View Full Version : partner leaving me
9th January 2001, 12:38 AM
My partner and I have been together for 21 years. we actually celbrate our 21st wedding anniversery on February 16th this year. I am 47, nearly 48 and she is 40. For a long time in our marriage we had little money, and she, in particular, had to do a series of very menial jobs. We had our troubles. Our second child nearly died shortly after birth (she is now a lively and intelligent 17 year old). My wife's brother died when he was 30 and she was 29. We survived all that and I thought we had a strong marriage. Through our own efforts I gained a Ph.D and now work in market research at a reasonable salary and she gotr a degree and now works as a Day Centre Manager for people with physical disabilities and she is very well paid. She finds great affirmation in her work, but believes that in the home she has never been appreciated as a wife and mother. She also thinks I have been too possessive and at Christmas decided she would leave me. I have never stopped her doing anything she wanted to; I don't have that right anyway, and I have never kept tabs on her to see what she was doing. She has taken my interest and concern as prying and now she has left me. I feel my whole world has been destroyed. She says she isn't sure if it is forever, and she wants to remain friends; indeed she says she still loves me, but not in that way. I will always be her friend and I would do anything she asked of me. I even supported her on leaving and will continue to give her any help she needs. But I feel I just want to die. I feel empty, lost and frightened. I want to win her back, but I don't know how. I want to save my marrige but I don't want to frighten her off by trying too hard. I am living in a nightmare. Can anybody help me and advise me what to do.
11th January 2001, 04:09 PM
It is awful when your life falls apart like this. It almost seems worse at this time of the year. Is there someone you can trust that you can talk to, a friend, a clergyman, a colleague? A listening ear can be such a relief. For more detailed help you could talk to a counsellor (http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/marriageclinic/counselling/) yourself, to help you respond constructively to the situation and deal with your pain.
It isnít clear what it is your wife really expects of you. If you can find the opportunity, it might be helpful to find out what specifically she expects of you to make her feel appreciated and wanted. What does it mean to her to be appreciated? What is it specifically she wants from you?
Itís amazing what we do expect of each other in marriage, yet we expect our spouse to know without being told. Sometimes, we almost assume that itís a measure of the depth of our love, if we know intuitively what to do. In some ways over the years we do learn to understand what touches each other and makes us feel loved and cherished, but not always. Youíve obviously both had to work very hard, so there must have been periods when there wasnít much time to talk and listen and share. Itís easy to begin to grow apart and not notice at first. The careers or the children become more important than the marriage relationship, we grow independent and think we can manage on our own. Itís very sad, but it doesnít have to be the end.
One woman thought her husband of 20 years really didnít love her. When pushed on the point she said heíd never brought her flowers back after work, and she thought is he loved her he would do that now and then. He was totally surprised when she told him, but only too delighted to begin to do this. Iíve even found myself saying that if my husband really cared for me, heíd pick his clothes up off the floor and put them in the laundry basket. Yes, perhaps he should have realised, but when I told him how frustrated I felt when I found the clothes on the floor, he began to pick them up. This may seem trivial, but itís amazing what we build up in our head.
There are some articles on communication and emotions and emotional needs in the Relationship Basic (http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/marriageclinic/relbasictopic/) area of the site. That may give you some clues on how to bring the subject up sensitively. The are also some articles and books on the pressures in marriage as we get older, somepeople go through a questioning stage around 40-50. you can find these in the Pressures in Marriage (http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/marriageclinic/diffpressures/) area. We hope that may give you some ideas to help you try to build some bridges with your wife.
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