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Old 5th November 2017, 9:28 AM   #1
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Wife wants to separate

My wife and I have been together 14 years and married 13 years. We have 2 kids aged 6 and 7. I am 39, she is 37.
The first 7 years were great, life got harder when the kids came along and my job is very stressful and time-consuming. My wife felt I did not prioritize her enough, and the resulting emotional attacks and criticism just pushed me away more.
We were in marriage counseling for 1 year (my wife's idea). I was fully engaged with it and trying hard but now she has given up on the marriage counseling and will not go anymore.
Her main complaints are lack of emotional connection, lack of empathy, lack of eye contact, not taking her opinions into account.
I have tried taking her out for dinner, inviting away for the weekend just the two of us, coming home early from work. She says it is too little too late - I should have done these before when she was receptive.
People say I am a great dad. All I do with my life is work, provide for my family, and take my kids places at the weekend. It feels like we are constantly pulling in different directions.
About a month ago she said that she does not love me anymore (although sometimes she says that she still does). She wants us to live apart and see if that space can help us rekindle the relationship. In her words, the separation could be temporary or permanent. She harbors so much resentment and is always angry with me. She cannot forgive and continually brings up events that happened 10+ years ago.
There is no addiction, abuse, infidelity (that I am aware of - have asked her several times). Her mum is ill with cancer and a poor prognosis, which could be a factor. She was depressed earlier in the year , fortunately she has recovered but is still on the meds. Neither of us has family in the US.
I still love her and don't want to separate but being in a loveless marriage is no fun either.
My wife does voluntary work (no paid work) so I will need to pay high child support and alimony if we separate. Our apartment is expensive and my wife has high-spending habits (nanny 10 hours per week, after-school 4 days per week, cleaner, out-of-network individual counselling, frequent overseas trips etc). Having a strict budget will be a shock for her. I doubt she could afford to keep the apartment based on the payments, which makes me worried about the destabilizing impact on the kids.
I would take legal advice from an attorney before moving out (and perhaps go for a legal separation).
Looking for any advice:
- Should I continue to pursue her and try to win her heart back? Or just back off and give her space? How could I do that without leaving the apartment?
- Does anybody have any experience with a trial separation actually working and helping the marriage in the long term?
- When she realizes the financial reality of separation (paying 2 apartments so very little disposable income) will that change her views, or will women prioritize their emotional goals?

Last edited by nyclion; 5th November 2017 at 9:30 AM..
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Old 5th November 2017, 9:36 AM   #2
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Never leave your home!!!!

Check your phone bill. Is there another man in the mix?

Separation can be used to spend more time with another man.

It would pay you to do some investigation. Don't ask. If this is the case you won't get the truth and you'll just tip your hand too early.
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Old 5th November 2017, 9:37 AM   #3
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Never leave your home!!!!

Check your phone bill. Is there another man in the mix?

Separation can be used to spend more time with another man.

It would pay you to do some investigation. Don't ask. If this is the case you won't get the truth and you'll just tip your hand too early.
From what I've seen separation is a prelude to divorce. You can't work on a marriage or anything apart. Real bad idea.
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Old 5th November 2017, 9:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by nyclion View Post
- Does anybody have any experience with a trial separation actually working and helping the marriage in the long term?
- When she realizes the financial reality of separation (paying 2 apartments so very little disposable income) will that change her views, or will women prioritize their emotional goals?
There is usually already someone else waiting in the wings when one partner wants a "trial separation."

But, yes, it's entirely probably that all of the stress and bills of being on her own will snap her back into reality. Up to you if you want to wait around for that.

It doesn't really seem fair that she gets to exit the relationship and you have to pay for it all. Is she planning on getting a job?
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Old 5th November 2017, 9:49 AM   #5
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There is usually already someone else waiting in the wings when one partner wants a "trial separation."

But, yes, it's entirely probably that all of the stress and bills of being on her own will snap her back into reality. Up to you if you want to wait around for that.

It doesn't really seem fair that she gets to exit the relationship and you have to pay for it all. Is she planning on getting a job?
Once infidelity occurs if this is the case it changes everything.

Is that something you could accept? Live with? It never goes away.

Better think long term and about what you want.

IMO if she insists on a separation I'd give her a permanent one. File for D and move on with your life.

It's a shock upfront.

If you do the pick me dance try nicing her back it'll put you in a worse position.

A hard 180 is your best bet

Read it carefully and fully understand it
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Old 5th November 2017, 11:50 AM   #6
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Know it sounds simplistic but if she refuses to work on the M, then it's over.
I would look for evidence of OM. Normally a woman would not leave a home, children and her "life" for the unknown...especially one without income. Would the discovery of OM make your choice easier?

The thing that stuck out to me was your work load and hers. Spending habits and nanny ect are expensive and she was working without pay? Did she complain about your financial situation?
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Old 5th November 2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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oh dear, where to start with this one? well, there is no good way so here goes.... the one things that it is clear from your post is that your wife is TIRED!

I think it would probably do you both some good to separate for a while, even if its spending time for a few days, months whatever she feels may assist things; with friends or family, or if you are able take a break, not easy I know for the time of year and with the different work situations and the fact that you also have children etc...but I feel l you do need space.

one of the overriding factors here now is that her mother has cancer!!!!! so even if she hasn't asked you directly for space it is clear she needs it.

I kind of think you are jumping the gun with attorney's advice just yet; there is no harm in getting it, but I feel there are more pressing matters that need discussion between you and her, not you and a third party (who may drain your finances even more) at a time when you need to be trying to look at what's going on now, rather than spending what might be better saved at his time.

as for the self professed or god forbid a private detective route? forget it, unless you want to have your wife's contempt and anger thrown at you for the rest of your "divorced" life!!!!

you have children remember, do you think any sort of detection games isn't going to involve your children emotionally in some biased or covert way?... that is not the respectful or morally ethical answer in your particular situation

- if you are serious in trying to sort equal commitment issues and behavioural issues connected to your relationship then you need to think in a mature and sensible way, to show her you are stable and worth thinking about getting back with!

If she has had an affair which you say she hasn't and feel no suspicion of at present, then for now work with that good thing and don't allow other insecurities and additional hurdles to become another reason for her not to talk to you or to hate you more than she does when she is cross with you.

ok, so if she doesn't love you and doesn't want you, you will have to deal with that; yes of course that may change and at least she is offering a chance for that to be tested, but for the present time; she doesn't sound like she wants you - and unfortunately you have to respect that 100% until or unless she changes her thoughts.

people don't get tired of relationships overnight, it's a build-up of things and more often than not, its hindsight or ultimatums or desperate threats that are often when people (ie the other partner/person) start to wake up to their situations and look at their contributing behaviours'.

if your wife is sure she no longer loves you, but is willing to give one more chance then I'm afraid I feel you have to go with her and just hope for the best. do your best, but tread carefully.

she is in a tired, angry and emotional place right now, what she doesn't need is someone who cannot show her respect, who will cling to her like a child at all costs when she needs to channel her energy for her mother, the home and children, and however well meaning you are trying to be, what she wont want is you trying to force what she doesn't want naturally just because you love her.

separation may not be the end, you might learn something valuable through this, but I think you ought to see it as a red flag that it could very well be the end.

if later on she loves you or things change in her personal situation then she might have more time to consider you and your feelings.

it's a very tricky situation, and however you look at it, it doesn't look that great; however - under the circumstances of what you've said, I feel it's best to prepare yourself for the worst and give her some space.

Is there any way that she can move out of the home for a while as she is not working, or is it more convenient to care for her mother or visit her from where you live?

you might find some more helpful insights from other peoples trial separations, but I'm not sure in a situation like yours, unless people have very similar situations it could really let you know for sure what to expect.
what other people think (i.e. that you are a good dad, etc...) is great of course, but that won't shield you from being a great single father or great dad who doesn't have access to all of his children etc...what worked for Henry, janey or Billy may not work for you; or if it did work for them it might give you false hopes only to have it come crashing down on you.

there is a lot of things here that I fear may not be salvageable, but I could be wrong, and time away may save you both; but I suspect this lady has had a lot of time to think (and has resented you lack of relationship contribution) for a long time, and so now she has been left alone in her own thoughts and feelings (despite counselling) to know that this IS what she now wants for certain.

one of the hardest things to change is when people know for sure what they want!!!!! especially where love is concerned. so if she is sure you're better accepting this however painful it will be for you and your family.

there are a lot of emotions mixed in here too, but if anything can save you, I think it will be time and letting those emotions play out in their own time...so again i think you need to be prepared to wait a long time only to face the possibility of still getting rejected; but I think sadly, it is your only option.

although she has said positively that she will give a trial separation the chance to see if it can heal how she is feeling - even if she does go back to you, I feel you have a lot of work to do if you are not both going to fall into the old ways again.

if she is still bringing up things that happened 10 years ago! then that really doesn't sound like a healthy place for either of you.

another thing that is apparent here from what you've said is that it is your wife who is still taking all the initiative!!!! if you are serious about winning her back or are lucky enough to convince her to stay with you (and I'm not altogether sure that's what she really wants at this point!!!) but of course things can and do sometimes change - then IF you get another chance with her you need to take you part in the relationship a lot more seriously and pro-actively than it sounds like you have done in the past.

I think you need to talk seriously with her whatever happens, for starters regarding the over spending issues (especially if she is not working)!

look at what she wants in terms of time away from you and talk to her to find out exactly what that means and maybe get a time scale so you know you won't be hanging on forever for her, if she has already decided but not told you she isn't coming back.

it's a sad tale as you obviously love her a lot, but love children and having a stable setting is not enough always, who knows, I might be very wrong and she does come out of this willing to refresh things with you, but I feel too much has gone on emotionally for her the way things stand right now, and now she has her mother with cancer to care and worry about on top of everything else.

maybe instead of thinking about how this affects your love for her (because it doesn't, its clear you love her very much), put yourself in her shoes! she is telling you she is tired and she needs to have time to re-charge her batteries,

if you don't give her that I think you will lose her for sure, and if you do give her this then it's a high risk of a lengthy separation that may not guarantee anything positive in the long run, but at least there is always a chance - however slim and you may have more respect if you do separate for the sake of the children and how you interact in front of them.

once she has decided, (then) maybe look to the legalities of it all. but like i say there is no harm in getting advice before if you want to know where you and your family will be as a result this complex situation; just if you can get that advice for free or one that isn't so costly until you need to spend.

what would happen if you got this advice and spent on a solicitor only to find that she's willing to give it another go or you separate, but no legal actions kick in for another 6 or so months to a year due to the situation with her mother.

this may not help you in the way you need, I don't know, but I'm sure others on this site will be able to offer you advice that can help you get a better perspective on how things are and things to look out for.

just remember she is in a fragile place right now, doing anything that will anger or upset her further won't do you any favors!

Very very good luck!!!! but I think you have a mountain to climb with this one, sorry! but good luck none the less. maxi.
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Old 5th November 2017, 12:29 PM   #8
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maxi, you talk like this woman is a queen or princess


I actually don't agree with most of what u said except for the part of respecting her space due to her mum having cancer etc.


you tell the OP not to become clingy yet you have gone to great length to give many reasons why he should be worried which leads to guess what - clingy behaviour.
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Old 5th November 2017, 1:01 PM   #9
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She's a stay at home mom with a nanny and she's tired?

Total BS. I was a stay at home dad for awhile without a nanny and yep it's hard work but cmon.
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Old 5th November 2017, 1:08 PM   #10
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Never leave your home!!!!

Check your phone bill. Is there another man in the mix?
I haven't seen any evidence of an OM. This has been a gradual downhill slide in the marriage over the last 2 years, esp. in how she is feeling. She does not want to separate until Jan because she is too busy with travel in November, and wants to have December as a family for the holidays. So it feels like there is no big urgency on her part to shack up with somebody else. Also, she never spends the night outside the apartment.

That said, I get where you are coming from. I'd be a fool if I wasn't cautious and on the lookout for the signs.
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Old 5th November 2017, 1:16 PM   #11
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Better protect yourself financially. From what you've posted I'd cut off her finances. I'm assuming you're paying for her November travel, etc. why?

She has house cleaners, nanny, etc and she doesn't work?

Maybe you like many have done too much for her and she's lost respect and taken advantage of her lazy lifestyle.

Hard 180 and go you're own way. Let her move out you stay put if you're smart

Be prepared and see an attorney yesterday
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Old 5th November 2017, 1:17 PM   #12
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It doesn't really seem fair that she gets to exit the relationship and you have to pay for it all. Is she planning on getting a job?
She isn't looking for a job currently. She doesn't really have any direct qualifications/experience for a job in the US. We met when I was working abroad, and she spent the first few years of our marriage in Europe learning English. Then she did a post-grad in Europe and got a job but within a year we moved to the US for my work. Then came the kids, and that was a full-time job when they were little, and financially there was no pressing need for her to work. None of her qualifications are "valid" in this country, she would need to start from zero. Plenty of qualifications and courses but no career. Hence the voluntary work, which is really interesting stuff in her field of interest. She has spent the last couple of years looking for a job, but it is easy to be choosy if the spouse is earning.
If/when we separate I guess she will need to widen her scope and be less choosy about the job.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:33 AM   #13
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"travel in November"? Sounds expensive
Where is she going and is she taking the kids?
It sounds like you are doing the pick me dance. It never works!
See and attorney and find out what is what, like yesterday!
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Old 6th November 2017, 3:41 AM   #14
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I haven't seen any evidence of an OM.
That changes nothing. It just means she's good at hiding it. If I were you I'd go into full detective mode ASAP. Check phone bills, look for other signs, GPS track her phone, even a VAR velcroed under her car seat or hidden in the living room or bedroom.

You need to see a lawyer NOW. Most do a free initial consultation so you lose nothing, but stand to gain a lot of knowledge and information about your financial and legal position. Importantly you need to know what NOT to do. Mistakes now could be very costly down the road. You need to tell the lawyer everything you've written here about her earning potential. If she has a post-grad then she certainly has a higher income capacity than a shelf stacker. It might not be "valid" over there but it proves she has knowledge and skills, although she might need a refresher course if she's been out of work for a long time.

Do NOT move out. Tell her that you want to work on the marriage but if she's not willing to work on it then you'll accept her decision, and if she wants a "trial separation", then she is free to leave at any time. If you move out then you will end up renting an apartment and paying for her to live in the family home too. She will be sitting pretty.

Don't believe any of her BS about coming back. A trial separation is almost always a prelude to divorce. Taking it in bite size chunks rather than swallowing it whole. What is it a "trial" of exactly? Don't accept this rubbish about building attraction whilst having time apart, that is just meaningless waffle. It is a trial of "can I manage on my own?". The answer is almost always "yes I am much happier without the emotional drain of a failing marriage (and communication with the other man is much easier now I don't have to hide it)".

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If/when we separate I guess she will need to widen her scope and be less choosy about the job.
Keep guessing! She will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of her care-free lifestyle funded by YOU.

She will do everything she can to prove to a court that she hasn't worked in a long time and has no earning potential, and that you have set a precedent of supporting her and the family for many years. She will claim that a joint lives order and lifelong alimony is necessary to maintain the lifestyle to which she and the kids have become accustomed.

This is why you need to see a lawyer ASAP. You need to be pre-emptive and prepared here. When the "my client believes..." letters start arriving, you need to have a course of action already planned out. You need to skip the "she says WHAT!!!" angry stage by preparing a game plan.

Now maybe I'm wrong and she will get a job and be reasonable in her divorce settlement requests. But still you lose nothing by being prepared. Your mantra should become, "hope for the best, prepare for the worst".
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Last edited by PegNosePete; 6th November 2017 at 3:57 AM..
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Old 6th November 2017, 4:04 AM   #15
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She wants a separation? She wants a new place to live?

Then tell her to get a JOB now and pay for it all!!!

Who cares if she's capable of a big time job - she needs to start somewhere so she may as well start now!

You've pampered her lifestyle and now she's spoiled - so start putting your earnings in a separate account in your name only. Give her minimal money to run the household.

No more extras. No housekeeper and no shopping money.


These are HER consequences when she wants to break up the family and be on her own.

Get a camera for the home and hide it. You can see real time on your phone what she's doing and you can hear her conversations too. Do not tell her it's there.

Start pulling back - and show her that she's gonna have a different lifestyle since she wants to be on her own.

See an attorney - you need to know where you stand legally. You also need her working asap so your support money isn't as high as if she isn't working.

Also, don't pay for her vacation! She can figure out how to pay for it! She sees you as a chump! Stop funding her cushy lifestyle.

Tell her that the holiday season is ruined due to her inability to commit to the marriage and your not gonna put on a happy face just because of a holiday.

Last edited by S2B; 6th November 2017 at 4:06 AM..
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