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Not coping with separation


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Old 29th September 2012, 2:24 PM   #1
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Not coping with separation

Hi

Someone on another forum suggested I come over here, as you guys are both sympathetic and wise. So hopefully they'll be proved right

It's a long story (isn't every relationship?) and I guess bits and bobs will come out through any discussion. But I'll try to make it brief.

My wife and I married in 2008, after finally getting together 18 months earlier. However, we'd been on and off since 2003. We found each other irresistible much as we both attempted to see other people. I think I wasn't ready for a relationship, and despite her saying she loved me I kept it casual. I finally realised that looking for other things was insane when I had and amazing person who adored me and was perfect for me. We were both best friends and great lovers. We were the last people to know we should be together and everyone else wasn't surprised when I proposed. I'm 34, she's 8 years younger.

In May 2011, she was having real turmoil as a result of her mum and step-dad divorcing. Her mum just announced one day she wanted a divorce, he had no idea. Then I discovered a filthy online chat between my wife and a 50+ year old family friend who was lodging with her mum (and is now her mum's partner).

My wife said she wasn't happy, but said she'd try. We had a wonderful holiday together, but after she came back she went back to wanting it to end. Before she moved out, she'd already started sexy chat, flirting, sending photos to a guy she met on Twitter. Sometimes whilst I was on the sofa with her. She even asked for one of the intimate photos I had of her, which she sent to him. I was so angry, she claimed to be trying with me but was putting energy into him. She claimed she was testing herself, seeing how she felt. I was insanely jealous and because I knew her email password I followed the whole awful thing. Not something I'm proud of and I know how wrong it was.

She moved out the night before I started a new job (a job I'd retrained for on her advice, to give us a better life). She slept with the guy she'd been emailing. Then she went to Thailand. During that time, we'd had our one serious row and I called her some quite unpleasant things. As she was leaving, I KNEW she didn't really want to go, just little tiny signs like the fresh toothbrush left in the bathroom. She also did a thing of tying a pretend thread around both our fingers.

Once she got to Thailand and after a few weeks, we were back in touch again and it all clicked back into place. We were emailing and chatting all the time. We decided she'd finish the diving quals she'd gone to do, but then come home. She loved me.


In October last year, at Heathrow, she flung her arms around me, said she was sorry and sobbed into my shoulder. She said many times that she didn't know what her life would be, but the one thing she was certain of was that I would be in it. The next 9 months were wonderful. We were planning to go travelling by the end of this year, though money was getting in the way. The only minor sticking point was she wished to remain friends with the guy she'd slept with. It made me sad, but not angry. She didn't want me to be sad. I didn't stop her, and he was far enough away that she only saw him once or twice. Our sex life really took off again, better than ever coz we both talked more about it and what we wanted. We had two amazing weekends away.

She wasn't happy about my work as it was very stressful and metaphorically took me away from her too much. I said I'd give it up in July, I wasn't enjoying it either (though that makes 2 jobs I left for her).

She wanted to get counselling, to understand why she'd done what she had last year and avoid doing it again. We went together, to ensure there were no remaining problems from it all. By the time the appointment came through she suggested we cancel it as we didn't need it. We spent some of the best recent times together just before she left - she did a massive overnight charity bike ride and was really scared, and I spent 24 hours really close to her, looking after her. And she spent the time holding me, relying on me. Like husband and wife, not like people on different paths.

Suddenly in July, out of the blue, she announced during the counselling that she was depressed because she was married and didn't want to be married any more. She says she loves me and I was the perfect husband, however. She moved out that night. I saw her for two already-arranged days out the week after and we had a great time. It was different this time, she was colder and less willing to talk about it at all. She left behind things like her dressing gown, so I could have it in bed with me.

I still don't know why she left. She told me last week she was just making herself happy and it wasn't me but "her circumstances". Then she told me she nearly jumped off Beachy Head she was so miserable. I'm not sure if it was the constant affection, love and support from me, the several holidays a year, the plan to travel so she could fulfil her dreams of diving, or the new iPad I bought her 3 weeks previously that made her so unhappy, but still... and the things she's changed in her life to make her happy? Nothing, living with her mum and buying into the job she's done her whole life and was desperate to leave.

I think it's depression or other internal issues that made her go, clearly it's the only reason she'd contemplate suicide (if, indeed, she did) and the only reason to tell me that is manipulation, so I'd sympathise with how awful it was and agree leaving was the best thing. I just don't think it was, coz we're so good together.

The counsellor suggested that she's got some mental health issues. I feel like it's a product of those and not a rational decision. She used to self-harm and she does have a habit of slash-and-burn with people and situations. She's mirroring her mum's behaviour with her step-dad.

She's doing everything she said she really didn't want to do: she'd been desperate to get away from our town, and leave the family business she's worked in for years. She's bought into it, tying her here. She's left me. She said she wanted to be free and make it on her own, but she's moved in with her mum and is making that permanent by converting the outbuilding.

She's made it clear that she wants to keep our "wonderful friendship" though I made it clear that can't happen. It's almost like she wants her cake and to be able to eat it.

Anyway, now to me. I adore her. I'm really not coping without her. I've found myself reading her twitter stream, and finding stuff out. I guess as a result of the guy from last year I get really jealous. I know she's spent today with a guy she's got friendly with on twitter. It might be nothing, he might be a new boyfriend. Either way, I miss her desperately. I've known her for so long that I don't even know who I am without her. All the nicknames and in-jokes define how I think about life, and they're gone. We were very sexual, and now I'm single.

On Friday, I'm leaving to go to the South America and volunteer. I don't want to, because I feel like I'm the one drawing the line under things. I'd take her back in an instant, I'm just as in love as I always have been. With our past and knowing her, I don't think it's really over. And in a way, I'm not ready to give up on it.

I'm scared. Staying here means risking my own mental health. Leaving means giving up hope on my wife. And I'm scared I won't cope on my own 7000 miles away. And I can sense an obsessive side of me I don't like, desperate to know she's ok, that she's safe and happy. It's partly coz I care about her and if I'm honest partly because I can't just let her go.

I spent the summer unemployed, barely eating. Some days I haven't moved off the sofa. I love her. I can't get past that simple fact - I love her, I want her back. I'd do anything to sort it out and be with her (though I wouldn't be with her without sorting out, I guess). She's on my mind 24/7, when I wake up in the middle of the night I check my phone just in case. Or read her twitter feed.

I guess I just need some support, some friendly advice and some hugs.

Last edited by 11oneone; 29th September 2012 at 2:54 PM..
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Old 29th September 2012, 2:56 PM   #2
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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the pain you've had to endure, not only now, but also in previous stages of your relationship. She put you through a lot, but of course you know that, and it must be that other aspects of her/your relationship compensate for that.

Don't worry too much about the obsessive behaviour from your side. Many of us recognize that. If it doesn't disappear after a few months, discuss it with a counsellor. For me it disappeared when I lost all hope.

I think your trip to south america is a good idea, even if at this point you don't feel like going. I wouldn't see it as you drawing a line. If anything, it's a win-win move: the NC (no contact, the 1st rule her on LS) will help you heal, and perhaps it makes her regret her acts. Only this time, if you get a second change, make sure that she deals with her issues, to your full satisfaction, first. I'd say that going to counselling alone is not enough. I'd need to see progress.

Don't be scared, you'll find you possess strength you didn't know you had before. Especially in such a new setting, doing the volunteering work together with other new people. Hopefully people there will appreciate your work/help, and this will do wonders for how you experience yourself.

But of course it all hurts massively. Many of us can relate. No appetite, no sleep, knives in your chest, for months and months. It sucks big time.

Hang in there!
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:03 PM   #3
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Thank you.

It feels like a lose-lose at the moment. If I go, how can I ever be around for her if she needs me?

It seems impossible to choose between paths you never wanted to take, in a situation you never dreamed you be in.

You're the first person who's said the obsession is ok. That's a huge relief. I'm trying to keep it under control, but there's always a way to rationalise it. It keeps her in my life even if I'm not in hers. I just care, I just want to know she's ok etc etc.

I felt there had been progress from last year, I felt completely secure up until the last week. I guess it just didn't deal with her patterns of behaviour and self-harm, which she doesn't even acknowledge. I'm willing to support her however she needs, and to go through as many bad times as there will be, provided she keeps our relationship secure at the centre and doesn't run away from me again.

On top of this, she's also been demanding money I don't have (my trip is being paid for by family, then know I need it) for the flat, which I owned for 6 years before she moved in, and which she always said she'd never touch. I've kicked that into the long grass. Nothing she can do unless there's a divorce settlement.

Last edited by 11oneone; 29th September 2012 at 3:08 PM..
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:10 PM   #4
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There's a fine line between love and need. In your case, it's difficult to see when one stops and the other starts. You must work to make that distinction.

She's gotten away with so much, you've lost the ability to make her see a 'new' you. She's stepped all over you and you've taken it all. Worse, you're willing, even now, to take it all again. This is not love, this is addiction.

Dismiss any thoughts of mental illness. Therapists often suggest that when they don't know what to do. The fact is, most everyone is crazy in some way, especially young, attractive women with a sense of entitlement. As for her following the sorted past of her mother? Your wife is an adult; surely capable of understanding right from wrong. Her mother's background is a handy justification to act like a tramp and receive sympathy. From you.

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Originally Posted by 11oneone View Post
I miss her desperately. I've known her for so long that I don't even know who I am without her.
That's on you. Never, ever allow any relationship to define who you are. One can love and be in love without burdening their partner with the weight of supplying happiness. Only people with high self-esteem are capable of being 'needed' and counted on. To be the kind of person who can give (or take) without suspecting they are being manipulated. Your wife is needy. You are more needy. That's a recipe for disaster in a relationship.

I know it isn't easy, but you must let her go and move on. We can't make people love us and we can't make them treat us the way we want to be treated. That's up to us. Healthy relationships are made up by people who love and respect each other. That's earned by actions, not empty words.

Get on your knees and thank God you didn't have children. You'll be fine if you recognize your mistakes, understand hers, and learn not to repeat them. Do not ask for more than you're willing to give. Never accept less.
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:13 PM   #5
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I've certainly become needy, that's true.

But I wouldn't have said I was needy during the relationship. I think a lot of how I feel now is a result of the break-up and her behaviour. The only need I have is to be with the woman I love, and have the life that I chose to have.

Last edited by 11oneone; 29th September 2012 at 3:15 PM..
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:17 PM   #6
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I've certainly become needy, that's true.

But I wouldn't have said I was needy during the relationship. I think a lot of how I feel now is a result of the break-up and her behaviour.
Be honest with yourself. How many times did you take her back after she left? After being involved with other men? Healing depends on honesty.

We all have two lives. The one we planned and the one we have.

Let the advice sink in. No one is suggesting you can't love her anymore. Lots of people love someone they are not with. Make your own decisions. Be well.
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:20 PM   #7
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Be honest with yourself. How many times did you take her back after she left? After being involved with other men? Healing depends on honesty.

Let the advice sink in. No one is suggesting you can't love her anymore. Lots of people love someone they are not with. Make your own decisions. Be well.
I only took her back once. There was a time of uncertainly last year, she was saying she was trying but wanted to leave. Then she did.

Then it all clicked back into place and was great, she realised she still wanted to be with me. She apologised and I accepted it. Also, she says she didn't cheat as she slept with him after she left me and considered herself single - semantics, but important to her, and although it hurts to admit it wasn't actually unfaithful. She's left and was on her way to the other side of the world.


There were no signs or cracks until the moment this year she walked out.

Would I take her back again? Yes, provided the issues that made her feel like leaving again were dealt with.
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:35 PM   #8
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Would I take her back again? Yes, provided the issues that made her feel like leaving again were dealt with.
Let the advice you've been given sink in. You have the right of freewill, but you've asked for feedback and have received it. I will say you are doing yourself no favors wanting her back. In my opinion there are many ways to describe your relationship but 'amazing' isn't one of them. Unless it's the amazing amount of crap you digested and your desire for more.

Strong actions demand a strong standard. I have been where you are.
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Old 29th September 2012, 3:38 PM   #9
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Let the advice you've been given sink in. You have the right of freewill, but you've asked for feedback and have received it. I will say you are doing yourself no favors wanting her back. In my opinion there are many ways to describe your relationship but 'amazing' isn't one of them. Unless it's the amazing amount of crap you digested and your desire for more.

Strong actions demand a strong standard. I have been where you are.
Depends how you define it. It was amazing except for a month last year, and since July this year. Both of which had external triggers that seemed to have made my wife unhappy. It was amazing enough for me to be happy to work through times as bad as these, provided she doesn't leave again.

The first time, she quickly saw that she'd done wrong and she wanted me back. I hope that's the case now, but hope is fading.


I guess regardless of that, I'm not ready to let go. If I could take a pill tonight and wake up tomorrow, not loving her and not feeling like this, I wouldn't take it.
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Old 29th September 2012, 4:07 PM   #10
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I know how you feel and it will get better. Of course, it won't be easy.

Spend your time thinking of you. Don't follow her twitter account. It will just keep the pain there.

Whether or not you want to give up hope is completely up to you and I won't tell you too no matter how I see it from my end of the computer screen.

What I will say is that you need to look in the mirror and realize you don't deserve this. You don't need this. Look how it has effected you. You need you and you alone. When you can get to the point that you "need" no one else to survive and be content, then and only then will you be able to have a good relationship.

Now is the time to be a little selfish. Doesn't mean you have to quit caring for her but don't forget yourself in all of this or you will loose "you".
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Old 29th September 2012, 4:47 PM   #11
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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the pain you've had to endure, not only now, but also in previous stages of your relationship. She put you through a lot, but of course you know that, and it must be that other aspects of her/your relationship compensate for that.

Don't worry too much about the obsessive behaviour from your side. Many of us recognize that. If it doesn't disappear after a few months, discuss it with a counsellor. For me it disappeared when I lost all hope.

I think your trip to south america is a good idea, even if at this point you don't feel like going. I wouldn't see it as you drawing a line. If anything, it's a win-win move: the NC (no contact, the 1st rule her on LS) will help you heal, and perhaps it makes her regret her acts. Only this time, if you get a second change, make sure that she deals with her issues, to your full satisfaction, first. I'd say that going to counselling alone is not enough. I'd need to see progress.

Don't be scared, you'll find you possess strength you didn't know you had before. Especially in such a new setting, doing the volunteering work together with other new people. Hopefully people there will appreciate your work/help, and this will do wonders for how you experience yourself.

But of course it all hurts massively. Many of us can relate. No appetite, no sleep, knives in your chest, for months and months. It sucks big time.

Hang in there!
That's what I love about this forum, as I genuinely thought this feeling was unique to me but now I know it absolutely isn't. And that, in some way, helps. I hope it helps the OP too.

I'd also advise the OP to KEEP AWAY from her Twitter, and Facebook if she's on there - I have never, ever gone near 'his', I couldn't cope with the inevitable hurt that would follow, I know I could not bear to see 'in a relationship with...' or photos of this bloody man who I still, inadvisably, adore with my replacement and/or happy. It rubs salt in an open wound, so please don't do it to yourself.

Last edited by Jingle14; 29th September 2012 at 4:51 PM..
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Old 29th September 2012, 5:57 PM   #12
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You need you and you alone. When you can get to the point that you "need" no one else to survive and be content, then and only then will you be able to have a good relationship.

Now is the time to be a little selfish. Doesn't mean you have to quit caring for her but don't forget yourself in all of this or you will loose "you".
It took me so long to get to that place in the first place. I think that's why it took us so long to get together and why I wasn't ready. I had to be happy myself first.

Of course, slowly over the 10 years we've been with each other, we grow so we're so intertwined. Its symbiotic. That's the beauty and curse of being together.

And she was worse than me. I wanted her to go on diving holidays or to go off and do other things. She never wanted to, she wanted all our spare time to be together.
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Old 29th September 2012, 7:08 PM   #13
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I guess regardless of that, I'm not ready to let go. If I could take a pill tonight and wake up tomorrow, not loving her and not feeling like this, I wouldn't take it.
Then why ask for advice on how to deal with it?

Please, understand friend, you've contacted a forum full of people who have loved and lost. Cheated out of what they thought they earned, of what they were promised. It all comes down to choice. She has the freewill to do what she wants, with whom she wants. That can't be denied, even if it's radically unfair. You too have a choice. So far, you've chosen to stay in the pain because -and illustrated with your own words- you'd rather have what remains of your relationship then nothing at all. I understand this.

But, you must decide what kind of life you wish to live. None of it is easy, there is no magic pill, phrase or action for bringing her back. It is her choice to stay or leave, it is yours to hang on or live. To move on, or live a life where happiness is dependent on her decision. She has control of her life, and yours. Simply put, you've put yourself in a bad position. You're living a life of dimming expectation. Expectation without work isn't reality.

I encourage you to get on with your life, and not worry about being there for her. If she loved you the way she should, she'd be there. She knows you love her, she also knows you're waiting. That's killing what's left of any attraction she had for you. Being a safety net is not sexy. Being a man is.

This kick in the arse is for your own good. Don't waste another day waiting for something that may never come. Build your fortress, then decorate it.
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Old 29th September 2012, 7:28 PM   #14
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I encourage you to get on with your life, and not worry about being there for her. If she loved you the way she should, she'd be there. She knows you love her, she also knows you're waiting. That's killing what's left of any attraction she had for you. Being a safety net is not sexy. Being a man is.

This kick in the arse is for your own good. Don't waste another day waiting for something that may never come. Build your fortress, then decorate it.
well said...
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