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Dealing with (hopefully) temporary separation

Community Member

My wife (30) of 2 years recently told me (27) she isn't sure about our marriage anymore. She feels she was influenced by her family, and does not feel romantically attracted to me anymore. After trying for the past 6 weeks she has decided that she needs to live elsewhere to find herself and determine if I and our marriage are a part of her future. 

We have had some really stressful moments this year through finishing studies whilst working, and I feel that there could be some depression signs causing her to feel like this.

 I guess I am struggling with a few aspects:
- how do I cope with my anxiety during this period, living at home by myself and what can I do to not dwell on everything so much
- how do I live in limbo, how do I determine what it is that I want, and how long do I let this go for
- what should I do in this period to ensure that I am not driving her further away from me

We have agreed on boundaries at the moment, but I am scared she will want to recreate these in the future with the possibility of seeing other people during this time. I just don't know if I could live with her doing this, but at the same time I love her that much that I want whatever to happen for us to be together in the future and to work on this marriage.

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi anx,  welcome

Well the first thing to acknowledge is that the rules/commitment might have changed. You need to ask her what her thoughts are in terms of her detachments from you. Eg Say she states that while separated she has no bond to you and things are free rein, she thinks it will be ok to date/sleep with other men for example. Then you know exactly where you stand. It will give you clarity as difficult your life will be emotionally, better to know than find out down the track.

Then there is the "oh, we are still committed to each other" reply to your question but all the while you "feel", guess that she has abandoned your trust. So this is leading to what I'm about to say-

In my opinion, if my wife told me this, that she is unsure and was pressured by her family to marry me and she was unsure if she is in love with me or not....I would believe straight away she is not in love with me and she is having things both ways for a while. This would be unsatisfactory to me.

So how do you cope? Firstly leave her alone. Regular contact will satisfy her. Don't contact!! Keep busy, very busy. For me during my separation from my first wife I bought land and built a house with my own hands. I was too tired and too busy to even grieve often for my kids, I did of course but less often than I would have if idle.

"How long do I let this go for"? You get on with your life. When she contacts you and asks what you have been doing all this time alone you do not let her know your activities. This is not a game, its privacy of a single person's life because while she isn't with you she is not your wife. She cant have it both ways. She should not be fully privy to your life if she wants to be apart from you after all....she said she wants a separation to find out what she wants...not to pursue your activities. She has not separated so as to find out what you would do without her.

Radical steps!! You change your life to include interesting activities. Be it sports venues, movies, friends gatherings, motorcycling, interstate driving trips and so on.

Some might think I'm too firm. I think a couple should either commit and remain committed or not, not have a grey relationship whereby you don't know where you are at. It's cruel to leave you in limbo.

That's the risk my wife would be taking.I wouldn't necessarily be just there for her when she wanted to return. True love isn't that one way.

Also she is shifting blame onto her family.

Tony WK


Thanks Tony.

 Unfortunately I just find it so difficult to think of us as being 'single' at the moment. She still wants to wear wedding rings, still wants to catch up every week to talk about things.

 I just don't know if we have the skills to do this communication either. Maybe a relationship psychologist should be used to help with our communication to see if this marriage is what we both want and need.


I think that is mature and sensible. Relationships Australia or similar is the way to go.

Good luck.

Tony WK