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My wife called for a break, I'm struggling to accept her decision

Community Member

About 6 months ago my partner and I had a tipping point in our relationship due to my distance throughout the 6 month period prior to that. We are proud parents to a beautiful little girl and between the time that she was about 10 months - 16months old I was clearly not coping with the whole parenting thing very well, which to this day I find disgusting because my wife wasn't coping either and needed my help. My coping strategy was to be busy with other commitments each weekend which meant my wife was left at home to look after our daughter. There was a few times where my wife was literally crying and struggling and I was so cold and switched off that I chose these other commitments over my family which I regret every day to this day.

When the tipping point came, other things came out that during the time we had both made some pretty awful decisions in the relationship. After I had uncovered something that she had done she had a sudden change of heart and we reconciled the first time. We agreed to be completely open and honest. I undertook counselling and worked on being a better person, father, and husband. I'm not saying I was ever a bad husband or father before.. but my actions when I was going away on the weekends definitely undid every good thing that I had ever done.

After about 1-2 months of the openness my wife started being closed off again. Thought that I was checking up on her all the time, and phones became locked off again, and the secrecy in the relationship brought the trust back to low and we were on edge. She seemed to have very little patience with me again, and I was doing the opposite and trying to do everything in my power to make things easier at home. Our daughter is very demanding and that certainly doesn't help things.

A few weeks ago there was another moment where my wife told me that things aren't working again, and she didn't know if she could get past what I did last year. I got to the point of begging and crying which I know now is selfish but I was scared and worried I was going to lose the love of my life. We have only known each other in our adult lives. I love her to pieces and she tells me that she loves and cares for me.. but we are broken and unhappy.

We did reconcile again after that instance after about a week.. and then recently again she has said the words "I think I want to leave" and we are now separated living under the one roof. I'm an emotional wreck. I know I can't control how she feels.. need help..

9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi LH, welcome

It paints a similar picture to the movie "the way we were" where two people love each other but find difficulty living with each other.

You should be proud that you have both gone on a trustworthy campaign to be open and honest, that is very rare and even rarer that it works unfortunately. I think a better method might have been to let sleeping dogs lie and move on from those activities you did alone. The reason mainly is it serves little purpose and is more likely to damage your inner feelings.

I also think that if you accept that the marriage/partnership is hurt, it might be better to treat her as a friend for a time. The connection of friendship, laughing and supporting each other plus the joy of sharing your child together just might help save your marriage. The grief of separate rooms and the possibility of living separate abodes is taking its toll, remove your mind from that and centre of the friendship.

I have a thread below that I've proved does work, a method of helping you both if you argue. It needs commitment of both of you.


Beyondblue topic relationship strife? - the peace pipe

Good luck and if you think counseling would help contact Relationships Australia.


Thanks for the response white knight...

While this is the hardest thing that I've ever had to go through... I do know that the road ahead is really long and I will grow as a person and really learn what true patience is. I understand that for us to have a truly loving marriage I need to give my wife the time apart that she needs and that she needs to choose me if she ever gets to that.

I have arranged to start some therapy next week in order to hopefully come up with some coping mechanisms and get some better perspective of why I am feeling the way I do at the moment.

At the moment I am still doing all of the things that I did before.. cooking dinner, making coffees, being extra supportive when our daughter is a handful, taking our daughter for daddy daughter time. I'm encouraged by the fact that my wife still wants to do things as a family. I'm still able to give her physical affection occasionally when she is feeling down and could use a back rub.

The bitterness that there was between us seems to have been relieved once the pressure has been removed from the situation, we are both being so nice to one another, but at the same time I do very much miss being able to completely love my wife.

I have been clear that I am still in love with her and if she ever decides to change her mind that I will be waiting, but I think I need to also be prepared that maybe that won't happen. Sometimes I feel as though thinking negatively is me giving up on my marriage and that's the last thing I want to do.

We both just fell into the trap of forgetting that without your partner being your best friend, and nurturing that friendship, you fall away from one another and things get stagnant. I believe we still love and care for one another very much, but the struggle for happiness puts us in a difficult situation and without individual happiness, we can't be happy in love?


Great to be getting therapy.

I think you are correct about individual happiness in a marriage. However, for reasons that often only they know (in this case your wife) they don't find happiness with their partner through no fault of the partners. It would feel that you cannot fulfill her but would some other man? If "Mr ideal" arrived in her life would she feel similar with that man a couple of years later? This is where you should reduce your personal responsibility for the situation, accept that you have tried hard to be open and honest and realise that your best should be good enough. If it isn't, it isn't your fault, neither might it be hers- it might be just how things fall.

Best of luck at therapy. Again, an example of doing what you can.


Community Member

Hi LH,

I'm sorry you and your wife are going through this. I have been married but separated for over 3 years. I have a new partner and that is another story. I know your heart must ache to be close to her and you must be feeling lost. You won't always feel this way.

I just want to say therapy is an excellent idea and has helped me very much. I will say that in my marriage my husband was a great father and partner to me but there was nothing he could've done to make me feel fulfilled and happy within that relationship. It wasn't until much later after leaving that I realized that the issue was me. I wasn't right, I needed time to see that myself. This was after we had two beautiful daughters and I didn't realize how much my postnatal depression had taken its toll. There is nothing this amazing man could've done to help me or make me want to stay, he tried. I thought I needed to leave.

In regards to repairing relationships after infidelity (if that's whats happened in your case) which is what's happened in my current relationship post my marriage. It has been 18 months post disclosure and staying open and honest has been the only thing that has helped along with consistency. It has been very hard, lots of arguments and and realizations but there has been enough love and willingness to work through. So it is possible.

I know if you find a great therapist you will find out lots about yourself and it can only benefit you and your relationships.

I wish you all the best.

Community Member
Also I just want to say I know its easy to isolate yourself when you're in pain but lean on your friends. Surround yourself with support and people willing to listen. You will be ok and you will be happy.

Community Member

My husband is 20 years older than I. My/our 9 year old daughter is not biologically his. We had a great physical and social life until our lives turned upside down. Long story. We maintained the love and intimacy and he's a great father and my daughter loves him soooooo much. He had a quadruple bypass over 18 months ago and he's not been the same. We've not been intimate for almost a year. He is gluttonous. His loud chewing, farting, coughing and constant promise of giving up smoking has become a repulsive Groundhog Day. He gave up his life (and ours) in the UK for us. I didn't ask him to but wanted him to. He's beat me up once after his surgery. He denies it. His surgeon says he will change. The change is so bad I can't live with it. I'm young and my daughter is young. I can't waste being with him when there isn't anything given back. I'm verbally degraded. He swears in front of our 9 year old daughter even when I ask him not to. He is caring but doesn't know how to show it any longer. We are so unhappy. We can't afford to separate. What do we do? I want to feel happy again. My daughter and I can't leave this home by school. We wouldn't find anything close to what we have for the rent we pay. I can't uproot my daughter. I know somewhere around the corner he could go to for about $50p/w. If he agreed he wouldn't pay towards rent or bills. How do I say to him we need this break? I don't want to hurt him. He knows I love him but he repulses me in every other way. Please help

Hi Loyal Hound...Excuse me for jumping in on your thread for a moment..

Hi Amber....Welcome and thankyou for having the courage to post too....If you wish to post on the Relationship and Family Issues topic you can create your own post and then you will have more replies that can help provide better support than being here on Loyal Hounds thread

If you click on the Relationship and Family Issues section you will see a button on the ride hand side that mentions 'Create Thread'

Here is the copy and paste link for you


If you are stuck just sing out...there are many gentle people that can be here for you 🙂

my kind thoughts


I'm trying my best to understand that my wife's feelings are valid, regardless of where they are coming from or how she has come to those feelings. She knows that I am a good husband and father. We just fell into the daily life trap and after our daughter was born stopped connecting so much.

The seperation under the one roof at the moment is making me more hopeful that I can try and work on being her friend while being the husband and dad that I want to be.

Community Member


Thank you for suggesting to reach out to friends. I have been able to reach out to a few people and I've found some to be more helpful than others. Sometimes peoples personal life experiences jade their opinions to the point where their advise is so bias that it isn't helpful anymore. Luckily I'm switched on enough to see that.

I've found over the past few days while my wife hasn't been feeling the best that continueing to be supportive but not pressuring her to talk about us has created a much more positive atmosphere at home to the point where I feel hopeful of reconciliation in the future. I'm being careful not to put any time frames on it, and also to try and guard myself that it's possible that it might not happen as well. I have had a lot less of those hopeless butterfly in the stomach feelings and feeling of fear and the future.

My wife has recently made comments to me that indicate that she is really having trouble with everything and knows how much she loves me and wants to make things work. She make a comment about why did we have to mess things up so bad and all I could do was reassure her that I believe with time we can fix things but I'm willing to wait to work on it.

There were a few things that happened with us.. the biggest thing that I did wrong was being so neglectful and having my wife try and look after our daughter while she was a baby each weekend. I won't say I wouldn't come home and do what I could.. but my wife didn't just crave time away from my daughter, but now i've realised that she was craving family time and time with me.

I may have pushed her to seek help and attention elsewhere which turned into emotional cheating. The guy was also married.. and just disgustingly praying on vulnerable women on a forum or online chat. Trust became a bit of an issue, but I also feel like my wife is suffering from an immense about a guilt that she is struggling to get past even though I'm willing to move on and work on our marriage. Rebuilding trust the proper way.. slowly over time.

I know I need to work on me which I will continue to do.. this is definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through but I figured that anything worth doing is going to be hard.. and doing everything that I can to try and save my marriage is how I'm coping. I absolutely adore my wife and want to make sure that she knows it.