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Relationship abandonment

Community Member

In my relationship abandonment, separation and divorce is not an option. I will not be a weekend dad, or see them on every second Xmas. Financially this would ruin us and remove any plans to have my kids an inheritance to look forward to. I want this relationship to be mended, I am throwing everything and the kitchen sink at this, my struggle is the lack of communication, acknowledgement, my wife will not talk to me about our relationship, or on a personal basis, it’s just the normal day to day conversations. One of the needs from Maslow’s hierarchy is belongingness, love, to feel needed. Relationship abandonment leaves me without this need and it is taking its toll on me. I work hard 5 days a week, pay the bills, prepare the dinners, organise the kids showers etc, active Dad with my kids, and I often say to my wife “is there anything you need” hoping that I can get some sort of togetherness, but it generally falls flat on its face with a nonchalant reply – nope. I am not sure what else I am supposed to do, I have no close family or friends to talk to for advice and I don’t know what to expect, my stress levels and anxiety is hard to ignore.

6 Replies 6

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Mmmcoffee

Your level of commitment is truly amazing!

It's definitely tough when you're looking for feedback from your partner, in order to improve the relationship, and it just doesn't come.

A few questions (you don't have to answer). Just some food for thought:

  • Does your wife appear to be a bit low or flat? Does she seem lost or frustrated?
  • Is she looking for difference in life, not sameness?

I am incredibly fortunate for my husband has always been committed to me, still regularly proclaiming his love even after 20 years or so. Often he has asked me 'Is there anything you need?' in a day to day kind of way. Recently, I turned to him and said 'There is something I desperately want. I want to be excited in this relationship. I want adventure'. Now, when I say I want adventure, what I mean is I want to be adding new ventures to life, together. I want to be sharing in life with him in exciting ways. Adventure could mean we go away together for a seriously relaxing weekend about once every six months, without our teenage kids.They're such lovable and truly beautiful kids but I want such an adventure to be about remembering who we are as a couple. Adventure could also be about experimenting with new and simple things that work well in a tired relationship. My husband's response was 'That's just not me. I'm not the adventurous type'. Mmmcoffee, I know this is going to sound really brutal - what I said to him shocked him, 'Such complacency will end the marriage'. The conversation then went on to become an emotional yet productive one. It has become the most open and honest communication I believe we've ever had.

Such a conversation had been a long time coming. It was one we should have had years ago before the relationship started going down hill, with my mood swings and his growing complacency. Sounds a little strange but I think perhaps the biggest issue involved not being conscious of my own desperate need for adventure and excitement. One of my own faults or flaws involved a lack of consciousness. Raising our consciousness is a skillful endeavor.

I believe sometimes a frank conversation needs to be invited. The challenge is to remain calm and really listen to what is lacking in each other's lives.

Sometimes...all we want is to be excited; it's a natural part of who we are. Perhaps one of the best mantras for any relationship is 'Let's excite each other'. The challenge becomes about exploring ways to grow our partner, our self and our relationship.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Mmmmcoffee, and welcome to the forums.

The situation you are in is a delicate one as we appreciate and know all you do in this relationship but is it possible to know why your wife feels like this, sorry hard for you to respond to, but it will help us.

Best wishes.


Community Member

Hello there Mmmcoffee

I think theorising has given an enlightening clear picture from a women's point of view. It may have relevance to your situation.

The phrase that jumped out to me was my wife will not talk to me about our relationship. This indicates to me that there is something else going on in your wife's life. How is her overall health? Any suggestion of depression? Is she a good mother? Does she participate willingly in household jobs or have any hobbies she enjoys? Does she have many friends? What about your social life as a couple with friends? How long has she been like this?

It all boils down to is your wife happy? If she is not, depression can be considered. If it's not depression, she may no longer want to be married to you. I know this is not a bright prospect but life cannot continue indefinitely for you in this fashion. You may have to consider a crash or crash through strategy. Tell her clearly by letter or talking, exactly how you feel. Make it clear to her that you are not prepared to live like this indefinitely. Offer her support and understanding and tell her you love her and want to help make her happy. If all this has no effect on her, then you have to face harsh choices.

Thanks for your input, my wife is on anti depressants from post natal with our first born, who is now ten, I feel my wife tries to look for something different in her life, this year she is back to work for the first time in many years doing 1 or 2 days at the school canteen. She also keeps herself busy with ancestry research.

I will always support my wife and tell her I am here to help but at times I seem I am excluded from her life. I will continue to communicate with her and endeavour to make our relationship good again - just not sure what else to do.

Thanks for the input, I guess the issue is I have recently said I love my wife and I am here for her and to make this relationship right, the issue comes back to the lack of communication coming back from my wife, as what you have mentioned if she does not want to be married to me then it would be good to know this instead of dragging me through the pain.

Hi Mmmcoffee,

We've noticed that you’ve already started to share your journey in your original thread which is also titled ‘Relationship abandonment’ (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/relationship-and-family-issues/relationship-... ).
To best assist you in receiving support, we ask members to keep to one thread when discussing similar topics. It's really difficult for the community to keep up with your story if you have a lot of threads going at once, and you may find yourself having to repeat information if your story is spread across the forum - sometimes our members will be repeating themselves as well if it's an issue you've had previously.
As it seems that you have written about your journey in more detail on your other thread, we will lock this thread and ask you to please check in on your other thread so our community has the best understanding of how they can help during this time.