance period of time.
The distance should not be presented and delivered as punishment, but as a way for her to feel more comfortable. Within this distance, you can still eat together, or watch TV or whatnot, so the two of you will still be living in the same house and interacting. But the distance should be significant enough to make a difference for her.
And again, within this distance, a spark may be ignited. Or something like a spark, warm and cozy- maybe that will be good enough for her.
anitaNovember 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm #323803
So what you’re saying is sleep in other rooms?November 20, 2019 at 1:52 pm #323809
I would say that if you notice that she is uncomfortable being in the same bedroom as you, it being that she feels so distant, then ask her if she is indeed uncomfortable and suggest staying in separate rooms, for her comfort.
Because you will be seeing your new marriage counselor next week, if you don’t notice her discomfort, maybe you better wait and suggest it during the session.
My point still stands: give her distance and something is more likely to be ignited in that distance, and remember to remain pleasant and respectful within this distance.
anitaNovember 20, 2019 at 1:53 pm #323811
I 100% agree with anita. I would give the distance she is asking for and see what happens with that. Only because you tried to give her the love and it didnt work.
now, if shes being stubborn and doesnt truly want the distance, that will eventually eat at her and she will break. But it will be the only way you can find out if she will return to acting like your wife again.
i look at it this way, if you want closure then you can continue to look for answers and beg, and you will surely get your answers but it will come at the ultimate cost, which is she will leave. Or you can try the distance and the unfortunate waiting game, which sucks, but it is what it is at this point. If she is to return to you, i truly believe the only way that will happen is from option 2. If you try this and she doesnt come back, then she wasnt going to come back regardless. I know from experience, and with the knowledge, its still hard to not express your emotions when you feel depressed and anxious to save the day. I feel like you and have many times been able to talk myself out of situations, but learned the hard way that, sometimes the talking digs a deeper hole.November 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm #323813
I agree with the solid advice here and will only add that it’s interesting that this is occurring after seven years of marriage. Sounds like the “7 year itch” to me. They say it’s common for marriages to lose some happiness after seven years, that romantic feelings are reduced/tensions increased, both of which can lead to infidelity. We get overwhelmed with juggling our relationships with childrearing/work, the mortgage/rent payments, feeling stressed out and unappreciated, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and why we wanted to marry in the first place. Regular date nights help but since she’s not interested do all you can to remind yourself (and her) of all you are aside from husband/dad/employee/provider/etc. Get your swagger back, take care of yourself, dress nicely, exercise when you can, show off your sex appeal. This just may remind her that other women find you attractive and could snap her out of this 7-year-thing real quick. 🙂