I won’t lie. I’m writing this article because I am literally asking myself this question. A month ago, my wife told me out of the blue that she was done with our marriage of almost 15 years. So, why does my wife suddenly want a divorce?
A wife will seemingly suddenly decide she wants a divorce most often because she has grown frustrated and resentful over a long period of time and has given up hope of her husband’s ability to change. Unfortunately, wives don’t always communicate their needs clearly and in a way husbands can understand.
And if you follow the belief of love languages, it’s also easy to see how 2 people with totally different love languages could be communicating with each other but not be understood.
But that’s an oversimplification.
And in our case, there are a lot of issues my wife has held on to that she’s allowed to fester and grow, without really addressing the issues with me. And while she has seen a therapist on and off, she’s never once asked to see one together in the past decade.
So my world is shattered, and I’m just over here trying to pick up the pieces and figure things out.
So if you’re in a similar situation, then join me as we discovered what’s really going on, what to do, and (most importantly) what NOT to do.
Let’s get going.
Why would a wife not talk about problems with her husband before reaching a breaking point?
Many times women believe that a husband should just know what she knows or thinks something should be obvious to her husband because it is obvious to her. So in most cases, a wife probably believes she has clearly communicated issues even if that isn’t really her husband’s perception.
That was definitely true in my wife’s case.
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve told her “I’m not a mind reader” after she’s said something to the effect of “well, you should have just known”.
She is a Pisces and I am a Virgo/Libra.
So I tend to be very technical and literal in my thinking and she is very colorful and descriptive, but ultimately vague for the way my brain works.
In our case, she did indeed claim now that she’s wanted to leave me for 2 years.
But bear in mind that during those 2 years, she’s told me hundreds of times how much she loves me (she still claims she does) and how much she can’t live without me, etc.
It’s hard for that to not feel fake or phony to me.
But in her brain, all of it is likely true, and certainly not an outright lie. But to my brain, it’s hard to understand how someone could say and feel all of that at the same time.
She actually asked me yesterday during a somewhat (thankfully rare) heated exchange “what should I have done differently?”
And to that I simply replied:
You could have said to me 2 years ago “Hey, I’m really struggling with our marriage and I’m not sure I want to stay married, and I think we should see a therapist to see if it’s possible to save our marriage”.
And she absolutely should have said that.
And NOT saying that is totally unfair not only to me but also to our kids and ultimately to her also. I deserved the opportunity to hear what she was upset about, and for us collectively to work on those issues.
There’s no shame in walking away after trying everything. There IS shame in walking away without trying or communicating.
But to be specific, her issues center around 2 things I did:
- I had an affair that lasted about 2 months which ended in 2013
- I procrastinated on getting a vasectomy and she later got pregnant (and we had a 3rd child in 2017)
And if you notice, neither of those events are recent.
You might also notice that on the 2nd issue, I’m pretty sure it takes 2 people to get pregnant. But so far, she takes no ownership of her part in getting pregnant and giving birth to our 3rd child.
Yes, she could have gotten her tubes tied, and yes she could have insisted we not have sex until I got a vasectomy. But she didn’t do those things, and she willingly engaged in sex knowing pregnancy was a possibility.
But as of right now, that’s 100% my fault, and her issue is it delayed her finishing her college degree and embarking on her career.
And those are genuine issues that I understand and empathize with.
On the affair, I know that was 100% wrong, and took many steps to take ownership and earn her trust back following that. And while it took a while, I thought we had genuinely completely worked through it. And we renewed our wedding vows following the affair (at her suggestion).
So I’m not saying I didn’t make mistakes, and the affair, in particular, was huge.
I am saying it’s not fair to bring those up many years later, without having ever mentioned it in recent years, as the reasons you want a divorce.
— The Mystery Man (@GuessWhoMan) May 1, 2021
What is walkaway-wife syndrome?
Walkaway-wife syndrome is used to describe women who walk away on emotionally vacant marriages to emotionally distant husbands. In short, these women leave when they have felt emotionally unfulfilled for a long time and feel like they have communicated their needs without any change.
The term walkaway-wife was coined by journalist Paul Akers who explored why women were filing for divorce so much more often than men compared to previous decades.
If this sounds familiar either as the wife of an emotionally unavailable man or if you know, as the man, that you are emotionally unavailable, then I encourage you to read my recent article on this subject.
I get into not only how to know for sure what the issue is, but also how to fix it, including the 1 thing that fixes the issue 75% of the time.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Walkaway-wife syndrome is not, however, the female equivalent of Wife Abandonment Syndrome which is where men leave their wives, seemingly out of the blue without ever expressing to their wives that they were unhappy or considering divorce.
And then many times they go on to sort of re-write history to paint themselves as more of a victim.
And in my case with my wife, Wife Abandonment Syndrome, or in our case, Husband Abandonment Syndrome, is more accurate.
But if you are a husband whose wife is leaving or threatening to leave because she feels no emotional connection to you, take it SERIOUSLY!
You can change.
You may have been raised to be the strong silent type, or think that your primary role is just to be the breadwinner. Those are common roles men are taught, and I’ve thought that way too.
But, in truth, our wives and our families need a lot more than that.
It’s OK to open up and share your feelings. It is also OK to not feel the need to control everything. In truth, NOTHING is within our control except how we respond to others and situations.
How to Persuade Your Spouse to Seek Marriage Help Without Being Manipulative https://t.co/Ix5ZkxLFMO
— Marriage Helper (@marriagehelper) November 17, 2018
What are signs that your marriage is over?
Some of the clear signs a marriage is over, or at least in big trouble, include:
- If you or your spouse name-call, belittle, or often yell profanity at each other
- If each of you mostly spends time away from one another
- If you have little to no sex
- If either of you is checking the other’s phone, social media, and/or email
- If you put them down to other people
But really, until the ink is dry on the divorce paperwork, as Lenny Kravitz says “it ain’t over ’till it’s over”.
And I do believe, and I guess I’ll be putting this to the test in the next few months, that almost every marriage can be saved with the right actions and choices.
Of course, one really obvious indicator your wife is done (aside from her telling you) is her not wearing her wedding ring. If you are seeing or suspecting that, check out my recent article where I go through all the possible reasons for that.
Of course, it could mean she’s done, but it doesn’t have to mean that. Right now my wife isn’t wearing her wedding ring (I am) but there’s 1 sure-fire reason she might not be wearing it that has nothing to do with you.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
But let’s explore some of the reasons you might give up on your spouse:
Name-calling and criticism
This behavior is one of the 4 worst behaviors that Dr. John Gottman, the world’s best-known marriage and divorce expert, believes predicts divorce more than any other behaviors, even affairs.
CLICK HERE to read my recent article which details all 4 of those behaviors.
So if you do this to your spouse, and you want to save the marriage (or even if you just want to be a better partner in your next relationship), STOP DOING THIS NOW.
I know your wife can frustrate you.
I know if she’s criticizing you, the temptation is high to want to throw it right back at her. But this isn’t a sport where 1 person wins and the other loses.
If 1 person loses, we both lose.
Instead, simply tell her how her actions make you feel. It’s OK to show emotion, but no name-calling, no profanity, and not putting them down or belittling them.
Simply say “when you (do this thing), I feel (describe how it makes you feel), because (describe the underlying issue).
For example, I might tell my wife:
“When you tell me you want a divorce and that you’ve felt this way for years without telling me, it makes me feel like you don’t care about me at all, because I wasn’t worth your time in having a conversation about it.”
Spending too much time apart
Make no mistake. Couples need some time apart. Spending every minute 24/7 together is going to be smothering; at least for 1 of the people.
People, like relationships, need room to breathe.
You have to have things to talk about when you get home that your spouse wasn’t a part of. However, it’s also a red flag if almost all your activities are doing apart.
So if you and/or your spouse mostly hang out with friends away from one another, you will eventually drift apart emotionally. And then, when the emotional connection is diminished, it’s a lot easier for one of you to find that emotional intimacy with someone else.
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) May 31, 2021
Lack of sex
Sex is a huge part of a successful relationship.
And yes it’s true that sometimes men and women’s needs or libidos vary, and children can also interfere, it still needs to be somewhat high on the priority list.
So if sex has gone down to once a month or less, that’s a huge red flag.
But don’t just blame your spouse. It takes 2 to make a marriage and it takes 2 to break one. Instead focus on non-sexual things like:
- Touching without the expectation of sex
- Helping your spouse to be less stressed by taking things off their plate
- Listening to them, avoiding the urge to try and “fix” their problems
- Look them in the eyes when they speak
- Put the phone down when they walk into the room
Those things all build emotional intimacy, and even for guys, but especially for women, that is HUGELY important towards helping them get in the mood more often.
And if your spouse is avoiding sex or actively withholding it, that’s a clear sign something’s wrong.
It doesn’t necessarily mean they are cheating. But it does mean they are emotionally closed off from you. And that issue will need to be addressed before things turn around in the bedroom.
Spying on your spouse
Almost all of us have done it. We’ve checked our spouse’s phone when they weren’t looking. Or maybe gone on their laptop while they were at work looking for evidence of cheating or other bad behavior.
And I won’t lie. Sometimes you find signs of something inappropriate.
I haven’t snooped like that in years. But I have done it, back in 2015. Once when my wife was on a girl’s trip to NYC, I snooped and found out she had been having long exchanges with her abusive ex.
And in those Facebook messages, while I never found any evidence of actual cheating, I did find an exchange that really hurt me.
She was talking about a song; a song we had on our WEDDING PLAYLIST (UB40’s “Bring Me Your Cup”) and I had to read her describe to him how much she loved that song and how it always reminded her of him.
Believe me that hurt.
But I still shouldn’t have snooped. Yes, what she did was inappropriate, and yes when I confronted her she took no ownership of it being inappropriate. She justified things by saying well at least she hadn’t cheated on me (this was about 2 years after I had cheated on her).
So avoid the urge to snoop.
Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Judge them for their actual actions and statements and not what you suspect might be going on. Don’t be naive, but don’t snoop.
Of course, I initially snooped as I sensed something was wrong.
And there will be times where you sense something is wrong. But in retrospect, what I should have done is simply tell her how I was feeling. Maybe she would have admitted it to me and maybe she wouldn’t have.
But I would have felt better getting it off my chest, and I wouldn’t have the guilty conscience that comes with snooping. And even if she had admitted the conversation to me, I would still have felt better knowing that she was honest with me instead of snooping to get the info.
A big part of why I snooped was my own insecurities.
Ultimately those have nothing to do with my wife, as they were in me a long time before I met her. But insecurities can kill a relationship.
So if you have insecure tendencies that show up in unhealthy ways in your relationship, make sure and check out my recent article where I detail the steps I’ve taken in my life to work through that.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Putting them down to others
Respect is a huge part of a marriage.
And there’s nothing more disrespectful than trashing your spouse to friends or family. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to your support network when you need help with your marriage. You can and should do that.
But don’t put them down. Don’t call them names, and don’t belittle them.
Remember too that if you can save your marriage these people will later have to be around your spouse and you have now made that uncomfortable for everyone.
Do talk about their actual actions and statements. And then talk about how those things make you feel.
When should I give up on my wife?
Give up on your wife when they divorce you and marry someone else or if they are abusive. But also give up on them if they have a major addiction issue and are unwilling to seek treatment. In almost every other case, it is possible to save the marriage.
I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. And in my case, I do genuinely believe it’s too late to save mine.
You want a checklist that if she does “x, y, and z” you can file for divorce and feel totally justified. But in reality, with the right steps, almost any broken marriage can be saved.
It’s not going to be easy, and it won’t be quick.
It takes time to make a marriage great, and it takes time to destroy one. So it makes sense that it will take time to rebuild one.
So be patient, kinds, supportive, and be clear about your feelings and intentions, but avoid guilt trips, pressuring, or pushing them to go faster than they are willing to go.
All that being said, you should decide for yourself how long you are willing to wait.
Sometimes spouses get comfortable in the limbo-state of separation; especially if you are still providing physically or monetarily.
They can lose the incentive to want to move forward.
So you do have to decide how long you’re willing to wait. But for me, as long as there is progress, even if it’s slow progress, I’m good.
It’s also worth pointing out my wife was an alcoholic.
And she was incredibly damaging in the first 5 years of our marriage. Luckily, in the fall of 2012, she decided to stop drinking and was sober for a little over 3 years.
And to her credit when she did return to drinking, it never got to the level it had before her sobriety.
And to my credit, I stuck by her during those years and forgave her long ago despite the immense damage she did. I just wish she would remember my support and love for her when judging me for my relationship transgressions.
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh #WednesdayWisdom #MotivationalQuotes #InspiringQuotes #mcd #LetGo #ThichNhatHanh #ThichNhatHanhQuote #ThichNhatHanhQuotes pic.twitter.com/Id7BdoSB6U
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) November 7, 2018
What should you not do during separation?
During a separation, don’t engage in any of the following behaviors:
- Don’t start dating or sleeping with others (especially if there is any intention to save the marriage)
- Don’t beg, plead, or use guilt or manipulation to try and convince your spouse to stay or come back
- Don’t make any big life-changing decisions such as moving out, buying large purchases, etc
- Avoid broadcasting the events on social media
So let me clarify some of those.
You are still married until the ink is dry. And if you have any hope of saving your marriage, you need to avoid the temptation of wanting to date someone or even hook up with someone just to feel loved and wanted again.
I get it. Separation sucks. Right now, I feel almost totally unloved.
And because my wife had never told me how unhappy she was (and claims to have felt that way for years), it’s all new to me.
But the last thing I want to do if I have any hope of her deciding to save the marriage is to start seeing someone else. Even if I decide to not save the marriage, until the ink is dry on those divorce papers, it could easily still be considered adultery in the eyes of a divorce lawyer if you start dating or hooking up.
So don’t do it.
Begging and pleading
This one seems contradictory.
You would think if I just show my wife how much she’s hurting me and how much I love her then surely she’ll see that I’m serious and she’ll reconsider.
That is a huge mistake.
And I did that in the first week or so after she told me. But in reality, all people, especially women who like men, like to see significant others as strong and confident.
Begging and pleading make us seem weak, spineless, and insignificant.
But you also don’t want to do the opposite either. Avoid emotional outbursts of anger too. Don’t get me wrong, there will be times when you’re upset or angry about your wife’s decision, and it’s OK to tell her how you feel.
But don’t direct the anger towards her.
— Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (@MrRogersMovie) July 27, 2018
Don’t move out
It’s OK if one of you decides to get a small apartment during the separation, but don’t physically move all of your belongings out of the main house unless a divorce becomes finalized and you are following the directions in the divorce decree.
Moving out all the way has a way of psychologically making the separation feel more real and more permanent.
It could also be easy for your spouse’s lawyer to claim you abandoned their client. I also personally think you stand a much greater chance of reconciliation if you are still around one another.
In my case, I simply moved to a different bedroom in the same house.
But also avoid making any other large decisions, such as buying a new car, a lavish vacation with your buddies, or, at all costs, buying a new house.
Remember too if it ends in divorce, the assets will likely be split 50/50, so anything you buy now is potentially up for grabs in a contested divorce.
Broadcasting on social media
I won’t lie. I did this.
Now I didn’t do it to trash my wife, although that is how she took it. I also didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. And I didn’t just share it publicly.
I just created a simple, private Facebook post and shared it with 20-ish people.
But I should have reached out individually to friends who I thought could help or offer advice. Instead, it created a $hit-show of people reaching out to my wife, offering unsolicited advice, or telling her she was a bad person.
Initially when my wife told me, not only was I completely surprised and taken aback, but on that first day she also said she was leaving the kids with me full-time so she could go be alone and focus on herself.
That’s what she said (not only to me but also to our 2 teen daughters). So that’s what I believed she was doing.
Later she changed her mind.
But at that moment, that was her intention. So my post implied she was sort-of abandoning our kids, and it understandably embarrassed her. And maybe she never really meant to say she was leaving and giving me sole custody and was just trying to express the pain she had long buried.
But it was wrong of me to share that socially, even to a small number of people.
I should have reached out individually and sought support and advice. In truth, that may have still created a backlash as people reached out to her. But that would have been the more compassionate way of handling it. I was just so blindsided and distraught, I wasn’t making good choices.
But that’s not a great excuse.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean#WednesdayWisdom #WisdomWednesdays #MotivationalQuotes #InspiringQuotes #InspirationalQuotes #InspirationalQuote #mcd #LettingGo #ControlIsAnIllusion #ReleaseControl pic.twitter.com/tK36hjPUp8
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) October 24, 2018
How long should a separation last?
A marriage separation should last a minimum of 2 months but a maximum of 6 months. After 6 months, the chances of reconciliation go down significantly, particularly if the couple is not living under 1 roof and especially if they are not in the same city.
And separation is not really a good choice for those wanting to save the marriage.
The reality of it is, if one of you moves out, the chance of saving the marriage go down dramatically. According to DivorceStatistics, a whopping 87% of couples who separate end up getting divorced.
So don’t physically move out if you can help it.
Right now, I’m sleeping in a different bedroom in our house. And yes, I could have insisted she move since I didn’t really do anything “wrong”. But again, this isn’t about keeping score.
I’m trying to understand, support, and empathize with the most important person in my life.
And I don’t understand everything she’s feeling. I don’t know why she felt this way for years and never brought it up. And yes, not bringing it was incredibly selfish and unfair.
But it is what it is.
I can try and get even and lose my marriage, or I can put my ego aside for the greater good. I won’t allow myself to be taken advantage of. But I also don’t need to get back at her for perceived slights either.
Is there hope for my marriage after separation?
Until a spouse has remarried or died, during separation, and even after divorce, there is always some hope for saving a marriage. The key is to not engage in behaviors that push them away, and also to work on yourself mentally and spiritually.
So yes, there is definitely hope, although probably not in my case at this point.
If your spouse will go to counseling together, that’s even better. My wife was willing to go briefly but always insisted it was never to reconcile and just to work on our communication.
While I would never want to give anyone legal advice since I’m not qualified, I will tell you what steps I am currently taking:
- I did not contact a lawyer
- I am focusing mostly on making myself the best me I can be
- I began meditating daily (again)
- I began walking daily
- I began working less so I was more engaged with her and our kids
- I am avoiding begging, pleading, or getting angry at my wife
- But I am also not ignoring her; I’m communicating little things in small ways on an ongoing but not pestering basis
- I respond to her messages quickly, but rarely initiate conversations about anything serious
- I am mentally focused on today; I’m avoiding trying to think about what the future holds
- I am avoiding listening to well-meaning friends and family – they often tell you to lawyer up or try and screw over your spouse thinking they are being supportive of you.
- When we do have tough talks, I focus on describing how I feel – no accusations, name-calling, etc
- I am avoiding jumping to conclusions – I give my wife the benefit of the doubt on her actions and focus on what I actually see and hear
- I have no expectations of my wife – I am trying to accept her and our situation exactly as it is and just take things 1 day at a time
I’m also going to admit that all of those are a work in progress and not something I’m perfect at doing.
The way I see it, the most important person in my life is hurting. And in my case, a lot of her hurt really has nothing to do with me, and so far she’s been slow to accept responsibility for the actions and choices that she has made that have led us to where we’re at.
But she’s in pain nonetheless.
So I’m focused on caring for her, supporting her, and being there for her, but only in ways that help her and feel comfortable. And I’m trying to not do anything that could make her feel pushed or pressured.
“Even the worst human being’s behavior has a positive intent” – @TonyRobbins #TonyRobbins #TonyRobbinsQuote #WednesdayWisdom #WisdomWednesdays #MotivationalQuotes #InspiringQuotes #InspirationalQuotes #InspirationalQuote pic.twitter.com/t1GsnED0NB
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) September 12, 2018
Can your wife fall back in love with you?
A wife can definitely fall back in love with her husband, even after separation, affairs, or other damaging behaviors. It will take time, but love is simply an emotionally intimate connection paired with some common values and interests. It can be rebuilt almost as easily as it was initially built.
But that doesn’t mean it will be quick or easy, or possible in some cases.
Right now, my wife is emotionally guarded. OK, who am I kidding, she’s always emotionally guarded and rarely lets me or anyone else in. But I’m probably one of the few people that she has let in over the years.
So I have to be patient.
And even though I haven’t really done anything “wrong” in our marriage in years, I do have to earn her trust back. Why do I have to earn her trust back if I haven’t done anything wrong?
Well, again, it’s all perception.
I did have an affair. And some of her alcohol-fueled behavior in the first 5 years of our marriage caused me to be paranoid which sometimes showed up as needy or controlling behavior on my part.
But she always downplays her alcoholism (despite willingly going to AA after she quit), so in her mind, my actions related to her drinking weren’t warranted.
Now while the affair only lasted 2 months and ended over 8 years ago, that did break the trust. And with my wife, her parents, the most important people in her life at a young age, repeatedly let her down and weren’t there for her emotionally, physically, or mentally.
So she learned at a young age to never trust people.
So even though my affair was a long time ago, she’s struggled to let go of the pain and to trust me again, despite me making a lot of effort to win her trust back.
If you have cheated and your wife is struggling to trust you again, make sure and check out my recent article about the steps I took following the affair to rebuild trust. There was 1 thing that was absolutely crucial.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
So, here I am now, in many ways feeling like I’m having to pay for a crime all over again that I already paid for. But I’m willing to do it because my focus is not on keeping score, but on helping her heal.
And even if we never mend our relationship, I do genuinely want her to heal.
A relationship can survive trauma if both people are willing to put in the effort it takes to heal. https://t.co/54cqRbEBJ3
— The Gottman Institute (@GottmanInst) August 6, 2018
Should I ignore my wife to get her back?
To win your wife back after separating or if she’s simply considering divorce don’t ignore her. But also don’t beg, plead, or get angry. Instead, avoid all types of communication that could potentially push her away.
So don’t ignore her or bombard her. Find that delicate balance in between.
It’s tricky, I know. You think that if you just tell her how much you love her and how much she means to you, she’ll see it and feel it and want to work on things.
Or you think ignoring her, the absence will make the heart grow fonder.
Ignoring her will ultimately make it seem like you don’t care and that you’ve moved on. It can reinforce the ideas in her head that you aren’t the one she’s supposed to be with.
So, in reality, neither of those work very well.
But do communicate with her. But in most cases, don’t communicate about the current state of your marriage unless she brings it up.
Instead, focus on small topics without a lot of emotional weight behind them, such as:
- Things pertaining to your kids (if you have kids)
- Financial questions (budget, payments, etc)
- Household questions (car maintenance, yard maintenance, appliance repair, etc)
And then, once those questions are answered, avoid using the opportunity, to dig into the state of the relationship.
All that will do is make her feel pressured. And since that perceived pressure is coming from you, it will reinforce the idea that you aren’t who she wants to be married to.
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) May 31, 2021
Is sleeping with someone while separated adultery?
Sleeping with another person while you are still legally married is considered adultery and could be used against you by your spouse’s lawyer. The only instance where that might not be true is if you have a legal separation agreement, and this is specified in that agreement.
But really if you want to sleep with other people, why not just proceed with the divorce.
And if you have any hope of saving your marriage, having sex with someone else is definitely NOT the answer. And beyond that, any attempted relationship is going to just be a rebound, and very unlikely to last.
Right now, I have NO desire to be with anyone else.
I just want to be happy, and healthy, and provide a good life for me and my kids. And yes, at one time, I also wanted to save my marriage. But I can’t wave a magic wand and make that happen. So I have to be patient, kind, supportive, and caring. But I have 1 thing on my mind, and it’s NOT seeing other people.
And I know the pain of separation; I’m feeling it as we type.
I know you just want to feel loved again; to be held, to feel affection, and yes to have sex. But right now is not that time. You instead need to focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be.
And don’t do that for your spouse; do it for you.
And hopefully with some time, and possibly marriage counseling, that will win your wife back. But even if it doesn’t, it will set you up for a better relationship down the road.
So no sleeping with other people. No texting your ex, no strip clubs, etc.
All those things will do is create doubt, and drama, and cause you to continue to make careless or wreckless choices that can further erode the chances of saving your marriage.
According to Chapman, words of affirmation are the most common primary love language by a small margin. Where does your love language rank? https://t.co/JzifcVOuKi
— The Gottman Institute (@GottmanInst) August 1, 2018
So what am I doing now to save my marriage?
In short, I’m not actively trying to save my marriage.
I know that sounds odd. But hear me out. I’m mostly focused on myself and really being the guy I want to be. Mentally, physically, and emotionally strong and available.
She sees the changes, no doubt.
But I’m not doing it for her. I’m doing it for myself. And I’m not broadcasting it or bragging about it. I’m just trying to be my best self every day for everyone in my life.
And, then it’s also important what I’m trying to avoid doing:
- Getting angry
- Begging or pleading
- Pressuring her to make a decision
- Doing anything sneaky
- Being nosey
- Overstepping my bounds
For example on the last one, I rarely initiate texts, and if I do they are short and benign and not about anything serious. But I absolutely respond quickly if she texts me.
I also don’t try and be physical or hug her.
But I’ll gladly accept those things if she offers. In short, I’m showing her I respect her where she’s at, and her comfort level. And that changes almost daily.
We went a while where she hugged me every day. But she’s only hugged me once in the past 8 days as of this writing. We even had sex once since she originally told me she didn’t want to be my wife.
Confusing signals for sure.
But right now if I tried to initiate those things it could easily push her away. So for the sake of her feeling safe and feeling that I’m trustworthy (which I am) I have to let her be in the driver’s seat.
Not for forever, and not to my detriment. But for right now.
In this article, we examined a dark and lonely place.
It’s a place I’m currently in that I never thought I’d be in. A place where my wife told me on April 27th of this year that she “can’t do this anymore”; meaning our marriage.
We explored what to do to try and save the marriage and what not to do. But we also looked at all the top questions you’re likely to have, and what the chances are of actually saving your marriage.
It’s a tough place, a lonely place. That’s especially true if the announcement came as a total shock and surprise as it did for me. My wife apparently had been feeling this way for years. She just never bothered to tell me.
And yes, that’s selfish and not fair, but it is what it is.
If I want to save my marriage, I can’t focus on the past; I have to just focus on the present and being the best me that I can be. And if that’s not good enough for me, there’s nothing I can do about it.
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