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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Last Tuesday my wife admitted that she has had feelings that she wants to 'run away' from our family (we have a 7yo boy and 3 dogs). Then by Thursday she told me she needs me to give her some space. I have told her I am still madly in love with her and that I would fight for her and I will do whatever it takes. At this point we were still kissing each other goodnight and sharing the same bed but that has stopped and she is even calling me by my first name which she has not done for years - usually it is my nickname. I am in a total state of shock as I thought we had a really solid relationship - not perfect but are any? We have never yelled at each other in 17 years of marriage and have always talked things through when we have had issues.

Over the weekend I gave her all the space she wanted. She went out with friends Friday and Saturday night. Spent time with her brother and his new dog all day Sunday. But giving her space seems to have driven her further away. It think she is becoming as disconnected from me as she can so separation from me will be easy.

I realise that all her signs go hand in hand with her having an affair. Which may be true. I don't know.

She has been on a major fitness routine as of late - swimming, jogging, cycling and is really getting into shape. So it would not surprise me if she is getting the attention of other men.

Anyway, she has agreed to attend a marriage counselling session with me tomorrow afternoon. I thanked he for agreeing to it before she went to bed this evening and she said 'Well, it is not going to be comfortable' and off she went to bed.

Yesterday I wrote a list of 100 things I love about her and was going to put it in her glovebox before she went to work in the morning. But after reading steps from the 180 method, this does not sound like a good idea after all. Should I wait until after the counselling session before giving her the list (if at all?). I am in a dark place right now and have never felt so alone but I know I need to stay strong and positive for my son who is adopted - if she leaves he will be devastated. He is very sensitive and will already will have issues of abandonment from his birth parents. I feel so guilty he has become part of this mess.

Thanks in advance for anyone reading this. Any advice and support would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
 

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Hey buddy, sorry to hear this has happened to you.

I feel that there is considerably a large possibility that she is/or about to have an affair or either has her eyes set on someone she likes. Im really sorry to be straight up but its a fact. If someone was perfectly happy with another person, why would they suddenly want to "look good" ? Think about it. Espcially at your age ( i assume you two are around early -mid 40s? - 17 yrs together would be about that age).

Just do the 180 in my opinion. Anything you do or say no matter how romantic you try to be, it WILL only push her further away. When a woman says she needs her space, let her. In the meantime, if u were ever a slob, have no friends , now its the time to work on yourself. Go get a new haircut, new clothes. Hit the gym. Try to look good again.

I say this every now and again. Attraction. Yes attraction is important in EVERY relationship, unless u were in your 60s or something. Stay positive Mark. Go find a hobby. Spend more quality time with your son. Maybe teach him how to play musical instruments or sports.

You cannot and i repeat, YOU CANNOT CHANGE A PERSONS MIND.
She has to come to her senses herself.
 

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I feel like youre giving her enough attention so that is probably no that issue. To be honest its probably that for that reason you are so shocked. It sounds like she is going through a midlife crisis, especially with how much she is hitting the gym, she wants to feel young again, maybe she has eyes on a younger man or some younger bad boy type figure is giving her the type attention she never got from you. I dont think there has been a physical affair but probably an emotional one. No offense but you two probably have been stuck in the same old rut for years and shes getting tired of it and feeling shes loosing her youth quickly.

From what i have heard the 180 seems like a good idea. Are you normally a slob? if so clean up the house. Or if you wait on her every desire constantly pampering her, give her the space but dont sit around and pout, go out and have some fun, if you dont have friends meet some, join a bowling league or something. You dont have to be a jerk but you need to man up a little. Try not to be in so much shock, i know its hard, but now is not the time to wimper like a lost puppy, harden your emotions, instead of saying i love you soooo muchhhh! say "yeah youre right, this marriage needs fixing" and show her you have similar feeling. Get to the gym yourself (not when she is there), even if youre in good shape it never hurts to tone up those abs. Get a nice hair cut, buy a fancy watch or a new shirt, focus on yourself and do somethign that makes you feel good, that feeling good will show in your personality. Even though youre dead scared of loosing her you have to be ready to loose her inorder to save your marriage.

Maybe once things calm down it would be a good idea to take a vacation (without the kid). be spontatious, pick the location, dont say whatever you want you pick it and we'll go. Romantic trips are nice but i dont think that would be best, youre not trying to "spice" up the love life, your more trying to make her fall in love with you again. my feeling is something more wild and adventurous, bungee jumping, sky diving, white water rafting or hit the beach but dont sit there and read, do the water sports, jet skis, para sailing. Again youre trying to shoot for that bad boy, youthful energetic side. Do you remember what it is that attracted her to you 17+ years ago? try and recreate that man you once were and make her fall in love again, go on dates again, pretend you just met or just started dating, get to know each other and who you have really become. Dont talk about the kid, the dogs, work or any of that everyday stuff, pick new topics, find what shes interested in outside of the home life and discuss that. dont expect or demand sex, afterall you wouldnt expect sex on the first couple of dates so treat it just like that. (if she wants it thats fine)

Dont stress about your son, the best thing you can do for a child is focus on your own needs first. its like being in a airplane and the air masks drop out of the ceiling, you always put yours on before the childs...you cant help them if you yourself are in no condition to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the advice - I am 40, she is 39 (I think she is also having a freak out that she is hitting 40 in a few months). Great tips that I will take on board. I have actually let myself go a bit physically (mainly around the belly). Last week I started some intensive bike riding to get my fitness up as well as some ab exercises and started eating healthier. I probably need to lose around 20kg to look slim again so I would have to take on a very intensive method to start looking good in a short time. But I am determined if it helps get her back...and if it doesn't at least I will be a better role model for my son and live a longer life. I am trying to remain positive and focused on him as he has a tough road ahead of him...poor little guy.

I actually play bass guitar but have never taught my son. So teaching him to play an instrument is a great idea.

I also a photographer, so that is another hobby I can get my son involved with.

I am very nervous about tomorrow's counselling session but I guess I should be grateful she has agreed to attend as well.
 

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@Toshiba2020 - more great advice - thank you very much.

I would not say I am a slob, I cook all meals. Clean up after myself. Do the laundry, do the grocery shopping, pack lunches, get my son to school, pick up my son from school, I take him to swimming lessons etc. However I know that my wife resents the fact that I do very little yard maintenance. So I could pick up my game a bit there. My handyman skills have always been poor...which I think she resents a bit.

If there is another man, I don't think he would be the bad boy type...she was attracted to me as I played in a band (still do), had tattoos and partied hard (I don't do that any more). I think it would be more likely a fitness guy with home maintenance skills and a high paying job.

I do have a lot of friends. Many of whom are tied up in relationships, with kids etc But it might be time to reconnect with them.

You are right. I need to man up and not mope around feeling sorry for myself.
 

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An affair should be a very strong suspicion at this point. Are you sure she slept at her brother's place? I would suggest that you snoop the hell out her. Do all that you can to rule out an affair. Then you can probably deal with her MLC. You need to know if you are being blindsided. The earlier you find out the better the chances of saving the marriage.
 

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An affair should be a very strong suspicion at this point. Are you sure she slept at her brother's place? I would suggest that you snoop the hell out her. Do all that you can to rule out an affair. Then you can probably deal with her MLC. You need to know if you are being blindsided. The earlier you find out the better the chances of saving the marriage.
i dont think she slept at her brothers place, i think he said she was just visiting. I dont know all of the details though. I wouldnt get to snoopy as this will show you are insecure and have lost trust in her, thats a turn off for alot of people. If you do suspect something make sure you are very descrete about your snooping. Again i dont think there has been a physical affair, maybe emotional flirting or something like that from a guy at work or the gym or something.

@Toshiba2020 - more great advice - thank you very much.

I would not say I am a slob, I cook all meals. Clean up after myself. Do the laundry, do the grocery shopping, pack lunches, get my son to school, pick up my son from school, I take him to swimming lessons etc. However I know that my wife resents the fact that I do very little yard maintenance. So I could pick up my game a bit there. My handyman skills have always been poor...which I think she resents a bit.

If there is another man, I don't think he would be the bad boy type...she was attracted to me as I played in a band (still do), had tattoos and partied hard (I don't do that any more). I think it would be more likely a fitness guy with home maintenance skills and a high paying job.

I do have a lot of friends. Many of whom are tied up in relationships, with kids etc But it might be time to reconnect with them.

You are right. I need to man up and not mope around feeling sorry for myself.
it sounds like you do alot around the home so you dont have to worry about her resenting you for being lazy, many men wonder why their wifes are always so annoyed yet they never lift a finger and are expected to be treated like a king.

I think spring time would be a good time to change some rolls around the house, maybe focus a little less on the dish and household stuff and do some yard work, mowing, plant a garden, stuff like that. Also, make a list of repairs that need to be done or she has been asking for and tackle them one of those evenings she out with her friends.

It sounds like you have the right attitude and what your going through is probably more of a midlife crisis thing for her than a true end of marriage. If you use this opportunity as a wake up call you can make the appropriate changes in life and work hard on fixing yourself which should in thory set things in motion to stengthen your marriage.
 

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Yes, you are right - she did not stay at her brother's house, it was just for the day. If any overnight stays started happening I would be even more paranoid and suspicious.

After she left work this morning I rang my mother to see if she could look after our son whilst we attended that counselling session. I was going to make something up but I could not lie and told mum that we are going to marriage counselling and then just started bawling like a baby :( I thought I was holding it together but just lost it when I started talking about it. I guess its because mum is the first person I have told or discussed it with...none of my friends know, so I have been bottling it up. My son was in another room and did not hear me - I don't want him to see me in that state! I hope I can keep it together at the counselling session this afternoon but it will be very, very difficult.

I will pop a keylogger on her keyboard for some discreet snooping. I don't know here phone code though which would be the likely place for any evidence. I have checked emails but nothing in her inbox, sent or deleted folders. But I certainly don't want her to know I am doing any of this.

Anyway, we'll see what happens at the counselling session today and I will update later.
 

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...I should have also mentioned that I do a lot of the indoor chores as I had a back operation a couple of years ago and it prevents me for lifting heavy objects in case you were wondering why we have a bit of a role reversal happening in our home.
 

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Well, we went to the counsellor last night who was a psychologist who specialised in couples and children. She was very good and seemed to believe that there was hope for us seeing as we never fight...neither of use have yelled at each other in 17 years (sure there have been silent moments and small arguments but no full blown fights). The conclusion was that we had become disconnected due to work and other family commitments taking up all of our time and energy. It was realised that we don't get any time to ourselves individually or as a couple and due to that we have burned out. She has given us some steps to try to reconnect and my wife has agreed to further sessions.

I guess the toughest one for me is that she admitted in the session that not only does she feel disconnected emotionally from me but she is no longer physically attracted to me. I was not really hurt by this as I know I need to lose weight and get fit but hopefully she does not mean my face as I can't do much to change that! I haven't brought this up with her yet as I am treading carefully but I have changed my diet, started cycling and working out. Hopefully she will take notice when I start looking better. I think my fashion sense and hair are a bit rubbish too...something I should also work on.

Anyway, I live in hope and at the end of the day - if it does not work out. I will have tried my best and will be a fitter person and a better role model to my son.
 

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There are a lot of people in the same boat dealing with "walk away wifes".... and chances are there is probably not an affair. I'm dealing with one also. You may want to read through the other thread on this forum right now just below this one "Wife says she is done"... there is interesting feedback from the women's side in that thread. Here is my best advise (I've done a lot of research!):

Accept that you can't change your spouse you can only change yourself. If you continue on current path there is maybe a 10% chance she stays. If you make needed changes there is maybe a 50% chance. You have no control over relationship. If you work hard you can probably get her back, but it may very well be after a separation or after a divorce. As general rule it may take her 1 month per 1 year of marriage, so maybe 1.5 years in your case.

Acceptance that you can only change/fix yourself is the most difficult step. Its not about fairness, etc. Your going to have the be the one to work on it, to let anger over situation go.

She is giving you the gift of time, make the most of it.

Google "Walk away wife" and do reading. Maybe order Divorce Remedy book, the sequel to Divorce Busting book.

Change habits and do 180s NOW. Change routine, change actions.

"Get a Life". Get out, work out, improve yourself in any way possible. Change clothes. Starting hanging out with friends. Act like you are moving on with life. This is the biggest step beyond acceptance. You have to be appealing, "hard to get" to spouse, and you need friends and self-improvement because because there is a good chance your marriage is over.

Don't beg, plead, reason, remind her of good time during marriage. Don't talk about your relationship at all unless she brings it up. Be "short" with her when talking about it. Hive her lots of space. Decrease or stop calling or texting her. If she give you a opening don't jump in, take things slowly.

She has likely been harboring feelings for years. Take a very critical look at the husband and father you have been. You have probably been missing signs all along. Make changes to correct these but don't discuss with her. At first she will likely be mad that you "are a better husband/father now that she wanted to leave", and think they are an attempt to get back and only temporary. You have to get over this hump, she has to accept that you are what she wants.

Be the husband and father any woman would be crazy to leave.

Take a close at what you want. If you don't want to be the person she needs then just end and let her go now. It will be easier on everyone. If you want to fix things, you have to be dedicated and go all in, and you have to do it for yourself.

I hope these helps, CD
 

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Well, we went to the counsellor last night who was a psychologist who specialised in couples and children. She was very good and seemed to believe that there was hope for us seeing as we never fight...neither of use have yelled at each other in 17 years (sure there have been silent moments and small arguments but no full blown fights). The conclusion was that we had become disconnected due to work and other family commitments taking up all of our time and energy. It was realised that we don't get any time to ourselves individually or as a couple and due to that we have burned out. She has given us some steps to try to reconnect and my wife has agreed to further sessions.

I guess the toughest one for me is that she admitted in the session that not only does she feel disconnected emotionally from me but she is no longer physically attracted to me. I was not really hurt by this as I know I need to lose weight and get fit but hopefully she does not mean my face as I can't do much to change that! I haven't brought this up with her yet as I am treading carefully but I have changed my diet, started cycling and working out. Hopefully she will take notice when I start looking better. I think my fashion sense and hair are a bit rubbish too...something I should also work on.

Anyway, I live in hope and at the end of the day - if it does not work out. I will have tried my best and will be a fitter person and a better role model to my son.

It's good you're keeping it up there mark. I wished i had all the knowledge i know today about relationships. I only found out all this after our marriage was at the point of no return. I educated myself my reading a bulk of marriage experiences and self-helped books. Hopefully i can make my next wife the happiest woman on this planet.

Like i said before. Work on yourself. Start running and losing that weight. Look good again. Buy yourself new clothes(get a copy of the latest trends for your age or hit the mall to get some new trendy clothes).

As hard as it will be, she will probably start to drop what we call on this forums "breadcrumbs" in time. Especially when ur losing weight and looking good. Do not, i repeat, do not let her manipulate you into "crying" "heart talks" etc. I know it will be hard but it's a test to see if u break down. And when you do break down, you'll be seen as needy and desperate.

Just do the 180.
Go out with your friends. Take turns with her looking after your child.

Gluck and god bless.
 

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Thanks CD and capacity83. The 180 approach is difficult to take on when deep down I feel desperate, depressed and shocked. But I understand begging, crying etc is going to get me nowhere at the moment. We are booked into more counselling sessions and I am considering booking an individual session for myself to deal with my depression as it has entered a fairly dark place and I am trying my hardest to keep upbeat in front of my son.

I appreciate all the replies and information. It has helped me come to some sort of understanding as to what is going on and what I can do about it.
 

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You are a very nice guy and there is a reasonable chance you two can work things out. Do note that women sometimes look for strength and popularity. If several women like a guy, others like him more. On the Bachelor (a sad but insightful show) as more women like the guy, others increase their affection for him. Contrariwise the doting husband could show weakness to some women.

I'd probably tone down the constant statements of your unrelenting affection. Instead, your physical fitness routine is a good idea, and I'd introduce a little uncertainty. Come home a little later than expected, have some plans. Be a little unpredictable. Give her the impression you are evaluating othe options too

At the end if you two work things out, then consider introducing a little more excitement, trips to different places, shows, trying to get out of the suburban rut.
 

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Thanks CD and capacity83. The 180 approach is difficult to take on when deep down I feel desperate, depressed and shocked. But I understand begging, crying etc is going to get me nowhere at the moment. We are booked into more counselling sessions and I am considering booking an individual session for myself to deal with my depression as it has entered a fairly dark place and I am trying my hardest to keep upbeat in front of my son.

I appreciate all the replies and information. It has helped me come to some sort of understanding as to what is going on and what I can do about it.
I know its not easy but your going to have to change your behavior in a hurry. Desperate, depressed, begging is very unattractive. Your going to need to get out and get your new life also, and start working out and improving yourself. Counseling could be good or bad depending on if she is really "trying", otherwise it is just a step so she can tell herself she tried everything and can get away quicker and with less guilt. Ryan
 

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I have been doing the 180 and some individual counselling which both have resulted in me focusing on only the things that I can control - my fitness, appearance, chores around the house, care of my son etc.

We also went to a second marriage counselling session which had some great advice for how we could get back on path but my wife basically admitted that she does not have the energy in investing on doing that.

This weekend I move to a bedroom downstairs, so we are now separated under one roof so to speak. The strange thing is that I am feeling less desperate and sad but am feeling more confident in myself yet angry at her for wanting to end this. I am kind of at the point that I just want to get on with it and start my new life without her (even though i still love her to death). I have found exercise seems to make me think more logically - I have been doing some pretty intensive cycling. I think I might have to just ask her straight what she wants because I cannot deal with being left dangling like this. I would rather deal with whats coming I think. I cannot picture ever moving on at this stage but the limbo I feel I am in borders on torture - so I feel I am at a point where I can let her go in the hope that she might one day see reason and want to be with me again.
 

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You should have asked her to move into the other bedroom, not you! Otherwise keep up your good work. Your not going to get quick results so just hang in there, its going to be difficult just suck it up. Don't ask her want she wants, just deal with it. Be the husband any wife would never leave. Keep up fitness work and concentrate on personal improvement.
 

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I just want to confirm that you are in a very good place right now. It may not seem like it but once she sees you moving on she will think twice.

In addition , until your wife stops all contact with her boy friend then MC mean nothing to her. But that is her choice and in making the wrong choice she will lose you.

So stay confident and fake it until you make it. Hopefuly soon she will see that the grass isn't greener and will come to her senses and recommit to healthy fit guy and a wonderful son.

It will be a matter of time when the affiar breaks off,and its just a matter time if you and your boy will be around before some hot cycle chick picks you up.

Stay strong, right now the indifference you offer your wife may bring her out of the affair fog. This indifference may be the signal that she needs to see what she is about to lose if she continues.
 

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Treat her like furniture or a house plant. No small talk or conversation unless it is about your son. If she wants to tell you about her day, tell her to call her boyfriend and talk to him. Then walk away.

This is the approach you should have with her every day.
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