I'm not sure how to do this since I've never really shared but I know I need to in order to heal.
I moved with my family just over a year ago to support my wife's family with health issues. We've been married ten years and she's my best friend but somewhere along the way we've become just that. Just friends.
We have four beautiful children who mean the world to us and they were at the forefront of our decision. We felt we owed them to show them the importance of happiness by separating.
We had begun to grow apart. Arguing about silly things. Going to bed separately, often angry and waking up with nothing resolved. Our communication broke down to when we had to and even then we'd rarely agree. We seemed to be getting further apart.
I spent my time looking for distractions in sports while she spent hers wrapping herself in her family's business. We were seeing less and less of each other and getting further away.
We blew up into a big fight one day which eventuated in us asking what are we doing here? We decided to try some time apart and I moved out early this year.
I see my kids plenty. My wife and I seem to be able to be happier around one another but it barely seems real. I miss her so badly but she seems so far away now. I struggle to be near her because my soul aches without her but I know how unhappy she was when we were together.
I don't have any real friends. I had a lot of buddies but nobody I feel like I can share my feelings with. Not honestly. I feel so lonely and that's about the only thing I feel now. I have no dad. My mother is to involved in her own world to listen and my sister is an apple not so far from that tree. I have nobody apart from my amazing kids and this is no burden to share with them.
I guess I'm looking for advice. What to do next. I find it difficult to share because I've never done it. Just bottled things up all along because it made it easier on everyone around me but I can't keep doing that. I need some help.
Thanks for reading.
I’m sorry to hear how things are working out. I also understand your not having anyone close to talk the matter over with. Still there are plenty of people here with similar experiences.
I guess two people stay together, despite arguments and difficulties, if both of them want to. From what you say, you do.
So the simple answer is, what does your wife want?
A lot the things you mentioned as being dividers between you would I’m sure be fixable provided you both agreed to ground rules you could both live with and realized the importance of being together.
The family dynamics has obviously changed a year ago when you moved to support her family, and it sounds like your wife has a new job in the family business.
I would have thought being separated for around 2 months is enough for both of you to get a breathing space and an idea of what you both want. After 10 years perhaps such a break was necessary to find out what you value.
If it was me I’d make a special time to talk to her, no kids, no parents, just the 2 of you, perhaps somewhere you don’t normally go to.
Then just discuss the matter, both trying to say what they really want. “Don’t know” as an answer is a bit of a trap, in such a case examine the alternatives together –e.g. how would she really feel if you looked for (and maybe found) someone else? How would she feel if you were back – with ground rules, and so on.
With mutual agreement perhaps a counselor may be useful in establishing the ground rules if you decide to try again.
All I can do is give you my good wishes and hope that it all works out.
Please post again, you will be met with understanding.
Together we have promised to seek some counselling for our relationship. We owe it to ourselves to pursue that for everyone involved and obviously I still love her and hopefully it's still reciprocated.
I reckon your idea of some privacy to have a chat and some time together is good and will have a go at that. Thank you for the suggestion 👍🏻
The distance was gaining before the move and I think gained traction with it maybe.
Thanks for responding.
Living apart means that you can make decisions on your own, unless it concerns your kids and a joint decision has to be made, other than that you can go anywhere do what ever you want without any comment from your spouse, so you are free except for the kids, but love can not go one way it has to be both ways, and sure you miss her, but it doesn't go the other way around, because she doesn't want to live with you, although seeing each other on a casual basis seems to suit better.
There must be many issues that you find difficult to talk about, and this may extend talking to your wife about fear of getting any negative appraisal.
I would also try counseling by yourself as well as joint therapy, because there seems to be much on your mind that you can't solve.
So I hope that you get back to us. Geoff.
Welcome to the community here. You will find this to be a place where you can write what you need to, where you can feel supported, and if you stick around, in time you may be able to support others going through something similar.
Finding ways to communicate with each other is very beneficial. My husband agreed to couples counselling. We went once. He told the counsellor everything that was wrong with me, decided that would fix the problem and we didn't go again. That might have helped him but it didn't help me a great deal. Funny man he is.
We live as friends. My husband's decision. We have separate rooms, no physical contact, again his idea. We do go out together to gatherings, for meals, to the movies, whatever, but more as friends then partners.
I make the most of this relationship. It breaks me heart at times, but it is what it is. I can not change my husband's thinking. I need to change mine! To accept what our marriage has become and make the most of what I do have.
To ease some of the pain and confusion you are feeling write it all down, get it out of your heart and your mind. Have a good cry if you need to. Men tears are just as important as female tears. There are healing properties in tears. Look it up on Google. You don't have to show anyone what you have written, you can tear it up or burn it or delete it off the computer if you have done it that way.
It may be beneficial for you to see a counsellor yourself. Or contact Mensline1300 78 99 78 they have a web address as well you might find helpful. You can phone the support line here as well 1300 22 4636 if you want to chat to someone person to person.
It is wonderful you have contact with the children, that is excellent.
For some reason relationships can change. Adjustments need to be made. I realise I can not change my husband. I can work with what I have and make the most of it. Hopefully being able to make time for counselling will help you both.
I probably do need to do some work with myself. You're spot on. My upbringing and what happened to my family in my childhood has probably never been dealt with properly (at all?) with that typical "she'll be right" attitude. I do plan to do that but saying and doing are two different things right?
Thanks to Dools, too. Thanks for sharing those contact details.
I'm very grateful that we both know how important our kids are and are able to be flexible to each other's and our kids needs.
My youngest daughter is very attached to her mum and struggles being without her overnight. She bravely tells us that she will stay with dad and then at bedtime realises how much she needs her mum and we're flexible with that for her sake. One-on-one she's stayed but not with her brothers and sister.
I like your idea about the writing. I'll give that a shot. Thanks.