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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if anyone has managed to reconcile when things have gone so far wrong? How did you do it?

H and I dated for 2 years, have been married 10 yrs, no kids, but 2 dogs. We were both older when we got married, I was 36, he was 37. Two months ago he announced he wanted a separation. He said I was verbally abusive and he didn't think he wanted to be married anymore. He moved out that evening.

I was blindsided. The last few months had been tense in a way I couldn't figure out but there was no mention that he was unhappy or that I was treating him badly. I asked if he would go to MC and he agreed. Over the 2 month we have gone 4 times. It never felt like he was really trying for reconciliation, but I did learn more about what was going on in his head. He has depression and severe anxiety and is doing biofeedback to get it under control. As for my being abusive, I can now see times that I said things that hurt him. I truly feel sorry and I have told him that.

I love him and never meant to hurt him, but my snarky sense of humor cut a bit too deep. But, he would never tell me the real reason for the split, instead he said he didn't want to tell me because it was something he didn't think I could change and he didn't want to hurt me more. (He has always had a low opinion of personal change based on addiction issues in his extended family.) At the last MC session he said he was 90% to divorce and only wouldn't commit because he wanted to finish the intensive part of biofeedback, which is in 2 weeks. We have our next MC meeting in 2 weeks as well.

Today we met for coffee, which we have been doing once per week since the separation. I told him I still loved him and I was sorry for hurting him. He said he still cared about me. Then he asked me if I had given any thought to what I wanted to do with the house.

I have decided no contact for the next two weeks except to swap the dogs, but then what? Do I keep fighting for our marriage? If so, how? Has anyone managed to work things out when divorce was right around the corner?
 

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I agree. The only question that kept going through my head as I read your opening post was, "Who is the other woman?".

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Putting aside adultery and other earthshaking reasons, Folk wisdom is woman most commonly leave a marrage for someome else they are sure will commit. But this also applys to men. Storm out of the house, yes. Move in with a friend or get a room at a hotel with weekly rates, yes. But get a leased apartment, no.

Either there is more going on, or one of you has a serious problem with reality.
 

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I usually say start snooping. I I think it would be safe to make sure there's nobody else.

but. If you are verbally abusive. He very well might be sick of it. And might want out. Its very tiring and depressing living with someone who yells and make a mountain out of everything that don't go their way. Walking on egg shells never knowing what's going to set them off. And someone who does this don't usually change.

Really listen to him and self reflect. Open up to your counselor if you feel like you do abuse him admit it in front of the counselor and ask for help changing.

Going dark won't help. Try apologising . and acting kinder.
 
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"I was blindsided. The last few months had been tense in a way I couldn't figure out but there was no mention that he was unhappy or that I was treating him badly. I asked if he would go to MC and he agreed."

So this started suddenly without warning? Has sex increased or decreased about that time?
Have you been verbally abusive? Think hard about this, because cheaters often(every time pretty much) try to place blame on the betrayed spouse in order to justify their actions because of guilt.
If the answer is no, or no more than he, then I think you are experiencing a husband who has an emotional or physical affair going on, like others have said.
Something sudden like this? I want a divorce and just move out and boom? No, it doesn't work that way. You are almost positively missing vital information about the true nature of his desire to divorce.

Has he mentioned divorce in the past 2 years? If not, you have yourself a possible cheater on your hands.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is funny, everyone's first question has been, "Who's the other woman?" I had a very hard time thinking there was another woman, but everyone kept asking that. I finally asked him directly, he said no. Unfortunately I can't access his phone bill to be sure.

I have tried to be very honest and humble with him. I was upfront with the MC that I'm not perfect and was willing to work on the things that caused issues. During an exercise at the MC I said I wanted to change but felt that he didn't believe me. He said he did believe me, so there's that. We are both seeing separate therapist plus the MC. I have decided to keep a MC appointment that he won't be at, just to talk with someone that has heard his side just to see if I can get some clarity.

We did not schedule a coffee for next week, but I will see if he will agree to meet.
 

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It is funny, everyone's first question has been, "Who's the other woman?" I had a very hard time thinking there was another woman, but everyone kept asking that. I finally asked him directly, he said no. Unfortunately I can't access his phone bill to be sure.

I have tried to be very honest and humble with him. I was upfront with the MC that I'm not perfect and was willing to work on the things that caused issues. During an exercise at the MC I said I wanted to change but felt that he didn't believe me. He said he did believe me, so there's that. We are both seeing separate therapist plus the MC. I have decided to keep a MC appointment that he won't be at, just to talk with someone that has heard his side just to see if I can get some clarity.

We did not schedule a coffee for next week, but I will see if he will agree to meet.
I am going to be less sympathetic than most other posters. My ex-wife was oblivious, even though I spelt things out clearly and the marriage counsellor did the same. I find it odd that you were blind-sided. Being verbally abusive probably means he had given up on speaking to you and you had not noticed this, which does suggest indifference until it affected you.

When speaking does not work and words become meaningless, other forms of communication are necessary. The good news is that this probably is his way of demanding respect and communication, which suggests he still wants it to work. The bad news is that he might well start to enjoy life more as it is now.

What do you believe your husband really values in a relationship?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My ex-wife was oblivious.

What do you believe your husband really values in a relationship?
Looking back, there were signs, things I said and got a nasty look. I would criticize his driving or make a joke about his bad teeth. None of it seemed at the time to be a big deal. Then, I was so unfocused right after this happened that I asked him if we had ever had a conversation that he was unhappy. It might seem like a strange question, but I wasn't remembering ever having talked about it. He admitted he never said anything.

The really telling thing happened at therapy. We did an exercise where we mentally put on a blank paper the things that were most important to us in a relationship, then we were to decide who got to keep the paper. The first thing I did was ask him what his most important things were and he would not tell me. The MC picked up on that right away. I asked him again a few days later and he said he didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to hurt me because he didn't think they were things I could change. So while I have wanted to know what he values, he will not tell me.
 

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Looking back, there were signs, things I said and got a nasty look. I would criticize his driving or make a joke about his bad teeth. None of it seemed at the time to be a big deal. Then, I was so unfocused right after this happened that I asked him if we had ever had a conversation that he was unhappy. It might seem like a strange question, but I wasn't remembering ever having talked about it. He admitted he never said anything.

The really telling thing happened at therapy. We did an exercise where we mentally put on a blank paper the things that were most important to us in a relationship, then we were to decide who got to keep the paper. The first thing I did was ask him what his most important things were and he would not tell me. The MC picked up on that right away. I asked him again a few days later and he said he didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to hurt me because he didn't think they were things I could change. So while I have wanted to know what he values, he will not tell me.
There are two possibilities. Either you are not open to accepting criticism in good spirit or he can not stand criticizing anyone.

As he is not here, we will concern ourselves only with the first one. I will say that for me, I knew a girl who wanted to get serious and while she is still a friend, backseat driving was a huge red flag. She has been in a couple of bumps, I have not been - and when we were tired or the driving was difficult, I was expected to drive. She was the one who criticized my driving.

If you are the same, it is likely it is not that you would have been hurt, as it can be worth hurting someone for their own good. It is that there would have been no benefit as you might not have accepted it. No-one actually likes criticism, even people who say they do are only acknowledging that it has value.

The best thing you can do is show him respect. If you learn from this experience, thank him.

It might be he has to harden up a bit. But, unfortunately, men with lower self-esteem will often be more attracted to critical women, as it seems like they know the real them. And, generally, in a relationship, men are expected to take more criticism than women. Normally this is OK, but not always.

I might have harsh words for him, but he is not here.
 

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So it finally took him moving out for you to pay attention and realize that you are not filling his love tank. I don't believe that you had no idea. Or are you the type of spouse who just expects him to put up with all of your criticism and other BS? What if he were like you, and said you are fat and that your boobs sag?

You cannot R until after you get to the underlying problem and address it.
 
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Looking back, there were signs, things I said and got a nasty look. I would criticize his driving or make a joke about his bad teeth. None of it seemed at the time to be a big deal. Then, I was so unfocused right after this happened that I asked him if we had ever had a conversation that he was unhappy. It might seem like a strange question, but I wasn't remembering ever having talked about it. He admitted he never said anything.

The really telling thing happened at therapy. We did an exercise where we mentally put on a blank paper the things that were most important to us in a relationship, then we were to decide who got to keep the paper. The first thing I did was ask him what his most important things were and he would not tell me. The MC picked up on that right away. I asked him again a few days later and he said he didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to hurt me because he didn't think they were things I could change. So while I have wanted to know what he values, he will not tell me.
He will not tell me.


I think he has tried to tell you over the years and it has either fallen on deaf ears or you belittled or minimized it or even shamed him so now he has shut down and does not trust you. men are supposed to suck it up and keep on keeping on. but thats really impossible eventually your my give a $hit fails to kick in.

reflect back and try to remember what he might have tried to tell you and you will have your answers.

some things that I can think of from my marriage

1) sex only on her terms
2)selfish sexually
(when sex does happen its about me pleasing her not much effort on her part to reciprocate)
3) not listening to common sense. we can't or shouldn't buy this or that. and then she buys it and has some big a$$ story why
4) not respecting me or my opinion or worse taking credit for my ideas.
5)not getting a word in wedge wise.all conversations revolve around her and how important she is. and how much work she does. bla bla bla while anything I do is greatly minimized
6) doesn't keep her word. for me if you promise something you better come through. and empty promise is very damaging. even if its a small promise
7) eye rolling, sighing and negative/dismissive body language
8)failure to say your sorry without being prompted. when you f-up admit it and with remorse
9) supportive of my dreams and inspirations.


not sayin these are his problems with you but wouldn't be surprised if I nailed a few.

if you want to keep him self reflection is your best bet. and he still might decide that hes had enough.
 

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So I'm in the locker room after this morning's swim. Two athletic guys are discussing their workout. The one says I can't spend that long in the sauna, makes me dizzy, the other replies, well I'm just hanging out here because if I make a noise and wake up a kid before 7 am I'll get chewed out. (our Schools start at 8 am)

I don't know how she does it. Kids up, dressed, fed, organized and delivered to School in less than an hour. But that is not the point. The point is he is afraid to be in his own home. Because of her sharp tongue. A lesson to be learned.

AS to the Original question. Reconciliation has a better chance if there is no infidelity. But, it is still almost impossible, if both parties are not 100% in it to win. I'm worried about your chances
 

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So it finally took him moving out for you to pay attention and realize that you are not filling his love tank. I don't believe that you had no idea. Or are you the type of spouse who just expects him to put up with all of your criticism and other BS? What if he were like you, and said you are fat and that your boobs sag?

You cannot R until after you get to the underlying problem and address it.
I agree, even when you least expect it or are aware of it, hurtful comments that you make have to addressed or they will always come back to be the cause of another problem. I learned this the hard way.
 

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I think he's cheating. Either that or you are such a total b1tch that he's afraid of telling you anything.

Just cuz he says there's no one else doesn't make it true, you know. How many cheaters do you actually think just say "Yes, I am cheating on you" the first time their spouse asks them about it?? The answer would be - NONE.

So, assuming you aren't a total b1tch, start snooping.
 

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My thought wasn't cheating - it was the point he thought her communication style was abusive and demeaning.

I kept telling my ex the same thing. Before I understood the "love bucket" concept, I had read that it takes 10 positive statements to negate (just negate) one negative one. Therefore it is safe to assume it takes MORE than 10:1 to elicit a positive feeling in the other person.

By being "snarky" (a nice way to say downright insensitive or mean), you have left him with nothing but negative feelings about you and your relationship. I don't know that you can fill that bucket. You have to learn an entirely new style of communication. While YOUR skin might be very thick and those comments might not have hurt YOUR feelings, they obviously hurt his. He was trying to shrug it off an "man up" but was still left feeling dejected after these encounters with you. And while there may have been more positive than negative, the negativity was a constant drain on the relationship.

Unless you acknowledge that, empathize with that, feel his hurt and vow to treat him with kind words only, I don't think there's a lot of hope here. Will you feel like your personality will be too different? Do you think you will have "lost" yourself if you censor your communication style that much? Really contemplate that. Words can hurt. And they can't be taken back.
 
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