Our little daughter is 16 months old now, and since she was born, the relationship between my wife and I has slipped away. We never used to argue, then we were arguing the whole time. I lost my job just after the baby was born, and my wife had post-natal depression, so things have been very tough.
A month ago, my wife told me she wanted to separate. So I've been living at my parents (I'm 32, so that's been interesting) while she figures out whether she wants our marriage to survive or not. Her big issue is that I didn't support her enough when the baby was born, emotionally or financially. She makes some fair points and, well, some unfair ones too.
So we've had a month apart. She wanted space to think it through but I've been fighting for our relationship. Yesterday, she told me that she thinks we're over and need to move on. She doesn't love me. She also admitted that she'd slept with someone else in recent days - a one-night stand from a bar. I didn't think I could feel any worse, but it devastated me in horrible new ways.
I haven't been the most attractive proposition since she told me it was over: all tears and neediness and long emails and wanting to talk. Is this the point where I just accept it's over, or is there anything new I could try? I feel like our little family needs me to fight for it, and that problems can be worked through. It's a distant hope though.
If you want to try and put past behind you going to need to apologise for not being supportive and make a big effort - plus suggest counselling for you both. If you don't try fighting for it you'll never know!
On the other hand you could stand back from it all and not be so intense. If she's adamant it's all over there's little you can do about it. Start to work out how you can best deal with each other post separation, and make the best arrangements you can for maintaining a good relationship with your daughter. The danger is that in plugging away in the forlorn hope of a separation you end up doing more harm than good. At the moment she doesn't love you. If you keep up the pressure she may end up hating you. Perhaps you deserve better.
There may be some merit in moving back in particularly if you own a property together and want to keep a relationship with the child. Have you got another job yet>? Does she work? Which of you earns the most?
She may not want to be in a relationship but you have a right to live in the marital home and with your child. She probably woudl really appreciate your doing a lot more babysitting and cleaning and cooking and washing. If you were back and even just helping with much more that stuff offer to take over all the washing and cooking for example and all the night waking of the child then she could get more sleep and feel better.
Thanks everyone for the replies. They have all made me feel better about a time when, even with friends around me, I feel intensely lonely.
I think, having fought very hard for our relationship over the past month and only succeeded in forcing my wife into a early decision - it's over - I'm going to stand back, perhaps try and move on. If she changes her mind, then great.
I should add that she no longer has PND. I've been trying to prove to her that I can support her, but she's not interested now. We both work freelance jobs, which has been one of the problems: a lot of time together in one small flat. She's actually glad I'm not around any more, and I can understand why.
So, much as I would love to be back home, it's not going to happen. She returned all the equity I built up in the flat (she owns most of it), and I am even planning to rent a two-bed flat I can't really afford so I can continue to look after the baby on alternate weeks.
I just can't stop thinking about the happy times, whereas she has been much more focused on the horrible ones. Perhaps having a baby led to me taking my eye off the ball in terms of our relationship. I'm not completely blaming myself - she was a nightmare at times - but I am starting to dwell on the 'what ifs' a bit now. I've said I'm sorry, but of course it's far too late now.
Poor you. If she's given you back the quity you built up in the flat and you will each have the child half the time that's a very fair and good arrangement which will ensure you can both continue to work. If it does develop beyond separation to divorce you need to get the terms written down and then stamped by the court in something called a consent order so neither of you can make future financial claims against the other.
Do not assume it is too late. Just continue being nice. Perhaps ask her out occasionally.
If you can't afford a two bed flat to rent could you not just share a room with the child or one of you sleep in the living room when it is there until you can afford more?
Thank-you Xenia. I would love to think it's not too late, but she is convinced our characters don't fit together. It's indescribably painful. I went round to our flat yesterday and all traces of me have been removed, or piled up ready for collection. But you're right - our arrangement is very fair.