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Wife for 11yrs wants to separate (feeling lost)

Community Member


I am not typically the person to share my internal issues with anyone (including my wife, maybe that's the problem)

typically I keep to myself and don't have many friends (and have been distant with the ones I have)

I'm a mechanic and I work away for a week or two at a time, when I came home about 2 months ago my wife (11yrs, meet in school and been together 16yrs) asked for space and was ready to leave, she felt she had no option

I offered to stay elsewhere to not disturb our boys (6 and 3)

after a night apart and a few nights sleeping in different beds I felt we were on the right path

we were seeing a counsellor, we went on a date, we were communicating more

5 days ago I came home from work to find my wife once again waiting for me ready to leave

we had a short very painful discussion where she explained how she is not sure she knows who she is anymore and doesn't know if she wants to be with me and needs time without me to find out

I didnt (and not sure if I do now) quite understand why or how me not being there is going to help, but I still very much love her and want to support her no matter what

so I offered to leave once again for our boys (as they are use to me not being home)

the next day I took the boys to school and childcare and discussed with my wife moving forward

she agreed to let me stay in the house and look after the boys till the end of the weekend and then I would have to find somewhere else to live for the foreseeable future (this was so painful to hear), a full on separation

the past few days have been really terrible, however eye opening

I feel I have been a terrible husband and father

my wife did so much for me and I so little in return

I feel so much pain and anger for the person I have been and so much sorrow for what I have done to her that she feels this is her only option

I feel physically sick and am not sleeping much (I am still forcing myself to eat and drinking plenty of water)

I want to be a better person and father and husband, I am just not sure I know how and I feel its too little, too late

on the positive side I feel I am personally on the right path

I have been reading a self help book on marriage and reading a lot of posts on these forums and now am opening up to you and the few close friends I have, and spending quality time with my boys and I have realised how wonderfully my wife has raised them practically as a single mother, they truly are great, kind, caring little male versions of my wife

thank you for listening

6 Replies 6

Community Member

After re reading I realised I was not so clear on the current living arrangement

my wife is at her friends place and doesn’t want to speak with me unless it’s about the boys

she would like to come home Sunday night and for me to have other living arrangements from then

Hi Nitro996

Welcome to the bb forum and congratulations on having the courage to share your story.

I am really sorry to hear that you and your wife are separating. I can only imagine how hard this is for you.

From reading your post, I doubt very much that you have been a “terrible” husband and father. A “terrible” husband and father does not think first of his boys’ welfare and leave the family home in the circumstances you now find yourself in. Same goes for the respectful and understanding way you talk about your wife and your efforts to work to save your marriage. You have behaved honourably in really challenging circumstances and can hold your head up high.

Reading between the lines, it feels like your job prevented you from participating more in home life. I really feel for you, as I know you would have been doing your best to earn a living for your family and at the same time sacrificing your time with them. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. Providing for your family in this way is important-a roof over their head and food on the table is essential.

It does sound like you are currently on a good path but I worry about you not sleeping and “feeling physically sick”. I think it might help to have a chat with your GP.

I suggest booking a double appointment so you have plenty of time to talk. Your GP will then be able to advise if any further mental health support is necessary. Being pro-active now might help to put you in a better place to deal with any challenges to come.

I really hope that you can find some joy in the time you’re currently spending with your boys. They need you now and forever.

Even though things may be different in future, you are still their father and have an essential and irreplaceable role to play in their lives. Reading books and stories about successful parenting after a separation might be useful to you, when you’re ready. You are certainly not alone.

Have you organised a place to live? No pressure to answer but if you want to talk, I’m here along with the rest of this wonderful and supportive community.

Kind thoughts to you


welcome to the forum and thanks for writing your heartfelt post which I found very moving.I agree with summer rise that your caring dadsho has insights into his behaviour.

summer has suggested helpful idea an i think seeing. Dr to start with is a good place to begin.

Try not to blame yourself as it is not helpful. You are planning ahead and thinking of the boys.
we are listening here and you are not alone.

Thank you very much for your support

This forum has helped me greatly

It has only been a week but it feels like its been so long already and I feel it will be a very long roller coaster ride with an unknown ending

The boys and I had a good weekend together and I have never felt so close to them

I have been sleeping better and i don't feel sick to eat

I did organise a room to rent and as requested was out Sunday night

We told the boys that mum and dad would be spending some time apart for a while but we both still love them very much. I don't believe it has affected them much as they are use to me leaving and not being around

I stayed strong and calm and in control of my emotions in front of my wife

We have since agreed I will look after the boys this weekend (as i go away to work next week) and she will stay at her friends place again while I'm at our house with them

I am doing well all things considered, just the occasional small thing can trigger a sudden surge of emotions

For now I am just trying to keep occupied

I want to support my wife with what she is going through, its just super hard that the support she wants from me right now is to give her space, to have no contact (unless it is about the boys)

She has been and is still going through so much stress with her work and the boys can be a bit much to handle at times, I just worry that she doesn't have all the space she needs and I want nothing more than to be there for her

I worry about her

I love her

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Nitro, my thoughts are with you, as my son is having to go through exactly the same as you and his children are 9 and 7, so supporting him hasn't been easy, just as with you, especially having to work away from your kids, there must have been many thoughts going through your mind, making your days very uncomfortable, I'm sorry this is happening.

The only difference is you love her, which bares your pain, unfortunately, it's not reciprocated and makes the situation for yourself difficult to handle and asking many questions which may not be answered.

As long as your two kids are loved by both parents they seem to adapt to the new living arrangements, settle in and somehow accept the fact that it's not every day they are allowed to see you, but when they do, their life explodes with the love you show them.

I really do empathise with you and hope you can stay with us.

Take care.


Hi Nitro996

It sounds like you are doing really well to work through your current challenges.

I’m glad that you had a great weekend with your boys. At times like this, I always try to count my blessings and focus on what I have not what I don’t have. And your boys are your greatest blessing. Securing a roof over your head an important step forward.

I realise you likely selected the room in a big hurry and it may not be perfect. But at least you can now breathe and take more time with considering your next steps.

I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried writing your feelings down in a journal? It might be a useful strategy to you right now.

I suggest this as I know you don’t talk about your feelings much and I recognise how frustrating it must be for you right now to be unable to speak with your wife about anything other than the boys.

You could pour it all out onto a page. I find when I do this it triggers some kind of release in me and helps me to feel better. Just something for you to think about.

I know you love your wife and you worry about her. I’m sorry it’s so painful for you. I am curious though, why do you worry your wife won’t have all the space she needs?

Kind thoughts to you