Talk About Marriage banner

Advice on making a separation work to put the marriage back on track?

1823 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LiamN
My husband will be helping his parents move in about 9 months. Because they live overseas, he'll be gone for at least a month. I'm seeing this as a chance to spend some positive time apart and hopefully act as a reboot for our marriage. But how do we go about maximizing the effectiveness of the time apart? We are not in MC right now (sigh... we're living in H's country of birth right now, so finding an English-speaking therapist is up to him. He found one, went once by himself, and cancelled the next appointment when I said I wanted us to go together. He doesn't want to find another therapist because he says the one appointment was a waste of money. I think that if we go together, it'd be more effective!). Anyway, I will push again for MC (specifying that I want to go together this time) next week, after some doctors visits are out of the way (kind of long story there, but want to rule out some medical conditions before deciding the problem is entirely the marriage).

Will a therapist help us with the separation? It's still a while off, but should we ask if they have experience with separation while we're looking for a therapist? Is that something that all therapists will have experience with? Are there any resources online that you can point me to?

My hope is that some time apart will help me realize how much I do love my husband and want him in my life, and will help my husband understand how much he's risking losing by not working on the marriage or himself. Are these crazy, starry-eyed hopes? I so, so desperately want to get us back to where we used to be.:(
See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Sorry you are in a place where you need to readdress your marriage issues.
But it sounds like your a pretty positive woman-so that's a plus.

I think you should agree on boundaries while you are separated.

What's actually wrong in your marriage?

When was the last time it was good?

And has anything significant changed in the time between?

Sorry , just trying to get a bit more info..there's a lot of people in here that I'm sure will have some positive advice for you.

There's also some great reading to be done. And if you go into the thread regarding books to self help your relationship there are a few reviews from members.

I wish you love and peace
See less See more
Thank you oncehisangel. Our story is kind of long (I guess they all are), but I have a post in the general discussion board that pretty much sums it up. I think at the bottom of it though, he's a very selfish person. That was fine when I was very selfish too (in a different way; I was convinced that I didn't need anything from anyone, and I wanted to prove that. I also think I was attracted to his passivity because I was not skilled at negotiating and too focused on getting my own way). Fortunately, I've grown up, a lot. But I'm utterly reeling over the way this has affected our marriage. I feel let down that he won't become an adult with me. Quite the opposite, I think; it seems like the responsibilities of parenthood and grown up life have him acting more like a self-absorbed child then ever. Kids are stressful.

The last time thing were really good was before our second was born, but the changes were definitely set in motion after our first was born. I was only 26, so I was probably partly just ageing into adulthood, but when she was born I really grew up. Overnight, it feels like. I definitely don't want to fix things by going back to being so immature!!

Even if he were to grow up (hopefully counseling will help here), I'm worried about my capacity for forgiveness. That's a tough one for me... definitely one of my biggest flaws. I'm a total scorpio. That's where I really see a separation working for us, just giving me some no-pressure breathing room to miss him and re-discover that desire to forgive and move forward. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself here though, if he actually made some effort maybe I'd forgive quickly. Hopefully!

Thanks again for your response. Saw the doctor and he has ordered further testing, so maybe the medical component is a significant part of the problem. Hopefully that'll be figured out soon.
See less See more
Why do you really want to stay married to this man? What are you afraid of? What do you feel at the prospect of not being married to him and why. How would you feel if you knew you really could be happily married, without a whole lot of problems, to a man who really loved you and cared for you?
You need to look beyond your marriage and envision a life where you are really happy. What does it look like?
Then decide if you think - honestly - whether you can have that life with your husband. Once you have decided that you next need to decide if you have the courage to live your own life and do whatever it takes to achieve it.
Oh, wow. Ok, well, to be totally honest, I'm terrified of the disapproval of my family. I'm Catholic (so divorce isn't allowed by my religion), and there's a very strong expectation of just sucking up and making the best. I can just imagine everyone--from my parents to grandparents to aunts, uncles, and cousins--thinking I made the wrong decision. However, even if they all did think I made an awful decision, they are not the kind of people to punish me for it. They'd each probably privately tell me they think I'm making a mistake, listen thoughtfully to what I told them, and that would be it. So rationally, I know I'm making this a bigger thing than it is. No one is going to be mean to me or cut me out of the family.

Obviously, I'm way too sensitive about what other people think and getting their approval. I'm kind of that classic over-achiever/good girl who always does everything right and winds up paralyzed with fear when I contemplate failure. I should read up on overcoming this.

Worse than all this, though, I can't even contemplate inflicting the pain of a divorce on my kids.

A happy life for me... I'm not sure how to answer that. I will spend more time soul-searching.
See less See more
There is one key to true happiness in life - your ability to withstand the criticism and disapproval of others.
"Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."
Start to see that your own happiness is the purpose of your life and that others who stand in your way of that are your 'teachers' for self acceptance. Believe me, once you start to respect yourself and your own needs and wants, you attract a whole new group of people into your life - ones who are loving, non judgemental and supportive.
But you have to act with courage. There is no other way.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Not open for further replies.