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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Let me start by giving my history. Please also note before you read this that I know my faults and have been fixing them by proactively seeking help for things that I know I need to work on.

I have been married for 15 years. my wife and I have shared a great life together since middle school. We have had our ups and downs and been through the trenches throughout our lives. Recently (about a year ago) we started having more and more fights. We have always talked about them and have reconciled really quickly. Before we would fight (minor arguments) about little things and be over it really quickly. The fights now are more instigated by me (i will admit that) but there is some logic behind the instigation's.

The constant fighting began when my wife wanted me to stay home because she didn't like me coming home in what she called bad moods. I agreed because I had a condition called compassion fatigue (I am a criminal and forensic investigator) in which I couldn't deal with the stresses of seeing so much fraud, child pornography, and much more horrific events, which was affecting my home life. I agreed to stay home and take care of things around the house because she makes significantly more money than I do. The problem began for me when she began to work very long hours and weekends. I knew she was under stress and told her that I wanted to go back to work to take the stress away. She would always tell me that I need to work on myself and get better but I told her that I was getting worse because I could see the stress it was causing.

I wanted to get back on my medication to help with my depression but she still insisted that I don't because it only helped me for a little while. I got even worse and began fighting with her all the time because she was working so much and I never saw her. When I did have time with her, she would be scouring Social Media and keeping up with her friends (which I never had a problem with her hanging out with her friends). I don't have any real friends that I hang out with because it generally caused problems at home when I would hang out once or twice a week. About 6 months into me leaving my job, and new neighbor moved in and had dogs that would not stop barking which caused us alot more stress.

My wife was super stressed at her job and I was fighting with her over it and I realized I need to be there for her instead of causing more problems. I just wanted to get a job and help her but still refused. So i began to feel like I couldn't do anything to fix our problems, I began to get more angry and she slowly began to withdrawal from me (even before the fighting began). She changed jobs because I gave her the strength and emotional backup that she needed to do so and things got a little better for a while. We decided after 14 years of marriage that we wanted a child because we are getting older. We began planning and then all of a sudden she was pregnant but she was taking antidepressants and other medications for another condition she had. She stopped all of them cold turkey for the baby and she ended up having a miscarriage (deeply saddening for me too). That sent her through an even bigger depression in which she ended up leaving me saying she wasn't happy. We reconciled a couple days later and I began working on counseling because I was thinking that I was one causing all the problems (which she blamed me for every time). She told me that I have made vast improvements and she finally told me that getting a job was OK so I found a job.

I haven't started the job yet but since then we have been fighting more because we moved twice and I have so much work to do to get both homes ready (one for living in and one for rent). I asked to spend more time together one weekend and I thought that's what we planned and she told me she wanted to go shopping with her friend in the afternoon. I got into an argument because I have been asking for more time since I felt we were back at square one again. After a couple more fights she told me that she wants a separation so that she can work on her and figure out why she is unhappy. I have been arguing with her over the separation because I told her that I am in this marriage for better or worse 100%. I asked her why am I on the chopping block when it comes to her working on her and all she says is sorry she has nothing left to give right now.

She just doesn't want to talk about anything anymore and I feel that she is leading me on to get the work done and start my job so she doesn't have to feel bad about a divorce. I feel I have done everything I can to save this marriage so I am looking for advice on the separation aspect and whether or not I should stick it out. I am in complete turmoil about living in a different part of the house and I have nowhere to go and neither does she. I don't want my marriage to fail but I feel now that I cant trust her to stay true. Does anyone have any experience with this? I know she is depressed and the miscarriage was traumatic. So has all this moving and fighting. I know I am not innocent but I feel like she gave up on our marriage for her friends and job long before we've hit this point. How can I help the situation because she just wont let me.
 

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Is this marriage worth saving? Were you two having frequent and good sex? Kissing? Hugging? Is the passion there or you just roommates?

Are you sure she doesn't have a boyfriend? Have you examined her phone and phone bill to make sure she isn't hiding anything?

She sounds gone to me. Are you attractive to her? You need to start working on yourself. Exercise, eat healthy, and start having friends outside the marriage. Go work whatever job you want, she doesn't get to call all the shots. You not working with no children is mind boggling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have always had good sex no matter what. The passion is there until a fight occurs. She has access to the phone records now so I cant check that. I told her I want a divorce because she is acting strange and wanting separation and she tells me that she doesn't want a divorce, just time to go to counseling and get back on her antidepressants. I feel that she has controlled me for the past year and now I wont let it happen.
 

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It sounds to me like you actually want the marriage to work but are looking at divorce just out of frustration. And she wants a separation.

You might want to try a separation... but a structured separation. It's not good for married people to do a trial separation without some agreements.

Here is a structured separation agreement. You can search the web and find others that might be helpful. The idea is that the two of you go to a marriage counselor and have that counselor help with this agreement. You both sign it and live by it. And you both go to marriage counseling to work together to fix your marriage.

It sounds like the two of you might also benefit from individual counseling.

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Structured Separation – A temporary, time-limited separation conducted with clear and appropriate guidelines for the purpose of rebuilding the marriage. It is understood that at the end of the separation, one or both spouses might choose to end the marriage if the separation is not successful. It should be done under the leadership of someone like your MC with weekly MC Sessions.

1. Length of separation: Set a time limit, preferably 3-6 months.

2. No attorneys: It is agreed that neither spouse will file for divorce during the specified time frame. Both parties have to feel safe and that they will not be blind sided with a divorce filing.

3. Terminating the contract: Decide whether one spouse can terminate the contract or they both have to come to agreement. But neither party will unilaterally terminate the contract and not inform the other.

4. Living separately: Spouses decide which one will move out of the home. If at all possible the spouse with the larger income.

5. Financial Decisions: All monies should be split in a fair and just manner. Pay all bills first. Then split what is left 50/50. If one parent has the child more, then figure out child support according to state guidelines and agree to pay this on an informal basis.


No large purchases (over $200) or debt will be incurred without the express knowledge and agreement of the other spouse. No joint assets will be sold during the separation without the express knowledge and agreement of the other spouse.

Some couples will decide to continue joint checking accounts, savings accounts, and payment of bills. Other couples will completely separate financial aspects of the relationship.... If there is any chance for [significant] disagreement, each person could take out half of the assets and open separate accounts.​

6. Confidentiality: An agreement as to who is told and who isn’t. What are you both going to tell other people? Make sure your message is agreed upon by both of you.

7. MC Sessions: Agree to only talk about all the hard stuff and the bad stuff at weekly MC Sessions. Here is where you sort out problems that have occurred during the week as well as going back over the old stuff that got you to this point.”

8. Quality Time to Be Spent Together


1-2 weekly dates, just the two of you. Start with no more than 1 hour each. Expand the time as you both feel safe.
1 weekly family date that includes your son. Again start with the 1 hour each and expand as time goes on.

Separate the irritation of your issues and daily life from your selves as former loves. You need a list of taboo subjects.. no talking about marital problems/issues, the affair, money, etc. Only positive fund things. The point is to do something that is fun and enjoyable, and to end before the good time gets ruined.​

9. Chat time: If you want schedule chat time to spend together during the week. The time and length of each call would be decided in advance. Again, the point is to eliminate opportunities for arguing.

10. Administrative Time: Weekly schedule to talk: administrative calls, where you only talk about business or kids-stuff. The time and length of each call would be decided in advance. Again, the point is to eliminate opportunities for arguing

11. Intimate relations. Whether or not to continue with the sexual relationship.

12. Personal Growth Experiences: You each can include as many personal growth experiences as feasible, practical, and helpful.

13. Relationships and Involvements Outside of the Relationship: No social involvement, romantic, and sexual relationships outside of this relationship.

14. Child Custody/Time-Sharing. Establish a joint agreement who your son will be with on which days with as close to a 50/50 split as possible. How/where/when exchanges will take place.

15. Motor Vehicles: Ownership and titles not be changed until a decision has been made about the future of the marriage.

16. Privacy and Issues of Trust:


• Both must agree about what the children will be told about this separation and the marriage relationship.
• Access to the others’ mail, email, voicemail, accounts, other’s places of residence, etc.
• What is the level of transparency needed to help rebuild trust. This must be the same for both parties.
• Are unannounced spontaneous visits allowed?
• Is monitoring/tracking the other part allowed?​
 

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Also, get the books "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs" (see links in my signature block below). Read them and do the work that they suggest. See if you can get her to read them too and do the work. Maybe make them part of your structured separation.

You might also interview counselors until you find one that understands what those books are about and is willing to use them as part of your counselling.
 
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