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Seperation - unable to cope

Community Member
Hi All,

My husband and I are separating after 18 years of marriage. This is not something I want, but I don't have a choice as he is cemented in his decision.

I had an emotional affair about seven months ago and we have not been able to work through it as he has been unable to forgive me.

At this stage we are in the same house and have agreed to treat each other with kindness, gentleness and affection as we "both still care deeply about each other" and our son has asked us to work together to be emotionally stable before any big decisions are made.

I am struggling to cope with our situation as we are still cuddling and have been intimate.

I constantly feel anxious and on the verge of tears. I can't seem to shake these feelings..I need help..please?.
16 Replies 16

Community Member

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are in our early 40's, she is 40 and Im 42 and after 21 years of marriage, my wife on Tuesday advised me she no longer wanted to be married to me. I wasn’t surprised as I had put very little effort into my marriage over the course of the past 12 months, and should have seen it coming. My heart sank and knew this was it for us at this point in our lives. I begged her to reconsider, however to no avail. The love of my life just had enough of the broken promises, lies, the emotional affairs, being left out of the business and many more indiscretions I had committed. I probably deserved it as I had ample opportunity to redeem myself but my ego, lack of forgiveness and anger towards her for pushing me away the previous times held me back from moving forward.

As explained by the wife, one of the catalysts for her ceasing the marriage was the result of my bitter and lingering spitefulness to hold onto things then becoming nasty at those around me and in particularly her when she made a mistake. As a result, I did not want to react by my usual means and get angry and start blaming her for what she did by ending our marriage. I knew I was the majority factor in her reasoning to end the marriage. Just sucked hard though.

On Tuesday night the evening she told me, I couldn’t sleep and just kept thinking of all the f**ked up shit that I had done to her to push her away. I cried like Ive never cried before. This time I let myself go and allowed the pain to really sink in. I don’t know why I didn’t react to the normal way I do, I guess I really wanted to hear her story this time without being selfish. For months I had felt distance becoming a factor in our marriage again. Maybe I needed to put myself through the pain just so I knew I was alive. I know Ive been feeling really numb lately.

Although I felt she was doing the same thing as I did in terms of being calm and still showing love and thoughtfulness, while she was telling me she no longer found me as compatible mentally, physically, while also stating her eyes had started roving and finding herself feel excitement when being found attractive by other men. Something she has not felt previously. My karma and guilt finally arrived with a thud.. its hurting so much! Kept reliving the nights she was by herself crying all alone, the lonely days with only her thoughts. I can only imagine what she must’ve been going through. This time it is me on this journey and Im struggling to cope.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Siancorn

My heart goes out to you as you navigate the challenging emotions that are taking place in your marriage.

'Emotion' is truly an interesting topic, especially when addressing it as e-motion or energy in motion. Whether it's energy of the mind, the body or the spirit (that energetic connection to life itself), when looking at feelings from an energetic perspective, I believe a lot starts to make more sense.

Taking part in an emotional affair can energize our thoughts, leading us to feel wanted, attractive and so on. It can energize us physically, altering our chemistry - increasing dopamine (aka the happiness hormone), oxytocin (the chemical responsible for bonding) etc. We can feel the rush of our mind interacting with our body, giving us feelings of excitement, butterflies etc. And whilst all this takes place in a way that can lead us to feeling more 'connected to life', our spiritual aspect (I believe) can still remain longing in a way. It's the sort of longing that can often be satisfied by a genuine sense of evolution.

Your son has the wisdom of a sage. The emotions or energies that come with sadness, perhaps bitterness, anger and so on are not stable. They are fluctuating and often overwhelming. They cloud our perception in relation to the most productive course of evolution, within our self and our relationships with those around us.

I believe one of the greatest ways to evolve beyond challenging emotions involves dis-appointment. Sounds strange but dis-appointment can be an incredibly productive process. When undertaken consciously, it enables us to let go. For example: A mutual agreement in the beginning of a marriage which involves emotional fidelity is an appointment of sorts. We appoint each other to this role. If one person dis-appoints them self from the role, their partner must accept this. They can do this by either ending the entire marriage or by entering into a new agreement to redevelop the marriage so that this disappointment does not happen again. I hope that makes sense. How would your husband feel if you said to him 'If we appointed ourselves new roles in the marriage, in order to redevelop it, what positive roles would you choose for yourself and for me?' The role of getting to know each other all over again may be an inspirational one.

Being tuned into the type of positive energies that come with redeveloping a relationship means committing to those emotions wholeheartedly. In turn, we redevelop our self.

Take care

Community Member

Hello Siancorn,

Please let out all those tears, just let them all out. They will keep flowing but need release.

My wife is also settled on separation (6 days) and I completely understand the sickness you are experiencing.

My coping mechanism with anxiety is to “stay in the present moment”, at the moment I am doing this 100+ times a day.

As hard as this is, we need to give them their space, I have started to digest this fact as a coping mechanism... which is impossible to cope with (evil cycle).

Cry, cry, cry and stay in the present moment and focus on yourself and how you can get your mind stronger.

Community Member
Hi krsm

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I completely understand how distressing it is.

Thank you responding to me. I feel like if I cry I won't stop.

Everytime I try to speak to my husband to try and gain so clarity, he shuts me down and threatens to move out.

He told me this morning he is open to our connection, working on being friends and good parents. He said that if anything blossoms from that then so be it.

I don't understand why we are having to sell our house and uproot our children if he's open to the above.

I'm so confused and hurt.

Community Member

We are in a very similar situation, our partners want space to work things out in their head.

This is torture because it takes time and we want it better now.

Community Member
My husband is very set on separating and selling our house.
Is this what your wife wants or is she still thinking things over? Based on my experience, really listening and giving thought to what she says will get you a long way. Not just reacting with emotion.
I didn't listen to my husband as I was so focused on trying to fix things. He floated the idea of us separating, but effectively dating. I would give anything for that option now.
We have been intimate a few times since he told me he wants to seperate which is very confusing, but I'm still holding out hope.

Community Member
Hi Roman11

I absolutely understand how you feel. It's so hard and completely overwhelming.

Everyone has told me that I need to forgive myself for the emotional affair I had, but I can't seem to. The guilt is overpowering.

I have no advice at this stage because I don't know how to deal with this myself. All I can say is try to look after yourself. Eat healthy, get lots of sleep and talk to anyone who is willing to support you.

Community Member

Today I cleaned up the house as an agent is coming tomorrow, there is no thinking things over 😞

There has been no affection at all so there is no confusion with this matter, it would actually make it so much harder if there was so I can understand your pain.

Please keep strong and focus on positive things for yourself.

Community Member
I'm so sorry. That is just heartbreaking. What are your practical plans? How did you bring yourself to make them?

The affection and connection is very confusing. I'm not sure if it's making it better because I can just be in a moment with him or worse because one day it will end. He's still calling me honey and bubba...I'm not sure if it's force of habit or what.