Hi all, My wife of 20 years moved out of the family home 3 months ago to go stay with one of her female friends. It was a fairly insignificant reason but it was a case of the straw that broke the camels back. I have had long term anxiety and social shyness. My wife over the years showed me lots of love and affection and totally adored me but I never really fully believed or understood it. I am was fairly paranoid throughout that deep down somewhere that she didn't really want me and wanted someone else but I do recognise that it was paranoia and that she just wanted to love me and for me to love her back. I always found my emotions difficult to deal with and could never really open up with her and probably did take her for granted over the years and wasn't particularly nice to her and did accuse her of things( infidelity) but she always stood by me. Things changed for me a couple of years ago when I was introduced to mindfulness and I had a real perception shift I allowed love into my heart and in turn was able to love it felt so amazing, but ironically at that time my wife started to withdraw her emotions from me and I couldn't understand it but in her eyes she saw it maybe she had been living with a totally different person than what she thought. But for me I found an amazing person I had been living with all this time but had not really appreciated and my love for her went to a new level. So here I'm writing this now with tears in my eyes having possibly lost one of the most amazing women in the world. She comes round to the house a couple of times a week and helps with some housework and we'll have dinner together and we did yoga together last week and we have a trip to the movies planned for next week so I'm not totally without hope but I only feel ok when I think my marriage might be rescued, I am seeing a counsellor to talk things through which is a help, I know this a ridiculously long post and thanks for reading it all but as you know how helpful it is to just get things off your chest especially by writing it down
Firstly well done on getting youself the help you needed and im glad its working for you. The way i see it is she still likes to see you so thats a good sign. I left my wife for a few months about 4 years ago because of mental health issues (on both sides) but did slowly get things back and in alot of ways things were better than they ever were. So there is hope.
Be prepared for slow steps and try not to push things. And have you told her how you now feel after getting help?
Really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
when she comes round we get on really well and it's like nothing has happened and I have a deep love for her but when she then goes it leaves me very sad and lonely.
I am the one with more long term anxiety and personality problems but she has developed over the last couple of years mild anxiety and depression and is currently on medication.
She knows I am seeing a counsellor and is interested as to what I discuss at my meetings and yes I have told her how much I love her and miss her. Life is painful and lonely without her but as you say I can't force things and I need to keep living with the inner peace within myself that I finally found after 40 years of not having it.
Most of my life was lived in a fearful, judgemental, negative egoic state that has done a lot of damage I am just hoping and praying her heart softens again towards me and we can't start again at a slower more loving pace
You have to remember that after 20 years or even 25 years we do get into our own way of thinking, that's only natural, and we become complacent, we lose the thought that we marry someone we truly loved and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, it's always hard work but can be rewarding. Geoff.
Nice to have this communication with you I have read many of your kind words of support on lots of other posts it is a comfort that we are not alone in our troubles and that people out there do care.
It's funny when most of us blokes get married we feel like all the hard work is done and we can relax and not work on things.
No body is perfect and at times my wife could be quite demanding in her expectations of me ang if I didn't react in a certain way to her it would cause problems. But also I was quite selfish and was happy to do my own things and I will have to admit alcohol played a fairly big part in how I conducted my life even though she didn't like me drinking I carried on because 'i' enjoyed it, ironically I haven't touched a drop since she left.
I try and remain calm and loving towards her when I see her and hopefully she can see the positive changes in me and may give her more encouragement to return home.
Thanks again Geoff..have a nice day
Without offending anyone on the site, and please excuse me if I do, but my wife ( ex) was also demanding most of the time and in the end I always did what she wanted, sometimes knowing she was wrong, because no one can always be right all the time, only if she could accept the fact that someone else knows better, because they have been through a similar situation before, majority of the time she didn't accept this, and I only wish she had said 'I'm sorry', but I never got that from her.
This was before I fell into deep depression, I only wished this would have happened, I always complimented her, and if I was wrong I always said 'I'm sorry'. Geoff.
I still/again? Find myself in the same boat as geoff. I go along with her demands cos its easier and find the fighting triggers my depression so its easier for me to go along, although i know this isn't a long term plan.
Mancity i hope your movie 'date' goes well. If it were me and cos ive been in your situation, i would treat it as an early date- ie not a "first date" but an early in relationship date. We all remember them when it was still fun and exciting to go out and learn more about them. Those dates and times that made you fall in love in the first place. At the end drop her off where she is staying currently (hopefully temporarily) and dont mention her staying at all or even dont mention your current situation/problems. If she brings it up then sure respond but make it about her learning the new you.
Hope my rambling makes some sense. It took me a while to be able to stay in "my house" again. I would shut down with anxiety attacks just at the thought of it! But i eventually got there. Im mentioning this so you can maybe get an idea of how she might feel.
Goood luck mate
Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences it helps to see things from the other side of the fence.
Movie night and all other interactions we have go well but just the lack of intimacy that I crave so much, I will hold her hand and put my arm around her and kiss her, she responds and does not shrug me off but it is nowhere near the same passion and feeling she use to display to me, if anything she use to show too much affection to me. I think if I did not instigate being affectionate it would not occur and we would be just like friends.
My wife is pretty strong headed and when she makes a decision she seems to stick with it and knows what she wants, it feels like the longer she is away the less chance of her returning home as she can adjust more to life without being in the family unit.
I just want her back to love and care for her but I still struggle with bouts of paranoia that I think trigger her anxiety it's going to be tough to get past that one bit of a catch 22.
Thanks again for your reply.
Thats what we're here for! I came to the forums for help but find im trying to help others. But your also helping me realise what my wife felt too.
Are your times together advancing at all from what you can tell? Like any more frequent, or gradually getting more intimate? If either is happening id see that as a good sign.
Not sure if i mentioned this or not but when i left my wife was like you, just wanted me home, but if she got really pushy then it would push me further away- to the point where i would temporarily block her on my phone. Your wife may not be like i was but be very wary of it and look for signs that what your doing is pushing her away rather than drawing her back.
From what youve said about her not shrugging you off and your time together going well, id say your situation is better than what i went through. I hated her being around, i put up with it more to see my kids.
Plan more dates and enjoy that time together rather than let the other things get you down.
The visits are at the same frequency and I don't think we are getting more intimate it's more like she is gently letting me go as she saw how much I was struggling during the early days of her moving out. I think I might be in denial with the whole thing as she told me after she had been gone for about 6 weeks that she won't be moving back, but I don't think I accepted it fully and just didn't give up hope.
Can I ask you how long you left for and did you tell your wife if you was or was not coming back?
I just feel like she is happier on her own as I give her too much anxiety but I think it has shocked her how much I miss her and love her I don't want to ask her again if she is coming back as I don't want to hear the answer I don't want to hear then I will have to accept it fully and realise she has fell out of love with me.
But like you say I will try and keep up doing things together at least being friends is better than having no relationship at all