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8 Months ago my wife (36F) of 15 years told me (38M) she wanted to leave but now she doesn't know what she wants. What do I do?


Grommet
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7 minutes ago, sadsan said:

@SherrySher Thank you do much 🙂 its just good know that I'm not completely crazy for thinking this isn't right.

You're welcome. Please take care of yourself. It's one thing to have to deal with a divorce, it's another to have to endure this kind of suffering and be put through false hope over and over.

It's no wonder you have anxiety....anyone would.

As for controlling, you're not controlling. When things are out of our control and when life gets to be difficult, like this situation, it makes sense to try to find some kind of help and to find ways to cope.

That's what you did. Don't let her confuse you into thinking you're doing something wrong.

She is manipulating the situation, and doing a good job of it.

But you are paying the price. 

I hope there is a resolution to this situation sooner, rather than later.

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Your anxiety is telling you that this is a situation you do need to address and get out of. Your body is literally sending you a physical reaction trying to force you to act instead of sitting in limbo in denial. The way forward isn't to medicate yourself and stay, but to take action and file for divorce.

Also, have you considered that there is someone else? It sounds an awful lot like your wife is busy gaslighting you and blame shifting everything to you which is typical of cheaters. Whoever said that her parents probably told her some harsh realities that lead to the fight and either her leaving or getting kicked out is correct.

You've made too many excuses for her bad behavior as "oh it's depression" when more likely it's just lack of character. She is never going to go to a doctor and get help because she knows who she really is and that can't be fixed.

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23 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

I hate to say this but, she wants out, it's that financially she can't, so she puts on a charade that she doesn't know what she wants...be friendly with you as you don't kick her out. She does know what she wants...she just discovered how difficult it is to make this happen. If she came into some money, she be down the road already.  So as she sits there in the house, sleeping in your bed, she's weighing her options, and biding her time. It take two to repair a marriage...she's not a willing participant so what do you really have? Me personally wouldn't lift a finger,  that she can figure this out on her own. In the meantime contact a lawyer.  It's tough, and very sad. Take time out for yourself, and take care of YOU and the kids.

That hits hard but you're right, if she had the money she'd have already moved out. She's not staying around because of me or we'd not be in this mess in the first place.

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28 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

Your body is literally sending you a physical reaction trying to force you to act instead of sitting in limbo in denial. The way forward isn't to medicate yourself and stay, but to take action and file for divorce.

Also, have you considered that there is someone else? It sounds an awful lot like your wife is busy gaslighting you and blame shifting everything to you which is typical of cheaters.

I have to agree with DF.  I did want to ask that question too. Is there possibly some one else on the horizon? 

And I agree with this too.

29 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

She is never going to go to a doctor and get help because she knows who she really is and that can't be fixed.

Don't let her spin you around in circles like this. You will have to take that difficult but ultimate decision OP.

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I think you have to choose to take care of yourself.  And by that I mean force her hand. Talk to an attorney figure out the financials, make a plan, execute the plan.

What's she's doing is total BS! 

she can't have her cake and eat it, too. There will be marital assets to split and that will help her get started but she's going to work hard to start over.  Just as you are.  

Save yourself from being used.  It stinks... no doubt about it.  but your self esteem will benefit from you choosing you. 

 

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1 hour ago, sadsan said:

That hits hard but you're right, if she had the money she'd have already moved out.

It seems she thinks "you're controlling"? What does she mean by that? 

 None of this makes sense in that if she divorces you she doesn't have to wait to move out because once the marriage is dissolved the assets are divided. Additionally you will have to pay for child support. You are well aware of this, no?

Also you can not force anyone to go to a doctor or control and threaten them with ultimatums. If she states 'she's depressed' you can not make that diagnosis and insist she see a doctor or therapist.

Basically it seems like she's unhappy being a SAHM feeling broke and controlled and fled to her parents.

You seem more annoyed that she wants separate bedrooms, but there's a lot of marital conflict behind that, that is not revealed in these posts.

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5 hours ago, Grommet said:

Self diagnosed. We've spoken about her depression a lot over the years and we've talked about her going to the doctors or therapy and she always agreed that it would be a good idea but its not something she's ever explored any further.

Well, we can't help those who don't want to help themselves 😕 , We can only do so much..

So, IF this is her only solution, instead of trying again, then is there any way you can support her with at least looking at renting a room to start?

Explain you two can look into something like this, BUT she should maybe push her studies aside for now, because IF she is wanting out, then she should look for a job.. in order to get out of this... and for YOUR own sanity.

( I'm not sure if she were to get a gov't grant to do her studies - or if this is available?) . If so, then she may be able to get by with this assistance.. Not sure?

Either way, if this is done, is time to consider more distance in order to work on accepting & healing.

 

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Lying down and letting her step on you is not a way to get her to fall back in love with you. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

I have to wonder if there's another man she has her eye on.

Anyway, bottom line, you can't fix a marriage by yourself. I recommend going forward with the mindset that a divorce is imminent. See a legal professional and find out what your rights and responsibilities are. You do not want to be blindsided when she hits you with divorce papers.

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1 hour ago, lostandhurt said:

Walking on eggshells around her, being a doormat, kissing her butt, agreeing to ridiculous demands, giving up your bedroom, acting like everything is fine, acting like a happy married couple when you are not, trying to be a perfect husband and most importantly putting your life on hold while she holds your heart hostage.

 You need to begin to look into divorce where you live so you at least have some knowledge as you decide what to do and when to do it.  The unknown is scary so educate yourself so the fear will be the  least of your worries.

A terrific post, Lost!  Every word. 

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24 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

So, IF this is her only solution, instead of trying again, then is there any way you can support her with at least looking at renting a room to start?

No, no, no he should not do anything such until he actually talks to a couple of good divorce lawyers and gets proper advice on what he can and can't do and how. These kinds of actions can have severe financial repercussions on the OP come divorce, which is imminent, whether he likes it or not.

As for her studies and whatever, that is no longer his problem. If she no longer wants to be a wife then she needs to go get a job and figure out how she will support herself on her own.

If her husband is so bad and controlling, then she needs to leave instead of enjoying his friendship, companionship, and money. If she insists on playing games, then unfortunately, the OP does need to get the ball rolling by talking to divorce lawyers and getting informed about things and gearing up for parting ways. He can't keep bending over backwards trying to please someone who doesn't want to be pleased.

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11 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

Sad,

 I have seen this many times and lived this myself.

This was originally called Walk Away Wife Syndrome but more accurately would be Walk Away Spouse Syndrome.  Google it.

So she is unhappy with her life and she cannot blame the kids and it cannot be her fault so who is left to lay the blame on?  Exactly, you are to blame for all the things she has missed out on and you are to blame for her unhappiness.  Her solution is to get rid of you and poof! she is happy.  The only problem is you aren't the problem she is.

Time after time she has had the chance to go see a doctor or seek help somehow but she never does.  The plans for her to go back to school requires her to ACTUALLY make the plans, research classes and register but she hasn't.  Do you see a theme here?

There have been numerous men and a few women that have been on this forum over the years that had the same thing happen to them.  The spouse wants out but never really leaves even if they move out they still linger in the relationship like a security blanket of sorts.  You are now her security, her bank, her housing manager, food, entertainment and friend but you are not her husband in her eyes.

  This is the doormat phase where you think if you could just do better somehow she would change her mind.  If you let her do what ever she wants and kiss her butt she will snap out of it and things would be okay.  The only way she is going to snap out of anything is with a healthy dose of reality.  You see she has built this fantasy in her imagined mind of how wonderful her life will be once you are out of it.  The thing is this fantasy life is missing a lot of reality like most fantasies. Kids, rent, a job and on and on.  This is why she doesn't want to see a therapist or marriage counselor because she is afraid they will ruin her fantasy with logic and reality.

What can you do?  At this point there is nothing you can do because the more you try the higher she will build the wall she has constructed between you.  When you try and work on the marriage she sees it as an attack on her whole premise so she fortifies her defenses.  She is the one that needs to start tearing down the wall, not you.

  Unfortunately these things rarely work out the way you are hoping, I am sorry.  Acceptance will be your friend in all this and when you can begin to accept that she is no longer the woman you fell in love with the sooner you can begin to move towards what is best for you and the children.

If you like I can send you a few links to threads on here from a ways back of people going through what you are.  Perhaps you can glean something from them. 

  I can't tell you what will work but I can tell you what will NOT work. Walking on eggshells around her, being a doormat, kissing her butt, agreeing to ridiculous demands, giving up your bedroom, acting like everything is fine, acting like a happy married couple when you are not, trying to be a perfect husband and most importantly putting your life on hold while she holds your heart hostage.

 You need to begin to look into divorce where you live so you at least have some knowledge as you decide what to do and when to do it.  The unknown is scary so educate yourself so the fear will be the  least of your worries.

  Lost

OP, read and reread Lost's reply. This is excellent advice.

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  • 10 months later...
On 8/23/2021 at 11:03 PM, Grommet said:

This whole thing has really taken it's toll on me and I've ended up going to therapy for myself and I'm currently taking Sertraline to help with anxiety. 

We've spoken about therapy a lot but she just doesn't seem to want to make that first step and I feel like I cant force her to do it because she'll view it as me being controlling again.

I'm sorry that this happened to you. I also suffer from depression (diagnosed) and from my perspective, she seems to be taking financial advantage of you whilst knowing she wants to divorce you. Divorce is not something to be taken lightly, so if this was out of the blue for you, she probably thought it through for quite a while to begin with. But then again, depression can really mess with our heads, so it's also to an extent justifiable if she really doesn't know what she wants. I don't think it's worth you sacrificing your mental health for this, yes you can still have love for her and want her to be well, but she's not your responsibility, and you need to prioritize yourself before anyone, because that's the only way you can be strong for the people around you. From what you're saying, you already did everything you could, now it's up to her on whether to take on the help or not. You can't help someone that doesn't want to help themself

I'm a 22 year old that has never been married, so maybe take my advice with a grain of salt, but @SherrySher summarized it perfectly, do you want to rip the band-aid off, have it hurt for now, but potentially have a better future? Or do you want to stay comfortable now, but knowing it'll be a lingering issue until she makes up her mind? I know it's been almost a year since this post was typed up, but no matter which decision you made, or have yet to make, I wish you the best of luck and all happiness in life 🙂

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