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One sided separation

Community Member
Hey everyone
I have made the tough decision to separate from my husband.
We have been married for 3 years and together for 7.
He was in the army & I moved interstate after a year of long distance. I really struggled during those two years away from my family & friends. My mental health took a beating & I experienced suicidal thoughts for the first time. We moved back to Adelaide, got married and had our daughter. He discharged from the army & is a FIFO worker.
In all that time I have been through so much and it has gotten to the point where I can't deal with it anymore. I need to heal and do it for me and our daughter. I honestly can't do it with him.
The things I can't deal with anymore and just can't forgive him for are:
• Not making an effort to understand my mental health.
• He ignored my postnatal depression & didn't understand my birth trauma. (the worst dark hole I have ever been in)
• Lack of empathy
• Verbally forcing me to exercise by telling me to workout every day and be fit. Or He would ask if I had worked out that day. He mentioned many times that he would like to be a fit couple on the beach in a bikini. We would sit down at a restaurant and he would ask if I'm getting a salad.
• He has said many times in the past that he prefers a woman with long blonde hair. I have gone light a few times but I'm naturally brunette.
• He controls the household to much to the point I'm got allowed to use the heater if it's cold or have the air-conditioning when it's hot. Most of the time he's not even home.

There is a lot more than that but they are the things that have hurt the most.

I told him how I'm feeling now, how damaged I am & that I want to separate. He is in complete shock & doesn't want to.
He is begging me to stay & that he can change.
I understand his heartbroken but I need to move on.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation where the decision to separate has been one sided?
I would love some advice & support please
5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post.

Your well written and clearly expressed words seem full of hurt but also of determination to change things.

Everyone's situation is different.

When it is one person who has decided after a lot of thinking to separate the other person is often. surprised where as the person wanting to separate feels the signs have been there for a long while.

I was married for neary 20 years with children and we had one separation about 4 years into the marriage and it was always a trouble marriage but my husband thought it would always work out.

I found like you my mental health was being affected . We had been to lots of counselling over the years .

A funny thing happened that after I had told him I wanted to separate, things improved.

I took it as a sign we would have an amicable separation but he thought we would get back together as I had changed my mind.

Looking back I think I assumed he knew how I felt and he felt the same way so I was surprised how upset he was. That is just my experience and I have no advice just make sure you have enough support when you separate.

Have you had a chat to him how you see future working out as your child is young and I assume he will be involved in her life.

Feel free to post here as much as you like.


Community Member

Hello MamaBB

Your opening sentence says it all. Your mind is made up and your ready to move.

In answer to your question has anyone else experienced a one sided separation, the answer is YES. Me. Except I was the man, whose wife decided she’d had enough. I was totally blindsided so I think I can understand your husband’s reaction. He will be in a state of disbelief. This happens to other people but surely not me, will be his thoughts.

In my experience Mama, men are not as astute as women in reading the undertones in a relationship. So although you are emotionally ready to call time on your marriage, your husband is probably a year or two behind you.

If you are determined to make this a clean break, this is the advice I would have given my ex wife forty years ago, which would have made my life easier.

Don’t rush into another relationship while your husband is in the confused shock phase

Don’t give him false hope that you may change your mind.

Don't bag your husband to your friends or family.

When you get to the stage where you are negotiating financials and child access, be fair.

Despite your husband making some terrible mistakes, he may still love you and I urge you to try and see the long game. There will still be family birthdays, Christmases, school concerts and sports days and ultimately weddings and grandchildren. If you can maintain civility and courtesy in these early raw stages, it will set you up for a happier relationship long term.

Good luck Mama, I respect and admire your decision, and I wish you all the best for you and your daughter.

Community Member

Hi MamaBB.

I can image that you are feeling quite overwhelmed and already at the end of your tether. Betternow has some very good advise especially around the fact it can be difficult for some men to read between the lines and acknowledge any issues. Sometimes people don't realise what they are doing until it's brought to their attention. I know things are tough, however, rather than looking for a way out of your relationship as being a solution, maybe you two need to have a really important discussion about what your partner can do to make your relationship work better for both of you. In saying that, it's always a two way street, so you both need to listen to each other to have an understanding of each others needs. If your still love him then you can show yourself that this is something you both need to do for each other. I really with you the best and let us know how things go.

Good luck 🙂

Community Member
I took the time to read all your replies. Thank you for all your support and advice.
My husband and I are still in limbo with everything.

The last few days I've been feeling incredibly numb and can't communicate to anyone.

Up until the last few days I was incredibly emotional & feeling so much hurt. As seen in my original post. I wanted to end my marriage and knew exactly why and felt so strong to leave.

He kept begging me to give him another chance and he's being EXTRA nice. His mum kept telling me my feelings must be due to my iron condition and mental health. She insisted he loves me and would do anything for me. Also that if I loved him before I must love him now.
Love can't just disappear!

I'm feeling absolutely nothing!

I can't express to anyone how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking or what I want to do.

I'm literally blank......

I know it's probably my bodies way of coping but I have a counseling appointment on Thursday and I'm scared I won't be able to open up like I need to.....

Good to se you have replied MamaBB.

I really feel for you and I hope you make the right decision for both of you.

Love is not a feeling, it doesn't just come or go, it's built up, it is strong within or bodies and when we're not physically and mentally well, it's harder for us to know what we feel.

My piece of advise would be to take away the separation from the solution and focus on exploring more appropriate options to assisting your Husband in helping him care better for you.

Also, think about when you first met each other, what was it like, was everything different and if so, why. Did your Husband listen and acknowledge you differently back then, has his work commitments taken over his life, does he need to cut back and make some small sacrifices to improving his marriage. There's a lot involved in keeping a marriage working because at the end of the day, you both need to love each other and your husband needs to show you that and make you his priority - over everything!

Get yourself some counselling as it's a great way to begin the process and helps you make the best choice for you. Beyond blue have a great counselling service to explore.

Just remember that things can turn around, you just need to have faith in yourself.

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.