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My wife and I had our son 2 years ago shortly before we got married. Things were always great, never argued, but I got comfortable. I stayed in my office most of the time not going to work much, not spending time with her and my son and just being absent in general. She gave me a couple of warnings but I didn't listen. Fast forward to last week. She said she wanted space, not separation, not divorce. Things were improving until about thursadya when we had a big fight because I constantly try to have deep conversations. Mostly because I dont fully understand what she means by space. I've improved myself in many ways in the process, got a raise at work, signed up for electrician school, started keeping the house clean. All she cares about is herself though, which scares me because of our son. How do I undo the damage I did during the week? I'm so confused.
 

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My wife and I had our son 2 years ago shortly before we got married. Things were always great, never argued, but I got comfortable. I stayed in my office most of the time not going to work much, not spending time with her and my son and just being absent in general. She gave me a couple of warnings but I didn't listen. Fast forward to last week. She said she wanted space, not separation, not divorce. Things were improving until about thursadya when we had a big fight because I constantly try to have deep conversations. Mostly because I dont fully understand what she means by space. I've improved myself in many ways in the process, got a raise at work, signed up for electrician school, started keeping the house clean. All she cares about is herself though, which scares me because of our son. How do I undo the damage I did during the week? I'm so confused.
You're a classic case of someone who chooses to slowly let his relationship die because you just couldn't be bothered to invest any time or effort at all into it, and since there were no immediate consequences for your complete apathy, you had no reason to care and just enjoyed the status quo.

But that's changed, and now that you stand to personally lose something, you're suddenly all about putting in all kinds of effort to make this marriage work and you're wondering why your wife isn't on her knees thanking her lucky stars that you've 'come back' to her after spending months and months (and years maybe?) completely disengaged from her. Don't be foolish, OP. This isn't rocket science. You don't need a 'deep conversation' with her to understand a very basic premise - if you continually neglect someone and ignore their requests to try to work on things and reconnect, the RESULT of that behavior is a woman whose fed up and is serious about reconsidering her options.

You emotionally and physically withdrew from her while you locked yourself in your office/room and played your video games (or did whatever the hell it WAS you were doing in there that you don't want to admit in your post here) and you left her to do everything alone. You don't get to cry foul now, just because you finally cleaned up your act and it's probably too late. And if you're being honest with yourself, you likely cleaned up your act MOSTLY for self-preservation because you knew your wife was getting to a point where she was done with you and you knew you needed to start doing SOMETHING or lose your wife and family.

This is a classic case of trying to slam the barn door shut AFTER all the animals have gotten out.

All she cares about is herself though, which scares me because of our son. How do I undo the damage I did during the week? I'm so confused.
Somebody has to care about her because you sure haven't. I don't understand why you're so 'confused' about something so blatantly simple - you ignored and neglected your wife, and now you're seeing the results of that behavior. It's not confusing at all, OP. It's simple cause and effect and nothing more.

I'm not a fan of therapists and think it's the easy answer everyone gives as 'advice' on message boards, but you're dealing with a woman whose likely done. I've always said when a woman is done, she's done. You can try a Hail Mary pass and ask her if she'll at least attend marriage counseling. If she's agreeable, you'd be real smart to lock down an appointment IMMEDIATELY and start that process because she already has one foot out the door.
 

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In my experience, once a woman gives up there is no going back. Don't know if she's there yet, but there's not a damn thing you can do either way at this point.

Back off and wait for the inevitable, whatever that may be.
 

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You've neglected the family for a while, and you think that one week of acting like a mature family member should make it all better?

1st of all.....the others are right, sometimes by the time it gets to this point, she is fed up and done. Tired of trying and getting nowhere. She sees you making an effort, but it's either too little/too late or she doesn't trust that it will continue. And why should she? You've shown her that she cannot count on you to be there.

You need to continue doing the right thing....because it makes you a better person.... whether she wants to save the marriage or not.
 

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My wife and I had our son 2 years ago shortly before we got married. Things were always great, never argued, but I got comfortable. I stayed in my office most of the time not going to work much, not spending time with her and my son and just being absent in general. She gave me a couple of warnings but I didn't listen. Fast forward to last week. She said she wanted space, not separation, not divorce. Things were improving until about thursadya when we had a big fight because I constantly try to have deep conversations. Mostly because I dont fully understand what she means by space. I've improved myself in many ways in the process, got a raise at work, signed up for electrician school, started keeping the house clean. All she cares about is herself though, which scares me because of our son. How do I undo the damage I did during the week? I'm so confused.
A couple of days or weeks of "doing better" aren't going to make up for 2 years of neglect.

Instead of grilling her, just back off and be a better man. How about taking your child out so Mama can get some rest?

Oh, and before you hear the "she's cheating" mantra....look in the mirror hard. No woman who has basically been a single mother while dad was absent is going to feel close to him.
 

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My wife and I had our son 2 years ago shortly before we got married. Things were always great, never argued, but I got comfortable. I stayed in my office most of the time not going to work much, not spending time with her and my son and just being absent in general. She gave me a couple of warnings but I didn't listen. Fast forward to last week. She said she wanted space, not separation, not divorce. Things were improving until about thursadya when we had a big fight because I constantly try to have deep conversations. Mostly because I dont fully understand what she means by space. I've improved myself in many ways in the process, got a raise at work, signed up for electrician school, started keeping the house clean. All she cares about is herself though, which scares me because of our son. How do I undo the damage I did during the week? I'm so confused.
The "i need space" but not a separation or divorce thing is a little confusing. Maybe she wants to take some time to observe and evaluate the relationship in her mind.

Don't harass her with conversation she doesn't want right now. That is not going to be attractive to her because 1) She doesn't want to talk about it and 2) It makes you appear insecure and needy (which is probably how she has felt for the last 2 years.).

Keep being the better person you are becoming. At some point you will BE that person. She will know it and be able to relax and rely on your and her resentment will fade. A week is not long enough, LOL. Right now all she knows is you are panicking and trying not to lose her. She has no reason to believe this is a real change in you, and the resentment is still fresh in her mind.

It is true that usually by the time a woman says she's done, she's DONE. BUT you have a child together. A life with you as an interested, equal partner will be much more attractive to her than divorce and breaking up the family. I think this can be fixed. I would go to this website and read some of their stuff. It's brilliant for saving marriages: https://www.marriagebuilders.com/a-summary-of-dr-harleys-basic-concepts.htm

Good luck. I think the situation is salvageable, but it will require real change on your part. Hopefully she is not having an affair or falling for someon else.
 
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