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I want to seperate but my wife doesn’t

Community Member

Without going into too much detail, I have committed to leaving my wife for lots of reasons but ultimately I am unhappy and have been for a long time.

i told my wife today that I want to seperate but she won’t accept it. She says I’m destroying our family(we have 2.5yr old) she says I’m being selfish, she is begging me to stay. I’m trying to leave but I don’t know how.

she even went as far as saying she is going to kill her self. I don’t think she will but she is making it hard for me to leave.

do I just pack my things and go? What if she won’t let me see my son.

sorry for a vague question.

4 Replies 4

Hi AbeWilliam,

Welcome to our friendly online community! It's always a tough decision to end a relationship, particularly when the decision is not a mutual one. We're sorry to hear that this seperation is so complex and upsetting. Please know that there is support available to you.

We would recommend getting in touch with MensLine for some advice around how to communicate with your wife. MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/

You might also be interested in reading our page - “Separation and divorce”- https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/separation-and-divorce

This must be quite a distressing situation for your partner, and she will also need some support - if she has close friends or family, you could recommend that she gets in touch with them. Similarly, if she would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that she gets in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  

Thanks for reaching out here tonight. Many of our members will have experienced similar situations, and may have some words of wisdom for you.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AbeWilliam,

Welcome to the forum, I’m sorry to hear of your recent troubles. Your situation is very familiar, as my close family member is going through a similar thing. And I will say to you what I said to him, if you’re looking for permission to leave you’re probably not going to get it. Sometimes you both arrive at the same conclusion and can separate amicably. But other times, the other person just doesn’t want to break up. I have personally found this is more often the case when the person being left has been given countless opportunities to modify their behaviour or improve on certain things and elects not to. And then wants to place the separation as solely the responsibility of the person leaving. Realistically you know this is not the case, there are a million reasons that lead up to this point and just as many opportunities to change trajectory. However you both have ended up here for your own reasons. Saying that she is going to kill her self is extremely manipulative behaviour designed to keep you to stay. I’m not too familiar with family courts etc so I’ll leave that to others but my understanding is that no one can deprive you from seeing your child unless you allow it or don’t pursue it (?) for whatever reason, although I’ll let others who know more about it chime in.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AbeWilliam,

Sorry to hear your struggles in your marriage and that you have suffered in silence to this point.

Although you have been developing these thoughts in your mind for some time, it has most likely come as a complete shock out of the blue for your wife.

Denial, blame, anger, and doubt, will need time to give way to acceptance and due process for finding an amicable separation. If you could show compassion by allowing your wife's emotional state to catch up to your own, I think you will be on the same page o move forward.

Simply packing up and going may leave her in a vulnerable state. Your feelings are valid and should not be denied, but for the sake of your relationship (yes, that continues because of your son), it is prudent to work through these feelings together to find a satisfactory resolution for both.

There will be much soul searching and emotional turmoil, but please endure this for the sake of your son.



Community Member

Hi AbeWilliam.

I understand that you have decided to put your needs before your amazingly loving Wife and Family - that's fair enough. Obviously, without telling us some back-ground information as to why you want to leave your family, it's a bit too difficult to provide adequate support.

If you don't mind me asking what the reasons could be?

  1. Are you being abused?
  2. Are you not happy with yourself and blaming it on your family?
  3. Have you engaged in acts of betrayal or engaged in someone else that you are not entitled too (infidelity)?
  4. Have you experienced an episode of depression causing you to make unhealthy decisions?

Are you experiencing a change in personality or you experiencing difficulties talking with your partner about issues that one or either of you cannot resolve?

At the end of the day, it is your choice to leave your family that have created behind. If the reasons are either 2,3 or 4, please seek immediate support on your difficulties that you maybe experiencing and focus on improving on your mental and physical wellness. Make you the best version of yourself, with the family that you created. Understand that your Wife will become emotional and possible highly insecure because imagine how it would feel if it was the opposite. You are in a way neglecting her care, support and love. Is that fair? That's up to you to decide, if you able too.