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Does he mean it when he says he's done?
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Does he mean it when he says he's done?

My husband and I separated around 8 months ago.  We've had our problems and I kicked him out of our bedroom a couple of months before I decided to move out with our little toddler when my husband was on a business trip.  The months before my son and I moved out, he thought he tried to make things work again, he bought me flowers, he asked to go to counseling...

Around 6 months ago, after I moved out with our son, I realized I wanted to make things work, I asked my husband to go to couples counseling, he said no.  When I ask him to do things with me (lunch, dinner, movie, park, etc) his response has been "Why would I go to the _______ with you?"  Very hurtful.  

I'm confused, if he doesn't want to stay in this marriage, why haven't he filed for divorce?  I text him every so often to tell him I still care about him, that I still want to make things work, but he never responds.  I'm so confused.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated...
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765715_tn?1235402261
Dear Mmeow,

You've told me very little, but maybe enough. Let's see.

The good news is that he hasn't filed for divorce. Yet. It may take considerable tact to get him back, if that's still possible.

If I understand correctly, you kicked him out of the bedroom. I don't know why, but was it for real cause? Second, you blindsided him by disappearing with your son while he was on a business trip. To a man, that's an act of war. Third, he tried to make things work. Fourth, he asked to go to counseling, and you didn't want to.

I don't know what HE did, but that said, YOUR actions could easily be experienced by him as infuriating.

Now it's YOU who wants to make things work, and it's he who won't  play.

Sounds like *** for tat to me. I'd guess he's hurt and angry, and possibly humiliated.

Maybe take a look at how you handled the situation initially, and if an apology is warranted, make one, in writing if he won't listen to you otherwise.

If you've already rendered a heartfelt apology, and gotten nowhere, repeat it a couple of times, until he's healed from the insult.

If there's far more to the situation than you've mentioned, let me know and we'll take it from there.

Sincerely,

Dr. P.


6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your response.  I would like to elaborate.

My husband and I had a really tough time when I was pregnant.  I had many health issues, and finally, we delivered a baby that was premature.  Then his parents were upset because I did not want to take my premature baby to visit them an hour away from our home... I was trying to learn how to breastfeed, the doctor advised we stayed home as much as possible due to the flu season and the baby was so small... anyway... family problems was one issue.

My husband and I have also always had intimacy issues.  He needed me way less than I needed him... he said it was because he was tired all the time... even when we were on our 3 week long honeymoon, we were only intimate 2 or 3 times... I found that strange but can't be sure if something was wrong...

I was also always upset with my husband for not wanting to do things with me and our baby.  (e.g. taking walks, going to the zoo, beach, etc...)

My husband also had a bad habit of throwing things, though never at me, sometimes he would throw something and it would accidentally hit me...

A couple of months before I moved out with our son, we had a big fight, I forget what it was over... anyway, it got really, really bad.  He took our son from my arms and told me to leave.  I told him no, if anyone was to leave, he should.  So he started taking our son to his car... that was when I freaked out, fearing that I would lose my baby forever, I threatened to call the police if he did not leave...without our son... a lot of yelling, and finally I called the police after he refused to hand over our son...

It is really, really sad.  I know he loves or at least loved me... we have had so many misunderstandings... The separation period really showed me my faults... I know he is not perfect but now I realize I was not really that easy to get a long with after we had our baby.  I was very protective of our premature baby and completely neglected my husband...

Is it too late?
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Avatar_f_tn
Will you kindly reply to my response.  I've included more information...

Thanks so much!

MM
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765715_tn?1235402261
Dear Mmeow,

Sorry for the delay in responding.

No, it may not be too late. However, it's time to send in the Marines. The two of you need some serious professional help. Go to someone excellent. You need to start with couples counseling, and from there, it may turn out that one or both of you need to resolve some personal issues. These could be around intimacy, sex, or other problems.

Note the things you mention above. They're important jumping off points. I'd look at the big fight. What was it really about? There's his lack of involvement on the honeymoon. How much has he actually felt married? Ditto with the baby. And what was the behavior of his parents saying? I'm sure he has feelings about the two of you that he's never expressed. There's his anger, of course. Later, there's your volatility and admitted neglect of him. It's understandable in a new mother, and especially with a  premature baby, but as you say probably was not helpful given the relative shakiness of your relationship beforehand.

These are serious, but not necessarily fatal issues. For the sake of each of you, not to mention your child, get going on understanding what's really going on, and upgrading the lives of everyone. Do it, and you'll all feel a lot better.

Sincerely,

Dr. P.

P.S. Present this plan to him as an opportunity to sort out the problems, NOT to force him back. He'll come back if and when it makes sense to him. . .
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Avatar_f_tn
I started seeing a pretty good couple's counselor, my husband came with me once, but when I asked him to go again, he said he thought he made it clear that he was done, and that he saw no point in going to more counseling sessions. How can I convince him to go again?...

During the session that he attended, he opened up and talked most of the time. He admitted that he was extremely angry and hurt by me leaving. He said that it took a long time for him to heal and move on. That he cannot go back and he thinks that he can never have feelings for me anymore.

I don't know what to do, I really want our son to have a complete family... is my husband really done?  If so, why won't he file for divorce?!!  My family keeps telling me to be patient and not to push him by asking him why he has not filed. But how long do I wait? It's extremely painful not to have closure... :(

Thank you again...

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765715_tn?1235402261

Dear Mmeow,

Unfortunately, he may be telling the truth when he says he's done. Grief at a loss, and mourning, sometimes can't be undone. However, it's even more likely that he's just very hurt, and needs time to  get over it. The fact that he doesn't file for divorce may indicate that he's not ready, or ambivalent, or that he fundamentally doesn't want to split. We just don't know yet.

You need to wait until we do. It probably will be far longer than you wish. I understand this comes with pain. You may need some support to get through this period in which you won't know what's in store.

I think the first thing to do is to make a profound apology. He's got to get it that you fundamentally mean it. This may take time. Healing does takes time. You've got to get across your understanding of how much and why, you hurt him, if you truly do understand it. If you don't, find someone to help you with it. Don't bring up to him any of the other, underlying problems that may have led to the original explosion. That's for MUCH later, if at all. Maybe even suggest going back to the counselor to make your apology again in public.

Only after the apology has been really received would I discuss the profound implications of his leaving on your child and the feelings that child will carry around all his life. If your child knows that the two of you split after really attempting to heal and move on, he'll deal with it much better than if he knows you didn't care enough  to do so. This is a far bigger deal in adolescence, and adulthood, than it seems when a child is a baby. I'd present it as a reality, and NOT use it as an argument to force him back.

I understand that it's painful to not have closure, but I agree with your parents. I'll say it again, healing takes time. Wait longer, and let him know, through conversation, letters, and any other way you can think of, that you understand and are truly sorry. With that, forgiveness MAY be possible.

Sincerely,

Dr. P.

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