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Old 27th February 2015, 07:15 AM   #1
N654563
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My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Hi everyone,

I've stumbled upon this group whilst looking for some help and guidance as I am currently in bits. Basically my wife of 16 years has told me that she wishes for us to split up. We have three lovely kids aged 11, 15, 16 and my wife has a son of 20 whom she had young at 16 who I brought up as my own and he was living with us until he recently moved to London for uni. We have had our difficulties over the years which have mainly resulted from me not being able to fulfil her needs in our marriage. This is more from a emotional connection than a physical one as we had what I thought was a good sex life.

My wife has told me that she feels she isnít getting what she needs from our marriage. There is not enough mutual interests, not enough conversation (just normal family chit chat) not enough excitement and she says we have nothing in common now as she has different interests to me and now our children are growing up. She worries that our life together has always been about them and when they grow up she will be lonely. In fact she says she is very lonely now. Which I can understand, and I feel terrible about it.

I realise that I have not been the best husband. My problem is that I like the quiet life. I am not ambitious and I am quite shy around people and not very sociable. Now that sounds awful but I think I have just become lazy and content with life and lacked in putting in much effort. But we are not very wealthy and don't own our own house we are in a rented housing association house. Material wealth has never bothered her as she came from a fairly poor background but I really worry how if we do split both our lives will go on as I know she will obviously keep the house but at the moment all that we earn goes on the cost of living, so I can't see how either of us will be better off and we are better sticking together and trying to work things out for both our and our kids sake.

When I first met my wife she was quite young (18) and quite shy and timid. But she has grown stronger and more independent over the years. She has recently undertaken an online degree course in theatre and has joined a couple of amateur theatre groups both acting and helping behind the scenes which is her passion. She has done this alongside our eldest son who is an actor and now he has moved away to continue to study she has carried on on her own. Which obviously I was really pleased about, not wishing her to be unhappy and enjoying something that she is passionate about.

But I now realise how unhappy she was with me. I know I could have been more sociable and adventurous in our marriage and I know I am willing and ready to change.
This massive shock has made me realise just how much I love her and how selfish I have been in not meeting her needs, and I am sure we would could still be happy together. But sheís not convinced and I can understand why she doesnít have faith in me.

She told me that she doesnít really love me in the same way any more and that it is her fault and not mine (classic answer). She says she has felt it for a long time and tried to push it from her mind but can do so no more. So now Iím in pieces. Until a few days ago I felt I had a good and sound marriage. Iíve been ever loving and faithful and it just tears me apart that I havenít shown my love enough or in the right way. I long for her to give me the opportunity to be better. Iím terrified that Iíve lost her. She is just a fantastic person and I am so in love with her. Iím heartbroken. I don't think our kids will have any idea about this either and I'm sure they will be devastated.

I have gone from thinking that I was happily married with a great and loving wife, to having everything I ever wanted just disappear overnight.

There seem to be so many wonderful, supportive, wise people on this forum. Please help me. I donít have many friends or family and nobody to give me any advice. I just canít face this on my own.
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Old 27th February 2015, 09:18 AM   #2
ralfgarnett
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Oh no not another one, you will find many similar stories about wives dropping the bomb out of the blue including mine, its a horrible feeling and knocks the stuffing out of you, did you get the good old B/S
" I love you but I'm not in love with you" speech ?, I am 7 months down the line now and still struggling to accept and figure out why it happened, look mate there are plenty of people better qualified to advise you on here, but what I will say is that i'm thinking of you and my thoughts and prayers are with you in this very difficult period of your life, good luck and keep posting and venting on here it does help and is also a great comfort to share your pain with others that can understand and advise the best they can, all the best keep posting mate we are all here for you and we will do all we can to help you.
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Old 27th February 2015, 09:28 AM   #3
chosen
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

What makes me very sad is that when a man comes here saying that their spouse doesnt love them any more and wants to leave, the man ALWAYS blames himself, and that wrong. She is the one who is acting badly here and wanting to destroy the family and break her promises, not you.
MY husband did the same with his ex. He blamed himself even though it was her who met another man and divorced him, and he is the nicest, most decent, moral, good and funny man I have ever met. I adore being his wife.

We all need to be accepted and loved for who we are, not who our spouse wants us to be.

Could there be another man? Thats often the case.
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Old 27th February 2015, 09:36 AM   #4
Raymond
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

I have mixed feelings aboput this. I would say our spouses are not responsible to meet all our needs. That is too much for anyone. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement as it is the paramount relationship we have in our lives apart from God of course.

Obviously you didn't realise all this and couldn't do anything about it. I don't think it is wrong to have the temperment you have and you shouldn't try to be someone else, but you definitely need to work on your marriage together. I would suggest marriage counselling from a good marriage counselor. You could put this to her but whatever you do do not crawl as it will be very unbecoming for you.

Having different interests is irrelevant really. My wife and I have different interests but we do take an interest in the other's interests if you know what I mean. There will always be activities you can share. My wife and I walk a lot but she doesn't play tennis with me or do swimming with me. I wouldn't want her to unless she was really keen.

If she is willing it is now time for serious talk. Let her know the things where you really felt you let her down but don't promise things which aren't you or that you cannot keep up. This is a wake up call for you both to work on your marriage. I only hope you can prevent this disaster happening. I think she is making a big mistake but the good thing is that it is an opportunity to both work on your marriage.
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Old 27th February 2015, 10:10 AM   #5
chosen
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Was just walking the dog and had more thoughts.
Firstly dont even think of moving away from your home and children.Make it clear in a polite way that its not an option for you to do that.
Secondly, does she work and could there be another man there?
Thirdly, this thing of 'I havent been happy for years' can be a lie to cover an attraction/wrong relationship with someone else, and if it is true then why didnt she say something years ago?

Suggest that you book some good marriage counseling to work on the things she isnt happy about, and ways that you can both grow closer again.

I so hope she doesnt leave, because the children will be devastated as you are. I feel for you so much.
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Old 27th February 2015, 12:54 PM   #6
notDoneYet
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Hello N6
I'm sorry that you are here. I'm 5 months in since my WAW (Walk Away Wife) BD (bomb Dropped). I too thought I was happily married and now I'm putting my house up for sale and facing a divorce. All in a very short period of time.

Before she BD'd, the signs were there of OM (Other Man). The change in appearance, staying out later and later, withdrawing intimacy. Do you see any of that? I sure hope not because one there is an OM in the picture things suddenly get VERY complex.

I agree with Chosen on how men tend to blame themselves. I did exactly the same. You can read my thread and will see that I did exactly what you are doing now. Don't blame yourself. It's not you it's her.

So, advice? First, know this. You are in this for the long haul. There is no quick fix, even if it is fixable. If you can persuade her to go to marriage counseling then try that. My WAW wouldn't even entertain the thought. Second, As Chosen said, do not leave. I made that mistake. Stay right where you are. If your wife wants to leave then you can't stop or influence her decision but you stay put. Next, don't beg, cry or plead. This is unattractive and if your Wife is saying these types of things to you then that is how she feels right now. Sorry buddy but that's just how it is.

Now, given that you are a bit of an introvert the next part will be hard because you need to get a life. Get out and enjoy yourself. This will make you feel so much better and it won't be what your wife expects. Next, detach. Don't let her see it getting the better of you. When you are around your wife be the funny attractive man she fell in love with. Right now she will see you as needy and she won't like that.

Most important these things are for you and you alone. Because mate, if like me it doesn't work out for you (and I hope it does work out, I really do) you need to understand that there is life after your marriage.

Good luck
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Old 27th February 2015, 04:13 PM   #7
N654563
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Thanks for your comments everyone! I appreciate it.

I do very much blame myself and we have had a few tearful conversations where all I have done is blame myself and tell her that it's my fault even though she says it's not. I am not sure that it has done me any good and I understand all the advice not to beg and cry and be needy but it is so damn hard. I want her to really know that I love her and want to change to make it work.

Is she cheating, I don't know. I have asked her to tell me honestly if there is anyone else or potentionally anyone else lined up and she has said the answer is no. I'll be honest she has strayed before about 6 years ago and had a one night stand when she was extremely drunk (not an excuse) it was with someone she was working with at the time, we weren't getting on, he gave her attention and we got over it, moved on and started a fresh. We currently work together at our own small pretty unprofitable business (it get better doesn't it) so there definitely is not a work colleague but I do feel in my gut as if there is something she is hiding.

Do I leave or do I stay? Now because of our rented home and business together it's complicated. Some other advice tells me to cut her free and give her space (this seems to be more in cheating cases) and other times I think I'll stay and fight. We have agreed that because of the business we will carry on working together until we can wind it down (probably a few months) and she seems to be reasonably happy that I stay at home until I can sort something out...she's not a monster and she knows I have no where to go. I want to stay on the hope that we can sort things out and stay together but she is categoric that it won't happen, so I'm torn with whether it's best to go and stay with my mum (who will also be devastated) and maintain a reasonable relationship and harmony or stay at home and risk that it becomes a very unhealthy situation and we will not be able to stay friendly for the children's sake. At the start there was talk of one of us sleeping on the sofa but we have agreed at the moment to still share the bed albeit very separate sides. I am quite touchy-feely and really find this difficult being in bed with her and not being able to hold her or touch her in a non-sexual and loving way. We were still having regular sex until last week as well which has made this all the more confusing for me as the signs werent really there of anything wrong. When I questioned why she would still sleep with me just a few days before dropping this bombshell she explained that she was sexually absused as a child by a family member and has told me that as a result sex is not a emotional thing with her it's just sex and doesn't mean as much to her as it does to me.

I really want to move on and not make the situation any worse by being needy which is why I think moving out might help this and it may help me move on and accept it is over and get on with my life but I still love her dearly and at the moment and still have hope that I can't save this!

I will suggest the marriage counselling and see what reaction that will get but I have to say I'm not convinced she will do it.

I do need to start going out and making an effort to socialise but as someone who regards themself as socially inept i guess that work in progress!

Thanks everyone
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Old 27th February 2015, 04:45 PM   #8
chosen
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

if she wants the marriage to end then let her leave. WHy should you leave your children?
if she is going to bars with single women, then she could easily have met another man, its unlikely she would tell you, they rarely do.
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Old 27th February 2015, 10:23 PM   #9
sambrooklands
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

I was in a very similar situation last year, and for now at least, appear to have restored things to a degree.
1) It takes 2 to end a marriage, so there is still hope.
2) She sounds confused and maybe struggling with kids growing up etc.
3) I know it is a cliche, but is she depressed, struggling with hormones etc?
4) Try to get counciling, as it will provide a safe place for you to talk.

Good luck
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Old 28th February 2015, 11:11 AM   #10
Raymond
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Your situation is rather complicated which no pat answers will fix. She is obviously carrying wounds from her childhood regarding the sexual abuse which is a massive problem just on it's own. Having the one night stand could have something to do with that possibly.

The consistent advice is marriage counselling which I agree with if she was willing. I am wondering whether one of the problems is not having time to yourselves. Living together and working together can sometimes produce it's own problems in some.

She has got it into her head that it is over with no apparent third person on the horizon. I am wondering if she just needs a change of scenery. A different job, outside interests perhaps? It could be she is doing the social media and picking up wrong advice which goes against the stability of marriage. Who knows?

You are right not to crawl but I do think you are entitled to have the answer to the big question of why? Perhaps you will be able to find out this and maybe do something about it? I don't think this will mix with crawling and begging though. She won't tell you if she thinks you cannot take it, but I think you need to know the truth.
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Old 28th February 2015, 05:26 PM   #11
notDoneYet
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

One thing I've learned through this is only believe 50% of what you see and even less of what you hear. The words coming out of your wifes mouth are not even close to the truth. Also, what I've found with seeking answers is that what you get told is never satisfactory.
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Old 28th February 2015, 11:30 PM   #12
N654563
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Quote:
Originally Posted by sambrooklands View Post
I was in a very similar situation last year, and for now at least, appear to have restored things to a degree.
1) It takes 2 to end a marriage, so there is still hope.
2) She sounds confused and maybe struggling with kids growing up etc.
3) I know it is a cliche, but is she depressed, struggling with hormones etc?
4) Try to get counciling, as it will provide a safe place for you to talk.

Good luck
Thanks for your comments. She has had some psychological issues in the past and I beleive these may still be an issue but very difficult to talk about with her as i feel it would put her on the defensive. Her mother is very religious (Jehovah's witness) and my wife has been a part of this religion for a time before realising it wasn't for her and leaving. She is not on best terms with her mum at the moment and I do think that this is affecting her presently. Hormones, I'm not sure but she has had some women problems which resulted in surgery on a burst ovarian cyst in January. Perhaps this could be another factor? I am going to get some help, perhaps she will join me but otherwise I will continue on my path alone but I am certain that I will come out the other side a better person and wiser and hopefully a better dad for my children.
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Old 28th February 2015, 11:44 PM   #13
N654563
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
Your situation is rather complicated which no pat answers will fix. She is obviously carrying wounds from her childhood regarding the sexual abuse which is a massive problem just on it's own. Having the one night stand could have something to do with that possibly.

The consistent advice is marriage counselling which I agree with if she was willing. I am wondering whether one of the problems is not having time to yourselves. Living together and working together can sometimes produce it's own problems in some.

She has got it into her head that it is over with no apparent third person on the horizon. I am wondering if she just needs a change of scenery. A different job, outside interests perhaps? It could be she is doing the social media and picking up wrong advice which goes against the stability of marriage. Who knows?

You are right not to crawl but I do think you are entitled to have the answer to the big question of why? Perhaps you will be able to find out this and maybe do something about it? I don't think this will mix with crawling and begging though. She won't tell you if she thinks you cannot take it, but I think you need to know the truth.
Thanks Raymond. I agree with everything you say. I am sure that the sexual abuse has had a big effect on her, naturally, and it is a subject that I have never felt comfortable bringing up with her in any detail. I am sure that scars of an experience like that must be very difficult for her to deal with and will bring problems into her every day life. I am definately going to look into counselling, for me at the very least as I believe she will not take part as she gives the impression that we are 100% over and would not entertain any chance of reconciliation.

She has her own outside interests which I think made her fell like the gap between us is bigger, but I was happy for her to find something she was passionate about even if it wasn't my passion. I am still not convince that there isnt a third person involved, but this may be my reaction to her past infidelity. She is very protective of her phone and does not leave it un-attended. She has always been very active on social media and is an admin on an ex Jehovah's witness site which she says is why she is regularly on it even though I have told her it makes me uncomfortable.
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Old 28th February 2015, 11:49 PM   #14
N654563
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen View Post
if she wants the marriage to end then let her leave. WHy should you leave your children?
if she is going to bars with single women, then she could easily have met another man, its unlikely she would tell you, they rarely do.
I am not sure I am comfortable with making her leave, mainly for the best interests of the children. I agree that I should not have to leave as I have not done anything wrong but I would rather keep peace and harmony. She doesn't visit bars with single women and she is home with me most nights of the week, her only activity that makes me feel vulnerable and doubt her is her constant use of her phone for social media
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Old 28th February 2015, 11:53 PM   #15
N654563
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Re: My wife of 16 years wants us to split

Quote:
Originally Posted by notDoneYet View Post
One thing I've learned through this is only believe 50% of what you see and even less of what you hear. The words coming out of your wifes mouth are not even close to the truth. Also, what I've found with seeking answers is that what you get told is never satisfactory.
Hmm, I think I can agree with that. She is not going to tell me the things I need to know but I will keep trying to be the decent man and have our kids interests at heart. I am at the stage of not wishing to pander to her and show her that I can get on with my life and not be needy. She can choose her own path and live with the consequences. My only worry is that I'm not strong enough to cut her loose!
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