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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
I am 43, been married 19 years, with the same guy for 25 (since I was 18). We have really struggled the last 3 years of our marriage. There was a 6 week separation in 2009; and a 10 month separation in 2012 (started in 2011). He moved back in to work on reconciliation at the end of October 2012, and we had been in counseling that month. We continued counseling until the first of December, but I asked to stop. We had seen 3 counselors over the years, and the third one was helping. I had just started a new job that was difficult, and the last 2-3 sessions felt like it was all directed at being my fault. So,I asked to stop. Dec. was rough, Christmas was tense. We had a huge fight on New Year's Eve, when we both said we were through. I woke up New Year's Day with a good look at my behaviors, and asked him for another chance. It took two days and lots of talk between us, but he had temporarily agreed. Then on Jan. 3rd, I took a nasty fall, breaking my leg which required surgery to fix. Over the last 8 weeks, I have been incapcitated, and I admit I have acted horrific. In pain, on narcotics, and still reeling from the fight, I have been depressed on top of it all. My pattern of behavior is to lash out at him via email or notes, saying how much I want to be done with the marriage. I know this comes from feeling unwanted, unloved, and wanting to hit first. Unfortunately, I have been very abusive to him during the last 3 months, especially during the end of Jan into Feb.
About 2 weeks ago, he sent me an email saying he was looking for a place to move out to. I have to clarify that we haven't been communicating at all except via email, and I have been sleeping and living in the family room. I really didn't believe him. A week ago, he sent a similar email. Then, when I asked him if he was certain, he never replied. I then asked for him to be involved when we tell the kids (10 and 13). He never replied. I kept at him, emailing that I would tell them on a certain day and time. Still no response. I finally came to the day of the "deadline" and he avoided even being on the main floor of our two-story house. I was angry, so I did tell the kids of his decision. That night was the lowest of my life. I confronted him, asking him why. He refused to answer. I asked him to give me back his wedding ring (crazy, I know). He refused. I went downstairs, and contemplated taking 3 bottles of pills to die. I was only pulled back from the brink by my 10 year old asking me if I was ok. I then told my husband to take the pills, because I wasn't sure I wouldn't take them. Two days later, he emailed me a final note: "I'm done." I broke down emotionally that night. I realized I had been holding myself away from him, for him to come to me first. I confronted him the next morning, begging, crying and pleading to have him reconsider. He was adamant that his decision was final. I asked him for more time, and we did have a talk that night. He kept repeating his decision was made, and this was it. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT! I have spent the last 3 days in turmoil, crying, talking to family and my Deacon and my therapist. I have implored him to try to put aside the past 8 weeks of our problems, and give me some time to show him I was serious about my intent to change. I am filled with grief over this. I have been reading Gary Chapman's "Loving Solutions," signed up for Magic of Making Up Course, joined the Marriage Fitness daily emails, and have read many posts online. I know what I need to do change my side of things, but he won't give me another chance. Am I crazy? Am I asking for too much, for another chance with the man that I love? I have tried expressing my love this week, verbally and with loving actions, but it seems he is checking out. BTW, we are still living together, me downstairs, him up. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading my saga.
There may be nothing you can do at this point, who knows except for possibly him. So prepare for the worst, get yourself to an acceptance point. If it was me I would calmly, humbly and confidently and briefly explain to him the realization of my behaviors and that I am going to do something about it. Tell him what materials you have gotton to help you and that you realize he needs to 'see' change as well as to hear of it. That's it, then immediately start showing him this change. You may also benefit from looking into some co-dependent material for yourself. A woman who is humbly confident and self sufficient is attractive to a man.
Actions speak louder than words. We can apologize over and over, but if our actions don't change, the words are meaningless. So if I were you I would make the effort to consistently, day after day, put or replace those words into an action(s). Become more involved with him and the children, as best you can with your situation. Greet them warmly with a smile and saying their name, touch their shoulder or what not with your hand, reach for his hand as if to hold it for a brief moment. Suggest a movie night at home or game night or ask him to play a game of cards. Write down 'sweet nothing' notes or get him some cheaper loving cards.
Darlyn05, thanks for the words of encouragment. I have started some of your suggestions, as that seems to be the most common ideas when one partner wants to save the marriage. I hope I have enough days left to show him. I am praying as well!
I am feeling better, but there is no change in status at home. He is still living here, and not speaking to me much. I have put into action a small "Talk Charge" and a small "Touch Charge" each day; I have been calmer when talking to him; I am giving him the space he asks for; and I have been reading many (4!) books on the subject. Bottom line - I still don't know for sure where he stands, as he won't discuss it further with me. When I do attempt to touch him, he says "It won't change my (his) decision." I calmly reply that I am trying to change me, not him. This took him a long time to get to his decision to leave, so I suspect it will take more time to show him my intent to change. He may well move out by then, I really have no clue!
It probably will take more time than the past week. Keep doing what you are doing. You will have comfort knowing that you have done everything within your power to reconcile. At the same time, caring and loving that you are being, don't let him cross over your personal boundaries where he may think he can mistreat you or be disrespectful towards you because you are making changes. Some people will try to take advantage of the other during times like these.
Stress in a marriage can be managed if both parties are willing to do whatever it takes...
I've been through something very similar and I'm so sorry for what you are going through. The ex and I went through a 6 week separation in 2009 and then a 6 month separation in 2010, got back to reconcile and all was going really well until suddenly six months later it wasn't. He stated he wanted a divorce and was leaving for good in a week. This was brought on when I confronted him about something he did that was disrespectful. Then the day he told me he was leaving, he had been out for several hours to the "movies" with his young, single, girl, "friend"...who had become a wedge between us over the course of these two years we struggled so. When my ex told me he was "done" I realized the truth was he was done long before he said it and meant it. I wish he had left after going to marriage counselling (which was a joke) and before ever going through the first separation. After he left the last time he didn't file and when I confronted him about it 3 months later the mixed signals and waffling came into play prolonging the inevitable for 14 more months. I wish I would have just filed when he didn't - I seriously contemplated but I couldn't bring myself to do it - eventually he did because he HAD to. Had to as in he got a girl (not the same one mentioned above) pregnant but didn't bother telling me. I found out on facebook of all places - two months after our divorce was finalized, one month after this child was born.
I'm not saying you will experience the same outcome, but please, please, protect your heart. Feel confident that you are doing everything you can to save the marriage. If he's no longer willing to make an effort that's on him.
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