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Relationship Abandonment

Community Member
Hi, I am going to use this forum to tell my story, happy for anyone to comment, advise, or people to add similar experiences, or lessons learnt, but all in all I just want to talk and describe where I have been and where I am at the present moment. So here's my story: I am a 52 year old male, married with two young boys, 10yrs & 5 yrs. My wife and I have been married for 13 yrs and been together for 17 yrs. We have had some major challenges in our time together which changes the person and I guess in this case their relationship with each other.

Our first born had to have an emergency surgery at 2 yrs of age, he had a tumour on the top of his lung, and the operation was a nasty one due to his age and the size of the tumour, when his surgery was completed he was on support for his lungs as they had collapsed due to the nature of the surgery. I spent 5 days and nights beside his bed as the doctors slowly reducing the dependence on the lung machine as it was important that his lungs operate by themselves, if they did not his lungs would collapse and he would had died. After the bedside vidual the machine was turned off and his lungs did the rest, I was able to finally let go and fall asleep. My wife at the time was 7 months pregnant and I did not want her to have anymore stress than there was. Unbeknownst to us our 2nd born had a condition called biliary atresia, basically his liver was not functioning normally, and required multiple surgeries until a liver transplant. We spent the next 9 months living in the hospital system, hoping and waiting for a cadaver transplant. Whilst waiting and knowing time was running out as a baby was living in a toxic world, I was "worked up" to be a "live" donor. The Doctor who did the tests on me was surprised I was 100% compatible. he was prepared to do the surgery on me, but the children's liver team were not keen as our child was too sick to do a major operation. Everyone at some point in time look for their purpose in life, I truly believed that this was my purpose in life to share my liver with my son to save his life, however at 9 months age he eventually died in my arms before any donor transplant could be done. I went to counselling and told them my story and they said I had similar conditions as Vietnam Vets, - sleep deprivation, see futility, blood and gore, desperation, and then death, before being dropped back into society to live a normal life, smile, laugh at peoples jokes, whilst inside you are totally destroyed. So my wife and I have suffered immensely during this time, we had a third child who is now 5 years old and healthy. What is not healthy is our relationship with each other. Since the birth of our third child we have grown distance and struggle to be a couple again, seem to live separate lives under the same roof. I struggle to get my wife to communicate with me, and try to understand what I need to do to get out lives back together. This is the relationship abandonment- my wife doesn't seem to want me anymore. I have as recent explained to her that I love her and that together we need to be kind, caring, mindful to each other and that we need to learn how to love each other again.

So now that you have a background into my story, this thread is about me trying to save my marriage and help my wife and myself be together again, I will add to this thread the day to day outcomes, learnings wins/loses as it helps me talk about things as I don't have anyone else to divulge with. Thankyou
2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Mmmcoffee,

I'm so very sorry to read of the death of your child and also the health issues of your first child.

Is it possible to have couples counselling with your wife or would you consider some counselling by yourself if she is not in agreement? It can help to talk with a professional person.

I'm certainly no expert either, I am wondering if you and your wife are both going through unresolved grief. Maybe you could Google this and see if anything fits what you or your wife are experiencing.

The loss of a child can be extremely traumatic. It can help to gain assistance to deal with the death.

I hope you are able to find a way to communicate with your wife.

Wishing you both healing.

Regards from Dools

Community Member

Hi there,

You and your wife have obviously been through an absolutely harrowing time. I can't imagine going through what you have been with your children would not strain any relationship.

I really would urge you both to seek help from someone qualified in grief counselling and relationship counselling. I really hope this will help you.

I wish there was more I could advise but I think seeking professional help is what is needed for you both right now. I'm so sorry you've been through such dreadful losses. Be kind to yourselves and do get some help to get you through this.