Going through "separation" with wife.


While I'm not one to share...you know, everything over the internet, this is currently just killing me.

My wife is going through some kind of early mid-life crisis. She wants to trade in the minivan (which I helped her spend months picking for her dog competition stuff) for a PT Cruiser. She's not sure she can handle being "the choir teacher's wife" which she's gotten a feel for while I was student teaching. She's been depressed for a long time and not dealing with it or talking to me about it. Instead she dumps it all on me one night. It's as if the fulfillment of me figuring out what I want to do with my life has made her want to definitively figure out what she wants to do, and suddenly this may or may not involve me.

I'm a very devoted kind of person. There's a part of me that just doesn't understand this at all.

Granted, as I posted in Elysium's thread...I've been in "survival" mode with the whole going back to school thing for the last two years, and I know I haven't been very giving, and I've relied on her help and support, without (in retrospect) giving back very much. But it's not as if she lets me know what she needs, what she's going through, etc. until she's apparently hit bottom.

So now I'm looking for )(@)(*$()*#$ sublets at sublet.com and trying not to go insane. I can't even seriously apply for jobs right now as I have no idea what my life can and will be. I don't want to give up on her. I want to give her time and space to work things out. But every thing she does and says rips me up inside.

If she wants a divorce, I think I'll take whatever choir teaching job I can get out of state. Some small town where I'll be *the choir teacher*. If not...I have no damned idea.

While we don't have kids, if you knew us, you might think, "damn, they do more stuff with their dogs then I do with my kids." Which has been said to us numerous times. I think I finally got through to her, that this is about more than just her (and she seems so lost in her own stuff, she's certainly not considering me much..) when I told her, "You need to realize that I'm not leaving this house by myself if you want me to go. Are you going to help decide which of the girls goes with me?"

I should be spending my days job hunting. I've been spending my days gaming, and a big thanks to those of you who have kept me company in GW and CSS and wherever else.

I don't drink. I have no tolerance for alcohol. At night I've been drinking (I know you'll laugh) Mike's Hard Lemonade and playing DoD and CSS, just to...escape. Get caught up in something else. One semi-girlie drink and i'm pretty wasted. The thread on Scotch and Bourbon got me thinking, "Well I could get seriously in another place with a little of that." But I won't.

Partly this has woken me up out of survival mode, and into...needing to do positive things to make me feel better. I planted flowers all over the front yard (which until now has looked pretty dumpy). Cleaned up stuff she and I never get to. Cleaned up my computer room (that's saying something). And have started eating less and exercising more. Lost around 8 pounds so far.

and none of it seems to freaking matter to me. she's my best friend.

and this is absolutely killing me.

Don't really have much to say except -- Ouch. Sorry, man.

Regardless of what happens, you WILL get better and you WILL move on. Don't give up hope.

That's incredibly rough. You have my sincerest sympathies. Hopefully the things you do now to straighten it out will make this time seem like a positive someday.

Having been there Roo - recently - I know that there is nothing that I can say that will in any way make this easier for you.

That said, I wish you both the best of luck as you attempt to discover what it may take for your continued (or separate) happiness.

I'm so sorry Roo..
I think at some point in most of our lives we can all relate to what you are going through.
Having never had a wife, but having been in several long term relationships, (including the one I'm in now) I can relate to almost all of this minus the dog and marriage thing.
I don't have any healthy advise to give other than, dont get clinicly depressed. It's one thing to be heartbroken and sad, upset, confused, etc.. but don't let it lead you down a dark path of self pity. No matter what it seems like now, self loathing and pity is the hardest thing to overcome out of this entire situation.

I am no Bible-thumper, and I am not even Christian. But like most holy books, the Bible has some great quotes.

I like to think of this one when I find myself in a confusing or painful situation regarding a relationship. It helps to realign me with proper behavior instead of getting swept away by destructive negative emotion.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. "

I don't have a ton of advice for this thing, as I think just about every case is pretty different. But I feel badly for you, and hope things turn out. It sounds like you're changing, and she may be as well, but you are almost doing it along separate paths. I would hope that doesn't need to happen that way; someone can reevaluate their life and goals and still remain in a marriage. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Nonetheless, don't start drinking. I'll drink extra on your behalf so you don't have to.

Dang Roo, I'm sorry to hear about your current rocky times. I'll keep my hopes on everything working out for the best.

I'm really sorry to hear that Roo. I don't know what to say. I really feel for you. Enjoy the company at GWJ, many times they have helped out those in need.

I find that life is very simple if you always do what makes you happiest.

Hope you get out of this one all right, man.

Whatever Demos says, do the opposite.

We're here for you Roo. If there's any way we can help, just let us know.

I've got tons and tons of advice I'm not going to give you. I'm not a marriage counselor and I have a feeling it's not what you're really looking for by posting this. Instead all I can offer is my sympathy for your situation and my hope that it will improve. If you're finding it therapeutic to discuss this here, then by all means continue to do so. I think any of us who have ever really loved a woman will not dare mock your pain.

Yeah, Roo, I'll add that I second the sentiment that this community can at least provide an outlet, and at best be a saving grace. I know that I for one got through my recent tough times a lot easier than I would have thanks to the support and understanding of the fine bastards at GWJ.

But I also agree wholeheartedly with Mex.

Very sorry to hear, Roo - being in that in-between space, where you can't go forward or back, is a terrible position to be in. You should be proud of doing some positive things with your life in such crappy times, as it's very easy to get into some seriously bad habits with long-term negative effects.

Sorry to hear about it Roo. This might not be what you want to hear, but I am going to say it.

You need to understand that at this moment you have no say in whether your relationship continues.

Sorry to have to say that, but you need to come to peace with it, sooner rather than later. With that said, you need to plan as if it is over. Try to accept it. If she decides to stay together, you will be pleasantly surprised. If she decides she wants out, then you are already somewhat prepared.

Wallow all you want this week. Get it out of your system. Then start putting your post-divorce life together. Get really sh*t-faced drunk. Go to a strip club and spend some money on a naked girl. Play games. Don't shower. Whatever you need to purge. Then cut it out.

Do you own your house? If you do, don't move. You moving out basically gives her the house. If you don't have a job, you need to snap out of it and look for work. The school year starts in 60 days and you need to get your contract in place. Don't let her run your life or destroy your dream.

Your wife might just be going through a phase. If so, then you two might come out of this stronger on the other side. I hope that is the case. But, on the chance that she is merely working up the courage to end it, you need to be ready for that. I know I am making it sound as if I think this will be easy. It isn't. But it is what you have to do.

Good luck.

I'm not one for marriage advice, so I'll just stick to wishing you luck with whatever way you choose to go at this.

SlyFrog wrote:

It sounds like you're changing, and she may be as well, but you are almost doing it along separate paths. I would hope that doesn't need to happen that way; someone can reevaluate their life and goals and still remain in a marriage. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Those are words of profound wisdom. "Space" is the not the answer to problems in a marriage. Issues need to be addressed together, within the context of the relationship. That said, it sounds like the lines of communication are open to some extent, and that can only be a good thing. Keep talking.

I'm really sorry to hear about your troubles, especially after hearing about the wonderful experiences you've had in your new career as choir director. I wish you and your wife the best of luck.

I'm sorry, man.

I hope it all works out in the end. Best of luck man.

Really sorry to hear about the troubles. I hope things get worked out but I agree with JohnnyMojo in that you should NOT put your life on hold. You have to pick yourself up and start looking for a job. If she wants to stay with you she will but don't let her determine when you can start to live again.

Moving out of the house is not a good idea on so many levels, don't do it!

Other than that I hope you guys work things out, be supportive and let her figure out what she needs, even if it hurts.

JohnnyMoJo wrote:

Wallow all you want this week. Get it out of your system. Then start putting your post-divorce life together. Get really sh*t-faced drunk. Go to a strip club and spend some money on a naked girl. Play games. Don't shower. Whatever you need to purge. Then cut it out.

Roo, I agree with this idea of JMJ's up to a point. Don't impose some abritrary standard and say "I'll move on in a week." Just feel your way through it for a while, but don't rush to bury yourself in trying to move on. Take it from me, forcing yourself to "get over it" when you're not ready to only compounds the problem.

Ouch. I'm really sorry, Roo. I'll add my 'best of luck' thoughts to everyone else's. I hope it works out for the best.

JohnnyMoJo wrote:

You need to understand that at this moment you have no say in whether your relationship continues.

Don't let it go to your head, but I think this is the smartest relationship advice I have heard in my life.

It's just so true... no matter how hard you may wish something back to life, it can't ever be unless she wants the same things you do. I think we've all spent some crappy times getting into this thought trap.

Best of luck! It sucks when people change after a long time, but it happens. After she figures out what she wants, she may not be the same person you fell in love with anyway. I hope it works out for you, but don't make things worse!
*manly sort of hug and pat on the back*

My deepest sympaties. Even though I am not qualified to dispense any serious advice since I have had no experience similar to that, I can try and offer my own little life observations:

* Separation is nonsense. It will only work to make things more bitter. A great chance for both of your to do something really stupid and regrettable. She has to understand that there will probably no way back already if she needs "space" with none of you in it.

* What is her displeasure with being a teacher's wife? You don't bring in enough money? She is afraid to stand next to you at social gatherings? What's earing her? Try to talk about that sincerely, maybe there is something you can do about it while still keeping the job you love?

* You are admitting that you probably haven't been as attentive to her as you should have been, and that she has been depressed for some time, apparently without you noticing it. Maybe, just maybe you are indeed a partial culprit in this situation? Try to be frank about it to yourself. Love, in my book, is "desire to sacrifice yourself for the wellbeing of the object of your affection". If you love someone, you NEED, you DESIRE to spend time with them and make them happier. If the dream of your life is teaching choir and tending to your dogs, and she has become just a member of your household and you are not even noticing it, maybe it is indeed time to part ways before the depression turned into hostility.

* No matter what happens, PT Cruiser is an abomination. Even in Michigan!

Who's gonna be the buddy that talks mean crap about the girl, and then they get back together and it's all weird afterwards?

Because I'll take care of that if nobody else has the job tagged.




That's terrible, man. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself about semi-ignoring her while you went through school. From what I've seen of women, if that that had been the problem, she would have made that abundantly clear, rather than talking about finding herself or whatever.

Don't start drinking. I'm all in favor of drinking, and even drinking heavily, and even rediculously heavily. But don't do it when you're feeling down. Not only will it be an unpleasant experience (drinking moderately tends to numb, drinking heavily tends to magnify whatever you happen to be feeling,) but starting that sort of stuff in a vulnerable time is exactly how it becomes a problem.

Not much else to say. Being young, I really can't imagine what it must to like to go through something like that in a MARRIAGE. That level of commitment is almost beyond my powers of imagination. So my thoughts on how you must be feeling are similarly staggering.

I'm sure that things will work out in the end, whether you're together or not. Life lasts for a good long time, and even if you end up getting a divorce, things WILL eventually get as good or better than they were in the good times with your wife. And if you two stay together, you'll be that much stronger. I tend to believe that bad things never last for long, unless you let them. (Except herpes, that lasts.)

I tend to believe that bad things never last for long, unless you let them. (Except herpes, that lasts.)

For a young man, you do seem to know quite a lot.

Uggghhh I am sorry to hear this. I have to second JMJ's advice... I havent had the best track record in the marriage department, but my luck completely changed with Mrs. Spy (3 times a charm so they say)... People tend to grow apart when they marry very young and despite the best intentions they change and want different things.... The best thing to do is ask for her to attend marriage counseling with you, but like JMJ said at this point it is out of your hands... You have pointed out to her you want to be in this marriage but it will take both of you. I do have plenty of experience in divorce and thank the Lord you dont have any children, but dont move out of your house... If she wants to be out of the relationship then have her make those steps - not you until things are finalized... It may seem harsh, but you have to plan for you because if she is thinking thses things she is already planning for her. Do nothing that could get you in trouble in court and keep your chin up. Speaking from experience it does get MUCH better.

Edwin wrote:

Whatever Demos says, do the opposite.

HAHA! I almost choked on my popcorn when I read this. That said, when it comes to relationship advice, I actually tend to do better when I'm helping other people than when it comes to doing things for myself. Why is that? NO clue. But, it's true.

That said, I'm sorry man. If you need any company in GW or CSS, just poke me, I'll be home all week.