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My husband of 12-years and I have been in a long-distance relationship since August 2011 (we live 2500 miles apart). We do not have any children. Starting in October 2011 things started to go downhill very quickly. When he came home for Christmas my husband told me he really enjoyed his new life abroad and that he now realised he had been unhappy in our relationship for several years. He told me he was no longer in love with me, and needed some time and space to decide what he wants to do. When I asked him if there was anyone else he said there was no one else involved.

Since the whole crisis started I have been doing a lot of thinking and self-reflecting. I understand what went wrong, how I feel and why I have acted certain ways in my marriage. I completely accept that throughout my marriage I have often misplaced my priorities, have been immature, self-centered and thoughtless and have taken my husband and my marriage for granted. I have damaged my marriage, undermined my husband's feelings for me and hurt him very deeply.

Over the last few months I have been focusing on making positive changes within myself, read numerous self-help books and have been to see three different counsellors. Before visiting both counsellors I explained that I was looking for someone with a pro-marriage approach (I do not believe in divorce) who would be able to help me come up with positive solutions for reconnecting with my husband and for healing and strengthening my marriage. Unfortunately I felt none of the sessions were particularly helpful and concentrated primarily on the past rather than how I could improve help the present and the future.

Between January-March we had very limited contact and the few emails we did exchange, while polite and friendly were brief (and always initiated by me).

Two weeks ago my husband returned for a very brief visit for work reasons I thought the visit went ok. Although I felt it was important make sure my husband's visit was as pleasant as possible and not to pressure my husband to discuss our marriage, my husband did bring up our relationship on a few occasions. He agreed that we were getting along much better this visit, that I had made a lot of positive changes and that, on the whole, the problems in our relationship were not that bad. He also, however, said that when he moved abroad he thought he should miss me but, instead, felt a sense of relief and enjoyment at being able to do get into his own routine.

The day before he left I told him that, although I did not want to put any pressure on him and did not want him to make any decisions now, I was not prepared to spend another year alone in our home by myself (my husband has signed a contract to stay working abroad for another year) and that, if he did not want to return home that's fine, but I would then take a career break starting in July and that I would need to put in my request to do so by the middle of this month. I also said that, although I had hoped that by doing a recent TEFL qualification I would be able to come back with him this Spring, I understood that he did not want me to do this (he told me he would resent it if I came with him). At one point during his visit we had discussed possibly seeing each other in May but, again he didn't want to commit to anything.

I told my husband that I had found the last 3 months very difficult but had kept myself busy making positive changes, redecorating etc but that I wasn't sure if I could manage another three months at home by myself until he was due to come back for another visit this summer. I told him that I might take a month off work and go back to see my family. When he queried me about this I said I might take the time off as stress leave. My husband was not keen on the idea of me taking stress leave and I don't think really understood why I felt I wouldn't be able to cope for the next three months here on my own.

Since he left one week ago, apart from a very brief email saying he had arrived, I have again had no contact from my husband. I am completely confused and heart-broken as to why we could have gotten along so well and been more open with each other yet my husband still does not want to touch me, speak to me or spend time with me. He knows how much his silence hurts me. He is so emotionally withdrawn and I feel any feelings he had for me and our marriage are gone.

I desperately want to reconcile and make my marriage work and have been praying for healing and guidance. Recently, however, I have been thinking more about whether I should start moving on and rebuilding my life without my husband. I do not know though whether this is because part of me is so tired of feeling heart-broken and crying all the time and sees it as the easier option, or if it really is what God/the Universe wants me to do.

Should I be patient and give my husband time/space for another three months or should I focus on accepting things are over and trying to deal with my grief?

Has anyone successfully made it through a similar situation?
 

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I would leave God out of it. It seems you have given him a hard time till now and you want to turn the clock back. He seems happier without you. I would say give up and start again. He is not ready to forgive and is unlikely ever to be.
 

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Yes, I have given him a hard time in a lot of ways. It is also true though that no one is perfect in a relationship and, although I may have contributed more, it did take both of us to get our marriage into this mess.

He says he's happier without me, but I'm not sure how true that is. He's lost a lot of weight and, when I asked him how he's found the last few months, he just says that he's kept himself busy. My husband can be quite impatient and tends to see things in black and white. I think (or at least hope) if he was 100% that he didn't want our relationship to work he would tell me he wants out NOW.

As much as I would love to turn the clock back and change things I have said or done, it's not about wanting to go back to the relationship we had. Neither one of us were happy with that. It's about being able to start again, take what we've learned and develop our relationship to create a happy and loving marriage where we both feel loved and respected.
 

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Yes, I have given him a hard time in a lot of ways. It is also true though that no one is perfect in a relationship and, although I may have contributed more, it did take both of us to get our marriage into this mess.

He says he's happier without me, but I'm not sure how true that is. He's lost a lot of weight and, when I asked him how he's found the last few months, he just says that he's kept himself busy. My husband can be quite impatient and tends to see things in black and white. I think (or at least hope) if he was 100% that he didn't want our relationship to work he would tell me he wants out NOW.

As much as I would love to turn the clock back and change things I have said or done, it's not about wanting to go back to the relationship we had. Neither one of us were happy with that. It's about being able to start again, take what we've learned and develop our relationship to create a happy and loving marriage where we both feel loved and respected.

This!!! Sometimes though, it takes an ending of a marriage, and time, for 1 to realize and appreciate all of this, before being willing to do the work to reunite.
 

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IMHO, based on what you wrote, I think you are desperately grasping at something that is no longer there. I recently heard something to the effect of: "Often times a new window of opportunity opens for us to experience joy but we are focused so intently on the window that has closed that we do not see the new opportunity before us."
 
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