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Looks like it's all over - where now?

Sep 25, 2008 - 11 comments
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Relationships

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relationship

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seperation

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infidelity

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breakup



So today my wife and I had our first joint counselling session.  I went in there optimistic - after all the cr@p that has happened I thought the fact that there was now openness and honesty between us, that she'd stopped her previous "recreational weekends away", and that she'd agreed at last to attend counselling together, meant that she was at least open to looking for a way to rebuild our relationship.

Well, it didn't go like that.  Right from the start, it was clear that she took a pretty quick dislike to the counsellor (who'd I'd seen a couple of times on my own already).  But mainly, she made it clear right away that she did not see there was any hope of us getting back together.  From her point of view, the counselling was to help us deal with the separation, not to help us get back together.  Her position is that she really wishes she did wanted to be with me, but she doesn't.  Which might sound a bit confusing, but it makes sense to me.  The rest of the session really just involved me trying and failing to come to terms with the fact that we are not going to be getting back together again as a couple, that all my efforts in that direction have been in vain, trying to understand and get explanations for stuff that I basically already knew, and having wildly swerving emotions between STILL wanting to look for ways to rebuild the relationship, and wondering what would happen if we did separate.

So now we're in a difficult situation.  I will absolutely not live apart from my kids.  She's the same.  So we are stuck in the same house together, whatever happens.  I still love her and want a relationship with her.  She still loves me, but not in the same way, and does not want a relationship with me.  I don't know how, or if, I can live under the same roof as her and not be in constant emotional pain because we no longer have the relationship we once did, but I still want it.

I'm not writing this looking for some great solution.  And anyone who is tempted to leave a note saying unpleasant or mean stuff about my wife can bugger off, I don't want to hear it.  I'm just venting my feelings right now, trying to come to terms with the situation and decide how I feel about it.  I'm not ready to look for any answers yet.

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by mami1323, Sep 25, 2008
I'm so sorry that your session turned out that way.  I know you had hopes of reconciling with your wife and that it was going to be a positive outcome.  There is nothing that I can say that's going to make you feel better right now.  You will probably be up and down for a while.  Hopefully at some point a resolution can be made when it comes to the kids and your living situation.  Until that occurs it's going to be hard to move forward.  I am here to support you though and wish you the best, I'm sure you're in agony right now.

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by sammy73, Sep 25, 2008
Thanks mami - I needed some kind words like that right now.

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by mami1323, Sep 25, 2008
Is there any hope at all?  I don't want to give you false hope but there is no way that the love can be rekindled?  Did she tell you why she doesn't love you the same anymore?  

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by BTS1022, Sep 25, 2008
I just wanted to say Im sorry. I don't really understand how it feels to be in your situation, but I wanted to atleast give you my well wishes and sympothy. I hope that life treats your better, and that it becomes easier to handle then it is right now.

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by sammy73, Sep 25, 2008
Well, maybe.  Part of me is still not ready to give up.  I suspect that as we continue to live in the same house I'll never really give up.

As I understand what she tells me:  For her the emotional connection has just died.  A MAJOR contributory factor has been that I have not been able to give her emotional support when she's most needed it - in the past she would tell me stuff that upsets her, and I have either come up with an inappropriate response, or a false-sounding response (like it's manufactured rather than from the heart), or no response at all (usually from fear of making the wrong response).  In the end she just gave up sharing stuff with me because she was worried she'd come away feeling more upset and hurt than before, because I wasn't understanding or supporting her.  There's other stuff too - she could be quite volatile, but she started repressing her more expressive side because I couldn't handle her anger well; as time went on, she repressed more of her personality in pursuit of a more harmonious relationship.  Once she withdrew from me emotionally because of these things, she ended up withdrawing completely.  Then she woke up and realised that the emotional connection was withdrawn, and she wasn't happy with the way she'd suppressed her own personality.

For a long time she lived with knowing this, either suppressing it or hoping it would get better in time.  She still loves me, and doesn't like seeing me hurt by all this, but just doesn't feel that emotional connection there was before, she no longer feels like I'm her soul-mate.  She's not happy to live a life going along pretending like we have a normal marriage when she doesn't feel it in her heart, it's deceiving both of us.

Whatever happens, we will still be able to be friends, we will still love our children and bring them up together - there is no hatred or blame or acrimony in either direction, although I have feelings of internal anger from time to time.  She does still love me, but as a close friend, not as a husband or lover.

We probably have 90% of a good marriage still here, and oddly probably a better marriage than many people who do stay together.  I wish I could rekindle the spark that is missing, but without it she's not going to be prepared to pretend to go along in a relationship.  Maybe it will be rekindled one day, given time.  If we are living together the opportunity is there.  But I have to accept that it may never happen, and that's a thought that I've been trying to avoid thinking for the last 8 months.  I need to prepare for that possibility, and I also need to work out with her a way we will live, given that there is no inimate or emotional relationship now.

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by sammy73, Sep 25, 2008
Thanks BTS - I need all the sympathy and emotional support I can get right now :-)

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by mami1323, Sep 25, 2008
Wow, that is intense.  Did you learn that from the couples therapy?  About how she felt?  I'm so afraid that I will withdraw from my fiance as well.  After so much that I have been through and after all he's done to me.  I have sooooo much anger, I just feel like he will never have the same person he had before.  He is optimistic about our relationship but I'm not so much.  Hearing what you wrote about your wife really does scare me and makes me wonder if in time I may pull away as well.  Not saying you made her do what she did but women need an emotional connection, we need to feel loved and nurtured.  When we are upset, sad or hurt we need to express it and get a response.  My fiance has had issues doing that for me as well.  It must be really inlightening to hear her tell you these things, although it must make you feel like perhaps you could've avoided all of this just by being there for her.  Either way, these things should have been dealt with in the past without her taking the step towards cheating and emotionally abandoning the relationship.  I really hope you two can make it through this.  Perhaps it is a bump in the road.  Some couples do split and rekindle the romance a little while later.  When both have had a chance to live separate lives and realize that you miss one another.  I hope this is how it will be for the two of you.  We are all here to support you though.  You sound really hopeful and positive even in your pain.

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by sammy73, Sep 25, 2008
Thanks mami.

No, this didn't all come out in one 90-minute counselling session!  We've never had much trouble being able to talk to each other, this has come out in multiple discussions over the last 8 months since she told me she wanted to separate and we've been sleeping apart.

Yes, I am kicking myself for not seeing and addressing this problem long ago.  About 8-9 years ago she suggested we went to counselling together, and I resisted, I didn't think there was anything we could address in counselling that we couldn't address talking together.  She didn't really tell me at the time what she thought the problem was, or if she did I didn't hear it properly.  I'd do anything to wind the clock back to then and agree to the counselling.  We may have ended up in the same place anyway, or even sooner, but I still wish I'd tried, wish I'd heard the message behind the request, the message that she wasn't happy and wanted to do something about it.  Too late now to say what if...

You could be right, that this is a bump, that we could still reconcile and rebuild.  I hope so, but I've realised now I shouldn't count on it, or place too much hope on it, because that will only lead to pain when it doesn't happen.

In your situation at least both you are your fiance want to make this relationship work, and you are addressing your problems together.  Don't let him make the same mistake I have, let him know what you need from him.  I'm hopeful for you.  I think you are going to make it.

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by mami1323, Sep 25, 2008
Thanks sammy.  I understand what you are saying about setting your hopes up and being disappointed.  I guess it is better to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  Yes, you can't say what if and to blame yourself would only make you feel worse.  You never know sammy, this hurts now but in the end you may come out of it a brand new man and maybe meet someone else who will be your actual soul mate.  I know you're not thinking that far ahead of the game but life can be a mysterious thing.

Good luck again.

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by recoverd, Sep 25, 2008
Hi, i know how you feel.my husband and i split up 4 month ago, we were together 15 years.we have two children together,9 and 11. When he left i felt like he ripped my heart out. He was the love of my life. When i married him i thouht we would be together forever.I spent the first 2 months in a cloud of depression. but then i started meeting people and getting out of my shell. I met someone and im so happy its like im 18 again.the pain will ease in time, i wish the best of luck to you.

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by Wendallzmom, Oct 01, 2008
Hi,
Just wanted to send you some ((((hugz)))).  I have been there...my first husband, died (suicide) and my second husband liked variety and couldnt be faithful to one woman, funny thing is he told me this before we were married...said I was the only woman he had been faithful to...did I see a red flag there?...heck no...I thought I was special...until I found out he was unfaithful!  Recoverd really has the right idea...meet new friends...make a goal to meet one new person a week, it will give you something to focus on.  My other advice is to be consistant with your children...we as parent often think what they are going through and tend to be a little more easy going ...but I will tell you from experience...I "easy going"ed my son to being a spoiled brat...(i love him dearly, but the truth is he doesnt respect me)  If I would change anything it would be to be a consistant parent - and discipline is not a bad word-they need it to grow into responsible adults! (that is my 2 pennies worth) I wish you the best and you are in my prayers!

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