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Hi there,

So my husband wants to separate. We have been going thru many issues. Financially we are stressed but this could be fixed but one of the big problems is my family. They are very opinionated and I have allowed them to control me and my marriage. My husband has decided he can no longer live like this and wants to separate. I have told him that I want to change and have taken the first step by telling my family that I want them to back off and that I can make my own decisions regarding my life from now on. He was very proud of me but it is still not enough for him to stay.

He has told me that for right now he wants to separate but doesn't know what the future holds. He's not sure how he will feel after we separate and wants me to keep the door open. Is that fair of him to ask? Should I just give him time? I don't know what he means by this. One minute he says he doesn't love me but then he asks me to keep the door open. I know that there have been alot of stresses in the past 6 months or so which is why he has been pushed to the edge but I just can't read thru what he is saying to me.

Could anyone offer any advise?
 

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one of the big problems is my family. They are very opinionated and I have allowed them to control me and my marriage.
I had this problem with my former MIL, she drove me crazy. To give my former wife credit, she squashed it once we talked and she realized what a problem it was for me. My ex had to be very forceful and her mom was not happy, but she listened to her daughter and stayed out of our business.

It will take a lot of willpower and mental fortitude, but if you can break the cycle with your family, you have a good chance with your husband. But you can never back down to them or you will fall into the same trap again. Are you up for this? A good counselor could help you to develop skills you need to get throught this. This will not happen overnight and they will be pissed with you. You will have to have a very thick skin to get throught this intact.

He has told me that for right now he wants to separate but doesn't know what the future holds. He's not sure how he will feel after we separate and wants me to keep the door open.
This is usually a phase I hear from women when they are one the way out the door, but trying not to hurt your feelings. But he is a man, so it could mean one of two things (Can't tell you which).

1. He still cares for you but he can't take the current environment he is living in any longer. Should it change, he might come back.

2. He has someone on the side that treats him well and he is trying to let you down easy before he drops the paperwork.
 

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Could there be another woman involved?

The reason I ask is that, if you have made every effort to keep your family out of your marriage, everything should be fine, right? So why would he now want to separate?

Another "red flag" is that he wants to separate, but appears to want to keep you as a "back up plan". What does he plan to do if he were to live the "single life"?

I think there is more to this, but that's just my opinion. I know that it's hard on you to live with him while he acts this way, but there has to be more to the story that you might not even be aware of.
 

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I honestly and truly do not beleive there is someone else. He works alot and I know this because it reflects in his paycheck. He really has no time to cheat. And I don't think he would do that to me or our son. I truly believe he is fed up with our situation. I just hope that giving him time doesn't make him love me less. I know they say that "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" but I'm just scared I guess to do that.

I am very much prepared to change things with my family to save my real family. I realize now what I have done and realize that my husband and son are the most important things in my life. There are things he needs to improve on as well but I hope in the future we can do councelling to fix all our issues.
 

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one of the big problems is my family. They are very opinionated and I have allowed them to control me and my marriage. My husband has decided he can no longer live like this and wants to separate. I have told him that I want to change and have taken the first step by telling my family that I want them to back off
You told your husband you want to change and you have taken the first step.. BUT you only did this AFTER he asked to separate. It's a bit too little, too late, it shows that you are only doing it because you are afraid to lose him not because it was causing all these problems and bothered him so much. From where he sits he's probably thinking something like "All these years I've been asking her to address this issue and she does nothing until I say I want to leave. Now she goes and does something but she doesn't really mean it and besides I don't want to have to resort to threats to get her to respect my wishes".


and that I can make my own decisions regarding my life from now on. He was very proud of me but it is still not enough for him to stay.
Right, because your timing wasn't good. He doesn't feel that your changes are permanent, rather they're a stop gap desperation measure, and he might be right.

He has told me that for right now he wants to separate but doesn't know what the future holds. He's not sure how he will feel after we separate and wants me to keep the door open. Is that fair of him to ask? Should I just give him time?
Is it fair for him to ask you exactly what? To separate? To separate and leave the door open? Its not a matter of "fair".. life isn't fair and there's no one keeping score and dishing out rewards and punishments depending on how well someone treats someone else. He can slap you with divorce papers, he can have an affair, he can be abusive, and none of that is necessarily "fair" it's a matter of what another person might put up with.

Better questions to ask (yourself) might be "My husband wants to separate yet keep the door open". Can I just sit here and wait for him to make up his mind? How long should I wait? Where will he be living and is he going to be seeing other people and could I tolerate this?
 
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