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I want my family back

Community Member


I loved my wife for 3 years before getting married and she loved me deeply, we got married overseas and moved to Australia to start a new life here. It was very hard, me working 7 days in a very stressful environment & her working casual + Uni. We managed to move forward and have two little daughters along the way, but all this time as my anxiety & stress issues increased, her distance and falling out of love increased as well. Till we reached a point after around 5 years where she left me with the kids around 2 months ago, and she’s asking for separation that leads to divorce later. She gave me signs and hints along the road but I didn’t take them into consideration as she can be sometimes “not assertive” of what she wants (but that’s no excuse to me being the way I was). The moment she left was a big shock to me and I started attending therapy (she always asked me to do that but I postponed), and I came to realise my mistakes of falling for my anxiety. We had no sex since she got pregnant which is around 1.5 years ago. Now I am trying to fix things but it doesn’t seem to work although she is very nice to me and we are very friendly together, but rather she is saying that she doesn’t feel anything inside and we’re done. I love her so much and love my two daughters more than anything and I want to keep the family together, and I intend to be the man that she fell in love for but she won’t give us the chance doing that together. I even suggested couple’s therapy but she says she has to deal with herself first. I know separating will take its toll on all of us and she says that she knows that. I really don’t know how to make things work.

P.S we are living together now cz she had a back injury and I had to tend to her and the kids + the whole COVID-19 thing. But we have no intimacy and wouldn’t let me get near her, we are very good friends though.

Anyone who faced this before or any ideas on how to make it work?

7 Replies 7

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I can honestly say that there isn’t a lot you can do if she has not desire to try again. And that isn’t your fault.

In 1996 I separated from my ex and we had two young daughters. I decided I’d be the best part time dad ever- and I was. But my ex was a narcissist so no hope of any reunion.

I think your care for your ex is gold- if she does ever want to try again that will happen, but don’t get your hopes up. Keep the friendship going but date others too.


Community Member


Thank you for taking the time to share your story, I hope having written it down you feel a little better.

I am really sorry you are going through this, and it is really amazing to see that you are using this experience to work on yourself.

My parents separated when I was young, and it was a rocky experience as they immigrated to Australia in the 90's. And while both parents didn't have a good relationship, they tried really hard to coparent. They were still in each others lives, but they were respectful of each others as their focus was on providing me with parental support.

Please continue to keep working on yourself, and maintain the friendship.

Community Member

Hi there lovinghusband

I know how painful it is to lose a wife and children, even though you don’t actually lose the kids. Your the father for life, regardless of the marital outcome. Your situation is similar to what I experienced many years ago.

Obviously my advice can only be general in nature because I don’t know the small details. Knowing what I know now, this is what I wish somebody would have told me when my left with our two small children.

1. Don’t beg or plead for her to return. In fact, pleading will actually push her further away.

2. Don’t talk about the future as though you are still a united family.

3. Accept her decision and treat her with respect and ensure she dies the same for you.

4. Tell her you love her but only do it ONCE. This is important.

5. Continue with your plans to fix your mental state.

6. Make sure you dress well, eat well, get plenty of exercise.

7. This is difficult. Try and act cheerfully in front of your wife ( you can cry when you are alone).

At the end of the day, you have to accept you cannot persuade or force your wife to love you.

It takes both partners to make reconciliation work and if one partner is determined to go in another direction, please accept it.

One final point and I don’t wish to be impolite, but could it be possible that there is a third person influencing your wife? In other words, could she be having an affair? It is a huge step for a mother to step out of a marriage with two young children, unless the husband is abusive, angry and emotionally cold.

Even if she was having an affair, it would not change my advice. Please get back to this forum if further support and advice is required. We’re here for you.

Good luck lovinghusband&father.

Wow, really? She might be having an affair? What an inference to make from this post. The husband clearly said that his wife asked for counselling earlier and he refused. So she had to move through their difficulties alone, and guess what? He's been left behind and now he's trying to catch up. To suggest that she might be having an affair is really unnecessary, in my opinion, especially since you said your advice would be the same.

Hi Jolly Dolly

I do agree overall that we should refrain from “possibilities” as well as predicting the future as sometimes all of us do.

I think BETTER NOW was asking the question among her reply as the situation, his ex’s coldness, seems to lead to that possibility.

My first 12 months here way back in 2014 was very difficult in trying to tread the “line” in what is appropriate or not.

Knowing Better Now for some time I’m certain there was no harm meant. 🙂


Hi Better now & thank for taking time to write to me, and the thank you for the tips.

I am confident that there is no affair, we loved each other dearly even when I had anxiety and she was there for me always hoping I get better. She comes from a very religious background and have high morals. I was emotionally cold and controlling because I had no control over my feelings, I made her unhappy as I was unhappy myself.

Hi Jollydolly, I believe what you said abt the part where she had to move through dificulties alone was true, also I forgot to mention I was on antidepressants the whole time which made things worse emotionally as I was out of it.