So, I have been with my wife for about ten years. We dated for approximately six years before getting engaged and have been married for two and a half years. Four weeks ago, she asked that we separate so she could have space. It didn't sink in at first, as I just thought she was going through something existential, but when it sunk in it really hurt and I also realized that I had made mistakes in our relationship.
The back story:
We met at a party and started dating. We moved to the same neighborhood in separate apartments, but were always over at each other's place. I urged her to move in with me so we could both save money, especially since we were always sleeping over. She wasn't quite ready, but I convinced her to and she did. This created a bit of a riff and she also lost her job as soon as we moved in. We had a bit of a short breakup/strange distant period, but things improved and we got along really well for years.
I bought a house across the street and we renovated it together. I didn't consult her about the house, I just kind of pulled the trigger as it was a great deal and I knew we would be much better off living there. (I used to do the same thing with old cars or random stuff. I would buy it without permission.) We made ourselves a nice home and generally did well after moving in. We became engaged, which was really more of her desire than mine. I just wanted our relationship not necessarily any rings nor ceremonies, but I ended up agreeing to all of it. (Part of me was just nervous about the ceremony and money, etc.) I kind of always made it clear that the marriage was for her and I was kind of always 85% rather than 100% behind it. Our marriage itself was epic. We saved together and paid for most everything ourselves and many creative friends helped us make it great.
During all of this, I have done some job hopping, mainly to better my income and provide better for her. I started working for a company on the opposite coast nearly two years ago, so now I am a traveling sales person and can spend up to three weeks on the road.
We are both very independent people and are generally not emotional. We have not communicated with each other well. I was very focused on my job and didn't show her how much I cared even though I did care. I didn't think she was bothered by it. We are both admittingly self-centered and success oriented.
We had a big fight this past summer (which was rare for us) and we never really resolved it. She took off and confided in her friends. I'm positive we don't cheat on each other. A lot of our friends are lesbian or gay and she's not into women.
The current story:
So, after she made it clear she wanted a separation in early October, I lost it and freaked out and really felt hurt. She wanted me to work on myself, so I enrolled in therapy for the first time. She moved in with her parents in the burbs for a while, but the long commute and not seeing our two dogs really bothered her, so after a few weeks she moved back in our house and sleeps in the 2nd bedroom. The first week or so she was gone I sent angry texts and e-mails and that didn't go over so well. I let my hurt and jealousy of her friends that she confides in take over.
Now that she is back here we have been civil with each other. I constantly want to hug her and just want to improve things and get her back. She says she loves me but she doesn't want to kiss me nor act like we used to act nor do things together like dinner/movies, etc.
She wants me to work on me, which I'm fine with and I am, but I'm really scared that I may lose her. I do not want to accept divorce and I don't want to lose our dogs nor go through the messy dividing of stuff, etc. Mainly, I'm still deeply in love with her and I want to be a better husband to her. I think I'm waiting for her to forgive me, reconnect and agree to marriage counseling.
So, should I go work on the road for a while? Should I try to find my own place. I certainly don't want to, but my main goal is to get her back. I'm doing things for her to make her know I care, like waxing her car, getting her an awesome birthday gift making her a birthday cake.
It's painful to be at the house and see her, but not be able to express my love or receive intimacy.
All of this took me by surprise too.