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Need on coping with separation from my wife of ten years

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Old 22nd May 2007, 7:35 AM   #1
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Need on coping with separation from my wife of ten years

Hi everyone, I stumbled across this forum while searching the web for some answers to do with the situation i find myself in, and noticed some of the great measured advice the community provides and wondered if I could get your thoughts and opinions on my situation.

I recently separated from my wife about a month ago, moved out of the marital home into a flat in london. We have two kids who I see every weekend and sometimes during the week.

At the start of this year, my wife told me she didn't love me anymore, hadn't done for a few years and wanted to split. She didn't say there was anyone else right away but eventually it emerged that she had embarked on an affair with a man she'd met when out drinking with her friends. Apparently she'd only slept with this man once, the second attempt resulting in her crying and going to pieces and not being able to go through with it, presumably due to the guilt.

Prior to this she hadn't said there was anything wrong, or given any indication whatsoever that there was a problem. She always told me she loved me and we had sex frequently, at least 3-4 times a week or more. It came as a complete and utter shock and in the space of a month my life was turned upside down. Our problems stem from a number a things, I think. She always stayed at home looking after the kids and I provided everything else, paid for the house etc. Both of the kids recently started going to school full time and she attempted to restart her career.

There were a few jobs that she got sacked from and generally had a miserable time. In the end she was sat at home by herself. Any discussion of contributions into the marriage was a flashpoint - i always appreciated her bringing up my kids but she always felt because i paid for everything it was not equal, somehow. Her self-esteem was very low.

Drugs and alcohol have also played a part in our break up. I used to go out once a week drinking with my friends and take cocaine occassionally. She did not get the chance to see her friends as much as i did mine. When we hit the rocky patch, she started drinking heavily, taking drugs and wanting to go out all the time. It seemed to me that she was going through a midlife crisis, or maybe depressed. She is like a different person, to the point that I feel i don't really know this woman.

I admit theres a lot of things i've done wrong which I can see way more clearly now I've moved out. I wanted to show her I could change, but because she'd started to party, she didn't want to stop herself. I have now stopped partying, but more for myself than to impress her. All of a sudden it just seemed like a dead end and I felt like kicking myself. I still love her very much - she was and is the one true love of my life.

Anyway, initially we managed to reconcile and for a month things were ok - but then the cracks started appearing. I realised i didn't really know anything about her affair, who the guy was, where she'd met him, etc and then subsequently the mistrust built. She never made any effort to recover my trust and it seemed that I was expected to shoulder the blame for everything. I felt like I was moving forward but she would not meet me half way. Her drinking increased and our relationship became increasingly erratic. In the end we could not speak without it turning into a fight and our kids were becoming damaged by it, so we agreed to have a trial separation.

To be honest, I think my attempts to repair the relationship did more harm than good. I did everything that this forum says not to do - pleading, talking, etc. We'd take drugs together and everything would be great, f**k each others brains out but then the next day with the cold light of reality, it would be worse than ever.

So since i've left, I've followed the guidelines with suprising results. At first we didn't talk very much. I always held back did not show her how much this has demolished me (and it has, i might sound controlled and calm writing this but I have never been through so much pain - the only thing thats comparable is bereavement imo). I stayed calm and was upbeat, have been going out a lot as i hate coming back to an empty flat.

Last time I visited her and the kids, she got really drunk and threw herself at me, crying, saying she couldn't cope. She accussed me of sleeping with other women since I moved out - which is totally not the case. I am so screwed up in the head i think its going to be years before i can date again. I am not an unattractive man, but I find myself unable to even look at another woman in that way. I stayed calm through all of this, did not discuss my feelings. i don't think shes ready for this talk yet.

When I left, she gave me this intense look of longing like she wanted me to stay. When I got home I found she'd left me a horrible message saying that I'd "got her drunk deliberately" and that she "still doesn't love me, thats the sad thing". I found it difficult to hold her in my arms, its been weeks since i've touched a woman. It made me want her back but again i didn't show it.

Am i right in thinking there are some mixed messages here? I miss her terribly and my life is not as exciting as she seems to think it is. I've lost the one woman who I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. I worry that if she thinks I'm moving on, will she cut all hope of reconciliation. I am trying not to hang on her every word or read anything into what she says or does, but shes obviously going through pain. I wish I could help her or even reach her, but I just don't think the time is right.

Any advice much appreciated, thanks for reading such a long message.
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