This is obviously an alternate ID but I would love to hear from anyone else who has been through this.
Background: I am relatively young, been married for a little more than 5 years. Been with my SO for more than 10 years. Yes, we got together young. I have always been very clear about my goals and I'm usually the kind that will go get something I want. My SO is a wonderful person, kind, attractive and generous. I have been in love with them for many years.
A few weeks ago, I came home one day and they just told me that they didn't love me anymore and wanted to separate. Regardless of the circumstances I am devastated. I'm not interested in theories on why this is happening, that is up to us to figure out.
However, my question is this: is it possible to separate and reconcile? How did you get past the hurt of someone wanting to leave you to get back together? If your SO were to want to separate from you, do you think that you would be able to get back together with them?
I'm trying to decide if separation = divorce for me or if I think that I could be patient and try to see if they want to work through it.
I'm still very emotional, I'm a complete wreck. I have wonderful support from friends and family but now I need to decide what is good for me. Like I said, I still love my SO very dearly and want to spend my life with them but when do I just take the pain and move on?
The two couples I know who separated and reconciled had stresses/issues external to the marriage they were taking out on each other. The love was there; it was just clouded over with life's frustrations. Separation, in those cases reawakened their appreciation for one another and help them weed out the irrelevant garbage. By all appearances, their marriages are stronger than they were before.
Every instance I'm personally aware of where one spouse told the other they were no longer in love included cheating and affairs. "I don't love you anymore" appears to be code speak for "I'm in love with someone else". I've seen the marriages of 3 co-workers dissolve on those terms. It seems like the folks who just can't get along don't beat around the bush discussing it, but just separate, file, and get it over with.
I know it may not be helpful because you just had the world kicked out from under you.. but think about it, this guy just came out of the blue to do this, someone you trusted to be with you. Id have a hard time with trust after that..ever. What if it was 20 years of marriage , when you are not young anymore. Id be pissed- and hurt-- but pissed is better IMO. At least you know his backbone now. Therapy will only do so much, but if he already has no qualms about dropping bombs...whose to say he wont do it again.
It depends on the two people and the circumstances, but you can get together again after a separation and sometimes it makes the marriage stronger. I know of cases like this. I also know that in my case, our separation led to divorce. I recommend counseling either way, to help both of you figure it out. It is a painful process, but it can help you grow as a person and as a couple. And, even though we had children to deal with, my ex and I are much happier apart and the kids survived. Sometimes it is for the best. I feel for you. Just know that you can and will get through it, no matter what the outcome, and you will be happy again one day. Big hugs...
I, too, married very young. And after about 5 or so years into the marriage we hit a huge bump - doesn't matter 'why' but I was the one questioning whether or not I wanted to stay married. For the record, it did not involve having an affair for either of us - just 'life' stuff.
I still loved my DH, he still loved me - but we decided to separate with no contact other than our weekly marriage counselling sessions (which didn't help one hoot by the way). After about 6 months, we decided to try again - mainly because each of us realized that we did indeed love each other and wanted to be together. It wasn't easy for several months, but I grew up and learned what 'commitment' really meant - and that was 33 years ago. Our 38th anniversary is coming up soon.
I would hope that each of you tries to work it out - sometimes you hit bumps due to each other's personal growth spurts but it usually turns out ok. My DH gave me lots of space and enough time to figure it out, and loved me throughout it all. I've never looked back (We had no kids either to complicate things.) It is apparent in your post that you love your spouse....I wouldn't rush into a divorce.
Did you marry my ex? I got married at 20, to someone I thought was the love of my life. Five yrs into the marriage, we went out to a bar, and played pool with some coworkers. At work the next day, my boss (coworker who played pool with us the night before), asked me if everything was ok with DH and I. I said yes and asked why he asked. He mumbled, and stammered, and seemed flustered. Pressed, he told me my DH told him that he wanted a divorce.
When I confronted my DH, he told me that yes, he did, and it was because, I didn't clean behind the washer and dryer and stove weekly. I told him, I would do that if that would make him happy (I was young, stupid, and in love). He said, "No" that wouldn't be the same, because he'd know I was just doing it because he wanted me to (well, yeahh,duuuhh). So we went to marriage counselling, and supposedly worked things out. He said he didn't know why he felt that way, and wanted to stay together.
So then I went TDY (I was military), for 6 months and made arrangements to come home for Valentines. When I told him I was looking forward to seeing him, he told me that my coming home was kind of an inconvenience, as he'd have to rearrange his schedule (working out, flying). Once home, I felt like an unwelcome house guest, so I talked to him and we decided to divorce. He told me he had just married me because he had certain goals he wanted to attain, at certain times, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and that he was never attracted to blondes (me).
Once I left, to go back to my TDY base, I kind of accepted things. Then I came home (We were waiting until I got out of the military to file for divorce) for 30 days, we basically each did our own thing, then I went TDY for another 6 months. By this time, I had accepted that we'd divorce. Then he started calling me saying he missed me and really wanted to get back together and he didn't know why he had said those things. So I came back from the TDY, got out of the military, and found out that things hadn't changed.
I was walking on eggshells around him, keeping the house immaculate, not letting him catch me reading noneducational books (he thought I should only read things educational...not fictional novels), and just feeling on edge. He left before Thanksgiving to go to his hometown for flight training, and called to tell me he decided to stay there over thanksgiving even though that meant I'd spend it by myself, and hadn't seen him for 6 weeks. I realized that while he was gone, I was so much more relaxed, and happier. I'd had enough and told him to stay there permanently.
He came back after Thanksgiving, and moved out. We filed for divorce on my Birthday, and it was final 4 days later.
The kicker is after he moved out of state, he called me 3 months later and asked if I wanted a roommate. I asked "who" and he said "me", because he figured we knew each other and it would be convenient. I said "No", and that I divorced him because I didn't want to live with him/be with him. He got really pissed off at me for being "mean".
I would recommend to the OP that they try marriage counselling, but ask yourself if you are happier with or without him. Getting rid of the stress of being with someone that makes you walk on eggshells, is priceless. I met someone else (current DH), and have now been with them for 19 yrs and couldn't be happier. And I still don't clean behind the washer and dryer weekly!
Last edited by jetsmom; Oct. 10, 2011 at 04:40 PM.
Do you really love your SO any longer? Or are you just used to the life you have now and don't want to turn your life upside down? Sometimes the status quo can be less scary than moving, or other changes, and starting over would be. I think it boils down to the classic Dear Abby question "Are you better off with him or without him?"
IME "I'm not in love with you" means "I'm in love (or think I am) with someone else." I have a friend who's husband told her this, then admitted to having an "emotional" affair and was confused. She moved out and the girlfriend moved in, within less than a month.
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Of course it is possible to separate and reconcile. However, you may find after some time on your own, that is not what you want to do.
My ex wanted to come back a couple of months after he left. Although I was completely devastated when he left (and still am to a degree), I told him I did not want to reconcile. Not because I couldn't get over the hurt of what he had done but because there was no indication he took any responsibility for the death of the relationship. All he wanted to know how I was going to change to make him happier the second time around. No thanks.
Good luck OP. As others have said, take care of yourself.
I was (as TheJenners said) trying to remain a little more anonymous. There is one SO.
We have done counseling, SO says they don't like the counselor, I offer to find someone else, they say ok but have never gone back.
I do believe I still love the SO but the longer they leave me in limbo, the less and less sure I am. My mother said to me that I deserve someone who is interested in me, wants to spend the time with me, wants to know me and be involved in my life. and you know? I don't even know what that would feel like. Admittedly, it is intriguing.
Jetsmom - you are so right. I worry all the time about saying the wrong thing, in the wrong tone, not acting in the "correct" way.
I don't think there is someone else but I could be wrong. SO is a terrible liar and when I asked point blank, the answer was no. Limbo is a terrible place to be and thank you all for your support.
Not exactly MARRIAGE related but close- I just told my bf this weekend, that although I love him, I just can't be with him anymore. So I am moving home. I know I broke his heart, but it just was not working anymore, neither of us was trying to stay together, to stay an "US" instead of a you or me. Plus we were just awkward together most of the time, and had a severe lack of communication, neither of us would actually talk about the relationship, and everytime i said something, he would ignore me and hope my feelings would change or that they would "go away". BTW for what its worth- this was the 2nd time we have dated with a 5 year gap in the middle.
Walternate-Your mother is right. And you deserve to be valued for the person you are, and not have to change to suit someone else. Your SO must have liked the person you were, so why do they think changing the rules now is right? I've always said that people don't just leave, but leave to go to a situation or a person that suits them better. The old saying about the grass is always greener is true.
My husband and I separated last Spring, but before I moved out we agreed to actively work on our relationship and try to fix it before making any permanent decisions. We went to counseling, both as a couple and individually as well. After a lot of hard work and soul searching on both of our parts I moved back home. The work continues, but we do have a much stronger relationship now. We both learned a lot about ourselves that we didn't previously know and have learned how to communicate with eachother (and trust me, not everyone communicates in the same manner so figuring out how your partner takes things and what they mean when they say things is key). There are still bumps in the road, but I can honestly say that our separation and resulting work was worth it in the end.
That being said, every relationship is unique and while we can pull from other's experiences, it is really up to us to decide what is best for our situation. Our law firm only handles family law cases and one of the first things we tell our clients and potential clients is to get into counseling - not just couples counseling (as so many people suggest) but individual counseling as well so you can really figure out what YOU want separate and apart from what your spouse wants.
I wish you the best in whatever you decide. Give yourself time to really process things and play out different scenarios in your head. And if it appears that divorce is looming, take this time to get yourself organized (gather financial statements, inventory your property, et cetera).
My mother said to me that I deserve someone who is interested in me, wants to spend the time with me, wants to know me and be involved in my life. and you know? I don't even know what that would feel like.
Here's your sign...
I was engaged to a guy who was none of these things, I loved him and he said he loved me but in the end I was feeling more and more alone in the relationship and we were fighting all the time. It was hard to admit it was over, but after a few months apart I was so glad it was over. I didn't realize how toxic things had become when I was standing in the middle of it.
Fast forward to now, about 18 months later, and I have met someone who is a far far better match for me. We can both be ourselves and we are genuinely interested in each others lives. He is divorced and we both comment frequently how nice of a change it is to have a spouse that's interested and wants to spend time together. It's amazing how much stress that takes off of both of us, we don't feel like we need to censor ourselves or try to justify the time and expense of our hobbies and interests. We like to say we speak each others brand of crazy...
Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...