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Could really use some support/opinions/advice...


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Okay, this might be long! Coffee and doughnuts for anyone who gets to the end...


I have posted a couple of times before but this is my full story...


My husband left me five weeks ago. As far as I am concerned it 'came out of a clear blue sky' as they say... I had no idea he was unhappy (I knew he was very stressed at work and had been for some time and I knew he was having issues with his Father, but I had absolutely no idea he was unhappy in our marriage). We have been together exactly seven years (almost to the day) and have been married for four of those years. Our relationship was good - not perfect obviously, or this wouldn't have happened - but compared to a lot of marriages I thought we had it pretty good. We are great friends, have loads in common, have a laugh when we are together... maybe we weren't that passionate anymore but there was still romance and fun. I think the biggest 'problem', although I didn't see it as a problem until now when I am looking back with the clarity of hindsight, is that we didn't spend enough time together....


We have always both been quite independent and done our own things - I saw this as perfectly healthy, we didn't need to live in each other's pockets - when we did have time together it was good, we had fun. We were ALWAYS saying we WANTED more time together it just seemed hard when we both lead such busy lives. The fact of not spending enough time together was both our 'faults' if we want to talk about fault but mostly mine. For the last few years I have been building up my own business and it has taken up an immense amount of my time and energy. We both work long hours but I would get in as late as 9pm at night and then spend another two hours upstairs on the computer still working, when he would be downstairs and generally he would cook and shout me when dinner was ready - I'd come down and eat and then most often fall asleep on the sofa exhausted. I saw this as a temporary situation and didn't expect things would always be that way... I was only working as hard as I was because I was desperate to get to a point where I could contribute financially, as my husband has been supporting me financially ever since I left my well paid job to move several hundred miles to live near his family. Now I don't regret that, the training I have done and setting up my new business has been fantastic but it was a joint decision for us to move near his family (when he lost his Mum) and we knew me leaving my job would mean he would be the main bread winner for some time.


What I realise now is that without me realising it my husband has brewed a whole heap of resentment. He HATES his job but has done it ever since he left school (incidentally is very good at it) and feels there is nothing else he could do that would pay the bills - so I guess he has felt trapped. Meanwhile, although I have been working v hard, I do for work what I also do for love (I work with rehabilitating troubled horses) and so as far as it must have seemed to him I was just swanning around, having a lovely time with horses... not really contributing financially (because I was still paying myself back for training and equipment I had to pay out to get business up and running) and not really contributing round the house very much either because I was never there. I can see (now) how that would have made him resentful... but he never ever said so.


Just before he left, I had gone through two months of being around even less than normal - I had a run of competing on consecutive weekends with my horses, and then was given two amazing career oppurtunities in short succession so was away a lot, which meant when I was home I had to work even harder than ever. I think it must have been hard for him seeing me having, what must have seemed to him like a 'ball'. I ALWAYS told him how much I appreciated his support and that I knew I couldn't be doing what I was doing without him so it's not like I took it for granted. He always encouraged me in both my work and competing and never ever said he begrudged that time.


However now he has gone...he says there is no-one else and I believe him. He says he felt second best to the horses, which I can see how he felt that way... but he never ever was... he said he felt resentment but didn't specify in what way (I assume it's what I have figured out as above) and he said I didn't 'contribute enough' again he couldn't/wouldn't specify but I assume he means financially and around the house, with my time etc and that he just felt 'it would have been more' i.e. he would have got more out of the relationship


The thing is, he never ever gave me a hint of any of this until the day he announced it was over for good (basically by text message). If he had ever given me any hint I would have done anything to put things right, and I still would. I immediately offered to sell all but one of my horses, give up my work etc etc but it seems nothing will make any difference. Once he has made his mind up about something he can be very stubborn.


When he originally left he went with an overnight bag and said he needed time to think about what he wanted/understand how he felt. He left a half eaten sandwhich in the fridge, hardly the actions of a man who knows he is going for good?? It took three days before he came back to tell me he wanted to end our marriage. He says he had been thinking about it a long time but nothing about his behaviour actually supports this. He had recently taken out a big loan (he is not someone who would take on debt lightly as he is a financial advisor) to buy me a new 4x4 and did this in a really really romantic way - driving hundreds of miles to get the car in my favourite shade of blue and wrapped the keys up for me to find as a surprise in my horses shelter. He had also just payed for us to go on an amazing holiday which we had been planning for weeks and were both really excited about. (He ended up going on holiday without me) The week he left he had a really hard week at work, he said he felt like he had been fighting all week. He also met up with an old friend who apparently said 'mate, you sound like you are full of resentment' and he said it just hit him that he was...


So I think he made a snap decision and is now standing by it. Here's the thing though... he seems miserable. I have seen him only twice when he has come back to our house to get things and both times, he has got tearful. He is NOT a man who shows his emotions easily. Mutual friends who have seen him say he looks done in/broken. He told me he is spending a lot of time at church (never done so before) and at his Mothers grave.


He will talk (by text) practicalities i.e. selling the house, mortgage, car, dog, holiday (he went without me) etc but I have so many questions I feel I need answers to. I have known from day one that if I push I will push him further away so I have made no contact unless he contacts me apart from writing him one letter to tell him how I felt the day after he left. I really believe we could work this out, if he was prepared to try, but I don't know what to do. He is full steam ahead on splitting up the mortgage and bank accounts etc and I still don't understand HOW or WHY this has even happened.


I read the LAST RESORT thing someone had mentioned on here and I have instinctively done what it says i.e. not chasing (one letter is hardly chasing), not saying I love you (since the first week) and quietly getting on with my life... but he is no longer in my life so how can he see that I am getting on with my life and for them to notice you have stopped chasing do you need to have done some chasing in the first place? Does it seem to him like I have given up without a fight? There is so much I want to say to him but I know if I keep contacting him I will push him further away. I was initially doing really well with not contacting him but it is getting harder and harder. He wants me to get the house valued and if I am going to stay here I need to talk to the mortgage company and find a lodger... but I don't want to do these things because it is sending us further down the road where we can't turn back... Would anyone here try and make one last contact to say - look before I find a lodger and change the mortgage etc couldn't we just try to even talk about our differences? This is a marriage after all. And the reasons he has given seem like what he really wanted was MORE with/from me, not LESS of me... and then there is the fact of how unhappy he seems? Surely if he is the dumper and he has done the right thing he should be happy?


I am so sorry this is long... but I am going out of my mind going over and over all this. I have always been very strong and my friends and family keep saying 'wow we can't believe how strong you are being' but I don't feel strong, I feel like a mess.

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First of all -- sorry for what you're going through.


I would just do what you are doing right now. Keep on w/ your life, etc. and don't be in a big hurry to "get everything split". It could be that he is frustrated with himself, not really you and the marriage....but he hasn't figured that out yet. I wouldn't push the talking, as you know that it will push him farther away.


Just let him have more space and time. There is a reason most states mandate a 9 month to 1 yr separation -- it gets the emotions on a more stable plane.

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Thanks mhowe it's very difficult - he has been very reasonable and said he will keep paying the mortgage and to take as long as I need but I can't expect him to pay the bills and the mortgage on a house he isn't living in forever. So I think I have to get on with the practical side of splitting stuff up but then if he does realise at some point that he has pushed away the one good thing in his life - there will be nothing to go back to as we will have sold up and moved on.


I think you are right by the way - my feeling is that he was just generally unhappy... and couldn't identify what specifically has made him so unhappy. Interestingly the 'reasons' he has given are very similar things to the things his Dad had been moaning about his girlfriend! They split up a week after us!! So I'm not even unsure his reasons were original ideas. I think he was unhappy, his Dad was unhappy, and he thought 'yeah that applies to me too' and projected all his unhappy feelings on to us and our relationship when really there is much more to it than that - grief (he never dealt very well with losing his Mum), his Father was also then diagnosed with cancer and he feels he has been there for his Dad but his dad has chucked it back in his face...and being seriously stressed by his job.


He can't push his job away - he needs the money

He can't push his Dad away - he's his dad

He can push me away...


But only he can realise what he has done. And he may never do. Meanwhile I am genuinely heart broken (I never knew what that phrase meant before - I am actually having heart palpitations and went to the Doctor today and she said yes, it's stress caused by a grief reaction)

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But only he can realise what he has done.


You can't force this realization on him. If the marriage (and you) are what he wants, he will realize it, in his own time.


I know that isn't much comfort, but I think you're doing the right thing. You've told him that he didn't come in second, and if you get another chance, you'll have to show it to him, because words without action are just empty words - but you'll have to let him give you that chance, which is something he may or may not do.


Grieve, go through the motions, try your best to keep your chin up and go on with life. Don't be afraid to seek out a counselor, or write in a journal, or even reach out here or elsewhere... it's a part of the healing process, and it's far better than bottling it up.

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have you guys had a proper discussion? did he say whether he loves you still?


quite honestly, i think he's had enough space. if i was you and i KNEW i was in the wrong and i still love him... i would be really making sure he knows this. i don't believe in fighting for someone or trying to convince someone to love you. but i DO believe that if you have done something that has caused another pain, then you try your best to let that person know that you are aware of it, and that you are ready to make amends.


he may not feel that he loves you anymore but by the sounds of things he still does- yeah i would definitely try to work this out with him. he needs to see now that actually YOU DO love him too and you are willing to place him at the top of your priorities.

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You poor thing. As you know Our stories are so similar- I can't help but think along the same lines as you- i.e. He can push you away but I don't know whether that is healthy or not. It's easy to believe other things in this situation rather than the fact that they no longer want to be with us. Maybe they really are confused (my ex had a lot of other life issues getting him down too - easy to blame it on someone else (us) rather than take responsibility for yourself and your own problems) or maybe they are just too cowardly to say? I wouldn't have thought my ex was a coward, but a lot of his behavior is perplexing me at the moment - maybe this is the same for your husband too?


I'm so sorry that he hasn't come home yet. I'm praying my boyfriend will realize he's made a mistake by walking away without trying to sort things out, but I doubt it now because I've just found out he has started dating another girl- something he said to me he is not and would not do for a long time. He says he is feeling doubt about it, but if was that doubtful, he wouldn't do it.


It's easy to think that they are depressed and not in their right mind - which I still believe about my boyfriend to a certain extent, but regardless of that, they are still doing what they are doing. Going ahead with their decisions.


You are already trying your best so I'm not going to give you advice I.e. work on yourself etc because I know with the state you are in, this is futile. All I can say is surround yourself with people who do love you and can give you even a little comfort. This is a really hideous thing to have to go through and I would not wish it upon anyone so I'm sorry it's hurting you like this too, sometimes life is unfair and unkind.

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have you guys had a proper discussion? did he say whether he loves you still?


No, not at all... the first I knew there was a problem was a couple of text messages, then he came to tell me it was over - he was here (at our home on Halloween night) for less than an hour. Just you know - it's over but we will need to talk about the practical stuff in due course. I tried to ask him specifically what had caused this and he kept saying he didn't want it to turn into a 'knocking you session'. So he wanted to tell me our marriage was over but he didn't want to tell me anything hurtful?


I asked - are you telling me you don't love me? And he said Yes.

I asked - are you saying you want a divorce? H e said he guessed that was the only way forward.


Since then we have had one brief text conversation (which he initiated but only on a practical level) - he would take around 24 hours to reply and then not in any depth. he said he would try to answer my questions but some of it was just the way he felt.


After two weeks he came back to get some stuff and he was here just over an hour - we both said we were so sorry this had happened but we didn't talk about why it has..


We have NEVER at any point - shouted or screamed, got angry, said anything nasty to one another.


The thing is, I don't believe him when he says he doesn't love me any more. And neither do any of our friends.


Qoute: yeah i would definitely try to work this out with him.


I KNOW I want to work this out with him... I would do ANYTHING... but how? He just doesn't seem like he wants to talk? I think the more I try and talk to him about feelings the more he will want to run away.


But the thing nagging at me is - if he left because he basically felt NEGLECTED... is leaving him to have his space really the right thing to do???

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From your story, I can see that he felt neglected. Because he was. But that really doesn't seem to be the issue.


My bf broke up w/ me last year in the midst of a bunch of incredibly stressful things --- family, work, $$, health. And he did what your husband did: "My feelings for you have changed, I don't want to lead you on, I need to take a break". I asked if he wanted to talk about it: NO Do you not want to work on saving it? NO.



I left him alone -- call it NC --- call it letting go w/ love ---- and 4 months later, he came back. It wasn't about us, it wasn't about me. It was about him and his life imploding and him having to fix it.


You have to let him be. He will figure it out --- he just doesn't know what "it" is right now. But it really isn't you...

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However now he has gone...he says there is no-one else and I believe him. He says he felt second best to the horses, which I can see how he felt that way... but he never ever was... he said he felt resentment but didn't specify in what way (I assume it's what I have figured out as above) and he said I didn't 'contribute enough' again he couldn't/wouldn't specify but I assume he means financially and around the house, with my time etc and that he just felt 'it would have been more' i.e. he would have got more out of the relationship


I agree with MHowe. I read a story of a woman whose husband did this after 17 years together. She said she wanted to be with him but let him go. Anyway, he came back after two years. I think he needs space (after you've told him that you do want to be with him). Just let it go.


Hugs. I am soo sorry.

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DN - I don't believe him because when he came to tell me it was over, he couldn't look at me, he was physically wincing; the two times he has been to collect belongings HE has been very close to tears and he never cries. I can tell he still cares about me from the little he has said - he has said I will have more than half of everything (I do NOT want his money, this is not the issue) and he won't see me struggle financially and he has just generally shown a lot of care - I know that sounds weird when he has walked out on me. I am not saying he is in love with me right now, obviously he isn't but I believe he still cares about me and therefore I think surely there is hope? We shared a lot together.


To everyone else, thanks for replying. I have totally totally left him alone up till now BUT I am feeling very conflicted about this. I don't want to look back in five years time and think 'I should have fought harder for us'. Equally, I don't want to look back in five years time and think 'if I had left him well alone might he have come back on his own?' How do you not go mad going round and round in these circles?!!! I totally understand about not chasing but we haven't even had a proper conversation? I can't see how I can begin to move on until I understand how or why this happened in the first place.........

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Boy, if ever there was circumstances when NC or letting him 'realize he misses you' were the exact wrong thing to do, then this is it. He's left because you've let him be (except when you came down to eat his cooking...). Do you really think that's the way to get him back? And just saying 'I'll give up (most...) of my business for you' is not going to cut it after so many years of neglect. I'd say it was worse than neglect based on your description. Not only did you not pay him much attention, but, he supported you financially and cooked for you?!? You're going to have to go after him. If he's worth it to you, then you're going to have to take some risks. At least write him a letter in which you describe how your lives will be if he would be willing to give things another try. And that description should be dramatically different from the way in which your life was. Maybe you'll need to make a dramatic do or die gesture. Sell your business if he's worth it to you.

Or, let him go and focus on building your business. And when you find another man, make sure you don't make the same mistakes you did in this one.

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I'm not advocating never speaking to him again -- but let the emotions calm down a bit. If you ask him "why" right now, he doesn't have the answers. Just being apart will give him time to set his head straight.


I'm also not saying you aren't part of the problem. But the issues w/ you could be addressed. He is unhappy with the totality of his life --- and he isn't sure right now how to fix it.

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I'm not for one moment saying I'm not part of the problem... I can see very clearly that I was and have never at any time claimed I wasn't.


But to defend myself to Doofus - I wasn't the only one doing my own thing... he joined the TA 18 months ago and was going out to Afghan next year or the one after, he was going to be away for the best part of a year... so I needed to have my own things to focus on to get me through that time which was coming. He has been away training with the Army just as much as I have been away with the horses, and he has been away with his Dad and to see his best mate who lives accross the pond. So we BOTH did our own thing. Also, he went to the pub most nights (after walking the dog) so it seemed to make sense for me to work in the evenings and then it became a bit of a habit. I am not saying I was the perfect wife... but he also never ever told me how he was feeling.


I HAVE said I would give up my business (I can't now as it is the only thing going to keep a roof over my head) - I have already re-homed one of my horses....

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I wasn't being judgemental --- just going on what you were saying about how things were. And it seems like if he could have said something/anything --- that you could have changed your behavior. That he didn't say anything, that he bought you a huge present....and now....that he was planning on going to Afgan next year.....I think he is all over the place.


I don't think he knows what he wants.

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I apologize if I sounded judgmental or harsh. I know that it takes two to both make and break a relationship. Like mhowe, I based my comments on your account of your relationship and break up. I still think you should go after him, if he's what you want. Not forever, and, not with expectations of immediate success. I think, though, that, and, again, based only on your description, it's likely he feels neglected, that you're too independent (did you express any kind of objections to him going away, or did you take the news well when he told you he was leaving for Asia?) and he's pissed, really pissed about it. If you make an effort now, it will probably not work, but, it will work on his mind over the next months even years. If he does love you under all the anger, and sees that you do love him and are willing to change to make things work, he may come back eventually when he's not so angry anymore.

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No I know you weren't and I didn't mean to sound defensive - just stating a fact: I know I f@~**d it up and that's part of why it is so painful.


Yes, if he had ever said how he was feeling I would have done ANYTHING to change things... but you can't fix something that you don't know is broken!


My parents came and stayed for a week about six weeks before he left, they drove away saying 'Oh it's lovely -they are so happy together'. They had spent a week living in our house and even they had no idea he was unhappy... our friends all thought we were the 'golden couple who were sickeningly happy... he waved me off to work EVERY morning... I had not one INKLING that he wasn't happy...


It's only now looking back that I see I wasn't around enough to keep the fire alight but we are both very driven workaholic people...


I agree - I don't think he knows what he wants either.


Sadly, I know exactly what I want - it's him. Always has been

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I think that fighting for someone often doesn't work when the person has seemingly made his final decision. She did already make it clear what she is willing to do. If he asks for space, she needs to respect.


A letter may not be a bad idea. It's up to you. But space is needed ... for him to reflect upon your offer and his decision. Pursuing would be pushing.

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Thanks for the replies...


To answer questions - the 'being still' is a good idea... and my heart says I have to talk to him, just once, a full and frank discussion before I can even think about starting to move on and do the things he wants me to do like get the house valued... we are going to have to have communication about the practical things anyway...


I am not going to pursue on and on... But I would regret more looking back and thinking 'what if I had tried harder' than looking back and thinking 'well I tried and it still wasn't enough'. I have given him nearly six weeks of complete space and for my own sanity I just want to say my 'bit' and hear what his reasons really are. When he told me it was over he wouldn't get in to specifics... it was like he was trying to protect my feelings but there is nothing he could say that will hurt me anymore than I am already hurting...


And to Doofus - he knew that I wasn't happy about his decision to join the TA and go away to Afghan but i tried to be supportive because I knew it was something he felt he needed to do... and he had been so supportive of the things I wanted to do.. I couldn't completely hide my feelings and say I loved the idea as that would have been a lie, but I was as supportive as possible... a lot of my friends said they would have said it was the TA or them... and I certainly never would have done that...

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