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Thread: Separated after 10 years

  1. #1
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    Separated after 10 years

    My wife and I recently separated after 10 years of marriage. Both in mid 50's. Kids are from previous marriages and all grown and gone. We had an argument about recurrent issues, stopped talking and are living in separate houses at the moment. We have had issues for many years, my recurrent issues are that she is manipulative and controlling. She rolls her eyes at me, rarely listens to a full sentence I say before interrupting and is dismissive of my wants and needs. I know that a lot of those items are indications of emotional abuse, but if I bring it up, she turns it around and says I do the same thing. I've done some self inventory and realize that while I have many shortcomings, humility, honesty, kindness and compassion are not on the list. I have a big heart and very generous with my time, money and resources. But the woman I've been married to has never cared about those things or acknowledges those traits. And I keep on trying, only to be ignored or dismissed again.

    I've attempting to schedule a counseling session with a therapist for this week because I need a reality check of sorts. The circular and crazy talk when we engage is exhausting.


    I was glad we were apart for the first few days, but as is normal, I'm now having second thoughts, anxiety at night and all the break-up stuff I thought I had left behind years ago. It is tempting to reach out, but I know it's not a good thing to do. If we were to divorce, there is much in the way of finances etc that need to be settled. It's quite heart wrenching and I don't have much of a support network. Our friends are mutual and I don't wish to share the above with them because I don't like putting people into uncomfortable situations. I could really use some advise. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You need to listen to your wife. Her perception is her reality. If she is telling you that you do these things to her, then she thinks you are truly doing these things to her. Regardless of your own kindness or humility, you have got to look at this from her lens. I would tell her the exact same thing.

    It sounds like you are kind of holding a grudge against her. Let that go. Have you tried couples' therapy?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    The problem with kind and compassionate men (or women) with big hearts who are only kind and compassionate is that they aren't always able to walk the talk or get things done because their resources are spread very thinly.

    It doesn't sound like she is open to the idea of reconciliation or working things through. Her levels of resentment seem very high and it may be due most of all to a break down in trust where trust has eroded due to blurry boundaries or lack of boundaries. I'm sorry you're going through this or feeling dismissed by her. I'm glad for you that you've scheduled a counselling session for yourself. Don't be afraid to open up and talk and don't be afraid to start again too.

    Good for you for maintaining your private affairs and not spreading any inappropriate information regarding your separation with your mutual friends. It doesn't mean that you can't go play pool or go for a drink with a buddy or take yourself out for a ride somewhere. It doesn't have to cost a lot to enjoy a few hours here and there and find some joy.

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    We have had therapy in the past. I believe we are beyond that point now and are not in contact with one another. Reaching out, in my belief, would only end it rejection as it has in the past. For our entire relationship, she has been quick to terminate conversations and actually leave the house, me asking her not to and then acquiescing to her needs. Little gets resolved from the initial argument because of the nuke bomb drop of threatening to leave.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by loyal
    You need to listen to your wife. Her perception is her reality. If she is telling you that you do these things to her, then she thinks you are truly doing these things to her. Regardless of your own kindness or humility, you have got to look at this from her lens. I would tell her the exact same thing.

    It sounds like you are kind of holding a grudge against her. Let that go. Have you tried couples' therapy?

    She rolls her eyes at me, rarely listens to a full sentence I say before interrupting and is dismissive of my wants and needs. I know that a lot of those items are indications of emotional abuse, but if I bring it up, she turns it around and says I do the same thing.


    Without the benefit of being there, it's hard to say that her word is gospel. I was married to someone much like he just described and he was abusive.

    Either way, go to therapy. It may not save your marriage but it will help you find your way out and it will give you the support you seem to be lacking. I went to couples therapy and ended up going alone after I realized nothing was going to change. I am glad I did.

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    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Separated after 10 years

    Deleted as my first comment was not relevant to the post.

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    Thanks for the feedback. This is the first time I'm reaching out, so it's difficult. I do journal and some of the notes I have are threatening to harm herself if we have any type of disagreement that doesn't sit well. Not all the time, but probably 5 times in the past ten years. Then she'll downplay it. The constant "I'm' done" method of ending a conversation or simply leaving the room if we're talking and she doesn't like the way the conversation is going. General tantrums, a lot of blustering and challenging. It's also hard to put my finger on but there seemed to be some joy in deprivation. A lot of "I told you that', "that's what I said", or the simple 'whatever!' as she ends the conversation. I have an appointment with the therapist tomorrow afternoon. Reality check needed badly.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You need expert advice at this point. Go to a therapist alone to determine if you should stay or go, if this is what you want etc. Go privately and confidentially. Do not do couples counselling. Also consult an attorney to review your options in the case of divorce. She's most likely already done so. You'll be blindsided if you don't start getting your ducks in a row legally, financially and emotionally. If by some miracle things change, at least you'll be well informed and in a better place mentally.

  10. #9
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    Thank you everyone for your comments. Itís why I posted.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    You need expert advice at this point. Go to a therapist alone to determine if you should stay or go, if this is what you want etc. Go privately and confidentially. Do not do couples counselling. Also consult an attorney to review your options in the case of divorce. She's most likely already done so. You'll be blindsided if you don't start getting your ducks in a row legally, financially and emotionally. If by some miracle things change, at least you'll be well informed and in a better place mentally.
    Thanks for the wake up call regarding my finances. Iíve procrastinated on this subject due to fear of her wrath, which Iíve experienced before.

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