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585512 tn?1233372450

Separation - can it be valuable??

Hi All,
My DH left a few weeks ago, renting a room in another guy's house.  His stated reasons are to find out if he can take care of himself and not be dependent on a woman.  We are both in our 50's and have no children at home.  We have been together a little over 7 years, married for 6.  It was truly a fairytale romance, other couples have always been jealous of how close we are...or were.  Now he communicates with me nearly every day by email but won't see me and doesn't want to talk on the phone (although we've had two good phone conversations).

My therapist says "separations are only useful if you both work toward something" but aside from agreeing to ignore gossip about us, he and I are not jointly working on anything.  He doesn't really respond when I ask him to tell me his goals or intentions.  He asks our co-workers for news of me every day, and was hurt when I didn't ask about him.

He promised to tell me immediately if he makes a decision about us.  He signs his emails "love," and ended both phone conversations with "I love you", which he said several times.  As far as I know, he is not dating anyone else, although he did/does have a close female friend that I suspect of being closer than they should have been.

I love my DH and feel he is confused, hurt over some difficulties in our marriage and afraid to trust we can recover the magic.  I am willing to wait the 3 months he asked for, but would like to feel there is more I can do than *just* wait (I'm not good at being totally passive!)  I believe in our marriage vows and believe we shouldn't just give up at the first sign of trouble.  I don't know how to help him believe again, or if that is even possible.

I made every change in me that he said was the problem (quit drinking completely, lost weight, made him the center of my attention again) but he still left.  So I am back to his stated reasons, being that he has to "find himself" or learn if he is capable of being on his own.

So now to my questions:  Have you been separated?  For how long?  How and why did you decide to get back together, if you did?  If you did not get back together, what was the deciding factor on that?  Did anyone go through with divorce after separation, even though they still loved their partner?  If you went back, what actions of your partner made it easier to return?  If you didn't, what actions of your partner made it easier to end it?

Any insights or advice will be read and pondered, and greatly appreciated.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Never tried this successfully, and personally I have to admit that that I generally feel a seperation is paramount to a death knell but I have one friend who him and his wife have been together for about 20 yrs now, and they have seperated and each time gotten together stronger than before.

Don't quite understand it but I hope it is this way for you.
287246 tn?1318570063
Well, my husband and I separated once for 10 months.  I think it helped us, but like Sam said, I think that's rare.  Often times when you are separated, you tend to grow apart.  We still did things together.  I mean, we were still together.  We just didn't live together for a while, but my husband did get an apartment close to where our house was so he could help me with the kids.  See, I had just started back to work 2 months prior to our separating after staying home for 2 years, so it went from me always taking care of the kids to me having a demanding job and having to share in that responsibility.  And that's why I think it helped us.  It got us working as a team instead of dictating what was what person's job.  We had to work together, which was something we weren't really good at before our separation.
484465 tn?1532214032
"His stated reasons are to find out if he can take care of himself and not be dependent on a woman."  im sorry but this sounds like a crock of **** to me.  he's probably experiencing mid-life crisis.  

technically, those days are over after a man becomes married and leaves bachelorhood.  if he gave up bachelorhood too early in his idea, then toughtitty.  marriage is all about partnership, friendship, co-this and co-that, taking care of each other and depending on each other.  i would assume if a husband told me this, then he doesn't want to be married anymore period
585512 tn?1233372450
Thank you, all three of you, for your thoughtful comments.  For every "don't give up hope" I have gotten a "give the boy the boot", from my friends and family.  I was hoping more folks who have actually tried it themselves would respond.  I'll try posting on the divorce group!

Thanks again  :-)
627145 tn?1230305626
I truly believe he is doing it to have an affair, which he thinks will be a 3-month thrill, after which he expects he will want to return to the comforts of home.  
585512 tn?1233372450
Thank you for your reply.  I hope against hope you are wrong, but there is always the possibility....
Avatar universal
I always like to think the best of most people. But, the man's in his 50's. If he hasn't figured out that he want's to be with you full time, I would have to assume he's looking into something else to occupy his time. Maybe it's the guy he's renting the room from...
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