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Husband in need of advice(61 Posts)
Hi everyone. Am looking for some female insight please. I’ll condense this as much as possible.
My wife and I have been married for just over a year and have been together for 8 years. We’ve always had a really good relationship, full of love and understanding, and still do. However, there have been outside problems that have seeped in and have caused a problem for us.
Just before we got married, my wife’s relationship with her Dad broke down and they are now no longer in each other’s lives. My wife has a complicated relationship with her Dad and she took a lot of the emotional slack for her family when she was a teenager and young adult. After the relationship with him ended, she was very depressed and I did my best to support her through it all. The grief she felt was huge and it really hit her hard.
She sought out some therapy and worked to get over it and get herself in a better place emotionally, and again, I was fully behind this.
The thing is my wife now feels as though she needs some time alone to grow. She wants to get happy in herself. She says she loves me and I’m everything she wants in a partner, but at the moment, she feels she needs some time alone to work out who she is and how she fits into the world.
She also feels like the sexual spark she held for me has disappeared and it’s not coming back easily at the moment. She says she wants to be with me but currently doesn’t feel she can work on herself and be living together at the same time.
We’ve been in couple’s therapy and she’s been staying at a friend’s place for a few weeks to get some of her own space. We’ve been seeing each other once a week in that time, and also at therapy sessions.
At the end of the day if she needs some space to grow, I support her in this, and it allows me to do the same. We both hope that some time living in separate spaces will help us as a partnership in the long run after some personal growth. But naturally I’m really concerned for the future and what will happen with us as a couple.
I’m mainly after some female perspective on this as I try and grapple with what’s happening with us. Has anyone been through anything similar?
Either one is committed to a marriage, i.e wanting to share your life with your spouse, or one is not. Nothing you write is making me feel that she is committed. Needing "some time to alone to work out who she is and how she fits into the world" sounds like self-indulgent wank to me. I'm sorry she's had a tough time with her family but we all have our crosses to bear - it doesn't mean it's OK to hurt the people who love you. And by checking out of the relationship this way she must be hurting you - it can't be easy.
I have no advice really - you are clearly way more tolerant a person than I.
I don't have first hand experience of this I'm afraid.
How old were you when you got together?
I guess it's possible if someone has been through fairly extensive therapy that it could result in them reflecting every aspect of life.
How is couples counselling going? Do you have a time scale in mind where by she needs to make a decision?
I'm sorry to say it sounds like there is someone else on the scene.
I'm sorry your wife has had such a difficult time.
I think it sounds as if she is trying to get out of the marriage, I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear, I think you need to prepare yourself for the worst.
And there was me thinking that people only "went off to find themselves" in American movies. I agree with PP who said that was wank. It's utter nonsense I'm afraid. She doesn't want to be with you, and is making up all sorts of crap to lessen the blow. She will no doubt keep you dangling on a string, for many months to come. Could there be another man? Keep you on the back burner in case it doesn't work out? Hope not obviously, but this isn't normal behaviour, is it?
I think she wants out of the marriage/relationship and is trying to find a way to allow you to get used to it gently.
I'm guessing you don't have any DC in the picture, so although she hasn't been very straightforward with you about it, I would say she's being cautious rather than selfish.
Thanks everyone for the replies. To approach some of the themes, i really don't think there is anyone else on the scene. I have of course asked her this one time and she was adamant there isn't anyone else and this is purely about her. We don't have any children.
I love her so i feel i have to take what she's saying to me and in therapy sessions on face value. I am aware i could be being blinded by love for her but i don't think flying off with accusations or losing my patience is really going to help matters.
She seems sincere when she tells me she does still want me, but yes, it's really confusing.
Oh you poor thing. It does sound like she wants out. I don't buy any of this 'needing time out to find yourself' sort of crap. I'm really sorry. I would start getting your ducks in a row practically and work out how to take your life forward without her.
I also think she's trying to 'let you down' gently.
You come across as a lovely supportive person.
She doesn't want to hurt your feelings so is doing a slow withdrawal.
I hope we are all wrong and this is different but experience would dictate otherwise.
She wants out. It's not fair for you to be left dangling and you should start to protect yourself.
My friend is going through something similar and moved out at her DP request, low and behold his 'new relationship' has just come out.
How long are you going to wait about for her? This must be hard.
It's really hard. I'm really not sure what to do and my thoughts are a bit all over the place at the minute.
Seems like nobody here seems to think she could just need a bit of a time out to get herself together?
Yes, she is creeping out of the relationship slowly. She is tiptoeing out, basically.
She doesn't want to be a bad guy. She doesn't want to cause chaos or distress and she thinks if she gives it a fair shot (counselling) that she can say "Hey at least I tried".
But the fact that she has already left speaks volumes. She has left YOU. She ain't coming back and the counselling is just her pulling the plaster off so agonisingly slowly that she can delude herself you'll adjust and not be too hurt.
Self indulgent bollocks of course. She hasn't the guts to shit or get off the pot.
Does "space to grow" include her to have relationships with others while she keeps you dangling waiting on her decision?
Get herself together from what?
She should be getting herself together with her supportive DH, instead of having to get away from him. Why would you be hindering her 'finding herself'? Why does she need to leave her home?
I'm not accusing you of anything but I wouldn't leave my home or Dh to find myself. My Dh is like my left arm, if I left the house - if be leaving him.
Is she over her depression?
Sorry but it sounds like bull to me. You don't get to just check out of your marriage for a while when it suits. As PP said, we all have our cross to bare. It sounds to me like therapy has helped her deal with her loss and decide her future and she's letting you down gently.
I think the most concerning issue is the loss of sexual attraction.
I just don't think you can get that back however much you try even if you love someone. You will see women on here frequently who lose their libido but usually still find their partner attractive - it's a huge part of a loving marriage to find each other attractive even if your libido has waned. When you start to lose sexual attraction then relationships become friendships.
I'm not hopeful for you I agree she's trying to 'leave you gently'
Every time I feel depressed I turn TO my partner, not FROM. I do not believe that she is telling tge whole story. Sorry OP, you sound very lovely and I truly hope you will be OK.
Thanks everyone for all your responses and perspectives. I hope everything works out.
She plainly trusts you to wait, and you have been patient. Only meeting up once a week presumably works for her but you have little say in the matter. After 7 years as a couple you got married and it sounds as if that big step was too much for her. It does happen that way sometimes that what should be the start of a new chapter is actually the end of an episode. We can be close to someone and love them but not in the way that person wants which I suspect is what happened here whatever the back story.
I agree she's entitled to sort herself out and discover what she wants from life, I just don't think you should be kept in limbo for the unforseeable.
Maybe the during counselling she has realised you are her crutch rather than soulmate?
She might be using the time apart to see if she misses you?
I think you'll only know if you ask her and tell her its ok, devasting, but ok if you're not who she wants
Sorry OP, but it sounds like bullshit to me. I think, if I were you, I would be telling her to cut the crap and get to the point. As hard as that may be, it will better than hanging around thinking she is going to come back after she had found herself!
I think this "finding yourself", is all well and good, but she's had therapy, you've both had couples therapy. I don't doubt that she needs some time to process stuff. But, my question would be, how long are you going to keep meeting once a week.? I mean is she going to keep stringing you along with how she loves you, wants to be with you, but she has lost the sexual spark for you, and it's not coming back easily, well it won't have much chance if your not living together. You are wearing all this without any real indication on how long all this is going to take. It's just my opinion but it seems all on her terms to me. I'd be asking yourself, what's in it for you. I'd be giving her an ultimatum. She needs to make more of an effort with her relationship with you. The past is the past, you can't go settle in and live there. You have to move forward at some stage. I wish you both well.
You sound really kind op. But I can't understand why she wants to work on herself away from you. Surely you should be doing it together.
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