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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan. I've been married for 17yrs...just the last few yrs have been rocky due to finances and seperations. She just announced that she wants a divorce. She said that she loves me...but is no longer "in love"with me, she isn't having an affair, but she wants to go...We have two children. I adore and worship her. I've supported her through graduate school & various business ventures. I've made mistakes ...been critical and said things that I regret when we argued. I want to attend couples counceling- but she says no. I'll be home soon...Completely crushed. Can't imagine life without her. How do I move forward? I can't eat,sleep, concentrate...just want to curl up in a ball. My faith is destroyed & it seems that all of her vows and promises were lies. I can't help thinking that if she stayed with me...the storm would break & things would improve. What do I do? I want her back so badly. How do I convice her to reconcile?
 

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People, like animals, runaway from that which pursues them, so stop pursuing your wife. If she wants a divorce, show her emotional strength and answer her 'ok' even if you have to fake it. Learn to accept the finality of things by letting her go and you might get her to pause and think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll try the 180 degree rules...I also saw a book- Stop Your Divorce,Homer Mcdonald.... Will these rules really work. I read that 97% of failed marriages were salvagable? I'll do anything to get her back- I don't want my children to be hurt...Do I simply agree to everything without any resistance?
 

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I think you have a better change at changing this if you stop worshiping her. Do the 180...and yea, "Stop your Divorce" was insightful.
 

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Please read the following (especially points 1 and 3):

I happened to be thinking today about the past year of my marriage. Everyone on these forums were so instrumental in my being in the great place I am today I thought I would post a note about where I was, where I am, and what I’ve learned.

A year ago my marriage was a mess. After 3 kids my stay at home wife spontaneously decided to start going out with her girlfriends again, including a “girls trip” to Vegas. She started a crazy fitness routine, including marathon running and triathalons. She started leaving me at home with the kids 2-3 evenings a week. A rough summer. I was insecure, controlling, alone, and afraid.

Thanks in part to the folks on this forum, life is much better now. My wife only goes out with her friends maybe once a month, and the last time she did, she came home early, threw her arms around me, and told me she’s so happy she gets to come home to me. She goes to the gym maybe once or twice a week for an hour or so in the early evening. When she does leave on races out of town the whole family will go on a camping trip together so we can be there for her at the finish line. The stress level in the house is much lower, and our happiness and respect for each other is much higher. Are things perfect? No – we still fight, have conflict, and disagree. But they’re shorter-lived, not has hostile, and just plain don’t seem to hurt so much. What’s changed? Me. Here’s what I learned:

1. Let her go. You can fight, hold her back, be controlling… and you’ll just look petty, insecure, and weak. Be cool, act secure, give her a kiss and say “have fun.” If she’s going to cheat or leave, she’s going to cheat or leave. It’s better if it happens sooner rather than later in my book. A marriage is a choice, a decision that’s made one day at a time. You’re in or out. This was really, really hard. But I've learned that nothing lasts forever, life is change. We can grow together or apart. I can't force her to decide to want to be with me.

2. Set boundaries, and then stick to them. I found in my marriage that it wasn’t ok to say “I don’t want you to do that” but it was ok to say “would you be ok with me doing that?” And then hold her to it. 9 times out of 10 the behaviour would go away on its own if I stuck to it. For example: if it was ok for her to be gone 2-3 nights a week so would I. After a couple of weeks she was dying to sit on the couch and watch a movie after we spent the evening with the kids together. Conversely, if it's within your boundaries, be cool with it. I started to let her off the hook for minor annoyances a lot more which cooled the stress levels.

3. Be ok with losing her. Seriously. After one of our last bad fights before things got better, I reconciled myself to thinking this might be it. The end of our marriage and little family. I thought out how things would be living on my own, sharing custody of the kids, etc. And as tough as it would be, made peace with it. It wouldn’t kill me, it wouldn’t kill my kids. Very negative experience and one I’d like to avoid at all costs, but we would survive. This changed my attitude and clinginess significantly… and to be blunt scared the hell out of my wife. Just last month she told me “I think you’d be more ok without me than I’d be without you.” And for our marriage, that balance of neediness works. I think it’s an alpha male thing, not sure but it seems to work.

4. Do my own thing. I’m out at least once or twice a week doing martial arts, yoga, weights, cross-fit, trail running, hanging with buddies… you name it. Gives me perspective and gives my wife time to miss me. And I’m in kick ass shape compared to last year, and now instead of me worrying about my wife getting hit on I’m having to deal with having her be upset because other women check me out when we go out. I’m going on a weekend martial arts training camp… and my wife couldn’t say a word after going to Vegas last year. Another thing: I make sure I either do something fun with the kids when she goes out (she’ll have to decide if it’s more important to miss out on family fun or friend fun) or I have fun while she’s out. Even something stupid like a scotch and cigar in the back yard when the kids go to bed so I can kick back and listen to the complete lack of complaining about the cigar stink. Ahh…

5. Be a father to our children. Not just “quality” time but real time. Conversations, walks in the park, helping with homework, taking them to soccer, etc. all seemed to help big time. Not just with my wife, but with all of us. And I also found my “father voice,” the voice of discipline and reason in the family. My kids listen to me a lot more, not in fear, but they know they have to listen. Now my wife comes to me when the kids don’t listen to her, not the other way around.

6. Get some buddies. Guys need close guy friends to do guy stuff. Complain about their wives. Be stupid and macho. Whatever that means to you, it worked wonders for me.

7. Fight different. Walk away rather than blow up. Mean what you say and stand up to it. For example, if I threaten that if she keeps doing x that means I'll do y, then I bloody well do y if she does x. This had two effects: I thought about what I said more, and so did my wife. I think my wife has a need to be able to hold me at my word, even if that’s a bad thing. Not sure why. Using few words in a fight, slowly and quietly while looking her directly in the eye seems to also work. Once it’s said, don’t repeat it. It is what it is.

8. Act from a place of strength. I don’t think my wife wants a weakling. She may say that she’ll want me to be more intimate, vulnerable, etc… I think that’s actually BS. Or at least that she doesn’t mean weak or actually vulnerable. If you have flaws or weaknesses either accept it and move on or fix it. I don’t let my wife try to fix my flaws any more. If she brings something up and tries to fix it I’ll ask her to mind her own business (gently). Not a behaviour that impacts her, those I’ll always try to listen to her on. But I don't let her judge me or try to live up to her expectations any more. I define myself, I don't let her do that for me.

9. Be decisive. Again I think this is an alpha male thing. Make plans. I planned a few date nights, and didn’t ask what she wanted to do. Instead I planned stuff I thought might be fun for us, and asked if she was having a good time. She was, especially if it was stuff she didn’t normally like to do (one time we went to a tattoo expo – I have one small tattoo and she has none – but got us out of our element and we had a blast!) Now if she asks me “what do you want to do” I answer with what I want. Works in bed too – I just made sure she felt comfortable in saying “no.” Don’t bully, be decisive and adaptable.

10.Know what I want from life. This is hard in today’s world. I had to pull my head out of my ass and figure out that I don’t want to sit on the couch every night and watch TV. So now I don’t. At least not every night.

11.Do more macho stuff. Fix something around the house. Dig a big hole in the back yard and plant a tree. Fixing her car, for example, seemed to turn a light bulb on in my wife’s head that reminded me that I’m a man and not one of her girlfriends.

So that’s my list. Hope it helps some of the guys out there. Your mileage may vary, and my marriage may still fail, but I’m in a much better spot in the past year than I have been in a long, long time.

Thanks for everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
People, like animals, runaway from that which pursues them, so stop pursuing your wife. If she wants a divorce, show her emotional strength and answer her 'ok' even if you have to fake it. Learn to accept the finality of things by letting her go and you might get her to pause and think.
A few days ago she contacted me to let me know that she spoke with a lawyer about the Divorce. I told her that she is right, I'll sign whatever she wants, we can talk about the paperwork and finances upon my return & explain everything to the kids after NewYears. I told her that it is probably a good decision. I mentioned my appts with counselors upon my return, and that I believe that God gave me this burden to force me to make changes in my life. She cried & we ended the conversation. Shortly after, she sent an email saying "You sound much healthier emotionally and mentally and it makes me happier than you could ever know" She ended the email with Love... which is something I haven't seen in a while. Another recent email ( I didn't reply) was all biz about car repairs- no emotion at all. What does this mean...Do you think that she is having 2nd thoughts, or is she happy that I'm not fighting anymore? Any opinions? I feel little better...but still the loss & pain is crushing. Haven't called her- just the kids- giving her space. Thanks- any advice is appreciated!
 

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No, that is not 2nd thoughts on her part.

There needs to be a lot more from her end before you should even consider she's having second thoughts.

Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really want my wife to feel more validated and respected....but I don't want to appear to pursue her. I don't want to chase her away or make her uncomfortable. Any suggestions?

I keep re-reading the email from my wife..."You sound much healthier emotionally and mentally and it makes me happier than you could ever know" She ended the email with Love... which is something I haven't seen in a while.Yup, I'm over analying it...just hanging on to hope.

Our emails since then have been pretty friendly,brief- mostly business (cars,kids,house)...no "Love" or "R" talk. She hasn't brought up the Divorce or Lawyer topic, although I'm sure she hasn't changed her mind...especially since her IC seems pro-divorce.

I'll call Thursday & wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I should be home from Afghanistan in a couple of weeks. Sounds like my W is planning a small party when I return. The gesture is very sweet. Nobody knows that we are having M problems, so hopefully being around other couples etc doesn't make her feel strange... Could this be an "olive branch"... Again, wishful thinking/ Hoping.
I'll continue with my self-improvement plans. Lonely & sad being away from them for T-giving...at least I should be home for Christmas.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone & I wish everyone peace and happiness.
 

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You may want to consider asking her how soon the divorce can be finalized and then ending contact to leave her wondering why you are so eager to have the divorce finalized. If she contacts to ask you about what's the rush, you can tell her that you want to start your new life as soon as possible. Press the divorce as much as possible in your interactions. Turn the tables on her by being the one who dumps her and not the other way around.
 

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I've read all about the 180. I think it helps in many instances. However, I personally would want a man to fight for me. It seems like the 180 might be getting the results you need right now, but just for reference, no 2 people are alike and the 180 is not scientifically proven to work everytime. Sometimes people want you to fight for them. I would. If they behaved 180 with me, and i'm just telling you this from a different perspective, I would probably feel the person didn't give a sh*t to begin with. That's just me. But like I said, she seems to be responding to it, so go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks FCF & morituri,
Initially, before I learned about 180... I did all of the wrong things, beg,plead,reason etc.
Part of my 180 is to show more often to my W that I validate & respect her, and for me to be more optimistic/less angry/ more outgoing.
How could I fight for her without being confrontational? She knows that I love her and would crawl through fire for her & my children. The only person I can control is Me.... If she wants a divorce when I return, I can't stop it....fighting & delays would cause animosity....So I think that "going with the flow...getting a life, show her that I CAN move on, might give her second thoughts walking away from her beautiful family. Thanks again everyone! I really appreciate the advice.... Anyone else have an opinion? Thx
 

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That's why I said it seems to be working for you in this instance, I was just giving you a perspective that you might have not explored. Obviously you have.
 

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BrokenHeart422, I have some material which may help you. PM me if you are interested.
 
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