We are all interested in having the most wonderful and fulfilling of marriages. Our relationships bring us closer to the reason why we even exist. Without contact and interaction with other people we love, then our very soul gets whittled away. So what is this idea of advocating No Contact with the person you love? Why would we want to pull away from our spouse? It is difficult enough to tackle the world out there, so why would we want to do it alone? Well sometimes, to draw closer, you have to step back to gain some perspective and reconnect.
Can your marriage be saved strictly by using the No Contact Rule? No it can’t. But if implemented properly, under certain circumstances, you and your husband or wife can benefit from going through a no contact period. So what is this No Contact Rule? How does it work? When should you use it? What are its benefits and drawbacks?
Really, must you ask so many questions! Well, I am glad that you are because learning how to implement the No Contact Rule properly and consistently could be huge. On the other hand, if you do not understand how this process works and put it into play where it is not appropriate or execute this relationship strategy improperly, you could suffer a serious setback in your marriage.
No one wants to experience a headwinds in their marriage. And that is why I decided to write this lengthy post. I want you to be able to explore all the possible angles and applications of possibly using this principle.
I also want to encourage you to ask me any questions or offer your comments and observations at the very end of this post. You can leave me a comment and I usually get back within 48 hours. Also, check out the comment section at end of this article for further insights.
What is the Marital No Contact Rule?
Have you ever noticed that relationship experts like to talk about fanciful topics and put their own spin on it. I guess it is normal for people to grab a hold of a concept and put it out there for masses to digest. There are tons of married folks and couples who are seeking help with getting their relationship back on track. And when they hear about a technique or strategy that can help them, they will in most cases latch on to it and ride it as far as it may work in their personal situation.
I try to offer to my readers a ton of content that can help them lift their marriage to the next rung. Along with learning about how No Contact can work within your marriage scenario, be sure to dive into my post about all aspects of have to save a marriage in trouble.
Now, since you most likely have arrived at this page partly because you wanted to learn more about the No Contact Rule and how it works and what it could do to help you with the problems you are presently experiencing; I am going to try to straighten out some of the misinformation on what it is, how it works, and most importantly, how it can help you.
First, let’s say we get out of this pattern of following the crowd. Relationship gurus and marriage counselors and many others like to just throw around these phrases, sometimes, quite frankly, seeking to rope you in so you will buy their product. Always be careful with what you read and choose to implement, particularly when it comes to something as important as the No Contact Rule. Despite what they may say, no marriage expert knows exactly what is in your best interest. Nor do I. But I will admit it and then I will give you a big picture view of the benefits and potential disadvantages. With this information, you are smart enough to sort through the best potential choices.
So, in keeping with my lack of interest in following the crowd of copycats, let’s do this. We are going to rename the No Contact Rule principle. First of all, the phrase starts with a negative…..the word “No”. As you have probably realized by now, I don’t like to lead first with negatives. Indeed, the most successful of marriages revolve around the Principle of “Positivity” which I discuss in great detail on my home page. Why not highlight the positive? The idea behind this strategy is that you are to stop all communications with your your Ex, so that is why it took on the name of “no contact”. But one of the greater benefits derived from implementing such as strategy is to allow YOU to get in contact with yourself. It allows you to get in touch with your own feelings and begin the self healing process. And bear in mind, the self healing process can take weeks to take root.
So we will change the name of the concept to the “YES CONTACT RULE”. I want you to say “yes” to getting back in touch with yourself. I want you to say “yes” to healing yourself and potentially your marriage. If you are ever in a position where you need to invoke this (Yes) Contact Rule, then you are going to be experiencing one of the roughest period of time in your life. Your emotions will be all over the place. You will have this unbearable pain in the very core of your body, mind, and spirit. Yes, you will be needing a huge dose of a recovery and that path is found in becoming “one” with yourself. You will need to get yourself together, before you have a chance of pulling your marriage back together.
But, let’s not stop there. I don’t really like the word “rule”. It is much too confining. When it comes to relationship advice, one should be very careful about proposing strict “rules”, particularly when we are dealing with the degree of communication you will or will not have with your husband or wife. Human beings and their relationships are incredibly complicated. When we ask ourselves whether we should stop communicating, in all forms, with our spouse we are dealing with a very critical aspect of the marriage.
After all, that is what this “Contact” business is about. It is mostly about whether you should communicate with with your spouse under certain special situations that might unfold in your marriage. We will get into this with greater detail later. But let’s first get our vocabulary in order!
What I propose is that instead of calling this principle the “No Contact Rule”, let’s think of it as the “YES CONTACT PRINCIPLE”. That sounds a lot more pleasant and is actually quite descriptive of one of its key outcomes…specifically “becoming the best version of yourself”.
Are You Breaking Up or Separating?
When break ups occur, many relationship experts advise their clients to institute a period of time where they do not communicate with their husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend for a specific period of time. We will talk about the time period later because there is a lot of disagreement about how long or short it should be. This period of time where you are to avoid communicating with your significant other in any way…..and that includes all forms of communication such as verbal, written, text, email, person to person, and phone calls….is not intended as a game or designed to punish or “stick it to” your spouse.
The two of you are married because you fell in love and loving somebody is not about teaching them a cruel lesson. The intent behind this strategy is to create a meaningful change. Sometimes, something profound needs to happen to break the old, negative habits that have broken the bond.
I do not recommend you utilize this strategy of shutting down communications with your husband or wife (boyfriend or girlfriend), unless the relationship has deteriorated to the point where the two of your have separated. What does that mean, exactly?
Well first of all, when it comes to relationships, hardly anything is exact or can be described with precise meaning. Such are the vagaries of communication. But I will give you my take on what separation might look like for you and your lover. It is usually a situation that has evolved over many months or even years. The two of you have been pulling further away. The bond of love, which always had been a most wonderful attractive force that pulled the two of you together, is now fractured. You and your spouse are fighting more. Perhaps there has been an affair. Perhaps you have gone to marriage counseling, but it has not helped. Or maybe instead of couples therapy, you and your wife or husband have had long discussions about your future together and the outcome looks bleak. Eventually one or both you decide that it’s time to break up and someone moves out either temporarily or semipermanently. It could a trial separation where one or both of you conclude that you need to sever the relationship or it could be a legal separation in which the attorneys draw up an agreement of understanding.
The period of separation can be days, weeks or months. In effect, a form of no or limited contact is already in place.
For a couple that is married, this type of arrangement is usually the last resort, short of outright divorce. It is only under these circumstances that it makes sense to adopt a Yes Contact Principle (i.e. No Contact Rule). If you were to totally shut down all communications with your spouse, while the two of your are actively working on your relationship and living under the same roof, you most likely will cause more harm than good.
Now, there are some situations where limited contact and communications can awaken the husband or wife to realizing something is terribly wrong with the relationship. We will touch on that later. But to be clear, I would not advocate initiating a No Contact Rule while the marriage is still operating under the same roof.
The Dysfunctional Marriage
The growing dysfunction of a marriage can eventually lead to the realization that something very significant needs to occur to allow for both parties to gain greater perspective and begin the healing process. Unfortunately, in most cases, couples do not take take any meaningful action, but rather just get caught up in the flow of time. One day runs into another as their level of satisfaction and fulfillment in their marriage decreases over time.
You have heard of the saying, “We are growing apart” or “I love him (her), but am not in love anymore”. It can be really tough to explain in words what we are feeling and even more difficult to understand exactly why we are feeling the things we do. We need to remember that words are just “constructs” of the mind. They are not even real. We conjure up certain feelings and thoughts in our brain and then we try to explain using words. But most of the time, the words we chose are woefully inadequate and can be confusing.
We may even ask ourselves, “how did it come to this”? Why don’t I feel the same way? What happened in our marriage such that we do not feel that intensity of love and connection any more? You may think, “before I could never find anything wrong with my husband (or wife).” Now, you may possibly find an assortment of things that you dislike….things that cause friction and agitation.. That magic the two of you had is gone. Resentments have grown to fill a larger part of how you think about your spouse.
As the many months and years go by, all these things can get worse. Then before you can make sense of it all, you are sitting there thinking, “What happened to us?” You might be able to piece together part of the puzzle of how your relationship came to be what it is now. But more often than not, you will be confused as to how things unraveled and what is to become of your marriage in the future. For many couples facing dysfunction in their married lives, they reach a point of where everything they try seems futile and a cycle of rinse and repeat becomes exhausting.
This is often why people break it off. Often, it is not that their love has disappeared. A bond once made, is very difficult to break entirely. It’s just happens that couples will sometimes arrive at a place where they are exceptionally unhappy and have little hope. So they separate. At that point, both will become engulfed with confusing feelings such as sadness, relief, anger, resentment, depression, and many others.
Understanding the Value of Your Relationship “Bank”
It is important you understand the science behind the early stages of love. As mentioned above, I am sure you still remember with fondness those many early months of the relationship where both of you felt you were floating on a cloud of romantic delight. Neither of you could do wrong. Every moment with your lover was magical. Everything within and outside of your relationship was amazing. But those feelings powering your love for each other was getting a big assist from the chemical cocktail dancing in your minds.
When we are in those early stages of falling in love with someone, our brain chemistry changes as dopamine and a host of other chemicals are released. As time goes by, that natural love potion gives way to a steady state of brain chemistry, more or less. This is where marriages are made in my opinion. And like deposits you make into your bank, the welfare of your marriage will be largely dependent on all of the little and large deposits you make into your marriage.
What I am talking about here are the acts of kindness, praise and love you contribute to the “union” you have with your husband or wife. When your acts of love far outweigh the “withdrawals” (negative acts such as fighting, criticism, lack of support) then your relationship is healthy.
But when things take a turn for the sour and you and your spouse are spending far too much of your time withdrawing love from your relationship “bank”, you can go bankrupt and the pain of that process can be unbearably. You must “individually” learn to recover before you can rebuild and improve the marriage you once had.
You are going to need some perspective to gain insight into what is happening and to recover from the pain of your marriage struggles. This is one of the key benefits of the no contact period. It is to allow for both of you to recover and gain some perspective.
So, the “Yes Contact Principle” (i.e. No Contact Rule) is mostly about giving each person in the marriage an opportunity to get “right” in the mind and to begin their own healing process. Right now, both people are swimming in a sea of emotional turbulence and neither is in a position to make good decisions. It will certainly be very difficult for the two of you to “jointly” try to pick up all the pieces at this stage. There needs to be an intervention….a meaningful change.. If it’s not some form of marriage counseling or therapy, then going through a No Contact Period could be exceptionally helpful.
Getting in “Contact” With the Big Picture
There was a movie that came out some time ago called, “Contact”. It starred Jodi Foster and was about a woman in search of extraterrestrial life. The movie has some very interesting themes running through it that actually is instructive for relationships.
The character in the movie experienced her own personal journey by traveling far away. But it is the way the movie started that I find to be useful in this discussion about “PERSPECTIVE”. It starts on earth, then the camera pans further away and outward. The earth becomes slightly smaller as the “eye” of the camera pan outward as we travel beyond the moon, the planets of our solar system, and even further out.
Now, if you are in the midst of a relationship that has gone terribly wrong and your problems and pain are so great, that you can barely function, then clearly you are in a very bad place emotionally. You lack the love you deserve and most assuredly, you will lack perspective. The adverse effects of this suffering will also likely have a very
negative impact on your physical health. If you have just broken up or you and your spouse have just separated, then you will be emotionally compromised and blind to what is probably in your best interest. You may find yourself obsessing over the state of the marriage and what you should do. Your behavior may become compulsive. You may feel desperate to repair that relationship connection that is now broken or severed. Most people in this emotional state are extremely vulnerable. They can become prisoners of their own emotions and say and do things that contribute to the relationship worsening. What is one to do?
I say, let’s take a journey to the stars. Remember that movie, “Contact” I was talking about just a bit earlier? Well let’s take a ride and see where it takes us. Now, if you are “game” and follow along really closely, you might just discover this little journey you are about to undertake will be somewhat hypnotic. So, you may be thinking, “Really, you believe you can hypnotize me right NOW, just by me reading this stuff you are writing on the page?”
It is really up to you and that is the truth!
Maybe I can, but in a way that separates myth from reality. After all, hypnosis is nothing more than a highly relaxed and focused state of mind. Can you really relax, and then focus?
If one provides certain stimuli (suggestions), these notions can get lodged into the mind of a person and can positively affect this person’s behavior. Watching a movie or reading a book are forms of a mild self hypnotic state of mind. You are relaxed in a dark movie theater, maybe wearing those funky 3D glasses. You are very focused and eventually become engulfed in the story that is unfolding on the movie screen. Before you know it, you are so caught up with what you see and hear on the screen, you suspend reality, and actually begin caring a great deal about the characters in the movie. You laugh and you cry and experience a wide range of emotions. And you can learn things….make important connections, only because the movie enabled you to do so. Right? Actually, not entirely. Those important connections you made when watching the movie occurred because YOU chose to relax and open up your mind and be receptive.
Should we call that a form of hypnosis? That is up to you. Call it what you will, be let’s take a little journey together and I want you to go some place really quiet and read the following passage very slowly. I want you to visualize the meaning of the words. Allow the words to form images in your mind. And remember, it not really me that allows you to enter this heightened state of relaxation….it is all YOU.
You are in the middle of a forest. As you look around, all you can see and think about are those things immediately affecting you. Just as the tree cannot see the forest, your view is confined. You are in the middle of a forest.
Now imagine you are on the moon. Your view of earth has expanded such that the entire globe is now in focus. You see continents and the grand scale of the oceans. You are amazed at the scope of that which you see. You are on the moon.
Now imagine you are on the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy. The earth is now a tiny blue dot, far,far away in the distance. Suddenly you realize that all of your worries and concerns are very small in the scheme of things. The gravity of your problems start to shrink away. You look upon the universe in awe and are delighted to be part of it.
Ok! You are released from your self induced state of relaxation. With that kind of perspective, I hope you realize that problems that seem to mushroom into gigantic proportions in your mind, are occupying far too much space in your life.
A Time To Reap
Now I want you to think about it another way. Think about the time you have remaining in life. We are all mere specks of dust in a universe that is 13.3 billion years old and more vast and expansive that words can describe. Our life span is measured in the smallest of fractions as compared to the age of the universe. With perspective, we should realize that our time is the most precious thing we have. What a shame it is for us allow ourselves to get muddled into a state of constant negativity, sadness, or depression. While we cannot always control what happens in our lives, we have considerable control over the attitude we elect to have in our life.
The power of the “Yes Contact Principle” (i.e. No Contact Rule) is to allow you to get in touch with your feelings, put things back into proper perspective, and begin healing from the wounds you have suffered within your relationship. Only then will you be best equipped to make sound decisions about whether reconciliation with your your wife or husband is something you want to strive for.
What is the Limited Contact Principle in a Marriage or Relationship
We spent some time talking about the No Contact Rule which we went on to rename as the “Yes Contact Principle”. So now let’s turn our attention to the Limited Contact Principle. We will keep the name because it actually is descriptive of what you might choose to implement if the situation is appropriate.
In almost every situation in marriage, balanced and quality communications is something you want to strive to achieve each day. But what happens if the marriage is on the rocks and neither of you are making any progress getting it back on track? Should one utilize some form of the limited contact rule?
First, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. I would define the limited contact principle as a self imposed cooling off period. If your marital relationship has eroded to such a point where communications are often negative and triggering fights and conflict, then something needs to happen to break that trend. Limited contact with your spouse could accomplish that. Communications would be limited to just the most pertinent information you need to convey to your husband or wife. Otherwise, you will want to avoid initiating conversation. And when your spouse tries to raise a topic for discussion or ask a general question, your response is very brief, neutral in tone, but respectful. If necessary, you quietly, with measured control, remove yourself from the immediate environment so as to avoid further attempts at communication or any hostility.
With this approach, you are trying to accomplish two things. One, you want to break the negative, vicious cycle of the type of communications that has harmed your marriage.
It takes two to tango (in most cases), so why tango if it is hurting the relationship?
Have you ever head of the concept of “less is more”. Well, this is what you are trying to achieve. Less communications should lead to more perspective, serenity, and hopefully a greater appreciation from your spouse that something in their behavior is terribly wrong, otherwise you would not be shutting down. And that is the second thing you want to accomplish through this strategy. You want to create an awareness in your husband or wife so they understand something very important is broken.
It is like hitting the reset button on the computer when the operating system is all fouled up. Before it reboots, it goes through a period in which it audits all of the internal systems. When it finds a problem, it attempts to fix it, but not before it goes through a quiet reboot period.
With a relationship that is off the tracks, sometimes you need to go through a quiet period to properly assess things. Unlike a No Contact Period, where all communications come to an end, the limited contact principle allows you to coexist with your spouse, while at the same time try to slow things down. Once implemented for a few hours or a few days, it will become abundantly clear to your lover that the relationship is off the tracks and something meaningful needs to happen to address the problems.
Consider it a wake up call for your spouse, except you are doing all of your talking through your actions. Less is more. So will it work? Sometimes it does. The husband or wife gets the message and takes advantage of an opportunity to reevaluate his or her role in the conflict. You want to create an environment where the hostilities have ended and rational thinking has returned. In this environment, your lover will be more inclined to act in a more positive, pragmatic fashion; which lends itself to solutions.
Now, on the other hand, your efforts to limit conversation and interaction with your spouse could have the opposite effect of what you desire. A lot depends on the nature of the people involved and the strength of the marriage union. Some people react very well to the limited contact and seize the opportunity to make things right. After all, if you have a reasonably solid marriage, it is in both people’s interest to bring an end to the bickering.
But in some cases, I have seen this approach backfire. No matter how civil and respectful you are in carrying out the limited contact principle, some people will get very angry and resentful. Chances are that such individuals are very controlling, possibly very selfish, and your failure to engage in lengthy debate causes them to dig in their heels even more.
My thinking is that even when you encounter resistance as you apply the limited contact principle, give it time. It is very difficult for most everyone to have a one way arguement. If they persist for many hours with a poor reaction and the situation becomes even more volatile, it is likely that this person will never come around to having a peaceful and constructive dialogue. In such cases, you should consider leaving for several hours….possibly overnight; but convey you are willing to have a constructive and peaceful discussion when your spouse is ready.
How Long Should a Marriage Partner Utilize the No Contact Rule?
When you find it necessary to implement a No Contact Period (or as you know I like to call it the “Yes Contact Principle”) you should realize there is no magic number of days that is guaranteed to be optimal. Remember, the primary reason you utilize the No Contact Principle is to allow you to focus on your own emotional needs and personal growth goals.
I have advocated that you utilize this principle only if you have broken up with your lover and it’s the “real deal”. Not a temporary fit of anger, where either of you stormed out. If you are married, that would include separation. Unlike divorce, with a separation, both parties usually are of the mind that they need to put distance between themselves so they can figure out what is best.
This period of “no contact” with your spouse can range anywhere from 14 days to 60 days. Let me give you a little advice based on the thousands of people I hear from on this topic. Forget about those relationship experts that tell you that you must set a specific period of time, like 60 days, and come hell or high water, you have to stick with it. I just don’t think it is a smart thing to be too specific on the time period and I certainly am not a fan of telling folks that they should never make an exception. That is not how the real world of relationships operate. There are many variables, occurrences, and complexities associated with relationships…and so “breaking” the No Contact Period may be necessary. I will get into this more a bit later.
If you are entering into a No Contact Period for all of the “right” reasons, then I would recommend it range from 21 to 30 days immediately following the breakup or separation. Based on my experience with actual people who have utilized this principle, this period of time works more often than not. I would reinforce that there are different time periods for different couples, given their individual situations. Once you establish your time period, stick with it, unless certain situations unfold that call for an exception. As promised, I will touch on that topic later.
I would also recommend, particularly if your are married (i.e. separated), that you respectfully inform your spouse of your intentions. This helps on two levels. First, your marriage union, no matter what shape it is in, is something to be treated with the utmost respect. Shutting down all contact and communications with your husband or wife is a very significant event, even if you have previously given each other notice you wanted to pursue a “separation” of some kind. I emphasize “some kind” because couples can get pretty creative when they decide to break it off. It need not be a legal separation. It could actually start of as an informal understanding between the two of you to just “coolit” for awhile. It could have been left open ended. Even those relationship arrangements are clear signs of dysfunction.
But whatever the case, when you decide to institute the No Contact Period, convey to your spouse (or boyfriend or girlfriend) what your mindset is. It need not be complicated and avoid being too wordy. I recommend you convey your intentions verbally on the phone or by email. Meeting in person to discuss such a matter usually leads to complications. Here is an example of what you can say:
“I wanted to let you know that I really need time to think about things and start my process of healing. Please respect my privacy over this period as I will not be responsive to any efforts to contact me or meet with me. Thank you for your support”
As I described, use this time to heal. And if you are genuinely open to reconnecting with your spouse, you will have benefited from utilizing this approach. In a future post, I will discuss in greater detail what tactics you should use to reconnect. Remember, this process is not about punishing your spouse. Nor is it to cause him or her to come running back to you after a few days once they realize you are completely off the radar. It’s is for you to gain perspective and become the best version of yourself.
Elsewhere on this website and on my other websites, I will discuss in great detail how the No Contact Period can be a springboard to reconnecting with your husband or wife. Also, feel free to explore my other websites for more information if you wish to learn more about how to reunite with your Ex.
Why is Implementing the No Contact Rule So Hard?
So why is it so hard to actually implement? I mean, after all, the whole idea is that this is suppose to be YOUR time. It is intended to be time for you get back in touch with your feelings. It is suppose to be an opportunity for you to be extremely honest with yourself and look at the things you can do differently to be a better relationship partner. It is intended to gain perspective and heal. So why do so many people report that going through the No Contact Period is one of the most agonizing things they have ever done?
Well, if you are presently experiencing significant difficulties in your marriage, you already have a good idea of the amount of emotional baggage that is accumulating.
You have an up close and personal experience with the hardships of trying to pick up the pieces of your relationship. And if you have entered into a No Contact Period, you know that hollow feeling you have as it begins. You feel empty and shell shocked. So from an emotional perspective, you come into the process already suffering.
Then we have the physical duress and stress you have suffered, possibly for months or years. The impact on your emotional and physical health can be profound. None of those things just simply go away once you start the no contact period. Our minds and body do not operate that way. The lingering effects can last days, weeks, even months. And now you are embarking on different experience. It is meant to allow you to heal, but still the process will be new and you will have uncertainties as to what to expect from yourself and your spouse. Your routines will be somewhat different and you will miss certain things, a lot. If you have children, then multiple the effects of what we have discussed by a factor of 2.
To complicate things further, irrespective of the problems you encountered with your spouse, you might miss him or her terribly. There is something happening deep in your brain. But clearly, most people feel there is some part of them that is missing.
When a breakup has occurred, it has an incalculable effect on you. Everyone responds and experiences things somewhat differently. But if you are one of those individuals who feel that your are “fractured”, suffering from the pain of missing your husband or wife…..just know that these feelings will in time subside. Experts tell us that withdrawing from the relationship, particularly if it is sudden, is akin to coming off of an addictive drug. Studies reveal that the withdrawal symptoms are uncanningly identical and this is because the brain’s chemicals are responding in a very similar way.
So what can you do about all of this pain and suffering? In a moment we are going to discuss that, but let’s first return to the question of what situations might unfold in which the No Contact Principle can be suspended or even ended.
What are the Situations Where the No Contact Rule Can be Broken?
Once implemented, the “Yes Contact Principle” (i.e. No Contact Rule) can be a foundation for self healing and even an avenue to resurrect your marriage. The idea is to focus on your needs….your recovery….your healing. It also provides an opportunity for your spouse to do the same. This means you will end all communications and contact with your spouse. So once you commit, I want you to think very carefully about breaking it off. Stick to your plan.
But there are some situations where it may be beneficial to you and your relationship to momentarily break your commitment. These include:
● Children: There will be times when you will need to interface with your husband or wife regarding some matter related to your children. Keep your communications civil and respectful and short.
● Financial: Same as above. Sometimes financial matters were one of the triggers of conflict. If that is the case, then communicating by email might help with avoiding uncomfortable and potentially negative conversations.
● Work: If you work together, you can employ “limited contact” at work and “no contact” outside of work. Again, keep conversations at work only about business. If your spouse tries to bring up personal matters, just state you are not ready to engage in those discussions.
● House: Invariably, there will be some household issue that will occur that may require your spouse’s input or intervention. If you are separated and your spouse needs to come to the home for some matter, arrange to have a friend present and keep the conversation with your spouse limited to just the issue at hand.
● A Genuine Fig Leaf: In some cases, your husband or wife may make genuine and sincere efforts to reconcile. They may have sent you several text messages or left phone messages or sent you emails….all with the same friendly, respectful tone. This usually does not happen in the first several days, but if you have had an adequate period of time to experience self healing and if you believe your wife or husband is really open to talking and repairing the relationship, then set up a meet up. I recommend it be some neutral, public place at first so you can explore your spouse’s intentions and level of commitment to working through the problems. This is a time to take small steps. Take things slow.
The Many Faces of the No Contact Period
As we have already discussed, the “Yes Contact Principle” (i.e. No Contact Rule) affords you an opportunity to settle down your emotions, get in touch with confusing feelings and become the best version of yourself (i.e. discussed at length on the home page of this website). It is also an opportunity for you to protect your marriage from further harm. It also helps your spouse to benefit from the same “effect”. They too need to figure out what they want and what they are willing to do to accomplish that.
Ironically, another benefit of ceasing or limiting contact with your marriage partner is that it can in the longer run bring you closer together. Dysfunctional marriages do not repair themselves. There needs to be an intervention and that is what this process is about.
I want to touch on some things you can do to help with mastering your emotions. First of all, you should realize that “time” is a great healer in of itself. You already know the importance of having “Perspective”. But, as time progresses, it helps you with doing things that bring more “positive” into your life. Time can be your friend.
In my best selling books, “The Texting Bible” and the “Ex Recovery Pro Series”, I talk about the value of the “Holy Trinity” for individuals recovering from relationships. I talk about taking the time to find peace and serenity. Whether that involves activities such as Yoga, meditation, or reading a great book….what matters is you fall into the slip stream phenomenon we call time. I also discuss the importance of using the No Contact Period to focus on your health, wealth, and other relationships in your life. With time, these things can improve if you focus on them.
Getting Anchored With Your Feelings
But there are a few other things you can do from a psychological perspective that can help immensely. One technique is called, “anchoring”. They way it works is that we naturally make associations (i.e. anchors) between experiences we feel, hear, smell or see and we connect these experiences to our emotional state at that time.. For example, when I smell certain flavors of bubble gum, it takes me back to the days I played Little League baseball. When I see a hot air balloon, I immediately think of the amazing time my wife and I had on a hot air balloon ride.
Here is the cool part. You can call upon “anchors” to paint your mind’s “attitude”.
So “anchors” can be deliberately created or resurrected and that can help you achieve a more desirable emotional state. It is simple to do. The idea is you focus on the positive mental imagery you have stored within your mind and take a joy ride. Do it often enough, you can transform a negative and depressive state of mind to one that is positive. I would recommend immersing yourself with all your senses that are anchored in positive memories and emotions. “Choose your attitude” is what some people say. I would add to that….. “Practice your attitude” and it will become your reality. Check out the link I provide below to learn more about anchoring and other neurolinguistic techniques you can use.
Alternatives to Using the No Contact Rule if You are Married
The last thing you really want to do when you are married is to separate. And you really want to avoid using the No Contact Rule. Sometimes it is a necessary and useful. Sometimes your relationship just slowly erodes and now you find yourself separated emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is not necessarily the end of your marriage. If you use the time you are separated in a healthy way, it can lead to many good things for you and your spouse. But not always. There is heightened risk that neither you or your marriage partner will get through your problems. So what are some stop gap measure you can employ to avoid the dreaded “Separation” event?
As you know, I am a fan of sports. And in all sporting events, teams can utilize what is called a “timeout”. It provides them an opportunity to rest, work through conflicts, draw out a game plan, and then get back into the game. Sound familiar!
I think the use of a timeout in a relationship can be beneficial. Sometimes it is as simple as agreeing to a “cooling off” period if a fight has been dragging on too long. We all know that no matter how strong your marriage, fights will happen. But that does not mean we can’t put some rules around them. And one of them should be calling a timeout if the fight has lasted more than, let’s say 10 minutes. My feeling about fighting is that as soon as you both engage in conflict, you both lose. So if you start fussing a bit too long, then just call a timeout and then try to resolve the problem. Look for a win win.
So You “Want to Take a Break”?
Have you ever heard of someone taking a “break” from their marriage. It sorta sounds irresponsible to me. “Lets just take a break from each other” someone might say. Well, what I would say is throw out that language. No matter how you dress it up, this kind of vocabulary will get you in trouble. It has far too many negative connotations. What you think and what your intentions are, matters a great deal and in the long run wins out.
But what you say and how you say it can be easily misunderstood and ramp up the conflict. So get rid of the phrase, “let’s take a break from each other” as it sounds like somebody may want to breakup for good.
Married Couples Seeking Therapy
Marriage therapy or counseling can prove fruitful for some couples. There is some evidence that it can help. A great deal of the potential for success depends on the quality of the therapist, the therapeutic model they are using, and the readiness and commitment level of the couple. Don’t expect that everything will just get all worked out in a few sessions. It seldom does. Unfortunately, some couples will start in earnest, but one of the married partners will lose motivation or lack belief in the approach being utilized by the counselor. Sometimes one of the married individuals will have no interest in participating. Another downside is that the cost of therapy can be too expensive for many.
Another alternative is to do what you are doing now which educating yourself on how to improve your marriage. A well written Marriage Recovery and Fitness System can be both cost effective and beneficial, even if only one person of the marriage is utilizing the knowledge. I have seen considerable evidence of the other marriage partner being open to taking the key learnings and work with their spouse to improve their marriage.
What Would Yoda Say About Marriage?
The way I think about the union of marriage is that it is imperfect. It is something married couples should always be working on to improve. That is primarily why I came up with the 5 Synergistic Principles for a Successful Marriage. All of us have an opportunity to make deposits each day into our marriage bank. What would Yoda say? You know…. that little Star Wars fellow that has a penchant of reversing his sentences, but speaks eloquently.
309 responses to “Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?”
I am curious….about 2.5 months ago my ex husband told me he wanted a divorce after alosing another job… He was constantly toward the end fighting with kids etc and began withdrawing…. Well he filled for a divorce… Say he still Cares for me etc….. But tells me he doesn’t see it happening in the future to be a family again…… He has tried on and off to be my freind… FINALLY I said no because it wasn’t fair to me…. Well out divorce was final last week… He is already dating someone…. Took her to meet all his friends etc….. I’ve done everything I’ve needed to that was bothering him…. Got a job I love…. Bought a place etc….. Before I did EVERYTHING wrong from constant text messages to emails… Crying begging and pleading….. Today after reading this site…6 days into NC Pretty much now 3 months later…..am I too late???
Welcome to My Marriage Helper.
I want to apologize for being so late on responding to this.
Has he been dating the girl for the entire 3 months you have been apart? Did they meet while you two were still married?
No he has been dating her I believe now for a month.
Can you approve my comment? I really need some help…. Thank you
Just got it approved. Again, really sorry about the late response.
Also no he just met her after we separated ……
My husband left me about a month and a half ago. I had found out that he was talking to another woman and he asked me for a divorce. Neither him or me has filed and he hasn’t thought about it. He moved into his mothers but would go back and forth to the womans house and hour away. After about a week he would go stay with her for days. His mother though is on my side due to she wants him to keep his marriage vows. The woman he is seeing works in the office where he works now. She is simply after his money due to he is blowing it all on her. What can I do I miss him so much and when I call him he does answer so it is kind of confusing. The woman stated to me that she is aggravated that he wont file for divorce. Please help
I am really sorry you are in the situation you find yourself in. It appears your husband was lured away from his marriage via the office romance. Often times these types of relationships have a short fuse for many reasons. I noticed you said you have tried to contact him but he ignored your calls. Have you considered instituting a strict No Contact principle of 30 days. As times goes by, you husband may come to realize many of the positive elements about the relationship he had with you and the No Contact Rule might just help him figure these things out.
My wife and I separated in November of 2014. Although we had our fair share of fights over the years, it was my decision to divorce in the end. She was devastated. It changed her. We were together for almost 14 years and married for just over five.
She tried to keep in contact in the following months but I just pulled away further. I never asked for a separation. I stated divorce.
About seven months after the split and time apart, I approached her and asked if she wanted to try again. Start dating and attend counselling.
She was very hesitant and I don’t blame her.
After a few months of not getting any sort of response, I told her it was possibly a mistake and we should both move on. I was a little angry and confused.
Limited contact again over the next six months.
Since then, I’ve dated a few people, nothing serious. Her, I’m not sure of but I don’t think so.
But two months ago, I approached her again and told her I really want to try reconcile our marriage because the time apart has made me truly appreciate her and the way I feel for her.
Understandably, she said she doesn’t know what the future holds, what she wants or that she’s not ready to date anyone, or seeing anyone.
Now I’m in limbo. We’ve had no contact for about two months and I’m just not sure what to do.
I’ve put my feelings out there, helped her financially when I can but don’t want to pester her any further so I’m just letting time run its course.
I should point out, the reason for my change of heart the second time around when I said we should just move on was because a friend who I thought was a friend for over a decade spoke very badly of me and lied saying I had an affair which is not true.
She’s maintained friendship with him and went to his wedding recently which kind of infuriated me because of his lies. That’s why I changed my mind.
Since then, I told her how I felt, what I hope for and now it’s been months since I heard from her.
It’s now been sixteen months and I don’t know what to do.
Should I just file for divorce and move on?
Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
I accept that I am where I am because of the choices I made.
I desperately want our marriage renewed but she won’t tell me anything or contact me anymore so I just don’t know.
Hello Peter…I feel your pain. I really do. It is tough when you have invested many years in a marriage and relationship. It is a good thing that you have acknowledged you made some mistakes. We all do. Marriages can be messy at times. And for reasons that we might not ever fully understand, we can take certain actions that can lead to a type of domino effect. Clearly, you have made efforts to reconcile. I think the biggest barriers in your wife’s mind is trust and fear. She may be afraid to put her trust out there again. She also may also very well be fearful of what it really means when you say you want to try again. On the surface, I think we all know what it means. But perhaps your wife’s fear of the future is holding her back. So perhaps one way of overcoming this fear is to paint a clearer picture of what what you have in mind. I think little steps are best in these situations in order to slowly regain trust. Even before pursuing dates or counseling, you might want to lay out the notion of “let’s just try being present with each other”. It could a brief something as harmless as “let’s simply go to Barnes and Noble and look around at the books. Just being present with each other. No threat of expectations. No discussion of the past or future. It is like wading in the water. Very slowly and gradually. Whatever it is, the first encounter should be brief. 20 minutes. Perhaps painting this picture of what it might look like to try and gently explore the possibilities will be more acceptable. Little steps. Another idea, if that works, or even if it does not work, is try to “message in the bottle” approach. Write a nice little short note, expressing your gratitude for her just even considering our prior suggestions of reconnecting. Put in an empty wine bottle. Some merchants will do this for you and cork it for ya. Leave it at her door or put it in her mailbox. The tone of the note should be positive, and it should be very brief. There are a ton of things you might want to say. You will have to fight back that urge and simply express a “thank you”. You are planting a seed of goodwill and trust. Perhaps it will take root.
Thank you very much for the advice. I’m willing to try anything before giving up completely.
My wife and me separated 6 months ago,we been together 18 years,married for 14 and we have a 12 year old boy.We live on a island of the coast of africa,thats where we met.Im dutch my wife english and we both 42.At first everything was great,living on a sunny island and making easy money,we got married and 2 years later our son was born,then a year later her mum fell ill and she wanted to be close to her mum,what i understand,but we both didnt realy want to live in england so we decided to live in holland,its close enough.So my family was realy happy to have their grandson and us close to them.But my wife wasnt comfortable in Holland so she quite suddenly moved to England and left me to finnish things of in Holland.My family wanted us to stay and her to come back and i was in between but wanted to be with my wife and son and knew she needed me.So i did go and it was a bad time,we both didnt like our job or the life there,she was upset cause her mum and we had a small child,and the easy life in the sun was gone,things were different now and more responsibility’s.Many times i had enough and said i would leave but didnt and couldnt.Then her mum died in 2006 and we decided to move back to the sun before my son went to school.When we was at the airport we had a big argument in the hotel,and told her that if she didnt want to come she should stay in England,but we both realy wanted a happy life together in the sun and we was both certain we could give our son a happy life there.But it didnt go as planned,i understand my wife was grieving but i couldnt realy emphatize cause i never experienced a close death and sometimes it was better to just leave her be.But life goes on…
My job wasnt going well,i only worked on commision in sales but business went down hill,we struggled for money and we never knew how much we was gonna get,what both stresssed us out,and she had a normal income so it felt like it was all on her.I kept believing in good days at work but they never came,we argued a lot and i was always pushing for sex and affection,she always said tomorow but tomoro never came and if it did the sex was bad.This has gone on for years,we tried to talk but she blames me for not being there for her and everything else and always brings up shit from the past.Everytime she used to pospone nice or sexy evenings untill i got frustrated and pissed off and then i got angry and said a lot of stupid stuff i regret but i never treatend her with violence or have ever touched her,only verbal.But nothing in my eyes that bad everyone would say in anger i think.She also threaten to leave with my boy sometimes when we argued in front of him,what was wrong i know but we lived in a small appartment,still no excuse but ok.Then it exploded after another 3 weeks no loving and she left after this argument.Stayed with a friend and moved in a appartment a few days later.I was shocked at first and thought whats happened,i always wanted to sort things out but we couldnt somehow,i didnt listen and felt attacked.Ive realised my mistakes and at first ive tried to reason and to see that we got a son to think of and need to talk,but she dont want to speak.Ive tried to leave her alone but when i see her i just feel inlove and trie again to make her understand.I havent been pushing and pressuring to much and we havent had fights since,but its been going on to long and i feel i have pushed her away even more,we see eachother sometimes and we spend sometime together when my boy plays soccer and then i feel so good with her and i see she enjoys the time aswell and we do speak a bit but she doesnt know what she wants.then a few weeks ago it was my boys birthday and we spend some real good time together and had a good laugh,we texted a lot after and saw eachother again,and i could feel and see that she still feels for me.But she doesnt want to go back to how it was before,same me so things have to change,but she first was worried about money and now we pay double rent,she says its not just the money but she dont say she wants to divorce or that she doesnt love me anymore.Before when we was together i asked her many times if she didnt love me anymore,she didnt want my affection and never gave any to me,but then she said ,ofcourse i love you its just the money and i dont want to live like this no more.So i dont know,ive been doing my best to change things and made a lot of money and been good to my son,i got a different job now and get paid good.So ive done ok but also been pleading and trying to reason to much and i havent realy given her time i think,cause i confuse her.So now 6 months later im trying to go no contact and i think she did aswell,last week we texted a lot and she struggles for cash,i dont mind paying for my son but i dont want her to live comfortable on my expences.She went to England for a few days last week and since then we havent spoken,only today she texted about my boy and i just replied briefly with ok and sure,nothing else.Now realy i feel like all them years ive been selfish and should have shown more support and care,i know my mistakes but although im realy doing well im not sure how to restore the trust to make her feel save with me again.I told her that we have to communicate good and be a team to guide our boy to sucses and thats for both what is the most important.And i think she was happy to hear that.So now im with no contact trying to give her time but after 6 months im a bit worried she just wants out but isnt hard enough to tell me the truth cause she might worrie i do someting and leave this island.I know we both want to be a family and we have a connection still,ive read the trust restore section but im not much wiser,i love this woman and we got a son and we so to say stuck on this island,im giving everything to fix but she only goes the other way,i dont think she seeing anyone im not realy worried about that.I just like to know what to do realy how to start to connect again in a while and if i have a chance to restore our marriage,sorry for the long post,i can tell you loads more but do you thimk this no contact might work in my situation? Thank you
I know you are going through a hard time. The good news from my perspective is that the two of you have a lot of things pulling you toward each other despite some of the conflicts you have experienced. Your relationship of 18 years creates an connection. The challenge is turning the connection to more attraction from your wife. The fact you both have a child together keeps the two of you connected. I think one important question you both need to ask yourselves is what do you do with the little time you are spending together and communicating. I would urge you to keep all of those interaction as positive as possible. Positives build upon more positives and can lead to attraction. People in general are not attracted to negativity or feeling pressured. So keep up the positive communications, but make sure you don’t push or prod her for “answers” or “decisions”. I know this will be hard for you. I don’t think at this stage of how the two of you are interacting that No Contact will be of much help. I think you will benefit more by doing several, little surprising, thoughtful and kind things to help lift her day. Mail her a rose with a nice note. Pick up a shale off the beach an mail it or send it to her with a happy thought. Put a nice, short note in a bottle and cork it and send it to her. Think of this period as a courtship. Do things to lift up her day. But don’t over do it. Spread it out. The idea is that “less is more”. Over time, attraction will fill in. Best of luck to you!
My husband left me for OW 4 months ago. This past months i always initiate to call,text and email him. He don’t like it and he even block me on his phone. I am now 2 monhts pregnant (i conceived when we are separated). And it seems that he don’t want my baby. We been together for 11 years ( 4 years married) im still working and no financial support received from him from the start. Is no cantact rule is the best to apply on this kind of situation. I want to move on i know we are taken for granted (me and my baby).
Hi Eliza. I really sorry that misfortune has shined on you. But sometimes, things can happen in our life that can help us learn and become stronger and I believe you are becoming a stronger, more independent person. I believe the No Contact Rule would be best for you with a primary focus on working on becoming the best version of yourself. Eleven years in a relationship is a meaningful period of time and possibly your ex may learn that the grass is not always greener. Even if he does eventually reaches out to you and seeks to come back in your life in the future, you may have different feelings about what it is you want in your life. But right now, the focus should be on yourself…your needs….your baby’s needs and becoming the best version of yourself. Sometimes it is best to proceed in way that you described in your last sentence in which you discussed the importance of moving on. I know it is hard, but remember….you are the strong one and this experience, no matter how terribly painful it is for you will prepare you to overcome any number of obstacles that the future may throw at you. You should consider visiting my website at exboyfriendrecovery.com where you can learn a lot about how to deal with the future.
Thanks for your reply I really appreaciate it. I will visit your website and hoping it can help Me to move on and you are right i need to focus on myself and my baby.
One of the books I wrote that would probably be a very good match for you is called, The “No Contact Rulebook”. It is quite lengthy and about half of it deals with the emotional recovery phase….getting along in life with out your Ex. You will find it at my website exboyfriendrecovery.com
Please help, my marriage is 26 years long, my husband had affair got caught, then moved straight with the affair person, this was one year ago, she is much older than both of us we are 48 & 49, this woman is closer to 60, this is not his first affair, but this is the only one he has moved in with, I have been filled with anger, depression and made some terrible mistakes txting & attacking him constantly. My children have said that he doesn’t seem to love her & treats her quite badly, & talks about me in front of her, but rather someone to fill the gap, he has not introduced her to many of the family members, mainly because they all know how this started & want nothing to do with her. To this day he has never stated that he does not love me anymore, even though I’v asked him to do this so I can move on, or asked for a divorce…I’m at my wits end, will the no contact work if I implement this now? I am trying to move on with my life & seeking support with psychologist & psychiatrist. I am getting better every day. I moved out of the house we bought together & rented it out, renters have given me no end of trouble so I’ve had to kick them out, I will be moving back to my beautiful home in about a months time. I love this man with all my heart, but I know I have to let go, I’m just finding this very difficult to deal with. He constantly ignores me & told our daughter that he knows this infuriates me, I just don’t understand any of this. He is a very gaurded man & doesn’t show his feelings openly unless he is drunk or affected some other way. We never really argued & our finances were not an issue, not rich by any means of the word, we just didn’t have to struggle to much. We had a very healthy sex life until he started pulling away. I think what I’m really asking is does this relationship have any chance of survival or should I just cut my losses now & move on. At present since our seperation & split I have had a few prospective male companions, a couple from his work that I think if he found out would be horrified. I have not had any intimate relations with any of these suiters as yet as I want to stay true to the marriage vows I took. But at the same time I’m very lonely & want to find some happiness again. Can you she some light & guidance on my situation
Hi Julie…thank you for commenting. It is very brave of you to share and I think the process of you laying out your story probably has some therapeutic benefits. At minimum, it gives you a chance to get closer to your feelings. What I think I am hearing is that you are prepared to move on, though you also still have loving feelings for your husband, despite his betrayal. Love is one of our most complex feelings and when one is been married for numerous years, it is not the kind of thing that can be turned off like a faucet. And it is very possible to feeling love for your spouse, but also feel anger, resentment, frustration, and a score of other feelings. I regret the the renting of your home did not turn out so well. Sometimes it is good to get some space from the place where you lived with your husband in order to gain perspective and assist the healing process. But I understand too that finding reliable tenants can be troublesome and you certainly do not need additional stress in your life. I think employing No Contact Rule would be beneficial to you. I think your focus should be on “self” and becoming the best version of yourself. I agree it is still to early to get seriously involved in other male relationships as they may just amount to “rebound” relationships and it likely could cause more confusion and uncertainty. Though, at some time in the future, if it becomes very apparent that your marriage needs to end, then exploring other relationships would be reasonable and healthy. We all need love and we all benefit from having a strong sense of how we will embrace the future. Perhaps over time as you practice “no contact” and focus on your self and your family and friends, your husband may come to realize what he gave up. If he does reach out to you after 30 days and you are still interested in exploring whether you want that marriage back, take things very slowly. I think your husband would need to demonstrate his level of committment through more than just words. There could be benefits to him attending a marital couples session with you if you choose to re-explore the relationship. You mentioned this is not the first time he has strayed. So he needs to build back trust with you. You sound like a terrific person, with a pragmatic view of life and there are many men that would want to build a life with you. You sound very loving, loyal, and caring. So I want you to remember that. Take a good period of time to get in touch with what you really want. Right now, you may not be in the most objective state of mind. That is one of the benefits of the No Contact Principle. If you are interested in more details, you can go to my website, exboyfriendrecovery.com where I sale a comprehensive book called, The No Contact Rulebook. Right now I realize you are still suffering. It does sound like your husband’s emotional attachment style tends to be one of “avoidance” and reluctance to open up. I think you understand that compounds things. But 26 years of marriage is a long time, so there are clearly bonds between the two of you that no other woman can match. Whatever happens and what you choose, I am optimistic that you will land on your feet. And whatever you choose to do, I am confident you will ultimately make a decision that will maximize your happiness. There will be bumps along the road but you will be able to handle it. Best wishes to you Julie.
Hi, My husband has recently been based in Hk while i stay in PH since i have not received my visa yet. I found out he was having an affair and went to PH to meet the girl. He stayed here for 4days. When i asked him to meet me so we could talk and patch things out, he didnt want to. Until i had no choice but to go to HK to talk to him. Instead of me hearing that he wants to fix out marriage, he asked TIME. He said its better if we both fix ourselves and and let fate take its course. No specific timeframe. He said that we are always fighting and not compatible from the start. He also said that we are not happy anymore. And that he wants to be happy alone. I went back to PH since he doesnt want me there. Sometimes we communicate but he doesnt seem to be intrested to talk and there is always friction. Though sometimes he initiates to contact me. What do i do?
It seems that your efforts to communicate with him about the issues around your marriage have been hit and miss. And when he does reach out to you, initiating the contact, it does not end up well. Clearly, the fact that he has been having an affair is a big problem and needs to be addressed. But right now, it does not appear to be constructive to discuss it. I think based on how thing have progressed, it would be beneficial for you to enter into a No Contact period. Consider giving him your space because it sounds like he needs to figure some things out. But more importantly, you need to begin healing yourself. It won’t happen overnight or even in the first few weeks. If you shut down communications with him for a few weeks, it will allow you to focus on your needs and it will put some space between you and the bad feelings you are experiencing. When the time comes to discuss the relationship in the future, hopefully the discussion will be more constructive. I realize your husband has said some things that are hurtfull. Maybe with the passage of time, he will gain a fuller perspective of what he is doing to cause harm and damage to your marriage. And you hopefully will also gain some greater insights into what you feel is in your best interests going forward. There are many things I don’t know about your situation….such as are you dependent on your husband financially…do you have friends and/or family that can be supportive…how long you have been married…etc. So consider what I advise on the basis that I have incomplete knowledge of your individual situation.
You’re right we should do something about this! Appreciate you mapping out completely new ideas!
My wife and I were married only 11 months when she and her two 10 year old twins suddenly decided to abandoned me while I was away. We had an argument the week prior where she felt the kids were unhappy with me (which i now realize was not true), claimed that she made a mistake marrying me and asked me to leave while she thought things through. She called me a couple of days later and said we were through and she would not be there when I get back home. I didn’t believe her thinking she just needed some time to chill, but she was gone when I got back. Other than the occasional argument about her kids, there was little overall tension between us. Things were loving, kind and she was making summer plans and just finished changing her last name over to mine. She’s a women’s studies prof and a staunch feminist but that didn’t seem to cause any issues between us. Anyway, she initially did not tell me where she was and was scratching out her address on any of my mail that was misdirected to her house as well as dropping off items I own in my mailbox that she accidentally had taken. She continued to drop her kids off at the school a block away from me. I have since found out she lives only 2 mins away from me which I thought was weird. She then engaged a lawyer to begin a financial disclosure, precursor to a divorce I assumed. I tried to reason with her and she insisted that the three of them are happier now and that it was a mistake marrying me and any more attempts to change her mind will make her resentful and that I have to let her go. That was nearly two months ago and although she has texted me on various logistical things like taxes and dropping stuff in my mailbox, I’ve remained silent. After our financial disclosure there was no activity from her side. She is massively in debt, likely buying furniture and such for the house she is renting. After sitting in limbo for two months, I decided to file for divorce since it takes a year to finalize in the province I live in. Although we can still reconcile during this time, I regret filing because I fear that it might have pushed her further away. We were a very loving couple and there was no warning the marriage was in jeopardy. Just the occasional argument about her kids behavior. The week prior to the incident she was saying how patient I was with her kids and calling me cutie-pie. She was suffering from depression symptoms, I have now since realized, in the months following the incident based on how she said she was feeling health wise. Never occurred to me that it might be depression and so didn’t do anything about it other than asking her to visit her doc. I should have taken it more seriously in hindsight. I have two daughters as well and when they spent time with us they didn’t think anything was wrong between us nor her kids other than the typical sibling/step-sibling rivalry. Everyone who knows us can’t believe it as well because it seemed we were so well matched! It’s killing me because I still love the three of them, but perhaps she was secretly harboring a growing dissatisfaction with marriage and decided that a rapid exit strategy was her only choice. So I’m stuck trying to decide if I try and reconnect and see if we can reconcile or leave her be and allow her to make contact.
This is an unusual situation as I think you would agree, things don’t seem to add up with your wife’s actions and behaviors versus the previous actions and behaviors before the split. While I am not a psychologist, I would venture to guess that there are some deeper psychological issues that are at play here beyond the depressive state you described. I is not unusual for both parties, after a separation, to experience a form of depression. It is tough for anyone, irrespective of their makeup, to go through a breakup. So what are you to given what has happened? It is not clear to me how long you and your wife were together prior to getting married. 11 months of marriage is not a very long time together and if the relationship prior to the marriage was brief or if you did not know of each other very long, it is entirely possible that there are things in your wife’s background that have contributed to this situation. It seems to me that if your wife still loves you, then she will find a way back to you. So I would tend to think giving her space and offering the occasional support she may need (as you have done) may be the wiser choice. Though there may come a time, after the passage of several months, that you will conclude that a future relationship is unlikely or may not be in your best interests. At some stage, if you wife does demonstrate what you believe is a sincere interest in coming back together, it would suggest you gain a commitment from her for the both of you to enter into relationship counseling with a trained psychologist.
Hi, loved your column. So far the best piece of advice I have read.
I’ve been married with a younger man for the lasfirst 2 years, we have been together for 5. He is 28 and I am 33. Since we have been together, we have been great lovers and companions. We have 2.5 year old and a 2nd baby on the way in a few weeks. We are passionate about similar things, and even have a business together. Up until a couple of months ago, we were great, with regular ups and downs! I had felt him a bit distant, but he’s always been a bit aloof and never has given me aNY reason to mistrust him. I did feel we were spending a lot of time together and often asked him if things were OK between us. He always assured me things were perfect. To our friends and family and even me, we were completely in love with each other. Recently he flew to do a course overseas, toimprove our business and I found out that whilst he was their he had an affair with a girl his age. He came back defending her. The worst part was to find out that he doesn’t even want to work on our marriage, he just simply wants to live the single life again. According to him he is now attracted to other people and it’s something he can’t shrug off. I am so so hurt, he has completely changed, and I feel I don’t even know him anymore. He says he loves me deeply and will always be there for me (as far as saying he will always libe around the corner from me) but that he isn’t in love with me anymore. I don’t understand how someone can change so much in so little time. It was his wish to have a 2nd baby and the week before he left he was begging me to travel with him, but we had so many commitments that I couldnt. Now he’s willing to leave everything behind. We are currently living together as separated, due to our finances and also because I’m expecting in 3 weeks (this all started 3 months ago). He was overseas again visiting his family for 1 month, which was a great break, but he never stopped contacting me while he was away (different from the trip where he cheated, where he barely called his pregnant wife I 2 weeks)
Since he’s been back he has shut down emotionally and physically, to the point where he sleeps in the other room, but always looks for subtle ways to show me he cares ie. Makes dinner, does my laundry,, but then will do something like go out clubbing and come back home the neXT day without letting me know (since we have been together he hated going out clubbing/bars and he has NEVER come home the following day). The next morning he will again find ways to engage with me and his daughter. It is so confusing. I have been supportive and loving through all of this because I feel he’s going through a quarter life crisis (and in some respect I guess I understand what he must feel), but my emotions have gotten the best of me (especially playing all the scenarios in my head of his latenight wareabouts) and I have shown him my ugliest sides a couple of times. I feel he isnt being fair, especially considering my pregnancy,) he wants to be my best friend and pretend we are fine, so each time i cry or yell, or ask him anything about what he is feeling, he takes one more step back and i panic. I have kicked him out only to fiND him sneaking back into the house at dawn. He has refused to tell anyone, except his parents that we are separated and we try to act as normal as possible in front of others. But i am tired of pretending. I feel so confused, I’m not sure if he’s afraid to lose me (he looks super sad but has yet to show remorse or truly apologize) or just plain playing with me to get his way. Anyway after our last fight I read your article and today is day 1. He has tried to talk to me, and I limit the conversations as much as I can. He seems curious..please .. I’ll take any advice you can give me, considering our living situation and also please wish me luck on this. Is it even worth it?
Thank you for sharing your situation. It is evident you are going through a great deal right now and with your baby due soon, I think the most reasonable thing you can do is put the focus on yourself and your children. Your husband has created an exceptionally dysfunctional situation and is not healthy for you at this time to continue living in this helter skelter world of his making. So I would advise you pull your focus on being as emotionally and physically healthy as you can be right now. I think the current situation where he is half way in – half way out is not sustainable…it is not healthy…and is terribly unfair to you. I think you will benefit more if he is not living with you for the time being. It is more likely that your husband will further contribute to your confused state. Perhaps later after your child is born and you have had time to really get in touch with your feelings, you may be closer to understanding what is best for you and your child and whether you should seek to reconcile. It seems to me your husband is seriously struggling with what he really wants. He has history with you and it sounds like things have worked out fairly well. So that is good. The grass is greener syndrome may have engulfed his thoughts. His actions seem to contradict a lot of his words. Guilt may be part of that, but i suspect he is struggling with what he really wants. I think he has severely underestimated your role in all of this. He has yet to learn a key lesson of life….rash decisions usually create chaos. Seeking to shut down communications will in one way help him understand that there are things that are much, much larger than what he “desires” or thinks he “wants”. It will help him understand that he could lose you forever. No one controls all of the marbles when it comes to relationships. It is a two way street. Limited Contact helps you with healing, but it can also help your husband realize the bigger picture….which is specifically that he could be giving up on having a normal life with you and his children. Part of him is weighing this…but another part of him is living in a selfish realm. That is just my opinion, based on what you have shared. I do have some concerns around what your support systems are for helping with the baby after the child is born. Since you have had a child before, you are not a novice. But caring for two small children is big, big chore. So I hope you have family or friends nearby that can help or even live with you for awhile. But for the time being, let the focus be on your health, your child, and the baby to come. To some degree you will need to compartmentalize the other emotions tugging at your heart. Put them away for now as well as you can. Explain to your husband that is your focus and you need his commitment to give you the space you need. It hard…I know. But keep your exchanges with him about preparing for the child to be. Don’t get baited into discussing matters of relationship. if you do have to interact…do so a little as possible. Be pleasant, but keep the focus on where it needs to be which is creating a healthy, loving environment for your current child and the child to be and the support system you will require after you come home with the baby. The future is always moving. None of us know what will happen exactly with regard to our relationships and other things. We can shape them, if we are wise and patient. Quite frankly, your husband has thrusted you into a very difficult situation. It may still work out for the two of you. But don’t try to figure all that out right now. Just try to reduce the stress in your life. The truth is, you know what you want. Your husband has to still learn what he really wants and get in touch with what his true feelings really are. I think right now, he is living in a somewhat imaginary world in his mind. Time usually collapses such imaginary worlds and brings us back to reality and our responsibilities and needs in life. That is one of the benefits of utilizing a from of No Contact or Limited Contact. However this turns out, you will get through it and be stronger on the other side. You are young and have many, many, fulfilling experiences ahead of you.
Thank you so much for your reply. This is what I needed to hear (read :)) Luckily I will be on a 4-month maternity leave, which I intend to spend with my parents, two hours away. Hopefully that will help us both gain some perspective. It is so hard for us right now to not interact, as we work together very closely.. I have noticed that in the last couple of days, limiting my contact has made him want to engage more with me… what is worst is that we have a very strong connection, so he knows how to make me laugh.. I hate it, because I don’t know what to make of this… but your words have made their mark, and I will be firm to limit my interactions with him. I move out of the house in about a week in a half to prepare for the baby’s arrival.. it’s bittersweet, but I can’t wait. Thank you again for taking your time to answer.
Best of luck to you Missu. You deserve a good man in your life. If your husband does not come to “see the light”, then just know there is another person out there for you. You husband seems to be living in a fantasy world right now. Let’s see if he can come back to “reality” and realize that he is blowing it as he could possibly lose you forever.
I wanted to thank you so much for your taking your time to write to me regarding this situation. On a good note, our baby is now 5 months old and the situation with my husband continues to get better every day. After our child was born, he came back, it hasn´t been easy, because old habits are hard to die, but we are both committed to make it work. He has been putting in a lot of effort to change some of his behaviours that affect him and myself, and I have been doing the same. What has happened is that we are back to our earliest days, where we enjoy our company, support each other, desire each other, etc. I have started working out, making time for myself, and stopped stressing about his moodiness…I told him that in our house stupid useless fights are no longer allowed.. and it has worked! haha. Also, we are starting to do something that we never did after our first child was born, which is make time to be alone, date, go out together, etc.
I now realize that in order for us to stay in love with each other an, we must both work on ourselves first and promote peace and harmony within our relationship!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
I am very proud of you Missu! You have a great attitude. Keep things fresh in the marriage to the extent you can. Every once in awhile, create little surprises for your husband. For example, spice things up in the romance department. Find someone you trust to watch your baby for a few hours and do a mini date, but make it something fun or interesting or naughty or relaxing or all of these things.
Thanks, however I meant she was suffering from what looks to be depression in the months PRIOR to her walking out. Sorry about that. We were together for 2.5 years prior to marriage. She had an incident where she lost her hair to a hair product accident 1.5 years into the relationship and although I supported her during this time, she suddenly broke up with me because she felt she was losing her independence being with me. It seems that the stress might have triggered something in her. I eventually reached out a month later to her and she was receptive to reconciliation because she missed me and realized that this was the first time she was in love with someone. We talked about commitment and marriage in the subsequent months and it seemed like we were on the same page. Anyway, I too feel that perhaps there is a psychological issue here. If so, I appreciate your advice and will try to give her some more space. In the meantime I think I should focus on myself and be prepared to move on.
Thank you for the clarification and the additional information. It is abundantly clear that history has repeated itself to some extent. I believe your wife needs some time to work through some issues and if you give her space it is more likely the future may present an opportunity in which she will be more responsive to not only reconciliation, but very importantly relationship counseling. There seems to be a trend here with her initiating breakups. That is not healthy in the long run.
You know….one of the toughest things people of opposite sex face in forging strong relationships is finding the match. It is really difficult to know just how compatible we really are with another until a meaningful amount of time has gone by. No couple is every perfectly suited for each other. We are all imperfect and none of us are perfectly compatible with another. Though some of us are closer fits for others. Are you and your wife a strong match? I don’t know. But I do agree that focusing on becoming the best version of yourself and being prepared to move forward in life without your wife is both wise and pragmatic. Of course, such things are much easier said than accomplished. But it does not make is less so. Good luck to you. It sounds like you have a lot on the ball and however things fall in place, the future holds promise for folks who are open, patient, and seek resolution to difficult problems. And these are the attributes you seem to have in abundance.
I am currently separated from my husband of 5 weeks. We have been together a year then we decided to get married. A lot has happened with our marriage. A lot of trust issues on my part and a lot of stress with his children on his part. We’ve been through some rough times during the short course of time. There was cheating before we got married, the issue of his ex for 15 yrs which he has a child and there was a miscarriage that happened a couple months back. He is sweet very loving to me and very dependent in me emotionally. He once told me that after his break up with ex for 15 yrs that he was diagnosed with co depdency issue. They tried so make their relationshop work, they went to couples therapy didnt work, they went individually and he stopped since its not working. Over the years they tried on and off on and off until he said he just gave up. Nothing changes so he said no more. Then he met me. We connected and had really good time then got married. I know things happen fast for us and the marriage but maybe theres really love thats why he never hesitated and i didnt hesitated to get married.
During the course of marriage our 5 months of being married. We bicker we fight due to my jealousy with his ex. We fight due to some things that never gets done he says he’s guilty of always procastinating.
Then we had a big fight. I told him to leave me alone. Then I tried to get gim back and he said. He’s tired. He’s done. All his life its like he’s always chasing people always trying to work thing out. He became so dependent on others and always needed others to love him. He said he just needs to be alone he doesnt want to be with anybody and needs to fix himself. He wants to spend more time with his kids. He fought so hard for custody of his sob and he barely sees him. He said his 40 yrs old and his homeless he is a fuck up he said. I need to think about myself for once.
Then i let it go. After 4 days he said he will go away with me for the weekend since it has been planned with all our friends. It was tough i dont know how to act. He wasnt all that sweet and all like before. But he would still want me to take care of him and we even slept on the same bed and had his arms wrapped all over me.
Then he told me about his daighters problems in school that hin and his ex really dont know what to do with their daughter she seems out of control. He thats why you behave. I ddnt pry ad to what he means by that but just old him that itll be fine and hipefully things get better with this daughter.
We just cuddled and he asked me to massage him and i did. Nothing sexual happened. Then we drove home. I was very quiet he is coz i know that this is it he will go home and really get all of his stuff.
We arrived home. He started crying and just tells me that dint ever think that i dont love you but i cant i have to go. I asked him if this is the end he didint say anything or replied. I told him that i agree to this and hopefully we would get through it one day.
He said dont do anything stupid. Prioritize things that needs to be done and he will still help with anything i need. He tells me he loves me and doesnt gave a time or day when he will pick up all his stuff.
He didnt say he’ll miss me. He just said ill call u in a couple of days which i dont believe.
I dont want to give up on us. But i dont know if this breaking up will do good than harm.
So heart broken
Hi Mrs a! I know it is hard and painful when a marriage is crumbling. But there are two ways of looking at it. Sometimes things must break, but later they grow stronger from what is learned. Other times, an end of a marriage, ushers in a new journey for an individual. I think it would be beneficial to minimize contact for a 3-4 weeks. I guess we could call it “limited contact”. It sounds like you still expect him to pick up his things, so there will be some needed communication around that. But if things are to get better, I suspect it will be beneficial to both of you to give each other space. It will allow you time to heal some of your wounds and think about what you might want in the future. It will also allow your husband time to reflect on what he values most. Perhaps after learning that he can lose you for good, forever, he might be able to wrap his head around what he really wants in life. But be positive in whatever limited dealings you have with him. You can be honest with him and let him know you think you both need time to heal and reflect. That way, he will understand why you are not imitating contact. Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Yes, in most cases. But if you do get back together, there needs to be a game plan on how to avoid and or solve the problems that caused the breakup.
Hello- my husband and I just separated ( he just came home one day and said ” this isn’t going to work” and left) … Now all I can think of was his struggle with his daughter ( 14 years) , it has been non stop of problems as in her mom has tried to control EVERYTHING- I believe he feels guilty for not being there everyday for her ( he left her mom when she was less than a month) he does pay child support and she SHOULD be coming every other weekend but chooses not too … Her mom from what I hear will be getting married soon , and his daughter had started to complain about the “new guy, ” – I notice the effect it took on her since it was always her and her mom as long as I’ve know her- well her mom and herself have never accepted me and have blamed me for everything.,, eventually when she starred coming over I would just leave him with her and our 3 children. Well the day he left me and my children he received a text from her mom stating “she needed help!!!!”( watching their daughter) BUT – she was not to come to our house so she wanted my husbands mom to watch her, but grandma said she couldn’t …. He tells me we grew apart, but I also hear him saying ” I will be available to all my kids when they need me” we are all in different cities ( bout 25 min drives from each other ) since he moved in with his mom for 2 weeks now…I tried getting him to open up and nothing, we have Ben married for 9 1/2 years and gave 3 children…. He hasn’t filed, he’s agreed to come with me to counseling but I’m so stuck on what to do, he will never look pass what I have been through with his daughter and stood by his side.. I’ve read lots of books, articles, scriptures and I KNOW where I need to change but the ” unknowing” is killing me
It can be very painful and tough when a husband of nearly 10 years leaves suddenly, without a fuller explanation. Being together for 10 years is a lot of time, so for him to leave without a full explanation or without more effort to work through the issues is unusual. I agree there are probably more pieces of this story. I think, in time, the main drivers of why he decided to separate will be revealed. It is a good thing he has agreed to counseling as that might help create an environment for open and honest communications which is needed because without knowing the full scope of what is going on in his mind, it is difficult to address the issues. Perhaps he will feel more secure about sharing what is really going on inside him (assuming he knows himself) and that will lead to an opportunity for the two of you to work constructively to improve the relationship.
My husband and I have been together for 12 years, married for almost 5. We have a beautiful 3 year old daughter. He has done individual therapy in the past to work out some of his personal issues. I joined the therapy about a year into his and we went together for another year. We decided to do this therapy as a proactive measure since we had just become parents. We ended therapy about a year and a half ago and since then, our relationship and marriage has been better then it ever was (at least I thought so.) We have been trying for another baby (unsuccessfully for a year and a half), we have taken countless family trips together, have even had conversations about how great we have been doing. We bought a brand new car and he even surprised me with a tropical vacation for our upcoming 5 year anniversary. He is currently in school full time while maintaining a successful career. I also went back to school and recently finished which has allowed me to make a career change and be more present at home. A couple of months ago, we started arguing a lot. I saw a change in the way he was communicating (or not) with me. I found it disrespectful and tried to hold him accountable which led to arguments. Three weeks ago, seemingly out of nowhere, he told me that he doesn’t love me any more and he has been unhappy for a long time. His distance and poor communication the past month was him trying to figure out a way to tell me it was over. I was completely shocked. Of course we were dealing with some issues in the past month, but nothing to end a marriage over. I begged, cried, pleaded, et al. He moved out 4 days later.
He told me that he just wants to focus on work, school, and being a dad (although he has been gone for 2 weeks and has seen his daughter 3 times). So here I am. Wracking my brain as to how he can do something like this. It is so out of character. He’s so cold and has put up a wall. He says his mind is made up. I have stumbled upon this website in my frantic search for advice as to what the hell to do now. I want nothing more than to save this marriage. He is my best friend, the love of my life and my life partner. I can’t imagine just throwing my hands up, as he is, and not willing to work on it. It seems so against the idea of marriage. You know, for better or for worse. I wish I knew about the whole NC thing sooner, but I am willing to give it a go. I mean, I don’t have much to lose at this point.
We did decide to go forward with our trip, mostly for our daughter’s sake. We leave in 3 days on an 8 day trip. This is making the whole NC thing quite an enigma. I want to go into this trip with the hope that we can have some time away from stress and discuss things. Not necessarily reconciliation (although that would me amazing), but a plan. A plan that we can make to save our marriage. At the same time, I do not want to push as I know it could make things worse. Not going on this trip is not an option, so, what the heck is the best course of action while on this trip?
Hi Lorene….thank you for sharing your story. And I am sorry it took a couple days to respond to your message. You laid out the situation you are experiencing really well and I regret that your life has been turned upside down. It must feel like you are in some kind of alternative universe because on the face of what has happened over the course of the last many years between you and your husband, his actions do not completely jell. Something is certainly off kilter. You have known each other for 12 years so there is a huge bond, emotional connection, and history between the two of you….so while your husband may have thought he can just profess he does not love you anymore and move out….the real world of what lies deep in our heart just simply does not change like that. So something is not right. It is unclear what it is. Is it related to what he is going through on a personal level? It is hard to know until he truly opens up. It doesn’t seem like he is ready to really open up, either with himself or you (or both). Is he chasing some other dream? Again, we are only left to speculate without more information, however painful or confusing that knowledge may be. Eventually, it will come out. Such things usually do. Perhaps a return to counseling could help in the future.
I do think No Contact Principle would be help for you. There are many benefits. You can read more about this process on my other website, exboyfriendrecovery.com. You can also pick up my book on that topic which is available on that site. It is called “The No Contact Rulebook”. But your question is whether you should go on the trip. The easy answer is No. One could argue that this is no better time to start the No Contact process than now. But I think that approach would be short sighted. You husband would likely see that as a punitive action. And it would also negatively impact your daughter. So I would suggest you go on the planned trip. I think one approach you could take is to go on this trip with the frame of mind that you want to enjoy this trip and make it very special for your daughter. Don’t try or expect that you will have any discussion with your husband about why he is behaving the way he is. Avoid that area entirely. He probably will expect that you will go there. Don’t. That approach, in itself, will speak volumes. Just focus on enjoying time with yourself and your daughter to the extent that is possible. The trip is probably not the best place to have meaningful discussion about the relationship. Things could go south in a hurry. If you husband attempts to comment or raise the topic, don’t bite. If you have to speak to the issue, just say that it is not best to try to unravel everything while on the trip. Make it about each of you just enjoying yourself, particularly your daughter. I am not saying you give him the silent treatment throughout the trip. Just try to compartmentalize what is going on with your husband for now and focus on making the tropical experience a positive one. Build happy memories and moments for yourself and daughter. Then when your return from your trip, you can fully resume the No Contact process. In time, that should lead to an opportunity for the two of you to explore the full truth of what is unfolding in your husband’s mind and hopefully work toward reconcilliation.
My wife of 4 years left me to live in an apartment. She told me she was doing this but what happened is she kept it secret and moved out sooner without telling me. She told me she needed 1 month to heal her wounds with no contact from me at all. She may see me at Christmas. She claims she divorced me in her heart 6 months ago as it has showed in her actions such as not wearing her wedding ring not wanting me to kiss her. We did have intimacy on occasion the last 6 months but she did not want me kissing her on the mouth. Her reasons for leaving are based on her being miserable. She says we have nothing in common, do not share the same values and she does not want to grow old with me and be unhappy. I admit my faults and was not a good husband. Our arguments often led me to say mean things out of anger. I have worked on myself to change but she consistently says I will not and she doubts I will and the future. She has given me mixed messages. She says that deep down inside she does feel it can be better and we can reconcile but is doubtful. She has told me she would like to date me again after New Years but at the same time has told me I need to prepare for divorce if that happens. My wife has a masters in counseling and is educated in that field so I am wondering if this no contact period is an effective tool and could lead us to a path of reconciliation. We both go to church and she has said she may go to counseling after the first of the year. I wonder if she has made her mind up and is trying to be compassionate towards me to help me go through the process in one month or will this actually help us. Im also concerned she will like being without me so much that she will not want me back. Her mother is moving in with her and she signed a year lease. She has broken all comunication with me and went so far as to say if I come by her apartment she would get a restraining order. There has been no physical abuse. Just emotional. She told me the other day she is concerned about debt and will serve me legal seperation papers. I told her I will respect her wishes for no contact and will wait for her to call when she is ready.
Hi Chris. Thank your for commenting. It appears you and your wife are going through a very difficult period….a period including both transition and re-evaluation. It sounds like your wife has started her own form of No Contact. The mix messages you get from her is not unusual. It is difficult for any two people who have spent at least 4 years of their life married to each other not to struggle in determining what they want for their lives after they have undergone struggle.
We cannot know the future. But it does sound like you both need to spend some time apart in order for some healing to unfold and to get calibrated on your own feelings. There was study done some time ago. I call it the Habit Study. Essentially, on average, it takes about 66 days for people to form new habits and routines. Bear in mind, that is an average. Some people in the study group were able to pick up new habits sooner. Others took almost a year before replacing old routines with new ones. My point is that spending some time apart from each other won’t immediately result in everything that you had together vanishing and being forgotten. I do think if both people work toward improving themselves during the period that they are separated, it bodes well for the potential of reconciliation. But is that the right path for each of you? I suspect it is too soon to know.
It sounds like your wife is wresting with what she is really feeling towards you. So don’t give her things to make her feel negative toward you. Likewise, you need to embrace yourself and your own needs. And you need time to get in closer touch with what your truly want in your life. Sometimes, we can end up surprising ourselves with what it is we want….or thought we wanted.
Hi, my husband left me two days ago. We have been married for 2.5 years and have a 20 months toddler. It’s a long story , he has 3 older children that leave with my mother in law. His kids has behavioral issues and I think he feels guilty for not being with them so he choose to leave me and my baby. He said he loves me but doesn’t want to be marry to me anymore. The day he left I found out he had two dating sites profiles, even though he swear he didn’t talk to anybody. He left me and it hurts, he stated that he doesn’t want to work in our marriage, he doesn’t want to be married. Help me.
Hi Veronica. I am very sorry for your situation. Just know that the pain you feel, will in time subside. I think you need some space away from your husband. And likewise, I think he would benefit by having time to processing things and figure out as well as possible what he really wants. Most importantly is your needs and time to heal, no matter how all this works out. Since you were married for a few years have have a a young child, there is an undeniable connection an bond that exists through that experience.
If he has goodness in his heart and the two of you are compatiable and have had a reasonably good marriage, I think things could work out. But giving each other space and letting the importance of you and your child weigh on his mind may be the best choice.
If he reaches out to you, just tell him respectfully you need to some time to yourself to work through things. If you have family or a support system, lean on them. The more you can gain more independence and gain your own perspective on what you truly want, the better off you will be.
My husband and I have been separated for about 3 weeks now. He and I were in AZ and we’re moving back to ID and we’re planning on driving up together. One night we got in a bad fight and I packed up to go stay at a hotel for a night to get my head on straight. He refused to let me take our only car (he kept referring to it as “his” car), so I went out of our room to go cry by myself and be alone. Long story short, he packed up his things and drove that whole night to Idaho by himself. I’m not very close to my family (who all live in AZ) and I was very excited to move back up to ID (where my husband is from and where all his family is), but that was taken away from me in an instant. I eventually found a way to fly up there myself New Year’s Eve, and was living with his parents up until about a week ago. I have my own apartment now. He lives on the other side of town with his friend. I’ve always been close with his family. My husband is very upset with me for coming up here and repeated has told me he does not love me and does not want to work on our marriage. Oh, I am also 4 months pregnant with our only child. Our one year anniversary is coming up this month and this is the second time we have separated because he has said he doesn’t want to work on our marriage. It’s hard because I’m very close with his family, but my husband has made it very clear that they are “his family” and not mine. We aren’t making any permanent decisions right now because we have the baby coming soon, but I feel like I’ve lost him forever. I have issues with depression and have had suicidal episodes before. He has anger issues and is very emotionally distant and abusive and cold. I have opened my own bank account, moved into my own apartment, kept contact to a bare minimum and very business-like, gotten into counseling for myself, and haven’t spent a ton of time with his family (even though he doesn’t see them very much either). I just want my best friend back. I miss the way we used to be and it is so hard for me to be patient and wait for him to come to me. I don’t even know if he even will. He seems pretty serious about not wanting to fix our marriage. How long should I wait? What do I do during this time? I’m trying to better myself and prepare for this baby, but there are some days where I am so overcome with pain and emotion that getting out of bed is hard. And the pregnancy nausea isn’t helping either. Is there any hope for us even if I’m the only one wanting to fix this?
Hi Erika. You are a very brave woman and however things turn out, just know that your bravery and independent and strong spirit will carry you far. It is indeed challenging emotionally when the person you love does not seem to consistently reciprocate. I am somewhat concerned about the things you said regarding your husband’s tendency to be emotionally abusive and cold and conflict oriented. And the fact that he has acted out “twice” about his desire to end the relationship does make it confusing to understand what he really wants. But the way I see it, what is most important is what is best for you and your child. That should be the focal point. Please continue with the counseling you are getting. That is important and I am proud of you for realizing the value of being able to talk to someone. Men sometimes get panicky when a child is coming into the picture. I just wrote a post on one of my other websites. It might help you. Some of my advice in that post applies to you. Except, I would not recommend you start dating or pursue anything like that. And if you to eventually reunite with your husband, it should be with the understanding that the core issues driving these breakups get addressed.
As you probably know, when you are pregnant, your emotions can just run away for a spell, then come back to center. But make me a promise. If you ever feel suicidal, reach out to your counselor or the Suicide Hotline. But I feel certain you are going to come through all of this. But remember, your focus needs to be on your own emotional and spiritual and physical health. It is possible that things won’t work out with you and your husband. You hunger for him now, partly because of the chemicals in your brain (dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin) are in a deficit. There is an addiction factor associated with love. But we humans are incredibly resilient and so are you. To the extent you can solidify your financial situation, that would be a good thing. Having a support system of friends is important. Engage yourself in outside activities. Meet people. Help people. Soak up sunshine. Plan for the baby. When the child comes, you will need a support system of some kind. All these things will have a healthy influence in your life. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in your apartment all day. Just know that, none of us can be certain of what is going to unfold in our lives. And believe me, if things don’t work out with your husband, there are many wonderful men out there that are looking for love. In my book, the key to finding the right person is finding a man that has kindness in his heart and shares many of your same values. Our hearts can get heavy and we can be blinded when a relationship is struggling. But the truth is you have amazing opportunities that are available to you, only if you chose to pursue them. I know right now, you want to see if the marriage has the potential of being a positive thing for your life and your child’s life. It appears to me that your husband would benefit from some self discovery as opposed to lashing out at you. Don’t be afraid if someday your rational mind (the left side of your brain) tell you that the marriage is not what is going to be right for you and your child. Right now, it is your right side of your brain which is where your “emotional” control center largely resides that is talking to you now. In time, your emotions will hold less sway on you. Take advantage of this time away from your husband to allow for more healing and personal growth and perspective. I wish the very best for you. Never forget, you have the capacity to have an amazing life, you and your child. It is within your control.
Thank you Chris. I appreciate your help. He wants to meet this week and I’m nervous as to what will be said. I don’t think he’s ready to reconcile just yet (not sure if that will ever happen). I think he just wants to talk logistics about the baby and what to do when it comes. I think he might mention adoption. Should I be business-like? Should I try flirting? I’m just not sure how to act in front of him so that I can have the best chance at a positive outcome. Please, any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Erica! It might be best to listen carefully, without a lot of reaction. Try to maintain control of your emotions. I know you can do this! Ask questions for clarification as needed. Sometimes it is best to get a lay of the land before you weigh in on any meaningful issues. If he proposes something you like or dislike, just remain calm. It is OK to think about things for a few days and get back to him on your feelings. Particularly if the two of you are dealing with meaningful matters. Remember, we are talking about your life and your needs. He has not always been there for you, so don’t expect that to change. No, I wouldn’t flirt. Just be yourself and be respectful, despite what he says. Avoid showing a lot emotion. He may try to bait you into getting a reaction or maybe not. Just breath, move and talk slowly and remain calm. Those behaviors always help keep a person chill. The reality is that you need to make important decisions in the future about you and your child’s future. Take whatever necessary time you need to consult with friends and family. Don’t allow emotions to rule your mind. Eventually, you will draw closer to your true feelings on what is best for you in the long run.
Hi there. I think you are doing the right thing by focusing on your own needs and drawing closer to friends and family. It is important to have a support system when a person is going through a rough patch in their life. It is unclear what is going on with your husband and it is best not to try and speculate about out. What is most important at this stage is taking care of “You”. You say he is angry and hurt, but it seems from what you said, you are the one who is justified for have such feelings. I understand your feelings around this whole matter can be upsetting and painful, but you will get past this.
Use this time to limit your conversations with your husband and give him the space he thinks he needs. It sounds like he may be working through some things and perhaps does not appreciate and value as much as he should. If in the future he wants to make a go of it, then it would beneficial to seek some marriage counseling. It seems to me one of the problems you both are dealing with is the conflicting schedules which has contributed to separating both of you. That creates dysfunction in the marriage and is not a long term healthy arrangement.
Keep the focus on becoming the best version of yourself. That much you can control to a large degree. If things don’t work out between the two of you, you will recover and thrive. There is much for you to do out there in the world and many other paths you can explore.
6 weeks ago, I confronted my husband of 8 years the night before Christmas Eve on my suspicions that he was texting with another woman as he was on his cell phone constantly and it never left his side. He came clean and told me that he had started seeing someone, was having an affair and thinks he wants to be with her. Turns out, they work together, she is 27 – 14 years younger than him and just got married herself only 7 months ago. Their affair had been going on for about 2 months and had started about 5 weeks after my father had passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer. Within the weeks following, my husband continued to go out and see her spend nights in hotels with her all while still living at our house. He told me he does not want to work on our marriage as it would not be fair to me for him to even pretend to work on it. He would always be thinking about her and would not stop texting her. During this time he would still act normal in many ways while living in our den. He would ask if I wanted him to pick up dinner or would even clean the snow off my car and make us coffee in the morning. He would come home and tell me about his day at work or talk to me about what happened at his hockey games. I specifically remember a strange conversation he had with me in early January, the day before his birthday. He came home from work that Friday and told me how embarrassed work made him in that they all started wishing him a happy birthday. The boss had e-mailed the team how not to forget that another girl was having a birthday that weekend. She then replied to the team not to forget that my husband was also celebrating his birthday. I asked why he was embarrassed and he said because he was turning 41. There’s nothing exciting or happy about turning 41 but she on the other hand was turning 27 – and that was exciting and something to be happy about. I repeated back to him what he said and then said 27 huh – really!?! His response was yeah , I guess so (That of course is the same age of the girl he is now seeing).
After about 3 weeks, he followed my wishes and finally moved out and got his own apartment (I was done having him rub the affair in my face while living in our house). I am aware that she has left her husband and is living at his new place with him. We have discussed our finances and he is leaving me with some money in the bank as well as the house and all of the contents. I have since taken this agreement to the lawyer to be drafted as well as filed for divorce (just waiting now). He is aware that I have filed and his response has been I understand. I know that I have moved this process along very quickly however I don’t see what other choice I had as he has given me no inkling of wanting to stay in our marriage. He says he loves me but he’s just too far in it with her. He also says his intentions were for me to never find out about the affair but now that I know- they have decided they want to be together.
We had a very good marriage, got along great and did things together all the time. I was completely blindsided when he came clean on the affair. Our family and friends were shocked as well as they had seen no inklings of problems in our marriage not to mention they said my husband always seemed to have his head on straight. I agree with their assessment prior to him coming clean. This behavior is completely out of character for my husband. Even prior in the day of when I found out about the affair, he was with his sister talking about needing to go out and buy my Christmas present. Just weeks before that he was talking to his sister about trying to figure out how he and his family could potentially buy my parents’ home when my mother goes to down-size as he knows the home means so much to all of us and he wants to keep it in the family.
During these past 6 weeks he has also stopped contacting his own family after they expressed concern to him in regards to the rash decisions he is making. All of this is very out of character for my husband. His family and I are concerned that he is in the midst of a mid-life crisis. I have sent him articles on mid-life crisis and he did acknowledge that he was feeling many of the symptoms noted in those articles. I told him to seek out a Therapist and that I would even make him an appointment, he has declined on my offer.
When he moved out, I did all of the packing for him in an effort to speed up the process (it was not healthy for me to have him living in the house and having an open affair). I had to contact the lawyers and initiate all of the agreement conversations between him and I. He still has some belongings at the house and says he will be back for them at some point. He has taken our dog to live with him as well. It’s been a week now that I have followed the no contact rule. I am working on myself as much as I possibly can. I know we will need to be in touch at some point in the near future whether it is to file our year end taxes or arrange the picking up of his additional belongings. I am truly devastated and sickened on how he has turned into a stranger overnight and has decided to walk away from his life, our life. I truly feel like he is making quick decisions with no real plan. I’m concerned he is going to wake up one day only to realize he has messed up his life and it is too late!
Do you think I’m right for implementing no contact right now? Is there any other advice you have for me?
Hi M. I think you have handled the entire situation with class and courage. It is indeed a very painful experience you are trying to manage, but I think you are taking the right steps. I believe No Contact will benefit you, because right now the most important thing is your own self healing and personal growth. None of us know the future. And by implementing and adhering to the No Contact Principle, you are not excluding the possibility of a potential recovery of your relationship with your husband. I am not saying that would be best for you. I don’t know. I don’t think you know either, at this time. Time is usually the arbitrator of these kinds of situations. What path your husband will eventually end up on is still unclear. You cannot control his decisions and life choices But you can largely control what paths you take. Do the things you need to do to heal. In the future, when you feel stronger emotionally about what has happened, your thoughts and instincts will likely be more sound and in touch with what is best for you. You have the potential of having a very fulfilling, exciting, adventurous life. I am not one of those individuals that think, “things happen for a reason”. I don’t believe that. But I do think you can shape your future. So why not shape into something beautiful. Gravitate to those things that give you fulfillment. Seek to do things for yourself, not him. And if he ever does come back into the picture, you will be blessed with the insight and clarity of what you truly want and believe will be best for you.
Hello, I suspected my husband of infidelity late Oct & I kicked him out Oct 29th but he came back Nov 1st, he wasn’t changing so I asked him to leave Nov 10th but he came back Nov 12th & that day he said he loved me & couldn’t live without me but after he got more distant to the point that he wouldn’t respond to my texts & on Dec 9th a day he didn’t text me at all he got home late & drunk. We argued & I told him to leave he left Dec 11th & this time he didn’t try coming back long story short I was right he had been with someone & supposedly him the day he left to not return he said he had hatred towards me for kicking him out. Now he is “in love” could he really love her that fast or is it the hatred he felt towards me & her telling him what he wanted to hear from me its making him think he loves her? Well as of Jan 22nd I haven’t looked for him or tried calling him, now he has come in 2 different occasions when either our daughters have been at school or they been sleeping (because of school bed time) he knows their bed time supposedly to see them but I don’t know I want to believe he is starting to miss me because why else would he come when they were at school? Please help me understand men. TIA
Yes, men and women, we are all interesting and odd creatures, each with our own set of peculiar behaviors. Given you husband keeps going back and forth on you…in and out of marital affairs…it might be best to continue on with the NO Contact period so that you can work on your own healing. I suspect he is testing the waters with you. In the meantime, it will send a message to your husband that you have little tolerance for his behavior. YOu don’t need to be mean or angry around him. Just tell him you are working on your own healing and focus on your need before you are ready to have a serious discussion about the future. He will eventually need to realize, if he does not already, that this merry go round of back and forth behaviors is doing you no good and you will not commit to a relationship unless you have trust that you will not be betrayed.
I want to thank you for taking the time to write these blogs. I have been married for almost 2 years now and my wife told me that she wanted a divorce a week ago. She’s in the military and I had just gotten out of the military myself about a year ago. We were separated after 3 months of marriage due to her getting stationed in the UK. After 6 months I finally got to the U.K. in a rush because she told me that she wanted a divorce after the Christmas holidays. That was February of last year. We went through marriage counseling and it helped for awhile but now we are back to square one and she wants a divorce again. We’ve had a lot of disagreements over the year and she has gotten more miserable and sad and angry and our intimacy dwindled to nonexistent. I had been unemployed since leaving the military and am now just starting school. She’s angry with me for making a less than concentrated effort in finding employment and restarting school. She’s not wrong in her assessment. I did dawdle with school and I gave up too easily on finding a job. She says she doesn’t think we’ll ever make each other happy and that I deserve someone better than her because she gives up. She keeps saying that it makes her sad to see the hope in my eyes knowing that I’ll end up being disappointed. I’m not perfect and I have said some harsh things in the past. I have been hurt by her withdrawal from my affections as well. I want to heal this rift between us but I’ve been in a panic spiral. I started staying at our mutual friend’s house a week after her declaration because I sensed that my presence was not letting her relax and to be honest I couldn’t fully relax either. I feel like every time we talk, I keep saying things that end up hurting us. Reminiscing about the past, halfhearted declarations that I will agree to divorce if that’s what she really wants, rationalizing that we’ll turn out ok but separately in the future. There has been no infidelity on either party. Just a lot of anger and sadness from her and I’m just trying to cope. I fluctuate between depression, resignation, and hope daily since then and I am sleeping and eating less and less. I know this is wrong and I need to take care of myself. I’m just worried sick about her and about us. I can see her falling more and more into depression and I want nothing more than to just hold her and make things ok again. But I don’t know if I can change her mind and give us a 3rd try. I’m afraid she’s resolute that this is the best course of action because she’s just so sick of feeling miserable and that she’ll never be happy being with me. I thought I was doing the right thing giving her space but am I doing more harm than good?
Hey there Jeremiah. Life can throw some tough things at us all, but know you will learn from this and whatever happens you will find happiness. It seems you and your wife are in a downward spiral. When you are around each other, your intentions are good but you both seem trapped in a bad emotional spiral. You both would probably benefit from taking a good amount of time away from each other so you can focus on some self healing. Give it a month or so, then agree to talk again. Talk to her about this and come to an agreement you will both try to realize some self healing. You should use this time to focus on those things that will help you rebuild your self esteem and greater stability in your life. When you see each other again, do it in very small doses, without the pressure of trying to get back together permanently. Just be friends to each other. Essentially you are trying to rebuild your marriage and attraction in very small steps. If you both think there is a spark there, somewhere, then seek out marriage counseling again. If things don’t work out for the two of you, it is not the end of the world. If you love each other, then you want what is best for each other. And sometimes, that means not being together if the chemistry is not right. Not every marriage is going to work out. We can’t know the future in how compatible we might be with another person. So don’t be so hard on yourself. There are always many paths for us all to find happiness. We just have to try them out.
Thank you Chris. We’ve been separated for two weeks now but have seen each other sporadically because of our dogs and appointments we’ve had to attend. I’ve let go the only way I know how. Which is the gentle way I’ve always been. It’s been surprising to my best friend but she’s never known me to be any other way. I told her honestly that I still didn’t want a divorce and I’m still in love with her but I also know that as it stands right now, staying would be wrong because only one person would be happy. I never want just one to be happy in our marriage. I’ve made my peace and I told my lady that I will respect her wishes. I don’t know if we’ll see each other again in the future and I try not to think about that. The best thing I can do for her is to leave the way I entered her life, compassionately and with love. The best thing I can do for me is to leave and try to understand myself and grow from this experience. I thanked her for loving me all these years and the joy she’s shown me and I left things with a smile that I really felt deep down. I’ll still be here for a bit while we wait for the paperwork to be drafted so she can serve me. Meanwhile, I can tell that it’s taken the pressure off of both of us. She told me I’m the hardest person to break up with because I’m not being a jerk or reacting in the ways she would expect. I wouldn’t have it any other way. May we both find what we’re searching for in the future. Thanks for your advice and kind words.
Hey J…you are taking the high road and it takes a strong person to do that. It hurts, but you will be very proud of yourself for many, many years to come. Don’t let the dark side pull you in. It is an incredible powerful thing to do for a woman you love, but who is struggling with her own feelings about what path to take. It is also a wise course of action. Keep yourself busy with life and gravitate to positive things. You have your whole life ahead of you and it is a precious thing. There are many, many paths to chose from. The future is always moving. Choose a path and help make the future you want.
My husband left at beginning of December saying his been unhappy for over a year, which I don’t understand we brought out house in july two new cars in august and booked a holiday for his year.
We had been arguing a lot about money I had just gone back to work in January so we had to make adjustment for childcare and extra car on road.
He left on Saturday and came back the Monday wanting to save marriage by the Wednesday he has changed his mind.
He had become close to a girl at work he tells me there just friends and that he been supporting her as she an alcoholic, but a message she went was inappropriate and his her boss.
He’s fallen out with people and work who has. Questioned him about there relationship and told them there causing trouble between me and him. He taken her on day trip to London and still defending that its lot what I think there just friends. I still love him and want to save my marriage, his living at his brothers and hasn’t seen his other brother since we separated that we where close too and spent many weekends at.
Will giving him space help save my marriage after 11 weeks or is it too late. He keeps saying his moving on but his not sorted any contact with kids or fianances. He says he wants divorce but in no rush And doesn’t know how to do one
Am so confused all I want is to save my marriage.
Hello Tracey. I am very sorry for your troubles. Your husband appears to be struggling with what to do. All marriages have problems and when arguments increase, it can put added stress on the relationship. The other women he is seeing is complicating things and if the marriage is going to work in the future, he will have to decide who he wishes to be with. I think it would be best to implement a no contact period. Tell him you need time for yourself, without him in your life, to work through the pain he is causing you. Perhaps that might help him realize the good things about you and the marriage. Perhaps in the future he will agree to go to some marriage counseling with you because I think talking to training marriage coach will help him see the path he is own is headed for ruin.
Thank you Chris for your advice I hope you right at the no contact works my heart is so broken.
How long do I do no contact for, I don’t want to give up on my marriage but I can’t help feeling his moving on
Perhaps he is moving. Perhaps he is not. No one can be sure about such things. You are closest to the situation. The main thing you need to believe is no matter what the outcome, you will find a way to personally grow and find a path that will lead you to more fufilling moments. Given this is a marriage situation, consider giving no contact at least a few weeks. If he reaches out to you, just explain you are trying to take time to take stock in your own life and what is best for your future and that you will need your privacy. Use this time to focus on a future without him in your life. It is a pragmatic approach. If he comes back to you expressing he has second thoughts, then take things very slow.
I really don’t know what to do or think,
My husband turned round and told his brother he doesn’t love me anymore and wants a divorce, he arranged to go solicitors on 7th mar but has agreed to meet next Saturday to discuss access to the kids and house we brought at the local pub, his still showing signs he cares in message on Facebook and all photos still there, do you think there’s still a chance Ben though it’s been 12 weeks
Hi Tracey. Love is not something that just dissolves away easily. Once two people are bonded by love, it exceptionally difficult for that bond to ever be broken. Sure, people can undergo issues and talk of splitting up or divorcing can gain traction, but don’t be so sure that your husband doesn’t love you still. He may say it and may even think it. But what we say and think is not always truly what lies in our heart. Sometimes it takes time to get in touch with our feelings.
Yes, I think there is still a chance. Meet with him and try not to offer resistance. If your husband is certain he needs to strike off into another direction, there is not a lot you can do about it right now. Tell him you need your space as well. The No contact rule can sometimes bring you closer in the long run.
am even more confused, i met with my husband last weekend to discuss the kids and house, i told him outright that i still love him and with counselling feel the marraige could be saved but if divorce is what he wants he has to do it. Asked him if he had an affair he looked me wide eyed straight in my eyes and said no, is he lying. We did argue a little about the house and he said he will see his solicitor. He kept asking when am i going to give up work as i never stay in work but i do i only give up work before because of his career. He did later attempt an apology. He also said he was on his own and to old to start all again and that he doesnt have alot of money now his own his own. And when we left he said I must keep in touch with his family.
This week he came and took daughter out and I asked about solicitor and he said he never went. And on returning he asked to stay longer, he had a drink and sat next to us and we talked a little about his holiday, about the school holidays he wants to help out but all the time he never looked a me, am really getting mixed messages did he stay just to see the kids long or is it an attempt to reconcile, what should i do.
People do lie about their affairs. But it is impossible for me to be certain if your husband was deceiving you. It seems to me that he is also confused about what he wants or how he feels about things. Focus on your needs and becoming the best YOU that you can. Focus on doing fun things for yourself and with your kids. Let him remain on the outside looking in and eventually hearing and seeing all these wonderful things. Let him initiate the contact with you. He has to decide what he wants.
It is going on 4 months since my wife left me and bad part is she has only really been with me for 3 month in the usa she has made no contact to me i have called her and texted her but no message from her i do not know what to think ok I did do something i went to uscis to report that she left me was that wroung was or is there Any chance that she come back adn work things out
Yes, there is always a chance. Find another way to communicate with her. If you have her address send her a message in a bottle. That might get her attention.
My husband admitted at the weekend that his moved on and seeing some me else now, which I know his he way of covering up the fact his been seeing her before as he thinks as weee separated it’s not an affair, he also told me for the 1st time he doesn’t love me anymore and am heartbroken as I still want him back.
He wants me to keep in touch with his family and he is communications with us a lot better but he still confusing me he hardly had anything to do with his family
But wants me too, and he still keeps photos of us together on Facebook and relationship is still complicated do you think he still keeping his option open in case it doesn’t work. I’ve applied for divorce but it’s not what I really want but what else can I do
Yes….sometimes husbands suffer from the “grass is greener” syndrome. You should focus on rebuilding yourself and your life. Who knows where your husband head and heart really lies. Keep your options open, but limit your communications with him so you don’t come off as needy.
It’s been six months now since my husband left and had an affair, I know his moved in with her in a shared house. But his only ever been seen out on his own and though they work together they still drive to work separately. He still can’t look at me when talking and he texts me now and again to arrange contact with daughter but he sees her every Saturday anyway he attend daughter sport day recently and sat with us which was hard but he did it talk.
Is there still hope for my marriage,
He sent me this message recently and I don’t know what to make of it
I’m sorry but I have now my life and you should sorted your life.
Any advice would be appreciated
We all try our best to find a compatible partner in life. We fall in love. We marry. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don’t. People’s intentions are almost always good. But long term relationships and finding the right fit and chemistry is not always easy. Couples have to work hard at it to build on their attachment. But sometimes things don’t work out and that is OK.
I can’t say there is no hope for your marriage. But given what he texted you, it sounds like he wants to move on. Perhaps he will feel differently in the future. But perhaps not. I think the pragmatic thing for you to do is to assume he wants to move forward in life without you as his wife. If that is the case, then you should carve out your own path. Consider bring closure to your marriage if you both feel that is best. There is somebody out there for YOU that is a whole lot better. That is something I am certain about. Take your lessons learned and apply them going forward.
I don’t normally reach out via the internet but I am kinda desperate right now for information.
About 8 months ago my husband demanded I move out because he was unhappy. We have had limited contact but things are still physical.
The separation happened with no warning, no counseling and no fight. He just booted me. I do not think there is another woman as he is still being physical with me. Essentially, we got married because I was pregnant-not due to love.
He’s been wanting sex all the time but chooses to not deal with our issues. I am growing more and more frustrated because there is NO connection and things in the bedroom feel forced. When you say no contact, are you speaking of physical or just in general?
In my opinion, I want to end things physically because it has NOT helped us connect. I’m starting to feel used. And I am now leaning very much on divorce.
I just wonder if insisting on no physical contact will benefit us or cause an even bigger rip.
Hi Megan. It does not sound like your marriage is in a healthy place. The No Contact rule applies to all forms of contact including verbal, written, text, phone, and physical sex. Given that your husband says he is unhappy with the marriage and does not want to live with you or work on improving your marriage, then it is understandable that you feel used. I agree it would be in your best interest to end all forms of contact. It is unhealthy for you to continue this way. You should consider talking with a counselor so you can get confirmation that the situation you are in is dysfunctional and if it continues on this track will get worse.
I’ve recently had my wife tell me she isn’t in love with me,but she does love me. She suggested a temporary separation,she says that the spark isn’t there when she looks at me,(I’ve also told her that I understand about it not always being their when it comes to passion or spark,but I guess mine isn’t as prominent)we always have fun together and never fight and I treat her great so she says she doesn’t understand y it’s not there. 4 1/2 yrs ago when we were dating I messed up and she says that’s when she lost it,said it comes and goes and she even had questions on our wedding day. It’s just the 2nd day of separation but it feels like the 2nd yr and I just don’t know what to do. I’ve recently realized that after my mistake I wasn’t being the same man I was before it happen,I started to treat her really good but lost that respect she had for me as a man,I became her little puppy instead of her boyfriend/fiancé/and husband. Please if u have any advice for me I would really appreciate it. I feel as if I’m losing my mind,we moved to her hometown in which I know nobody but her and her family. This separation is between me her and the friend she’s staying with as well,I’ve spoke to a friend about it and he’s agreed to keep it to himself. Please give any advice that may help me and my marriage
Sometimes, taking a little break from each other can help sharpen the true feelings inside. Take some time to focus on your needs and allow her space to draw closer to her feelings. It is very early in the process.
Going on day 5 now and I haven’t heard anything from my wife,I want to text her and see how she’s doing. I know this is hard for her cuz she would never intentionally hurt me,I just don’t know what to do
Hey there “Private”! Yes, i know it is really tough as time winds by so slowly. But remember, it was your wife who suggested a temporary break. Since you guys are married and the No Contact rule sometimes needs to be modified for different situtions, allow for a few more days to go by. Then send her a complimentary text. Keep it really brief. Say something like, “Just reaching out to say hello. Thank you for insisting we take some time for ourselves to figure things out. I am hopeful it will help us both. I will honor your request for space”. Keeping things positive and supportive.
Well I broke down and texted her and said “how have u been” we talked on the phone for a bit and it was productive,she was going to stay at the house and watch tv but she decided not to,she said sorry she couldn’t,I’m guessing it’s to soon. I told her it was ok and that I know we’re going to make it thru this tough time and be closer because of it
Good job. Remember. Just little steps. Keep things casual.
It’s has gotten bad,she text me earlier and said “I just don’t feel it” said the whole time she’s been gone she hasn’t missed me,she said when we kiss she’s just waiting for it to be over,said she feels more like best friends then anything. Doesn’t have any desire toward me. I’m just at a loss for what to do aside from planning my next step in life
It is always pragmatic to plan for the future. The thing about the future is that circumstances can unfold where you end up modifying your initial plan. Thank her for her honesty. Perhaps in a few weeks she will be open to marital counseling so you both can explore your feelings. There is no wrong in giving the marriage every opportunity to succeed, so long as she does not feel it is being forced on her. But it is not a terrible thing if the relationship does not work out. You both need to be happy with each other for it work. You guys are not there yet. Maybe someday you will be again. Maybe not. It won’t be a tragedy if it doesn’t work out. Yes, it will hurt. But you will learn from it and be better equipped for the future.
We were together for 22 years and then he had an emotional affair. He said he wanted a divorce because he just hated ‘marriage’ but wanted to stay together and try. I protected myself and went through with it. We tried for 7 months but we fought a lot because I just couldn’t heal. He finally moved out and now I’m just here, numb. He said we need time apart and just to focus on healing, but he wants me in his life and wants to do stuff as a family still (weekends, dinners, hanging out, etc.). Thoughts?
Hi Samantha. It is difficult when you have invested 22 years and your husband seems to want to go another direction. I think right now your are still trying to get in touch with all your feelings. It can be hard in the beginning to process what is happening, what it all means, and why your husband on one hand wants a divorce, but also wants things to be kinda normal. As far as that last part (i.e. making sense of your husband’s choices) you may never be able to satisfactorily come to an understanding of why he is behaving that way. It could be something deeply psychological. Or it could be he is afraid to lose you completely. Or he could be naive in how he thinks all this is going to work out, real smooth like. It may never become clear. But that is OK. Some things are so complex, it becomes unknowable.
I think your husband is still catching up with his feelings in some ways. He may think he has it all figured out, but these kind of situations can be very complex and fluid, with unknown variables.
I think for a time being, you will do much better in figuring out your path if you were not constantly reminded of his presence. So being apart is probably better.
At this time, couples therapy seems out of the question, but you might want to consider talking with a professional just to get calibrated on the things you are going through. Sometimes you can gain some insights about yourself and the whole situation and what you may want to do in the future if you have someone who you can trust that will help facilitate that process.
I really do believe the future is always moving. What is to happen is not fated or destined. So take some time to not just work on healing and rebuilding where you are right now, but looking at how you think want to embrace the future.
Time is always the final arbitrator in matters like this. Don’t be in a hurry or rush to do anything of great consequence. Take care of your primary needs first. Anyone that has been married for 22 years is very special. Trust me on that. That does not happen by accident. You will have some intriguing choices and opportunities ahead of you.
Your response truly helped ease my mind this morning. Time is definitely the final arbitrator and you’re right, things cannot and should not be rushed. I have an appointment with a therapist to help me focus on myself and future. Thank you for your quick response! Your website and advise is amazing!
My partner and I have been struggling for the past 2/3 months living together. She has ptsd and is waiting for further structured therapy having completed group therapy end of last year. It has opened up many difficult memories for her which seem to have spiralled. Communication has been strained and I have struggling to know how to help. I have read a lot, joined a support group and I am about to start counselling this week. However my partner now feels that living with me is making things worse. We moved in quite quickly but I have no regrets. I want to share my life with her and am commited to supporting her. I know I have made a few mistakes when I have let my emotions get the better of me and been upset when I have felt misunderstood. I have even been selfish in my thoughts and feel guilty about that to. My partner has moved out and placed hersef in supported accommodation which is temporary. She says she still wants to be in a relationship with me but we need to work on things from different homes for now. I believe that communication has been poor especially on my part, not just delivered communication by me but my understanding and interpretation of her communication which has impacted on my responses. I am currently trying to learn NVC I feel already it is giving my a more focused perspective. My partner now wants two weeks no contact or how ever long she needs. Can we bring our lives back together? Do you have any advise?
I think it would be a good idea to honor your partner’s wishes. And when communications and contact starts up again, keep things really “chill” and slow. Avoid emotional topics or if they come up, just be supportive and listen a lot. One of the keys to a successful relationship is empathy. The more we can all plug into our empathetic selves, the better.
It is now going on 5months I have texted her called her and she has not once talked to me I married her in Kenya but when she came here to the USA she left me after being with me for only 3 months I withdrew my patition on her had after 4months of no contact but we are still married have not got any paper work for a devorice I know I have to be informed about that what am asking should I just know now that she has no love for me and she wants me to suffer and break down and file I do not want to I so hoping she come back soon what should I think
That is a tough situation Clayton. Does she have any friends or family you can speak with to get more information?
Thank you, I intend to honour my partners wishes. It is really difficult however I see it is the right thing. NVC discusses the use of empathy in communication.I am trying to gain a deeper understanding of how to listen and communicate empathicly .When I think back to some difficult or emotional situations I can recall occasions when despite my efforts to be supportive through listening I have struggled to know what to say in response. There have been times when listening is clearly all that she wanted me to do. Its so difficult to know what to say that isn’t a platitude. She has told me that if I am more self aware and “sort my self out” the rest will fall into place. I find it difficult that she makes no acknowledgement of her mental health having an impact on our relationship. She has even told me that’s not the issue so don’t blame her its my ability to cope with it. Is it all down to me? Can I just say that I have never said it is her illness alone that has brought us to this situation.
Yes, I think that would be an honest expression of the underlying reality. But don’t dwell on the topic. The situation the two of you are in (that most couples face) is almost always very complex, involving a lot of variables. But usually there are two or three things that contribute to why any particular relationship will struggle.
Hi Samantha. I have the SAME story!
We have been together for 22 years and then she had an affair. We have been separated in the same house for the last 7 months and she will be moving out in the next few weeks. She plans on us hanging out and taking vacations together as a family too.
Our spouses are experiencing limerence with someone else. 99% chance it is physical as well. They don’t want to give up the affair but they want the stability we provide. What do we do?
I have read probably 200 books. I have decided that I am going to work on myself and make myself be the best person I can be. I will re-build my hobbies and friendships and have a great relationship with my kids.
No matter what, we need to stand on our own. That is the best for us and will make us attractive again. In all future relationships, even if we reconcile, we need to define and enforce our boundaries. The only way to enforce is to be the one willing to walk away. Therefore we must stand on our own.
I’m numb, staring at the walls too. But as I get stronger and shed my attachment, my love melts into contempt and it becomes easier to see divorce as liberation instead of loneliness.
I’d sure like to keep in touch with you and share in our experiences and learning. Talk therapy is the best thing for me so I welcome your discussion.
Best wishes to you.
Thanks John for weighing in. Great advice.
Don’t let the contempt take you to far away. It is a bad journey. I think it is normal for negative and resentful thoughts to creep in our hearts in situations like this. Just let it out and flush it away if you can. Your right… as you seek to become the best version of yourself…it can be extremely liberating and fill you with confidence and positivity.
Can’t believe we share the same story. So you know exactly how lost, confused, angry, and numb I feel.
I agree that we MUST stand on our own and be willing to walk away. It’s been the hardest thing to do. I see the person I love lost and confused and I want to just help and fix him. What once brought him joy, is now what he’s running from.
I’ve been reading a lot about mid-life crisis issues and it seems like that’s what he is going through. He will have to get through this himself though and hopefully he will.
I have been reading so many books too! It was funny how you said you read ‘200 books’!!! Amazon just sent 2 more!
I am up and then I am down. Logically I know what I’m supposed to do, but then I find myself acting the complete opposite. I’m coming across as needy and clingy and basically annoying. I sometimes can’t believe I’m this woman who seems so desperate and not her best self. Frankly, I’m embarrassed.
I wasn’t exactly happy with him either. Maybe we grew apart but I wanted to save us and re-connect. I wasn’t going to throw away 22 years and 2 kids away!
Walking away feels scary, unnatural, and liberating all at the same time though.
Like Chris said, we need time and shouldn’t rush things. The hardest lesson is being patient, letting go, and letting opportunities happen.
I’d like to keep in touch as well! Talking through all this craziness definitely helps me too!
I came across this topic because my husband and I now in “no contact” period. We even live in different countries, thousands miles apart. The case is I am the one desperately need forgiveness from my husband. I made mistakes in my past (before I married to my husband) and in addition, few months ago. I understand I have hurt him deeply. I broke his trust. I really regret it with all my heart. It’s a complicated story, but it’s not about me having an affair (as his wife, I have always been faithful only to him). I am remorseful about my mistakes. I have admitted my mistakes and stupidity to him, sincerely apologized to him many times and made total changes in myself and life. But he said he doesn’t know how to let go. I don’t know what else to do now. I tried so hard to understand him and being patient but sometimes I feel like I am going insane with this roller coaster of feelings. Now I already do things the way he wanted me to. The way he likes. Finally we agreed to stop all communication but somehow I worry if this space will only make him drift further away from me. I love my husband so much and don’t want to lose him.
Please help me…
Space can be good for a couple. And when you reach out to check in with, keep it brief, without any discussion of the relationship. Little steps
My husband of 13 years has become more distant in the last 4 weeks. I am 8 months pregnant, working and in grad school with 2 young children. He started spending more time at work and hanging out with people at work/texting more often. I noticed his distance and found out he shaved himself (out of nowhere) and we haven’t been intimate in weeks. I told him his behavior was making me concerned something was wrong. He got defensive and told me he’s unhappy and depressed with me. That I’ll never be happy and never trust him. That he would rather be at work then home. He left about 3 years ago had an affair and filed for divorce – to which after about 5 months begged and pleaded to come back. We went to counseling for awhile and things had been good until the last few weeks. He told me he wants space. He doesn’t know if he wants a divorce but if he decides that’s what he wants we can stay living in the same house. I’ve tried to talk to him and get nowhere. He blames me for everything. I’m due to have a baby in a couple weeks and can’t imagine he’s going to put me through this again. We are like ships passing by. No communication. I have stopped texting him and interacting with him at all. He is sleeping on the couch. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do or if I should just file and try to move on. He is behaving like he did the last time he had an affair. He told me he can’t live life not being trusted and always feeling like I’m checking on him. I honestly have not brought up feeling uncomfortable with his behavior in the 3 years we have been reconciled. This is the first time. Any help is appreciated
Hi Susan…I am very sorry you are having to go through such a touch time. Right now I think your primary focus should be on your needs and the needs of your soon to be born child. There could many reasons for why your husband is behaving the way that he is. It does seem he is hiding something possibly running from the truth. It is unclear. In the future, it will become clearer. And when it does you will have a fuller picture of what is going and then you can decide what you want to do. Your husband’s coming and going (in and out of your life) is not a sustainable trend. So obviously, there is a lot on the plate to process. Right now, it is important to do things and think about things that helps you stay emotionally and physically healthy for the baby. Look for support systems (after the child is born) to help you as it is unclear to what extent you will be able to count on your husband. Make that your priority. The rest of what is going on will eventually fill in. You will have more information about your husband’s intention’s and better sense of how you feel about it. Then you can start evaluating what you want for your life.
I had an emotional affair on my wife 2 years ago, she found an old email in January, I feel horrible about how much I hurt her and want to make amends. She started seeing other men in front of me, I told her that I couldn’t stay in the house watching that happen and if she wanted to work on us we shouldn’t have other people in the mix. I ended up moving out and she is continuing with her other relationships (several). She says she wants time and space but contacts me everyday to tell me how much she hates me and what she is doing with these other men. All my feelings of remorse and guilt for what I had done are now replaced with hurt and jealousy. I don’t want to feel that way and I have told her that she should cool it off with her new male friends for a few months if she really wants to work on us. Don’t know what else to do, I can’t help what I feel and I wish I could just be feeling the remorse that I was feeling before. She doesn’t understand why, I’m hurt about what she is doing as she feels that when she does it there should be nothing wrong and no repercussions for any of her actions because “it’s not her fault” Any advice would be appreciated.
That is a tough situation Kyle. It is unusual for a woman (or anyone) to take those kinds of actions. Payback may feel good for a little while, but eventually it runs its course. The relationship as you described is dysfunctional and something transformative needs to happen. Obviously, your wife is working through a lot of issues of her own and her actions are creating greater chaos for both you and herself. Is she still living with you?
No I moved out to give my wife the space she asked for. She is using the time drinking and was chatting online with other men. Then she started sleeping over at a man she meet at the bar’s house. Even tells me she is doing it. I’m stuck because I know I did wrong and a part of me feels that I deserve this. What she doesn’t realize is that guilt makes people feel like they should be punished. When that punishment happens the guilt begins to subside. I just don’t know at what point I put my foot down and kick her out of the house ? I still want to reconcile and I’m still paying all her bills but she is seeing and dating other men.
Hi Chris, thank you for your helpful article. I find myself in this situation right now, and I’m struggling with myself to STICK to the no contact. My husband started acting strange a few months ago. We have been married for almost 21 years. He became distant and cold. We’ve always had issues with him having mostly just female friends from work, and I’ve had some insecure trust issues. As well as self-esteem issues of my own. Because he was acting so oddly I was doing some snooping and he was getting upset about it. Turns out though that by checking the cell phone records I was right. He had been texting A LOT with a female employee of his. When confronting him he admitted that they have kissed. I was heartbroken of course. At first he was sorry, said he didn’t want to lose me. Then went to saying it was over. That he only cheated because I always thought he was. Said he’s been unhappy for a long time, something I did not know. He agreed he’s not good at communicating things. Seems like he’d rather do something like betray me then to just talk to me about his feelings. To this day he says it has nothing to do with this girl. That he doesn’t love her, that it really had to do with his feelings and problems with the marriage. I don’t know if I can believe that, I’d like to. He moved in to a hotel for a few weeks. Unfortunately this wasn’t completely no contact and our 18 year old son became quite angry at him for all of this. He posted ALL of the details on facebook for everyone to see. So it’s created even more pain and negative feelings towards all.
As it stands now he says he doesn’t know what he wants. That’s he’s an emotional wreck. Refuses to say if he loves me or not. We went to one marriage counseling session and he said that as of that day he had no emotions, was checked out and wanted it over. So my son and I moved 3 hours back to where we used to live (we moved only 6 months ago for a job transfer of my husbands). This also caused a lot of pain as my son had to quit a job he loved and moved away from a place he loved. There has been a lot of bad words between the two of them and it seems to make things worse between my husband and I when they argue. This feels so permanent, since we had to move 3 hours away. The financials of it is a complete disaster. He gave me money to help get us started on our own here, I opened my own checking account. He seemed like he couldn’t wait to get me off the joint account afterwards. We have agreed on him sending a certain amount each month. It just feels so permanent, I don’t see how either of us could easily keep relocated for a reconciliation. He says we have to take it day by day when I bring that up.
So now I’m trying to do the no contact. And I admit I stink at it. I’ll do good for a while then I find myself emailing him saying all the things that I know I need to fix within myself. The changes I’m going to make. How I’m going to keep working now, I hadn’t worked in a long time. Basically devoted my life to my family and lost my own identity. Plus I have health issues that make it difficult, but I need to work. I told him that I know I would hold on to him too tight, and would end up pushing him away in the end. I feel like if I don’t tell him those things I plan on changing he won’t want to ever reconcile. He responded to my email the other night saying he was sorry for everything, but needed to get his head straight and have time and space. I want to give that to him. I want to work on myself. But I’m afraid the whole out of sight out of mind will make it so he will just learn to be happy without me. My feelings are all over the map, I miss him terribly one minute, the next I feel angry at him for what he’s putting us through. For cheating, for not communicating with me that there were problems before it got so bad. For uprooting our lives so much this past year. One minute he seems nicer with me, the next he goes back to being cold. So I know we NEED no contact. But I don’t know how to stop myself when I get weak and want to remind him that I’m still here. Or I feel like I want to leave things on some good note, but I just end up making it worse by contacting him at all.
You have done a really good job of self evaluating. Yes, these situtions can be terrible complicated and emotional on all different levels. Just allow things to unwind and giving each other space is a step in the right direction
I’ve been reading your articles and they have helped me throughout my situation. My husband and I have Ben married for 3 1/2 years together for 7 years. At the beginning of February he told me he was having an emotional affair with a fellow officer since December and it led to being physical. The next day he said he wanted to go to counseling and work on us. He had told me that he feel unwanted and this other lady made him feel wanted. I tried to show him more affection and appreciation but he said it felt forced. He decided to move out a week later and temporarily sep in order to miss me. He told me he had cut off communication with the other lady and had no intentions on seeing anyone. This move only made him feel more sep from me and he ended up contacting the other lady and sleeping with her two weeks after he moved out. During the time he was sep we were still meeting up and spending time together. On Valentine’s Day he sat me down and asked for a divorce and told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore, he felt trapped and this other lady made him feel wanted and they fantasizes about having a life together. The other lady knows he is married. He said he is no longer in love with me but still loves me.
A few days later we agreed to meet about the divorce process and he said he hadn’t filed and that he sees no rush and we can just stay sep.
A week later he tells me that he has started filing out the divorce paperwork and that when we divorce that we should cut off ties with each other. I asked if he was still seeing the lady and he said yes. He said at first he was sleeping with her and he realized he was still unhappy so he agreed to stop sleeping with her.
A week later we met to go over finances and bills ans my desire to hold off the divorce until the end of the summer for financial aspects, my schooling and insurance. It was a healthy discussion and he agreed to wait and during the talk he said that he still loves me, thinks about me, made a huge mistake and feel he ruined everything. He said that I deserve better and he doesn’t know how to be better for me bc he hurt me. He told me “I’m not telling you this to have hope,” I just said I understand and listened. Then right after that he told me he was taking “her” to our mutual friends wedding as his date. He said it wasn’t a big deal and that he didn’t see it as anything. I told him I felt it was disrespectful and he agreed it was a jerk move. But he still did it. I asked him why he would tell me all that stuff and then take her to the wedding. He told me that he can still have those thoughts and feelings and realize that we are done. He said that “it” just isn’t there anymore. Since then I’ve be a wreck and I noticed he forwarded his mail to his new address. I asked him why he is rushing everything and he said he doesn’t want this process hanging over his head and he just wants to hurry up and get past this. He said “you’re not the only one who has been affected by this!” I was hurt and told him “it is sad that I am just another thing you want to get past.” Since then I limiter my contact with him and tried to focus on myself but I can’t help but cry all the time. I’m worst in the morning. It’s only been 5/6 weeks since all this has transpired so I know it’s still fresh. He has reached out to me to see how I am doing and I am just keeping my engagement with him very minimal. I miss him terribly and I fear doing the no contact and he would forget about me and grow closer to “her.” I see her comment on his posts all the time she’s always the first person to comment. Theyre both police officers and he said that’s what they have in common. I’m still in love with him and want to give him his space, but I want him to know i do love, appreciate and respect him. How do I do that with having limited contact? Thank u so much for any advice!!!!
This is my short story. After moving to a small town town 2 yrs ago closer to her parents, life and marriage started getting harder. we pooled some money, mostly hers, and opened a little retail store. Things were up and down and i had a hard time finding work. Money problems arose, more arguments and a few drunk nights caused even more. We did also have great times don’t get me wrong but because all the curve balls i became more emotionally detached and with not being able to contribute I felt less of a man. Mid Jan I managed to get a job. Right after a supreme heated argument a week prior that my little 7yr old stepson which i absolutely love witnessed. I felt like a man again. More energized, cheery, and did more chores around the house. But her mind was made up. On the 3rd of March I moved out. The next night she txt me if I was ok cause she wasn’t. It felt weird without me around and that we needed a separation cause things were not good the way they were going. I agreed despite feeling like a shell of a man inside. After a few days a counselor suggested I txt her ” I miss you and thinking of you” well, next day she completely blew up with msgs of hate and I don’t love you and divorce. So I broke off contact till she called me last week that her dad was in a coma. This past Thursday was the funeral. I was emotionally strong, confident I also looked good since I have lost over 30lbs from stress. I held her at the cemetery and she leaned in for about 20 sec..it felt so good to hold her again even if it was during such a sad day. That was the last contact and the last time I saw her at the memorial lunch which we engaged in group small talk. She has been through A LOT the past several months and has lost a lot of weight too and her health no so good either. I don’t know how long to leave this!! I was thinking of going into the store end of this week to see how shes holding up and to also apologize for my immature, selfish behavior during and after our relationship and ask for forgiveness. Not looking for her to respond nor am i asking for anything, just think its the right, mature thing to do. No whimpering no show of neediness. I also want to ask if I can take the little guy to the Saturday matinee..long shot. I have taken counseling, courses, advice, therapy and continue to improve myself. I made mistakes but own up to them. I miss my family tremendously. Should I write a letter? should I txt? should I wait?? For how long! She had a lot of anger when we broke up as well, how long do those feelings last! I’m still wearing my wedding ring and cherish my marriage. Please give me you female expert advice and guidance.
My SO of 16 years left me a letter on 12/27/16 upon my return from family Christmas., and he was gone. He claimed I was unfaithful which is 100% false in any sense of the word. I believe he suffers from Delusional Jealousy Disorder. Anyway, he refuses to communicate at all now, and prior to that it was email only and not ever an apology for making up such a sickening story. I will not resume the relationship with him, however I would like some sort of closure which I feel an actual conversation would help. He says his “therapist” told him NO CONTACT. Maybe he did, but I don’t even believe he sought therapy. I recently found out he did this same thing to the woman he was in a relationship with prior to me. Is this normal?
My husband broken up with me 1.5 mnths he moved out a week ago. I will try to make this brief. Married for 10 yrs ( we have two kids 3-5)He says he is hurt b/c he felt like he was never god enough cuz i complaint so much, i told him i always showed him love/affection ( we always showed eachother affection) but his luck of initiation is why i always had to tell him to do things, he says im controlling and this caused us to fight and he is done fighting. He had an emotional connection with a lady at work going through separation. I called her and told her to leave my family alone if she didnt i was gonna expose messages btw them to her boss. ( after a couple of of weeks she stopped atleast i didnt see anything else while he was at home)My husband found out, understood why i did it didnt show me he was mad but wanted me to stop. initially i had beg him to stay and kept telling him how much i loved him and that i would always be here waiting for him that I believed in our love and marriage and our family i also told him many times inrespected his decision but did not agreed but i understood icouldnt change the way he felt. Made the mistake of having sex 3 times btw the time we broke up and when he moved out my initiantion (the other time i said no to him he didnt like that.)
Anyway, i had agreed to be good friends for the sake of the kids we are also looking for a new house and we are living at my inlaws for now he said he would still go ahead with he house thing for the girls and me he wants the best for us. He supports us financially. He had also agree to keep all financials the same sharing accounts until i was in our new place and once my kids go to school the plan was for me to find ajob. We promised each other never to fight over money and try to do this btw us no lawyers involve. we were getting along pretty good no fights i was hoping he would change his mind sincd things were going great he kept telling me how much he loved me and would hug me all the time we did sleep in the same bed and he would snuggled.Then Iread about being friend zoned soo I decided to do NC and i was waiting for him to move out since he had already made up his mind. When he left i said i might need space btw us and now he is really upset since i only talk regarding the girls visits.
He is very upset as he feels he was lied to “we were doing just fine before i left now u cant even talk to me/ ur text are 1 -2 word answers” i saw him when i picked up my kids and he freaked out!!! Complaining about the same thing, that he never imagined my space meant NC and not caring about him.
He thinks i am the cause as to why he gets mad, i did not argued i told him it took2 to argue, I asked him to respect my decision ( my old self woud have been trying to make him understand and probably would if got into a yelling fight)
I have been reading alot and bettering myself i know there is alot i need to change about me and how i handle my relationship with him or anyone.
I have gone through lots of emotions but neverfelt like i hated him, i love him so much i still believe in Our marriage not sure if this is good or bad. Part of me says things will be ok even if he is not part of my life, but another side of me can almost picture our future together with the kids and a better version of me. Im learning to have patiences and this NC or limited thing is really a test for that waiting to see what will happen. I really have no desire to text him or bother him but i still think about our future i try to get the kids to call him so he doesn’t have to call me. Please let me know if any thing im doing is right or wrong?
Hi Bella. It is tough when your spouse initiates a breakup, but you have been strong by working one carving out a new life for you and the kids. Obviously your husband is angry and resentful because he is accustomed to having much of the personal power. Now that has changed and he is unable to control the communication agenda.
It is unclear whether he will admit to his mistake, quit his relationship with the other woman and agree to work on regaining your trust. I think it is good that you are working on standing tall on your on and becoming the best version of yourself. While he shows anger toward you at times, there is a part of that that is attractive to him. And if there is going to be an opportunity for the marriage to work again in the future, he will hopefully learn that he can’t take you for granted and what he did was a huge mistake. Maybe he will get there emotionally. Maybe not. You shouldn’t count on it. Continue to work on rebuilding your life and healing at all levels. You should minimize communications with him such that it only deals with the the matters that are absolutely necessary (e.g. children, finances). But be kind and loving. If he continues to complain about how you are not opening up on the communication front, simply tell him the truth. Your heart is broken and you are trying to protect yourself and that you do not wish to invest yourself in a relationship that is going no where. This will confuse him
somewhat, but eventually he will realize that the grass is often not greener and just maybe he will get serious about making a choice in his life about who he wishes to spend the remainder of his life with.
I was thinkng of sending him a message along this lines. Do u think is a good idea?
“Im trying to put myself in your place and u must be hurting by me acting like this. I know we said we would be friends, im just not there. I hate this is happening but gratefull at the same time because i m improving and becoming a better person.respect my decision of having distance btw us , cant promise we can be friends time will only tell, I am done being an argumental/stubborn person acting out of anger. I just want to be a better person first. So give me my space”
Im thinking this migh help him keep his distance?
I feel like i move 1 step forward 10 back some days… When he sees me he tell me I beautiful, ( I have always workout out this was our thing to do together) this really confuses me cuz i think he still likes me. He makes comments or ask why i look so nice i say i always look this way.
Yes…i think you are on the right track. Instead of saying, “I know we said we would be friends,but I am not there yet”…..consider saying something like….”I know you wish for us to be friends. I want that too. But I need to continue working on becoming the best version of myself. This is a difficult and confusing period for me. Thank you in advance for giving me space”. The other things you said following that works.
I suspect he wants to keep the “friends with benefits” situation in play. But I don’t think that will be best for you. He either needs to be a fully committed husband to you, like all husbands should be to their wives. Or he needs to tell you outright that is not in the picture. This limited contact period hopefully will give him time to work through what he really wants. I think earlier when he decided to move out, he thought he knew what he wanted. But I suspect that is becoming clouded in his mind based on the things you report he is saying to you. This is not unusual. Your control of the dynamic is growing and so too is your attraction level. Continue being beautiful and being kind…. but be independent and minimize communications with him. for the time being. These things will serve you well in the immediate and long term future.
Thank you soo much for your help! I like the way you worded that;) your advise is so helpful. I will keep you updated 😉 thank you again!
Best of luck to you Bella!
He said sorryfor being rude he loves me and misses me. I said np that was it.
My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for 2 years. 2 months ago, he said that he is having depression but doesn’t know why. We agreed to work on it and get professional help if necessary. 2 weeks after, he spoke to his parents and suddenly decided to leave the house. He claims that it was me and my family causing his depression and wanted to heal first. He had been very confusing. He asked for no communication for a few days, A week after, he suddenly told me he doesn’t love me anymore and just feels pity. I told him that it is his depression talking and try not to make decisions during this. He agreed to re-think and ask for a few days without contact again. A week or two after, I found that he is having an affair. He has already ended it because he realized that he doesn’t love her and said that it was due to him being confused and said that it felt nice to be appreciated. I tried to forgive him and pushed for repairing the relationship but he insisted that he’s still not okay and felt so broken. I tried ‘no contact’ but stopped after a week because fear eats me up that this will get worse when I stop communicating with him as the few times we stopped communicating, it feels like the more I’m losing him. but the more I try to talk to him and reach out, it looks like the more it gets worse.
We spoke 2 weeks ago and it was bad. He said that he realized that he wasn’t getting better with his condition because he was thinking that he needs to heal fast and then fix us. He said that he doesn’t want to go home as thinking about it already triggers his anxiety and that he’s scared that if he does, he’ll just go back to being broken. He mentioned that he is slowly getting better but only when he stopped holding on to the thought of ‘us. ‘ he even added that he wants to be alone for now. When I ask if he’s asking for permanent separation and if he still loves me, all he can say is ‘I don’t know. ‘
I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. I haven’t communicated with him since the last time we spoke. There’s still so much fear in me that I’d lose him permanently while doing this. However, I know that I need to work on myself too as trying too hard is damaging me already. I am now trying to focus on making myself better, meet with friends and focus on other things. I still think about him and feel pained with the situation but I try to control my emotions.
Do you think that the ‘No contact’ can still save our marriage? If so, how long do you think should I do it? When should I reach out to him again and how?
Is there any other advise that you can give to help save our marriage?
Hi Angel. I understand you are up against a lot of different emotions. It seems that your husband is lost in what he really wants. I know this a big part of you that wants him back, normal and mentally healthy. We cannot know if that will happen. No one knows the future when relationships become mired in complexity. You are doing the right things by focusing on yourself and your healing and growth as a person. Your husband is keeping you at bay for reasons that are not entirely clear. He may not even understand it yet. Was he suffering from the grass is greener syndrome? Does he feel the two of you are not compatible enough? Is his depression locked him down into a funk where everything is colored grey? It is unclear. It could be all of these things to some extent or just one of them.
The pragmatic thing for you to do is look to continue working on yourself and prepare for a life without him. We can’t be sure if that is how things will turn out. But it is best to not wrap your whole sense of well being around somebody who is not fully committed to you. He is asking to be given space. Perhaps he will benefit and come to see what an asset you are. You will clearly benefit. In whatever limited contact you have with him, just let your “kindness” shine. You will ultimately feel good about how you are calmly and kindly handling the matter. Don’t let your emotions and fears hijack you and your life. You have many options and potential paths you can pursue. Your world should not revolve around a man who has betrayed you and is uncertain of his feelings. Time is usually the final arbitrator on the truth. Your husband needs to find his and you need to seek your out. If he eventually agrees to restarting the relationship, you should consider visiting a marriage counselor. It is not a surefire way of avoiding him from backsliding again. But if he agrees, it demonstrates a certain commitment he needs to have to make the relationship stronger.
The affair doesn’t sound like him at all. Never have I ever thought that we will have to face this issue. He was the most dedicated, sweetest, loyal and caring man. He always puts my needs first.
I am not sure if this is a factor, but right after college, we already started working right away (around 20 yrs old). He supports his family and then we met, had a relationship and things eventually led to marriage. We had been inseparable and I will be honest that we haven’t been active with socializing with other people as we normally prefer to be together instead. I don’t know if that made him eventually think that he wasn’t able to enjoy his ‘single’ life first.
I am very worried about his condition. His family hasn’t been very helpful. They don’t want professional help from a doctor. They just want him to just focus on his spiritual aspect. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God and have faith, but I would prefer that they consider all the options as it looks like it is not improving his situation.
At work, he has completely isolated himself from everyone. During breaks, he just locks himself in the car, tries to meditate. He just talks when it’s about work related. He had been having violent thoughts and not even his family knows about this. He shows them that he is happy so they assume that he is getting better. I tried to reach out to them but said that they don’t want to meddle. They just want to help their son with his depression and don’t want to be involved with the decision making since we’re already adults.
There’s a note on his desk containing our anniversary date and he wrote: ‘I’ve given up. ‘ and yet he doesn’t tell me this or talk to me. It is so difficult because the situation is complicated enough, plus I don’t know how to deal with his depression correctly anymore.
Do you think this is something that ‘No contact’ can still help fix?
It does sound like he would benefit from individual counseling. Perhaps his work’s benefit plan covers sessions with psychologist or psychiatrist. It seems he needs to talk with a professional regarding his depressive state. Mediation is a really good thing as it helps us relax and reduce stress. But sometimes we need help from outside to see and understand the things we are missing.
I try to suggest the professional help but he is very close minded about it saying that he doesn’t need it. Not even his family is open about it.
Nobody else can talk to him about it as he turns everybody down. There had been people who tried to talk to him but he refuses to take anyone’s advice. A christian councelor already offered to talk to him about his problem but he just said that he’s not ready for it yet either.
I sincerely want to help him, but I don’t know how to do that anymore. I’m afraid that thing will just worsen if he continues this way.
I understand. I am sorry this is so hard on you. Ultimately, your husband is responsible for his own decisions. You have endeavored to help him in innumerable ways. I don’t think a full out No Contact approach will be effective with your husband. I am not saying you should shower him with attention. You should keep contact somewhat limited and when you do reach out, keep the message positive and supportive. Most people learn to adapt with they are facing difficulty. Chances are your husband will gain some insights from things people are telling him and his own life experiences and will adjust his mood and adapt to the environment he is in.
How do you suggest may I reach out to him if he said that he wants to be alone and shuts me down?
Send him a message in a bottle. Get an empty wine bottle and roll up a message (tie it off with ribbon of some kind) and place message into the bottle. Cork it. Package it so that it can be delivered safely to him. Then mail the package to him.
Keep the message brief. Tell him that you know things have been rough. Rough for both of you. Tell him you admire and respect him for seeking to work through his feelings. Wish him success. Advise him that you too are working through your feelings and thoughts of what is best for you in the future. Then tell him you will respectfully give him all the space he needs and likewise you know he will respect your need to be alone for the time being.
It is a creative way of communicating and it helps him understand that you too need your space and he should not take for granted that you will always be there for him. Men tend to want things that they can’t have. So make yourself less available. It might cause him to reach out in the future. He will eventually learn that few women will be as loving and understanding as you given his moody, off and on again behavior of late. He definitely has demonstrated the ability to be loving and caring to you. I suspect he will check in with you sometime in the future.
Husband and I are married for 8 years. We have 3 kids (10,5 and 1) 2 years ago my husband decided that me and the kids should go back to our country and let the kids study there. Reluctantly I agreed. After giving birth to our youngest son and my son and I went to visit him in another country where he works( our house). Went back again to phil to pick up the kids and visit their father for a few weeks and webt back home with the kids. During those 2 years of LDR, I tried to convince him a hundred times that me and the kids should go back to japan and continue our lives there, obviously he refused saying the kids will are fine in the phil and he doesn’t want the kuds to adapt the japanese behaviour or attitude. i also suggested that if he wants i can go back there and help him financially since living in the phil is really expensive, still he said no. So i started working here. Last march he mailed me and said he needs space and i should let him go. I tried to talk to him and asked what is wrong. He said that i spend too much money, and he is tired of my attitude which sometimes i can be jealous. You see he works in a club there are women who do not care if you have wife or not. They will still flirt with you. He also mentioned that he is tired and all. Sort of telling me i do not help him in any way I can. I begged, cried and explained to him. I told him to consider the kids, the effects of separation. He said he is done and feels nothig for me. His heart and mind are closed already. I asked if he has someone else of course he said no. I checked his email and found out he ordered 2 iphone cases with different address from ours. I asked him about that, he said a friend ordered that. Just yesterday i asked that friend and he said he did not order anything and his fone is not like that. What’s worse is he is treating me really bad. Blocked my messages and all. Also, a “friend” of his messaged me and told me that my husband is doing everything for our family and I need to understand him. He is in a pitiful state, crying because he has no one to count on. And no kne is helping him. This woman taht messaged me blocked me on her fb account after messaging me. 27mins later my husband changed his fb password and all his emails. I’ll bring my 2kids to jaoan this week to talk to him at once. Oh i forgot i also suggested that we should live together and work things out but he said he doesn’t know if he will still go home at ourhouse when we and kids are back. He also said he wants to move to another place and it is ok for him if he will just see his kids in facetime.
What do you think is going on with him?
After I told him we are coming home he suddenly said he wants to move to another place and he doesn’t care what will happen to him. Then the “friend” messaged me on fb.
I’m really confused and hurt. He doesn’t want to fix our relationship even for the kids.
It sounds like your husband is confused about what he really wants out of life. You are getting a lot of different signals from him. Being married means being faithful and loving to your wife. It appears he is struggling in those areas. For now, focus on your needs and finding happy moments. Your husband needs to unravel what he wants. And you need to decide if you want a life with or without your husband given the up and down history.
Hi cris. I just saw a picture of him with the girl on the bed. Both of them asleep.
Hi Luisa. I think it is clear what is going on. For your own emotional health, it may be best to avoid looking at any more pictures. Look for support from family and friends. Eventually, you need to decide if you really want to continue having a relationship with your husband. There are always other choices and paths people can take that are better. The time will come in the future for the two of you to sit down and talk about what is best for both of you. Right now though, you should focus on your own healing and the welfare of the children.
I don’t know if I should talk to him wheh we go back home. I don’t know what kind if approach should I do once I see him on saturday. I’m also thinking about the kids.
Yes, the kids are most important. Since it seems you are going through a period of “evaluation” about what it is your truly want, it may be best to avoid any confrontation at this stage. Show that you are strong and not needy. Keep your emotions in check. Feel free though to ask him if he has figured out what he wants. Avoid showing any emotional reaction. Gather information and allow yourself to get a handle on what you wish to do in the future.
Thank you for the advice. You’re right I don’t think I can handle a confrontation right now. But I think I have to since we will need his support financially and the kids will want to see him. Also, I want to know why he did this but I’m he’ll just lie and blame me for everything. Just like what he is doing right now. Although I am tempted to just ask him for finacial support but won’t let him see the kids for months until I am ready. Do you think it is healthy for our kids if I cut off their relationship with their father. I don’t want my kids to meet nor see the other woman right now.
The fact that he wants divorce, he is choosing the other woman over us. I am not planning to confront the other woman as I don’t want to go down to her level.
I think it is wise to avoid a confrontation now with both your husband or the other woman. I think it is important for their to be a healthy relationship between the father and his children. So I would not recommend you prevent your husband from seeing the children, though I think it should be made clear to your husband that he cannot under any circumstance allow the children be exposed to this other woman during this transition period…if that is what is unfolding.
Me and my wife fell so much in love it felt real and made so many memories. 3 years of marriage no kids but step kids that i love like my own. But i started working 2 jobs just to support my family
The money got good but the routine of me not being at home affected my wife. Sex was good but it didnt happen all the time cause of me too tired. So slowly she fell out of love which she told me a few times so i can change but never listened and now she told me to move out. I begged and cried like a baby. Cause i love her to death. We been throu so much but we over came it. The next day after i moved out i called her but she was so rude and told me to back off cause she doesnt love me and not to call her. I took your advice on the no contact rule. Its been day 3 but i know i need to find myself. My wife is always active nd busy that i know shes not thinking about me. So she being busy and me not contacting her will make her miss me? The night i called she said she hasnt miss me and i think that she broke up with me so of course she didnt miss me., correct? I ask her if she was seeing someone or talking and she laughed telling me that guess i dnt know her well. Ive never cheated or wanted too. Can they fell in love again? And will she miss me?
Three years of marriage creates a bond. People just don’t simply fall out of love. All those memories and connections simply don’t just dissipate. Just because she says she does not love you, does it not make it so. Observe the no contact period. You will benefit from the space. Show to her from afar that you are getting along quite well. Focus on your own healing. In time, she will very likely start to miss you in little ways.
Well 4 days i havent had contact her.
But she went to my work and im a manager at a full service carwash so called to see if i could wash her car.
Earlier that day she had only texted me about changing bank accounts and all Financial stuff etc etc. I kept all anwers short. When she came to my work she looked good. We talk bout the kids our dog and about her day. She told me she felt good seeing me. Well she told me it be a better idea for now not to do anything about changing our accounts to keep it normal.She left and i texted her at noon today just to wish her and the kids happy saturday she hasnt respond. My question is did she go cause she missed me or did she go to see if she still had feelings?
I think she was checking in on you after four days of not hearing from you. You did a good job of ending things positively. Just keep giving her space. If she wants to initiate contact, that’s fine. Just play it cool and don’t overreach. Keep focusing on developing yourself and preparing for whatever avenues you will need to take in the future.
My husband & I have been married for 7 months and share a baby daughter who is 7 weeks old.
Prior to marriage, I had been emotionally unstable and abusive to him. He was always so patient and loving. In spite of my parents’ warning against proceeding with the marriage due to my psychological problems, he insisted on going forward and standing by me through the toughest of times.
After I got pregnant, I started becoming more wise and wanted to set an example for my daughter. I stopped the abuse but would still nag and bicker occasionally for him to be more responsible in providing for his daughter. My husband is quite immature as he is only 21 years old (I am 24). He seemed happy and we had a very loving relationship.
After the arrival of the baby, it became quite stressful and I grew to become irritable and impatient with him, & so were my parents who we live with, as he was bumming around, not being helpful and not taking his studies seriously. In that month we had 2 arguments, the first I had been very mean and told him I deserved a real man & we would be better off divorced. I obviously said it out of anger and he apologised.
The 2nd argument came after he had not studied properly prior to an exam resit, to which i blew up and called him names such as scumbag and told him he was mentally retarded and incapable of doing anything or holding a job. He left for school and texted me that it was over. I begged him to come back and that I would change and for us to try counselling. I told him to think about our daughter but he said he could not stand to be in an abusive relationship any longer and rejected my calls. He never came back to the house and his parents bought him a flight ticket back to his home country. He had apparently lied to them that I had battered him severely and drove him out of the house.
I found out he had downloaded dating apps the day after he left and had already professed his love to a girl he had just met online, within a day! He did not even want to return home to say goodbye to his daughter. He has blocked my number and me off all forms of social media.
We had exchanged a few emails, with him asking for his daughter’s pictures and informing me of his plans to find a job and support her. I begged for him to work things out and that I would undergo therapy and make him happy again. He reaffirmed that our marriage was over and there was no starting over, saying he cannot trust me any longer and does not want to be a dog. He has no remorse for having left so callously and puts all the blame on me. I have started no contact after emailing him saying that we both need time to ourselves, apologising for having disrespected him and thanking him for the good times. He did not respond and I have not heard from him in a week.
I am mortified as he is the love of my life and he had told me he loved me everyday up til the day he left. I am crushed he would abandon our daughter & I this way, as we had gone through way more difficult times (and abuse from my end) and I honestly thought we were becoming more stable and mature…
Is there any chance of salvaging the marriage?
Yes, many relationships and marriages that have gone through worse problems than yours have come back together again. You are both relatively young and still learning about a great many things like life, love, and relationships. The stress of having a 7 week old can also impact a relationship.
No one is perfect. We all have faults. You and your husband both.
I think adopting the No Contact Rule will be helpful to both of you. It allows you to begin some healing and focus on the needs of your daughter and yourself. Not every marriage is going to necessarily work out. We all try our best to choose well and hope that the chemistry and such is good enough to last a long time.
It is too early for both of you to know if your marriage will work for the long run. The fact that you have a daughter together and have enjoyed many positive experiences is in your favor. Don’t try to rush things. There is the possibility you both can learn from this experience and benefit from it in the future. Time will tell. But use the time ahead of you wisely and do those things that bring you fulfillment. And remember, your life and happiness should never be dependent on one man. You will learn more about what your husband is really made of as time goes by. And you will learn more about yourself. There are always many paths of happiness you can embark on. Choose wisely.
Thank you so much for your advice, it is really insightful, I am a big fan of yours!
I do agree that not every marriage is going to work out, and that is okay I guess. It’s also because in my Asian culture, marriage is very important and for it to end 7 months in without any attempt in resolving from his side, is devastating to me…
Yes, I agree the No Contact Rule will help me become stronger and gain perspective to whether the marriage will be in our daughter’s best interests.
If I can ask you, what is a possible reason he can just block and cut me out from his life like that and harbour so much anger towards me even though I have apologised and begged profusely? He seems to have moved on and is happy with his family and friends. It has been 3 weeks since his departure…
Some guys will act tough and think that they can simply shut you out of their life, thinking that they don’t need or want you. These initial reactions and feelings are almost always incomplete. Feelings are much more complicated than displays of sheer anger and rejection. After awhile, when he doesn’t hear from you, he will realize there are more to his feelings than the negativity he is currently showing you.
Dear Chris, he is now already in a relationship with this woman he met online, though they are thousands of miles apart. It is unlikely that they will meet each other in the flesh anytime soon, but is enough to make me feel sick. I do not think I want to go back to someone who could callously leave his wife & 3 week old baby (at the time) via text, without even saying goodbye, and move on within 2 days, while I cried my eyes out, at the same time attending to the baby he left behind. No such man is worth my time. I do though want him to regret his decision & come running back to me so that I can dump his sorry ass and embarrass him one last time…as classless as that may sound, it’s the least I can do for what he’s done to me. Should NC come to an end, how should I initiate contact? I am tempted to inform him by then that I wish to start with the divorce proceedings & ask for his cooperation…
He also cannot admit to what he’s done and instead hiding behind a string of lies that my family & I put him in danger that he had to leave the country & his baby behind right away for fear of his life… what a coward.
I would advise you take the high road. Avoid trying to strike back at your estranged husband as the act of trying to pull him down can result in pulling yourself down to his level. And you sure don’t want to add to your stress levels. It is not worth it. Maybe just saying it aloud to yourself and getting it out of your system might help you cope better. But the sooner you put these thoughts behind you and start focusing your thoughts of your new future, the better off you will be.
If you wish to pursue divorce, consult first with an attorney or somebody trustworthy that can give you legal advice on the steps involved and how you might want to proceed given your overall situation.
Dear Chris, I have been going through a roller coaster of emotions. It is week 2 of NC & still no word from the husband. I am deeply upset he has not reached out to even ask about his daughter. Logically speaking, I do feel that he does not have his life sorted, he is selfish, immature & two-faced. I do not see him as husband material. However, whilst we were together, despite his shortcomings, he treated me very well and showered me with love and affection. I still love him but I am not sure how to proceed with the divorce due to all my unresolved feelings. I have no idea what he feels as he has blocked me out and is very cold towards me, still blaming me for everything and adamant that it is over. How then do I approach the situation should he not contact me during the 30 days? How should I reach out to him and get him to open up in a calm mature manner…? I know deep down I deserve better but it is really hard to let go and I have yet to receive closure from him…
I realize it can be hard and feel like an emotional roller coaster. The physiological response people have to breakups is similar to a drug addict coming off their dependency on whatever substance they were using.
In the world of love and attachment, the emotional side of self tend to override the rationale side of self. But those stress hormones you are dealing with will eventually subside. You can do things to help that along. Treat yourself like you would want your Prince Charming to treat you. Take a bubble bath. Get your hair done. Go out and do something that is fun. Also, physical exercise can be helpful and getting your emotional/rationale parts of your brain back in balance. Mediation or Yoga is also helpful.
You may never get closure. I know that is hard to hear, but it is true for many people seeking to understand the cause of the breakup. Understanding another persons feelings and reasoning is so complicated. Your husband himself may not fully understand their own motivations.
And by the way, getting closure is WAY overrated. Listen to your rationale self. Deep down you know you deserve better. You said it twice. That is the rationale side trying to get your attention. You might want to pay attention to the voice of your rational self.
Dear Chris, the time apart did shed some perspective on my relationship. I know I can live without him but want him back as we shared a great connection & I believe he is a good person, who is perhaps suffering from depression and other issues. I also want to work things out for our daughter.
My abuse prior to marriage might have screwed him over. I do want to change and have been going through therapy to cope.
After 3 weeks of no contact, I sent him a few cold emails regarding finances. I then sent him a Father’s Day greeting and we had a few pleasant exchanges. I decided to Whatsapp him and the conversation had gone well, (he said he was stressed out and had a lot on his mind) until I brought up our relationship. He began talking about my abuse and I kept apologising and explaining to him how we could work it out, I was making efforts to change etc, etc. He then told me he wasn’t sure about what he wanted. I freaked out and he was nice, tried to calm me down and said that I seem a lot better and that we would talk about it another time.
The next day, I messaged him again and he said he wasn’t comfortable texting yet (still polite) then I went on a rant, asking him to make a final decision. His replies started getting short and verging on cold, mostly saying he “didn’t know” so I asked him if to just say it if our marriage was over or needed time to think, to which he replied “more time”. Afterwards, I sent him an apology for being emotional and agreeing with his need for space. He did not reply! I tried to keep my cool but it was a religious holiday here in my country, thus the sight of happy families got me ultra emotional, and I became a GNAT, bugging him asking why he wasn’t replying, sending him videos (I know, threw my logic and all your texting advice from EBR out the window…). My final message was something like “Ok I surrender, not hearing from you kills me. Whatever your reasons are, I accept it. Hope these videos make you smile. I’ll finally give you your space. Bye for now.” He then replied with a “Sorry, I was busy driving my new car. Not ignoring you though, but yea just need space.” I then replied with a “Thanks, happy for you with the car. Take care”. End of convo. Dont know if my last message was necessary, I did try to conclude things on a positive note…
Did I just blow my chances? Using your expertise, what do you think is going on with him, and why would he tell me he “didn’t know” about our marrital status, when he had been so adamant in ending things in the beginning? What does he need time/space for? I kind of worsened the situation as after blocking he was finally friendly & now he’s gone cold again, I’m thinking of going NC once more, but am afraid of how to reach out cos he knows he’s got me in his hands, waiting for him. What do I do? 🙁
It is not unusual for their to be a lot of bumps and roadblocks in the road to trying to get a marriage back on track. My sense is that you need to create some space for yourself to work on those personal things you wish to improve. Neither one of you seem ready to re-start the relationship because you both seem trapped in a type of Groundhog day episode where you are both repeating the same mistakes.
I suspect your husband isn’t saying anything definitive about “ending things” because he he unsure what he wants. The emotions seem too close to the surface for both of you. Perhaps a form of limited contact would be best for both of you with the understanding that you both need to find some peace within yourselves. You both have to feel good about yourself and love yourself completely before you can fully embrace each other. Kindness should rule your lives. Whether you end up getting back together or not, kindness (giving and receiving) is how you embrace a fulfilling life. If you give in to the anger and darker emotions, it will lead you further away from the things you want.
Dear Chris! You were so right about focusing on myself & staying positive during NC/limited in this case. I spent too much time thinking about him which isn’t healthy, considering he certainly is not investing in me as much.
So I had a great Friday night out with a friend, dressing up after what seemed like ages. I felt amazing & had a great time, not even thinking about him! Out of nowhere, my husband texted me asking how I was and for some pictures of our little girl. I kept my reply short & sent some photos, to which he gave a longer enthusiastic reply about his new job & our daughter. I caved in & wished him all the luck with his job, & made a joke about hoping his new boss was nicer than his previous one whom he despised. I then said a few things about our girl, without asking him any questions. He hasn’t replied since…
Could he smell my desperation? I was friendly & cheery, not overly enthusiastic, but definitely not aloof either. Why would he message only to keep me hanging? Men are confusing… thankfully we have You!
You are handling things well. Yes, guys are different in how we process stuff. You know that all men are a different species! Well, OK, its not quite that bad, but sometimes “less is more” when it comes to guys. Men are pretty simple in some ways. They want that which they can’t have. So make him chase. I have a lot of posts on that topic over at my sister website, exboyfriendrecovery.com
Go take a look as I offer tons of advice and tips on how to handle men.
The past month has been an internal struggle for me so I figured I’d turn to you aka the Husband Expert for insight!
Contact between my husband and I has been on-off, he will occasionally text me first and then always leave me hanging! I’ll admit I’ve been acting like a puppy, eager for any little attention & replying enthusiastically to each message.
He went a week without a reply and finally gave me a long message about how his phone’s battery is having problems etc etc how he misses his daughter, asking me how I am and also telling me when his pay comes in for child support.
I am now in His home country for exams, I could not help but text him that I’m here, offering to meet up casually and discuss finances + our daughter. I even sent him a photo of her. His payday comes…no reply. It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve heard from him! I saw him active on whatsapp too which means I am being deliberately ignored…
How could he have no interest to meet me, his wife, after 3 months apart?! He knows I’d only be here for 2 weeks and just have 2 days left! No initiative to pay child support either… I am so hurt. It’s almost like our whole marriage was a lie. How can he be so cold?
I have started to detach from him over my time here but I still do wish for a miracle… I’ve accepted my chances are pretty much non existent. I know he works at a supermarket-cafe in town, would it be a bad idea to drop by? Pretend it was coincidental and perhaps engage in a short chat? I am so confused and honestly feeling like I’ve run out of options 🙁
I think it would be a bad idea to just stop by your ex husband’s place of work. Perhaps he has shown you his true colors.
My advice would be to focus on yourself and your child and don’t place so much emotional energy in your husband changing his ways.
A person’s past behavior is often very predictive of their future behavior. I think you are seeing the real person your husband is.
Thanks for your wisdom, I like everyone else here could use a little advice. I was recommended here by a friend who’s relationship you helped save some time ago.
In the beginning of this story boy meets girl and connection too quickly ignites between them. She had a partner at the time and leaves him for me, because of this situation we are both forced into moving in together way too quickly (just weeks after meeting) into my small apartment. In retrospect this was the first big mistake we made taking this step so quickly. But we were at the time very happy and very much in love. One year later she’s pregnant. This started our first big argument as initially I was not happy with this news and it took me a few months to come around completely. It all changed when I fell in love with my son the day I first saw him on the sonogram and have tried being the best father I could to him in the following 3 years of his life. In this time the relationship went thru several ups and downs. Our main problem looking back was the way we would emotionally react to each other, sometimes I would block off and she in change would get emotionally over whelmed which made her unstable and angry and would turn her verbally abusive. This would block me off even more which would always escalate into an even bigger cycle of these same two reactions (fire & shield). Also our intimacy had never been re found after the child was born, I was always trying but it seems like she lost all desire & interest too after the child was born. There were medical reasons for this I have to admit but it was just all frustrating for me at the time. Another issue that was a deterrent on our relationship was the fact that she wanted us to marry and I didn’t want this foreseeing inevitable disaster at the end of our road. One night everything exploded with her trying to kick me out of the apt, I felt very bad about this since it was my place before we met and said something stupid like “this is my home and if anyone should leave it’s you”. I ended up killing the relationship like this, she tried to save it at the time but I was angry and stubborn. She ended up packing her bags, taking our son and leaving back to her home country. I spent 4 months being very frustrated and alone. We didn’t speak at all in this time unless it was something very on point about our kid.
Now after this time apart I have come to see the error of my ways and all the things I could have handled better. Basically if I had been just a little bit more supportive of her feelings things would never have gotten to the point they did. Also have come to value and appreciate more than ever all the wonderful/amazing qualities in her that by far out weight the negative but when in the relationship I was only able to focus on the negative. I think there’s allot of things we both could have handled better.
In this time apart we have both met and started seeing new people. Both good people but on my side at least my mind and heart can only think about my child and his mother and I’ve come to realize that there is nothing more important to me now than getting my family back together. I started contacting her a few weeks ago telling her I want to fix our family. I told her all the things I could have done better, I apologized for everything. I told her that from now on I will be more emotionally involved and that I want them to come back home, that we should try therapy together (something she always suggested and I refused in the time we were together). Then I proposed to her.
At first she responded with a resounding “No”, saying it was too late and that now she was just starting to get her life back in order again, new job, new apt ect. Last weekend I went up to visit my son and to tell her all this in person. It was all very emotional and overwhelming for all of us. I cried in front of her for the first time after seeing her cry for me so many times in the past. She’s still very apprehensive of the idea but at least told me that she still loves me and that she will think about it.
Now I’m back home. My idea now is to just give her some space to think everything over. But do remember we did already spent 4 months without talking. This time was good for me because it made realize allot of things I would not have otherwise. Right now I’m just trying to focus on what else I can do to make my relationship with her work and to get my family back together again. I love them and I’m just miserable without them. I’m trying to work on me to be better for them so any ideas on this specifically would be appreciated.
Long distance relationships can be challenging, but it is very possible to re-ignite the spark. I am fond of the strategy of taking little steps and doing little things that can help create deposits into your lover’s trust bank. So in the short term, do little thoughtful things that show you care. Avoid putting any pressure on her to make a firm decision. Trust needs to be rebuilt. That takes time. It is good there is still love between the two of you. When you have been together 3+ years and have a child together that creates a certain bond. Not every relationship is going to work out after a breakup, but the odds favor you in some ways and in other ways (i.e. long distance relationship) the odds are somewhat against you.
So you need to ask yourself, what you can do to improve you odds even more. For example, if it is practical, arrange for little mini meetups in the country she lives in. And/or invite her for brief visits where you live. Don’t focus on trying to win her back. Keep the focus on the one thing you both share in common and can agree about which is the the love and well being of your child. Spend these little mini get togethers with an eye toward having fun with your child. Avoid relationship talk on your end. If she wants to bring it, that is OK, but make your communications focused on positive topics….enjoyable and fulfilling topics. Keep the focus on how providing fulfilling experiences for your child. Show her you respect her and will honor whatever space and freedoms she wants. Demonstrate to her how much you love and enjoy your child.
Perhaps this will open up her heart to you again. And if that is the case, take things really slow.
My wife told me a month ago that she wants a divorce. She has talked about our problems previously and I thought I was making a tiny bit of progress. However I think I was suffering from a minor depression and forgot the real priorities in my life. We have two kids, in preschool and a baby. The reason for the divorce is that she didn’t feel I loved and wanted to be with them and that I was really pessimistic about my future. We have been together for ten years and married for five.
I am moving out from our apartment in a few weeks. Do you think limited contact would be the best option for my healing? And with limited I mean mainly about children. I still love my wife and would like to be with her. I have taken steps to correct my life (lost 15 pounds, been a much better father, always positive, never complaining, doing my part in home, searching for a new job). I think her feelings are completely gone as she said she’s been going through it in her head for the past few months. So reconciliation is out of the question. Sadly.
One of my problems is that she is giving weird signals. Sometimes we laugh a lot and go shopping as a family, next she’s distant. She changed the pictures in the frames but left our pictures behind the new ones. When filling the divorce papers, she said the thinking period will show if it is the right decision or not. This is probably just over-analyzing on my part.
Also I think she’s trying to play mind games with me. My wife told me our daughter asked when we are going to separate (even though no one has told her) and she wants two homes. I tried asking subtle questions like what is she doing at Christmas etc and she always responded that she wants to be with the family. Me included. Why would my wife tell me lies? I doubt my kid would say different things. To provoke a reaction?
I agree limited contact may offer benefits over the long run. You want her future thoughts and whatever experiences and exchanges she has with you to be positive. It seems she is still mulling over what she really wants and feels is best. I doubt if her feelings for you are “completely gone”. You guys have way too much history for all the love to have dissipated. So her having time to evaluate all these meaningful questions is important for both of you.
I wouldn’t put too much stock on the mix messages and confusing comments she has made now or will in the future. That is not unusual for people who are trying to find their bearings. Keep working on your self improvements and when the occasion arises, offer her thanks for her initiating the actions she has taken, explaining that it has helped you get draw much closer to the important things in life, even realizing that you have much growth yet to experience.
Thank you so much for helping me in this very unfortunate situation. I said there is no chance because I have never experienced a situation like this before and obviously acted like a goof immediately after the news (very emotional). I spent a few weeks away from her immediately after it. She kept saying she is very sorry that it had to go this way.
After a few weeks I felt like I knew what I have to do for myself and told her that I am going to change for me and my kids, and that I completely understand the reasons for the divorce. Also, I forgive her entirely (not really her fault!) and more importantly, I forgive myself. I told her that I want to be with her, but as unconditional love was promised, my main goal as a husband is to respect her decision and give her space, if that brings the happiness. The only thing she answered was that she fears I am just moving my hatred into the future. I think I said I still want to be a friend but I don’t think I really want it that way, only a kind and polite relationship due to kids and to allow for healing to happen.
Do you think these pushed her far far away? If she contacts me about other matters on my limited contact, is polite and short emotionless answers the best choice?
Again, thank you so much for doing this. I really never thought I’d face this situation.
It is tough when one is in the middle of a breakup. Emotions and feeling are flying all around. There is a physiological reason for why this happens as the brain creates more stress hormones. I think you are handling things well. I am sure the two of you will come in to contact in the future over matters that require attention. I think polite is good. But I also like positive. You can be kind and supportive to her in your replies, without gushing with too much enthusiasm.
Thank you again.
Yes, I feel that I am handling it well currently. She was really open yesterday and joked about some funny things in our past.
She began really distant but became really talkative later on, and this has been happening for a while. She also asked me to join them to go look some new furniture, asking my opinion on stuff.
Mind obviously over-analyzes, but I’d rather think she is happy that I am taking this so well so she does not have to feel guilty anymore, than that she would be opening more and more to possible reconciliation. Doesn’t this sound a more probable scenario? I wish I could decode women and their thoughts.
Thank you again!
Just keep the focus on being positive with yourself and your wife.
My husband enforced the separation after only a year of marriage. We were only 3 months married when troubles started. Triggered by his work stress and interference from his mother and toxic friends, he was always cranky and we were getting into arguments. I was not expecting to see the change in him and I guess I went into shock and lashed out out of grief and fear. We had couples counselling and it seemed to work. We went for our honeymoon and came back pretty normal and happy. During the honeymoon he said he was having a mid life crisis. 2 months later it all started going downhill cos of the same factors – work stress, mother and friends. This time it was even worse. While we did not have any issues in the bedroom he refused to spend time with me and was always backchatting about me with this friends. It broke my heart – I would plead with him but he would not listen. He also refused counselling. I went overseas for a month over xmas. During that time apparently he was screaming at his staff and his father, not eating properly and working long hours. We did not have good communication during this time and I struggled with the anxiety and fear. He told me he was severely depressed. He took his wedding ring off and changed his status to ‘separated’ on social media. When I came back all the fears were proved right. He told me leave the house and said we had ’11 more months left before we could go our own way’. He had moved to the other room. I explained how I wanted to stand by him but he told me he did not need my support. I hung in there for a couple of months during which I found out he had signed up for dating and sex sites. This was not the man I used to know. He refused counselling and medication. I finally moved out even though it nearly tore my heart apart. On the day I left he was a raging lunatic for 3 hours – his father could not control him…I had to call the cops – the neighbours came out and giggled as he stomped around. He wanted me gone so why the anger. This was 3 months back. I did not contact him post that – neither did he. A month back he sent me a parcel to my work address – it contained the wedding video usb stick and a note that was written on the letterhead from the honeymoon resort. It said ‘wouldn’t want you to go without one of these after all your research’. I did not know what to make of this. Yes I had done a lot of research to put the wedding and honeymoon together – and I loved that – I did not have any issues with that research. Why bother sending me that? I texted him and thanked him for the usb a couple of days later. He did not respond. A week back I texted and said that I had seen the wedding venue on a travel show – that it had brought a smile to my face and I am glad we got to experience it – then I asked why he had sent the usb. He has not even read that text – and no reply. I am confused. The no contact was necessary after such an acrimonious breakup. But then why the parcel? And why the silence? I love him a lot and want to reconcile. But I don’t know what is going on and what I should do. Is it all done? Or do I need to be patient. 3 months and I am still so heart broken. He was the loveliest man to me till all this started. Please give me some insight and some advise. Thanks in advance.
So sorry for all your troubles. It sounds like you have been down a very tough road. I can’t make heads or tails out of your husband’s behavior either. But perhaps that is a clue. His instability seems to suggest he has some meaningful personal issues going on and you and the marriage got caught up in it all. Its hard to know how this is all going to work out. I suspect that you should continue to give him space to work through his emotional problems. But you shouldn’t assume that it is all going to work out. It might not and you should know that there are many wonderful opportunities out there for someone like you. You have demonstrated you have and display a lot of love. Shine that love on yourself. And consider opening yourself up to other possibilities….other paths….. if things don’t significantly improve in the months to come.
Hi Chris! I am thrilled to have found your page and this article. My husband and I are separating today in order to cool things down in our current marital crisis. Briefly……we have been married 17 years (20 together) and have two small children (age 9 and 7). My husband (age 55) has been having an affair for about 2 months with a young woman (age 27)! I won’t type all of the details, I will only say I discovered it. The worst part of all of it is that he does admit to having some emotions connected to her. He is a very intelligent man (former marine and now a surgeon) and he states that he KNOWS it is all just fantasy however, switching off emotions is not something someone can just do. I wish we could, but I do know that we cannot. He is currently in a state of self-hatred. He is “sickened” by what he has done and by the fact that he may have destroyed his family. He is remorseful and sorry and is riddled with the pain. He continues to tell me he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me and our family. He continues to tell me he is empty without me. Our foundation is strong and full of love and I do believe these things he says. He feels he needs time away for two reasons 1.) He needs to “unwind” this relationship with this girl properly. Meaning, he is trying to have it not blow up into some kind of Fatal Attraction scene as she has a boyfriend of 5 years that he lives with. He wants the time to see her so they can discuss how ridiculous the whole thing is and agree to end things amicably. He also needs to unwind his emotions from her. As hard as that sounds, I do understand. He says he wants to “unwind” this relationship with her properly so as to put it completely behind him knowing that he will never look back and so he can come back home to me and the children and be the best father and husband he could possibly be and be able to look us all in the eyes again. He is full of shame. 2.) He wants the time to really spend in his brain, figuring out why this all happened and really unscrew his head.
As for me, my emotions are of course all over the place. I am a very understanding woman and I do know that things like this happen. Marriages over time, especially those with children forget to be nurtured. We get so wrapped up in life that we don’t take care of the intimacy needed and set up an atmosphere of vulnerability. I take no responsibility for his actions, however I am able to see what things were going on in our marriage that were unhealthy and need to be changed. So, I guess my question to you is what is the best way to handle this separation from my perspective? I am willing to fight for my marriage. He has rented a small house locally, less than 5 miles from home. He feels he wants to be in “exile” as punishment. He wants the unwind the situation with her and his emotions and also “unscrew” his messed up head. I get it, but the thought of all of it makes me sick and sad. Even if he tells me it is ended with her, how do I know? How do I go through the next several days/weeks knowing that he is indeed going to spend some time with her to amicably end the relationship? Just the thought of them interacting makes me sick. How do I trust again? I am going to be home with the children trying to hold myself together for them. I feel so confused.
You seem like a really wise and wonderful woman. He probably does not fully comprehend how amazing you truly are. It is hard…all the emotions running through you…and there is no certainty how everything will work out. But that is life. We all deal with uncertainties. Focus on those things you have the most control over. But one thing I know is that a bond made over years and further cemented with children is very difficult to sever. Time is usually the arbitrator of problems like this. My advice would be to surround yourself with fulfilling experiences and stay engaged in making yourself the best version of “You”. As to your husband’s insistence that he should exile himself….i don’t think that is an emotionally health approach. He should not shut himself away from the children or you. Be positive and pragmatic in the face of this uncertainty. Stand tall for yourself. He will see these things and realize how much value you really offer in so many ways. It is likely he will see the error of his ways and come around to re-engaging with you. Hopefully he will learn to forgive himself and earn your forgiveness. Take little steps. Show him you can move forward in your life without him if it came to that. He will see your strength and will be attracted to it.
Wow…Chris said it right, You’re amazing.
Hi chris been separated for 9 months now. I have been trying and trying to no avail but if she hears somethung i say wrong she says she no longer wants to talk about it and that this is definitly and the divorce is final. Spend 7 month trying to convince her but while doing it getting belittled. And a week ago after she said that i decided to ignore. But im in uncharted waters. Give me some advice ….
Hey there Bman. It is tough when you keep getting rejected despite your best intentions. Sometimes it is a better strategy to put up no resistance. Agree with what she says and take on the role of “you are seeking to become the best version of your self”. Your position can be you simply want to be a better person for others who may come into your life. She is probably looking for you to resist her insistence that the two of your should seek a divorce. While you don’t have to come out and agree with her, avoid the appearance of putting up resistance. Read all my posts on the No Contact Principle.
Thank your for your quick response. Ive should have done this from the beginning but as you already know the heart is stubborn but after that last rejection it has to go this way for sure…..thabks once agai
My husband said he wanted a divorce out of nowhere and moved out. I really didn’t understand because we got along so well. I have seen him 2 times since he left and it was if we were getting a divorce, we were more intimate than we have been in awhile but when he would leave I would basically blow up his phone because it didn’t make sense to really want a divorce when we still have a good relationship. One day we spoke on the phone and he blew up on me. Told me I was smothering and I haven’t been giving him time to see if divorce is what he really wants. He told me the only way we could even have a chance of being together one day again is if I work on myself to not need him so much and quit being needy. It hurt me to see him that upset over something that seems so small to me. I haven’t talked to him since but it’s killing me. We had a great marriage, we were literally best friends. It’s hard to not need him because we have been together for 6 years and it doesn’t feel right not having him here or hardly talking to him. I’m starting to work on myself physically and emotionally but should I wait for him to contact me and how could I work on my needing of him? I want to do whatever it takes to save our marriage.
It doesn’t feel like we are getting a divorce when we see each other but when he leaves he hardly speaks with me **
When there is distance between two people, it is easy to treat them like they don’t exist. That is why the communications are different when he leaves. This is not highly unusual. Not healthy or ideal, but I think there are aims you can focus on…such as yourself and being a great friend to yourself. You will always have that and more no matter what happens with you and your husband.
I have a sister site called exboyfriendrecovery.com. It has a lot of articles and resources that I think can help with your situation. Go take a look!
Hi Chris –
I’ve been married 12 years, and have 4 children with my wife. 4 months ago, she asked for a divorce/separation. We agreed we would handle things civilly after I moved out. Within 1 week of me moving out, the legal documents started flooding in from her, and it got nasty real quick. I signed the divorce papers 2 weeks after she filed for divorce. I had very little contact with my kids. There was a NC in place for the first 18 days, and she came to me after that and said she made a big mistake, she doesn’t want this, she didn’t know what else to do but file for divorce etc. She flip flopped 2 days later and said she wanted to proceed with the divorce. Here we are now 4 months later. Much has calmed down, but court proceedings are waiting for “final orders”. We have found a routine in our parenting plan schedule and she recently told me she needs time to heal during this process. We have very little contact outside of talking about kids etc. She says Reconciling is a desire of hers but wont commit either way right now. Is unsure of details etc.
I’m struggling being in this yo-yo, push and pull decision of hers, whether she wants to reconcile or not. I want nothing more than for her to heal, and “find herself again”. I feel I need to give her space, and ultimately we can break the patterns and habits of our poor communication and verbal/emotional abuse. How long should this NC go on? How much time do you think is adequate for someone in her position to continue the NC/short responses or not committing to reconciling or not? She texts me about every 7-10 days asking how I am, gets personal with me about some things, and then she goes silent for the next week or 2. Is this apart of the process of NC and “healing” for her? Over the last month, we have had some positive interactions through text etc.
What is the best way for me to handle this process? I’ve tried extremely hard to not initiate contact, and give her space.
A little bit of a messy message I wrote but hoping you can understand what I’m asking/saying.
Hey there Cole. These are all good questions you have asked. Not everyone is the same and that goes for your wife. Clearly, she is uncertain as to what path to take. Four plus months a good amount of time for someone to reconcile within them what it is they wish to do. It seems that the divorce proceedings is creating an artificial deadline.Given her continued uncertainty, it might be wise to recommend to her that she might wish to consult with her attorney and explore whether she can petition the court to put a hold on the “final orders” if that is possible.
As to the degree in which you should reach out, I think you are past the NC period for all practical purposes. You can still give her space…yet at the same time put your best positive foot forward. I own and operate a website called exboyfriendrecovery.com. At that website you can find numerous articles and text examples of what you might wish to say to her to help re-ignite the relationship.
Ultimately, whatever the core problems are that led to her desire to end the marriage will need to be addressed. At some point she will need to believe that these things can improve. Perhaps that is why she has been uncertain as to how to proceed. That goes for her to. There are likely behaviors she is exhibiting that has contributed to the problems the two of your are having. She will need to believe she too can make inroads.
Hey Chris – Sure do appreciate your reply. It’s the clarity guidance I really needed. Very difficult to trust myself on some of the impulsive yo-yo emotions I’m feeling.
I’m happy to report back to you that I went to your website and found some tools to approach her to get an idea of what path she would like to take regardless of the pressure from legal proceedings.
I finally got “a response” or clarity I’ve been been trying to get for a few weeks from her > “I don’t think reconciliation is healthy at this point in time”
Divorce is a difficult process but at least I can try to move forward.
There’s been a lot toxic patterns and behaviors in our marriage that needs broken. Praying her and I can heal with time and eventually reconcile.
My husband and I have been married for 18 years, together 25. I began experiencing depression after the birth of our second child. I went to a few counseling sessions, but really did not get much better. 6 years ago my sister was murdered and I began raising her 2 orphaned children. The stress really took a toll and I spiraled in a deep depression. I was at an all time low and began to be verbally abusive to my husband. At the beginning of this year he decided he had enough and told me that he no longer loved me and was finished with our marriage. That was the wake up call that caused me to seek help from my physician. He prescribed mild depressants and they have helped tremendously. I am now back to a place where I am able to be a good mother and wife. He says he can see the difference but that it’s too late. He says he has no feelings for me. He stayed in a separate room in our home for 5 months “for the kids”. He just recently decided it was time to leave and is staying with a friend. I told him that I wouldn’t give up on our marriage and he just says it’s too late. Is there any hope?
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for sharing your story. You are very brave and you should feel very, very proud of yourself. The chemistry of our brain is not something we can control very well…for lots of reasons. So I think it was very wise to get some treatment to help balance things out. You sound like an amazing and selfless person who has had some tough turns in your life’s journey.
The timing of your post was serendipitous. I just posted a new article about love lost and love regained (i.e. “How Do You Make Your Husband Fall In Love With You Again”). It turns out that your husband may not truly be in full touch with his feelings, particularly given the many years the two of you have know each other. And I tell you what…even if later down the road he chooses not to give the relationship another try…well….it will be his loss. And if that happens (not saying it will), then I am certain you will be very happy in your choices and also find love again. It is out there in all forms.
Me and my husband have been married for a year and half but our marriage has been very on and off and i have been sent to my mums house many times as I don’t get along with my husbands family. His mum has been emotionally abusive towards me but my husband doesn’t understand that therefore i have been kicked out of the house many times as my husband listens to his mum all the time. It has almost been one month now since i have been staying at my mums and had no contact with my husband but. These past two weeks my husband has been writing statuses on whatsapp such as “you left me thinking i’d be alright, won’t you come back to me” . ” 3 important words: life goes on”. ” god knows who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. Trust and let go. Whoever is meant to be there, will still be there” I haven’t been responding to it on top he has now changed his dp to a picture of him and me hugging him which doesn’t show my face and he’s posted a picture of roses captioning “theres truth in the clouds that i count in the sky, the flowers i gave you are bound to die but i’ll tell you i love you a thousand times” i’m not sure what i could to get him to come back to me or for him to make the move off contacting me. Should i still continue with no contact? I’m very confused.
I agree those messages he is putting out are a bit confusing. Usually a period of 21 to 30 days of No Contact is sufficient for emotions to settle down and for the other party to be amenable to reconciliation. If its been that long, then consider reaching out to your husband with a brief text message. You can find examples of initial contact messages on my other website exboyfriendrecovery.com
I have been with my husband for 12 years and we have been married for 7. Recently, we both have had alot of stress due to financial reasons and we’re depressed we couldn’t be together for a few months due to my husbands work and school for me. I returned home from school ready to be fully engaged and spending time with my husband. I found him distant and didn’t know where his hostility was coming.
After months of his rejections, I made the ultimate mistake in conversing via text with a high school friend. This friend had been looking for me online but since I do not have a facebook he sent my husband a message asking if we were still together. I did not know about this because my husband never told me. But it was what began making my husband’s character change and he began looking through my things.
I have an old backpack with old letters and photos from over 15 years ago. In these photos this high school friend appears but he didn’t send me the letters. In the pictures we are not hugging nor kissing, just standing next to each other. These letters written by 6th and 7th graders. Just my childhood memories but in my husbands mind it was more than that.
My husband looked at my phone and saw that I had been communicating with this high school friend and went out for coffee with him. My husband was so angry he moved out that night and told me he never wanted to see me again.
I have told him I’d give him time, and that I would seek therapy for the damage i brought to our relationship for keeping it a secret and breaking his trust, for letting this other man tell me he loved me (I never responded back).
I have learned that I had engaged an emotional affair. I know the long road to recovery won’t be easy but I’m willing to embark on it and do everything I can to help him heal.
It’s been a month since he moved out and I have kept the no contact rule. I want to reach out to him but I don’t know how. I don’t want to scare him away, I want him to know I’m taking action in changing my behavior and want to work on this marriage but I don’t know how to communicate that to him if he’s unwilling to listen.
Hi Lil…given that you and your husband have been together for quite some time, I am optimistic this situation can get resolved.
I would recommend you go to my website, http://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com and there you will find a great deal of free content. There is a search function you can use to locate and read some of the posts I have written that deals with the No Contact Rule and how to re-initiate communications. I have written about this subject quite a bit. There are some tactics and methods you can employ in how you reach out to him by text. It would take me too long here to go over it all, but if you invest some time in reading some of the articles on how to navigate through this period, I think you will walk away with some ideas. I have also written two books you might be interested in, called “The Texting Bible” and “The No Contact Rulebook” and you can find them there on that website as well.
My husband and I are separated for a month now. Together for 13years married 7 this November. We have a 20-month old boy. Two months ago I found out about the affair. Initially he blamed me for being controlling ang verbally harsh to him which made him fall out of me and fall for her. He’s 38 and she’s 20 and known her for barely 3months. The affair started when he confided our marital problems to her and ended up admitting that they like each other. I heard lines I never expected from him such as “my love for you never been the same” “you know how much i have loved you before, but I feel that for someone else now” ” i want to work us out but the spark’s gone & don’t know how to get it back or it will ever come back” and etc.
As soon as I found out I seek advices right away from friends in our church and gone through counselling from our pastor but we only had 3 sessions. At one point he chose us his family but said he’s not happy. It was painful for me to know that he chose his family only because he said it’s the right thing to do but his heart and mind is somewhere. Later on I asked him to choose what he really wants and so he asked for space (1week no contact) away from me and her so he could think what and who he really wants to be with. I broke the no contact rule it only lasted 4days coz I found out through his online banking transactions that he went to see her (on her town) on that 4th day. Called him right away and met him somewhere and made him decide. Unfortunately he has decided to leave the marriage.
Two weeks after, my son and I went away to our home country and we are on our 5th week here now. Since we arrived he’s been messaging me on facebook but mainly just asking about our son saying he missed him so much. I never replied to any of his messages though but on our 5th day here, he asked for our son’s photo so I just sent him a photo of our son and blocked him on FB. Prior to this I was already told ny one of our friends that he’s getting paranoid not hearing from his little man. He has no other means of messaging me. Two weeks later he messaged my sister and ask how am I and our boy but my sister ignores him
too. On our 3rd week here he tried to reach out on viber (it probably
notified him when I activated my viber again) for 3 consecutive days from his birthday but to no avail.
Last week, after 29days of no contact with him, I message him through iMessage to hand my car and our house keys to his cousin whom I work with. I just reasoned that Im just going to ask her to find some documents I need although the truths is we are flying back soon but doesnt want him to know about it. He insisted on finding the documents I need but did not answer him. He was asking how am I but didnt answer. He asked when are we coming back & just told him that we dont have return ticket yet but he doesnt have to worry coz as soon as we’re back he will see his son and I won’t deprive him of his rights as a father.
Prior to finding your blog I have already done the NC rule. What are my next steps after these? Like I said he’s already in a relationship with this young girl and from what I heard he’s been introducing her now to some of his new friends as his GF. Is there still a chance he’s going back to his family? Coz he’s been telling some people that we both know that he’s pretty much happy with his life now. Part of me doesnt believe him coz if he’s really happy he wont resort back to smoking ( which he already stopped years ago) and going out spending so much which is unusual for him. He’s pretty much ruining his life now. He’s got limited friends now coz significant people in his life turned their back because of what he did to us. I want him to come back because I want to hear and see him regret his decisions and the path he chose. By the way, at first I was also the needy wife trying to win him back. But since after his decision to leave the marriage and finding out more lies it made me stronger and changed how I treat him now. I am no longer showing any interest on him.
You said you have learned that not being a needy wife and becoming strong….the best version of “You” has made a difference. So I am very happy you have learned this insight. It is always better to be in an emotional position of strength when you are dealing with a husband who has cheated on you.
Time will tell if he sees that he has potentially jeopardized his future. For some guys, the prospect of a new relationship with a younger woman may seem exciting (the grass is green syndrome). His brain chemistry may have been temporarily hijacked by this other woman. But often, the reality of what he thought that relationship might be like versus what it actually turns out to be are two very different things.
I think you should be pragmatic. Perhaps he might realize it is in his best interest to reconcile with you. If so, then I think a return to counseling would be necessary. But if it never comes to that, you should be prepared to go forward without him. It seems like you have some amazing qualities and I am sure there are some really good choices awaiting you in the future if you so desire.
Thanks for your quick reply.
I think I am prepared to go on without him. There are still times though that I want him to come back to his senses and regret what he’s done.
Should I continue the No Contact rule when we get back? would it still work?
Hi StrongMom….I do think there is value in utilizing the No Contact Principle. You can read a lot more about it at one of my other websites which you can find at exboyfriendrecovery.com
My ex-husband message me yesterday and kept on asking when are we back coz he missed our boy so much. For some reasons, yesterday I really cant stop myself to reply to his message and told him “I thought you said you’ll suck up all the consequences (including not seeing our son). And he just replied he doesnt want to
argue with me. He wants us to have a talk and wants us to stay friends and “sort everything” for the sake of our boy. He kept on saying he wants us to be okay as parents, doesnt want out boy to grow up that his parents are not in good terms. (I dont think we are bot in good terms in fact before we flew we already had a talk and we’re fine and while we were away I started the NC principle). He said he’s really sorry for hurting me and said we need to talk for our boy’s sake.
Does it sound like he wants reconciliation?
i told him to not think get im angry at him or something. I have no ill feelings for him anymore and if i didnt reply to his messages doesnt mean I feel bitter of what he’s done. And to told
him that like what he said, I agree thay what has happened it’s the best for us.
He finally said he missed me and our son.
I think you handled the communications really well. While I think it is still early to no with certainty if he wants to get back together again, I do think these latest comments suggest he may be starting to see things differently.
Yesterday he went to our house to see our son. I intended not to be at home though. My mom who looks after our boy told me that he asked her how I was while we were away and she answered I’ve been doing pretty well like nothing happened. He was asking my mom what time I left yesterday and where I went but she just answered she had no idea.
He texted me yesterday what time Iam going home so he could leave and just told him I am going home as soon as he leaves then I asked him what are gonna talk about when he said the other day that “I want us to be okay for our son’s sake. I want him to grow up having his parents in good terms. Im so sorry I really hurt you but we need to talk please for our son’s sake.”
Is being friends with him a practical thing to do? What is he up to?
While i am not sure, it sounds like he does not want to be cut out of your life or be unable to spend quality time with your son.
I found out from one of our close friends yesterday that he spoke to her last week. He told her that he missed me and he still loves me and that it’s not that easy to throw away the years (13) we’ve been together. At the same time he also said to our friend that she loves the OW too.
Having done the 5week No contact principle somehow worked because he finally admitted he missed & still loves me. And when he said he wants us to be friends i’d like to believe that he doesnt want to be cut of my life because I clearly told him that he can see his son whenever he wants.
Yes, I agree. When a couple has been together for a long period of time, they build many memories together. They have many experiences together. All these events are seared into our brain chemistry and not easily forgotten. And if this past history has been relatively positive, then it is difficult for all that to be lost. Maybe for a short period of time, he pushed it out of his conscious mind, but our subconscious does not lose sight of what has been important and impactful in our lives and that counts for a great deal.
However yesterday, I told him that he can only visit our son during weekdays not later than 2pm, Cos il be home by then and i dont want us to see each other. This is because I found out that he took his OW to our rented house (he just moved out 3weeks ago while we’re away).
Having said that the No contact rule has been done, although the result is positive I would say its not successful and he still never though of going back to his family. What should I do next?
Just keep going forward trying to be the best version of “You”. Be happy…act happy….find positive things and people and surround yourself with these things. You will feel better about life and he will notice. Happiness and positivity are magnets and people are drawn to people who radiate these emotions.
If it was me, I would employ a form of limited contact. Whatever times you do interact with him, be positive and kind. Don’t express that you need him. And if he should ever ask you what your plans are for the future, you can honestly tell him you want to love and be loved and that is what you will be seeking in life.
Is it possible because somehow we communicate? Like when he asked me of I am home coz he wants to see our son etc.
5 weeks of no contact was a good amount of time. Life moves forward and there is a point where avoiding him indefinitely is not practical. Limited contact on your terms seems reasonable. It would be in those situations you can be your best “self”, leaving him wanting more of you.
Just to give you an update, he’s been trying to reach out lately. I am certain though that she moved in with him a few weeks ago. Im still implementing the no contact principle. We communicate through my mom. If he needs anything to know about our son he would message my mom since I’m not answering
any of his text messages. He would offer to mow our lawns, put up Christmas decorations etc but I would decline (through my mom).
Just today he texted me if I would consider to have coffee with him next week.l and to catch up. Should I give it a go or continue the no contact?
Perhaps he is feeling guilty. Maybe he is still unsure how things will turn out with the other woman. If you keep your head cool and maintain a positive demeanor, I think having coffee would be good. I would avoid taking about any relationship issues. If he brings up any relationship related topics, just kindly tell him you think it would be best not to discuss those topics. I know this will be difficult to do, but try your best to avoid such topics. Your goal should be to show him that you are getting along just fine. Showcase your positive demeanor. You can talk about some of the new things you are up to. It may remind him of the good things about you he is missing out on. Ultimately, if you want him back, you want him chasing you.
Thanks for your quick reply. Im still undecided whether to have a coffee with him or not. I wanted to but I honestly want him to miss me. I knew that he already doess but I want him to miss me even more.
Im just wondering though, its been 3months since we split but he still has his wedding ring on. His facebook profile still his family. I would somewhat understand the facebook photo coz he’z probably not ready to tell the world that he ended the marriage but the ring he could just take it off without anyone noticing.
Can I assume the OW is just a rebound?
It is very possible. The more you make yourself “ungettable” and showcase to him and the world all of your positive qualities, the greater he may come to miss you. If you don’t do the coffee, then you can kindly offer him thanks and tell him something that might make him a little jealous or envious or making him aware you are busy with engaging with life and just don’t have time with him quite yet. For example, you could tell him next week you may be taking a little side trip with a friend and your availability will be up in the air.
I told him to just text me the things he said we’re gonna talk about. He just replied “are you not ready to meet yet?”. I answered “I am but let me know first what it’s all about” and he just replied “maybe some other time”.
You have a right to know up front what he wanted to meet with you about. That is a reasonable request considering the state of the relationship.
He seems to want to just smooth things over so he can be “friends” with you and have time with his son. Unfortunately, life after a breakup is not so easy as people cannot simply set aside their feelings. You will both need some time to get in touch with these feelings and understand what you both want for yourselves. It sounds like he is bouncing off his somewhat confused and uncertain state of emotions. His comment, “maybe some other time” sounds like him venting.
As mentioned before, he was asking for a catch up but did not reply to his text. He also sent me a friend request again on facebook. And sometime last week he mentioned to my mom that he’ll be seeing the pastor whom we had our counselling later that day. Being a men, what does these mean? Why woukd he tell my mom about this?
Also, today I texted him first to clarify our broadband billing because it’s under his name. Does this mean I am breaking the no contact?
No, you are not breaking No Contact when you discuss financial matters or other issues that are not strictly personal.
I suspect that he is putting out some feelers. It’s like he is checking your temperature to see what you might be thinking. Perhaps he really intends to see the pastor. Or possibly he is just saying that to see what your reaction might be. It is ingrained in a guy’s mind to pursue that which he doesn’t have. He was use to getting feedback and responses from you. Now that they are not coming with the regularity he was once accustomed to, he wants to get a read on what you are thinking. Maybe he is having second thoughts about his past decisions. Maybe he is still uncertain about what he wants.
Thanks for the info. You are
probably right that he’s just trying to check my reactions. Today he went to see our son. I just dont understand why again he would tell my mom that sometimes he would drive past our house to check if my car’s here. (His new workplace is within the area where we live).
I would assume sometimes that he has intentions of going back because of his recent statements and gestures but I dont want to create false hopes for myself. The other day he also told my mom that he feels sorry for me when my mom will finally go back to our home country soon (she only got visitor’s visa and helping me look after or son) and I’ll be all by myself looking after our kid after that. This statement makes me think that it’s like he’s saying I need to come back coz I’ll need him for our son.
He’s really confusing me now and interfering my intentions to finally move on.
I just spoke to the same friend I was talking about and he said to her that he is happy with his relationship with this other woman coz everything just feels right and he feels like he found someone who truly understands him and his situation. He said he’s very open to his new girlfriend about him missing his family and that he really wanted to talk to me and she doesn’t really mind that as long as no sex will happen between me and my ex.
He told our friend that whenever he’s off from work he doesnt really want to stay alone in their flat because he’s just gonna think about me and our son. Our friend said that it seems he’s still not ready to let go
of us but he also said that its really hard to like turn around now because of the damage that’s been done and what he did is already an open book to the people we know. He said he just cant leave her (well other than emotional attachment already built i also think because she is helping him financially now coz i’ve seen her transferring money to his account).
Honestly, after learning that he still loves me and thinks about me and he’s having a hard time letting us go, I am really hoping that he will come back. But like he said he just cant leave her just like that. Do you think she really love her and this is really the end of our marriage? Should I just let go instead? Will their relationship would really work given that the OW is understanding?
It is unclear just how things will turn out. Time is the arbitrator in matters such as this. It would be in your best interest to proceed under the notion that you can’t count on your husband to relinquish everything he now has with this other woman and be completely faithful to you. Go forward with that assumption and make decisions accordingly that serve your best interests.
He also said that she doesnt mind seeing him browsing our family picture and he would even
tell her the story behinds those photos. He also feels the emptiness and guilt whenever he sees our son’s photo in their room. I am curious though if guilt could be a driving factor for him change the circumstance or will
it just go away as time goes by?
Guilt usually recedes over time.
My husband and I were high school seeethearts and have been married for 16 years. We have two beautiful children, 12 and 14. Our marriage has had ups and downs, 8 years ago he had a drunken one night stand and 2.5 years ago I asked him to stay at his parents for a bit as I felt I wasn’t in love with him anymore. That lasted 3 weeks and during those three weeks we continued contact, worked on ourselves and came out better, or so I thought. I fell completely back in love with my husband and I thought all was well. We sold our house and began building our dream home in Aug 2016, but in November I started feeling like my husband was distancing himself. He would work late, one night he didn’t come home at all, and seemed angry all of the time. When I asked him if there was someone else he told me no and said I was paranoid. Around this time he also started getting protective of his phone and my intuition said that he was being unfaithful. The middle of Dec, Jan, Feb and most of March seemed good and I thought all was well again and wrote off my suspicions. We moved into our new home. Towards the end of March I felt him distancing himself again but he did come home and same thing in April. In May, he again started not coming home and always had an excuse. I again confronted him and he again assured me he was not cheating and said he wanted to work on us and was committed to me and our family. He said that he felt like he was distant because I broke him when I had asked him to leave 2.5 years earlier. This was the first I ever heard of that and found it strange that he was just now telling me that. We worked on each other and then June, July, and August back to normal and then in September he began working late all of the time again and on October 12th he told me he was lost, unhappy all of the time and didn’t know what to do. He was tired of being unhappy all of the time and feels like he is a failure. We discussed counseling and seeing the dr for some anti depressants. However, that night, I found compelling evidence that he had lied to me on at least two occasions when he didn’t come home. I also found lots of irregularities in his driving patterns. I confronted him and he continued to lie until I showed him the evidence. Then he said he went to a casino. That also doesn’t check out, and he still adamantly denies an affair. I know he had or is having one, I believe physical and emotional, but certainly emotional and it is with someone he works with and will continue to see everyday. I asked him to show me phone records since he denies this is going on, but he won’t. He says I scrutinized his driving record everyday for a year so why would he show me his phone record. He moved out Nov 1, and we have initiated the no contact rule for one month with the exception of kid stuff. I told him that he needed to take a month to figure out himself and why he is lost and what it is he wants. I told him that after a month we can discuss whether or not we want to divorce or work on our marriage but I told him that in order for me to trust him I would need to see the phone records. I miss him terribly and am just at a loss. He had been my best friend, my person, for 25 years (and I’m not even 40 yet). He is the father of my children and the love of my life and I am so confused and so angry that he still isn’t being truthful despite me having told him prior that we could overcome an affair. Any advice or help you could offer me would be great. As we left it, he said he didn’t know if he wanted to work on us or not yet because he first needed to get his head clear and figure out why he is so unhappy and so cloudy. I told him that I hoped that by the time he made up his mind, it wasn’t too late. I think he is having a mid life crisis and an affair.
I suspect your are correctly reading the situation. While one can’t be certain unless their is irrefutable evidence or a confession, I think it is wise you both spend some time apart as that usually leads to people getting in touch with their feelings. The hurt you are going through is normal. The brain releases a cocktail of hormones that induce these feelings of anger, confusion, resentment, and pain. But those chemicals will eventually run their course as you get in touch with your pragmatic self. Whatever happens on his end for the time being, focus on your needs to heal and become the best version of YOU. I agree that if the two of you wish to work on making the relationship work, he needs to regain your trust. You are not making an unreasonable request given the oddity of his behavior and habits. Don’t push for that right now, but in the future when it is time to discuss matters with him again, he needs to understand that he shouldn’t fear telling you. That closure will do him and you both good whether your split up for good or seek to rebuild the relationship. For all practical purposes you are already fairly certain he is cheating. If you are wrong, then it is cruel for him not to provide the cell phone history so this matter can be put to rest.
Thanks, Chris. I guess my other question would be what should my mindset be? I think part of my problem is that I don’t know if I should be telling myself to let go of him and start making decisions and choices for my future, and our children’s futures, that don’t include him or if I should be telling myself to hold on and wait and see what this month brings. I feel like I am stuck in limbo because I don’t know what my mindset is. I don’t think I can begin to heal because I don’t know what I am dealing with. I know you, obviously, don’t know either, but if you were in my shoes would you be letting go or holding on?
Sorry Brenda for my late response the other day. I was out of town. As to your question, I think I would allow for some time to go by so that I could draw closer to my feelings. Right now, things are probably a bit chaotic and confusing. But healing can begin immediately and part of that is getting in touch with your feelings and getting engaged with those people and activities that bring you positive experiences. To do that, you need to try and remove yourself as much as possible to the issue that is causing you so much heartache. Focus on thing things that bring your individual fulfillment. You need not make any hard, determinative decisions yet. I suspect that your husband will always be part of your children’s future (as he ideally should be). But let me emphasize, you don’t have to put your needs on hold. Proceed with a pragmatic view in mind that you can’t count on him. And remember,you don’t need him to be a happy human being. You are quite capable of finding happiness along all kinds of paths you may choose to take.
I am having a lot of trouble maintaining the no contact rule. I am on day 15, half way there, and it’s taking everything I have not to tell him that we need to talk again. I am trying to focus on me and finding out who I am or can be, I am realistic that he may say let’s get a divorce, I am realistic that he is never going to be honest with me. However, I also just keep hoping that he will want to work on us and begin marriage counseling, dating one another again etc. it’s the not knowing that is killing me. I can’t sleep, I am constantly woken by nightmares. I am having trouble eating and trouble focusing. I know that breaking the no contact rule is more likely to result in us not working out because it’s probably too soon for him to know yet where he is, but I almost think that would be better than the not knowing. He sends me mixed signals, I don’t think it’s purposeful, but they are there. I have been to the doctor to try and seek medical help and I know I need to see a therapist, but right now I’m under his insurance so he would know and I am trying to play it off as though I am handling things well and am going to be just fine. Please help me figure out what to do. Do I cobtact him? If not, what are some specific things I can do to get me thru the next two weeks. I’ve been exercising, I’ve been journaling, I’ve been spending time with my children, I’ve been opening up to my sister and mom. But at night, when it’s just me and my thoughts, I am consumed with him and can’t stand not knowing what he is thinking regarding our future or lack there of.
The chemical hormone, serotonin, is the the neurotransmitter that is released in the brain that causes a lot of your symptoms (like loss of sleep, appetite, mood wings). It helps to realize that its the chemicals coursing through your body that is causing these feelings. But it won’t last forever, particularly if you keep yourself engaged with activities. As time goes by, you will start to feel better. I know its hard. You will get through this, no matter what happens and what he say and thinks. I think a 21 day No Contact period is reasonable. When you do reach out, keep it short and sweet. If you go to my other website, http://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com I have written numerous articles on how one should handle their “First Contact” messages. So there are some ideas there! By the way, keep talking to your sister and mom about your feelings. It will help you manage them much better.
Hi Chris, thank you for the insightful post. I wonder if you may be able to shed some thought on my current situation. My husband and I have been together for over 12 years, married for 4 and a half, no children.
My husband and I have been in a bit of a “rut” for a 6 months or so with various external influences taking their toll (new business set up for my husband, car accident, siblings having babies and pressures associated on a couple with no children, work stress on my part). A year ago we had a conversation as to whether my husband ever wanted children, something I thought we had gotten past. Since this time, is when my husband started his new business and life got in the way and we increasingly, unintentionally put our relationship last and in all honesty I can now see we have taken it for granted.
2 weeks ago, my husband had a night out to celebrate the birth of our niece and nephew, on the same night was also saying farewell to a friend who had broken up with a long term girlfriend and moving away to start a new life. After that night, he changed. Seemingly distant but nothing more than daily routine, so I thought. After a day out I asked him what had been wrong, he blurted out that he is not happy, no longer in love with me and can’t see his life with me any more. I asked him to leave as I was so distraught and couldn’t bear the words he was saying, something I now regret as it seems we have been forced into a separation, or I have made it easy for him to leave. Since then he moved in with his brother. I did ask him to come home but he said it wasn’t a good idea. A week passed, we met to talk but both being emotionally and physically exhausted we didn’t have the rational talk we needed, he ended up saying he wanted a divorce. He said although we might well be able to solve our issues and become close again (something he felt we hadn’t been for many years, we do need to work on the intimacy and I believe is totally fixable) but he thinks it won’t last and we will fall back into routine. He also said many things which hurt that I have been too controlling, he hasn’t been able to have friends etc. which for me isn’t true but I have accepted that is how he has been made to feel and I am looking at ways into making myself more independent from him to allow him time to be himself as well. Also, to make me happier in the side of life that doesn’t include him – I am already taking up yoga and finding myself again.
Since that discussion, he suggested I have time to process everything and we have only communicated by text for household issues. We have no time limit on the ‘space’. I’m scared on how to proceed as I’m so willing to work on this and I know we could end up with the best relationship from it now that he has actually told me how he feels. I’ve told him the changes we need to make aren’t to us as personalities but just our routine and respect for one another.
I am scared that I am about to lose my marriage after an hours conversation as it’s completely out of the blue for me. I know I need to give him space as much as I need it to clear my own thoughts. But how and when do I communicate again to make it positive? I want him to know I am making positive changes for myself as well as for our relationship.
It has been a few weeks since the two of you parted by your account. I think it may serve you best to keep taking things slowly. Lesser contact or No Contact is intended to give you both room to heal and re-evaluate how you wish to proceed. It allows time for the emotions, which are triggered by a cocktail of chemical hormones, to settle down. I usually recommend about 30 days of No Contact/Limited Contact. I suspect that some of your husband’s thinking (his uncertainties about the relationship going forward) is colored by the emotions from the past. Continue working on being the best version of YOU. Given that the two of you were together for 12 years, that is a lot of traction. People usually just don’t throw away at all when they have that amount of time together unless they have tried and tried in different ways to put the pieces back together. So, yes, I think you are both still coming at this from a place of pain. Focus on embracing positivity as often as you can. Show him that side of when you are in contact with him by text. The positive needs to push out the negative vibes. I think another meeting further down the road makes sense, but based on the outcome of the last meeting, you both need more time. Just remember to talk things slow. Little steps. And continue being pragmatic. Keep finding yourself…..being the best version of YOU. If things don’t work out, it is not the end of the world. There are many paths available to us to enjoy this amazing and beautiful thing called, “life”.
Thank you for your reply, I feel that I am taking the right approach, it has been hard to figure out what to do with so much conflicting advice from friends.
It has been nearly two weeks since our last meeting so I will give him more time, myself also.
My concern is that he said that he wasn’t willing to try and fix things, he has said to a friend that we have been working on us for the last year, but not to my knowledge. I wouldn’t have agreed to take on the stress of a new business had I known our marriage was in question. How do I respond to this if he keeps putting up that barricade? He did say he thought we could fix things, but he didn’t think it would be long term.
Thank you again for your advice.
I understand. Friends mean well, but their advice can be all over the map. They mainly want what is best for you, but they may have some of their own relationship baggage from the past that is adversely effecting their advice. I also own a website called http://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com
It has a ton of articles and my Ebooks are available there as well. I also have a Private Facebook Group for women who are dealing with a breakup. There are about 1100 women who are part of that right now. I usually do a couple of live Facebook chats over there each week. You can learn more about all of that if you visit that site. Eventually, I will bring over those offerings to this website, but you should go visit and see if you can find some supportive material.
Need help… my husband and have been together 8 years and married 3. In March of 2016 when pregnant with our second child we decided I should work third shift so that we didn’t have to pay daycare. It was the best thing for our family as we want lots of kiddos. In August of 2016 my husband got an offer to go with his cousin at his family company. It meant less money but the option of OT and side work and a set schedule meant so much for our family. He had really been wanting to leave his other job for years so I told him to go for it and we would figure it out together bc i wanted him happy. In feb 2017 i come home from working third shift and find text messages on my husbands phone from a number not saved in his phone. I freak out and wake him up asking what’s going on. He says it’s his cousins wife who i have become friends with and that they have been talking bc she needs help with her marriage. Some thing in the messages looked off to me but he deleted them before I could reread. He tells me he is sorry he hid it from me. She also reaches out and apologizes and says she just needed help and thought since they were cousins he could help. I tried to move on and forgive and forget. We agreed not to tell her husband so that no drama would occur at work. In may i have a bad feeling that they’re still speaking my husband tells me they’re not but after a night out with his cousin i find messages on his phone telling someone he loves her i confront him and he says he does. The next day we talk and also find out that we are pregnant with our now third child. This was a planned pregnancy. He agrees to work on us and never speak to her again. She starts divorce with his cousin. My husband quits his job and says he isn’t talking to her. I go back to working first shift and we are now paying for two in daycare that we really can’t afford. In June i find out he has been going to her apartment again we agree to move past it. In late July I discover they’re still talking and never stopped and tell him maybe he should leave. He leaves and goes there he stayed there a week and then tells me he wants to come clean and is start fresh. Turns out the affair i thought started in feb started in September of 2016 he catfished her and was trying to help there marriage bc he saw it falling apart. When he came clean it was him in feb she decided they had to much in common and wanted to be with him. She started leaving her 3 children at night to come to my home and sleep with my husband while i was working and my kids were sleeping. He told me he never thought it would get this far and he wanted his family and to move and start fresh i agree and he comes home. He makes it a day without talking to her and then decides to leave again. He has been gone since but I’m sept this year he decided he wanted to come back and fix everything. Tells me he will be back within the month and we need to find a new house. We go house hunting and the month goes on. When it seemed he wasn’t going to return i told him the kids and I were going to just on our own. He tells me he needs the weekend with her to say bye and he will be back. He comes home and is back a few days telling me he thinks he should be alone so that he doesn’t break either heart. I agree that this is best and then that weekend he ends up leaving our home to go stay with her said he missed his friend. Now he is currently staying there we have a 1.5 and 2.5 year old and a baby due in 10 weeks. Our house still has all his things in it bc for some reason he didn’t take anything this time when he left. It’s court ordered he only sees kids at our house and that they not meet and significant other for 6 months. He is staying at her place on the couch and calling them roommates becsue he found out she lied and cheated on him when they were starting the affair. He shows me there convos of when they argue and says he just wants her to come clean and she won’t. He still hugs me and try’s to sleep with me. Tells me he doesn’t know where they will end up. I am confused and want him home with his family. He has never done anything like this in his life it all seems like an early mid life crisis. How do I do no contact with us having young kids and one on the way. And also is there hope for us. Everyone around him feels like he is making a big mistake we just can’t seem to make him realize it. Sorry so long thanks in advance for advice.
Eight years of being together is meaningful. I do feel optimistic about your chances. Obviously you husband has made many mistakes and one thing led to another…another….and another. I don’t think a full on No Contact would be best for you. Rather, a form of limited contact would be a fit such that you are not actively pursuing him. You want him to pursue you, but there are trust issues that will need to be rebuilt if and when he finally decides to put this other woman out of his life. Just keep positive for yourself and as i talk about on this website, focus on becoming the best version of YOU. Let a quiet form of kindness and politeness rule in your life whenever you interact with him. Don’t over do it such that you are super nice to him, but if you show class and demonstrate you are moving forward with your life and act and do things that give off this sense of you have your act together and are content and are willing to move forward with or without him…. he will likely subconsciously be drawn to that.
My sense is that in time, this fling he has had with this other woman will play out. Try to keep the emotions out of it. Your words and position with him is that he is chemically addicted to this woman like a bad drug. That while he has made a terrible mistake, you feel sorry for him and still love him. But to make things work for the future, he will need to quit this relationship cold turkey and to win back your trust back he will need to be an open book…openly sharing his cell phone records. He should understand that you won’t always be there waiting for him. That need not be communicated to him in an ugly way or as an ultimatum, but as a matter of fact. Keeping the emotions out, exhibiting class and kindness in a quiet, calm way and giving him the sense your are moving forward with or without him….these things can help.
It is like he is addicted to this other woman. Our brain produces a chemical hormone when we get caught up in an affair and it is similar to what an addict feels when they can’t get their drug. Your husband know its not good for him in one sense, but is drawn to it.
If he purses a conversation with me how open should I be or let the convo last? Should i be short and sweet or actually have a conversation with him? Also with the holidays coming up his family loves me and has told him they don’t agree with his choices and that when he comes to holidays that I will be invited no matter if we stay together or not. And that this new girl will never be welcomed. But my question is do i go or do i skip them and let him see what it’s like to not have me there? He has said before that he just can’t seem to get away from her so i agree he is addicted her. He currently tells me everything like i am his best friend. Sends me there texts of them arguing. Tells me there fun times and there bad times. He has his cake and eating it too. Is it wrong to be intimate with him if he pushes for that? Sorry more added questions just trying to figure this all out. It’s all so out of character for him. Our house just sold and i am purchasing my own for me and the kids hoping that shows him i can handle things if he doesn’t want the family.
Its a good thing you are putting forward your independent stance with the purchase of your new home!
I think short and sweet works. Always leave a man wanting more. Let kindness rule, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be tactical and reinforce your value and independence.
If he wishes to have such intimate conversations with you about this other woman, you should kindly tell him that it hurts you in your heart to hear these things and if he would not talk to you this way.
I do think you should attend the holiday invite. If his family loves and enjoys you then they shouldn’t be punished for his mistakes. Also their love for you is all the more reason to attend to reinforce to him how special a person you are.
So tonight we had a dr appointment we both had to attend he tried talking with me wants to go see the new house i am buying tomorrow and gives me a hug when we leave. I told i wasn’t sure how to act and he said he feels like he is going to loose everyone because no one understands that he feel in love. He told him nobody can understand it because he is giving up a family for someone who has never lied for someone who not only lied to there husband but also lied to him in the beginning of there affair. He said that made sense. And i asked him if he was over me how is talking all the time going to help anything. And he said i will never be over you. Should I tell him that I’m trying to not speak to him as much so that i can move on. Or do i just remain nice and positive and let things play out and see where he goes when we have to move out of our house. The last time he moved out he didn’t take anything with him. So in about 30 days he has to either move with me and say he wants to come home or take everything back to her place.
Since you are the closest to the situation, I trust your judgment. M gut tell me that it might be best to simply tell him the truth which is you are hurt, disappointed, and confused by his actions and behavior…..and that while you still want to keep the communication channels from closing off completely, you really need to think about moving on without him. That you hope he will be part of your life in the future, but for that to happen, he need to come to terms with who he really wants to be with. He can’t have it both ways.
My wife and I got a simple fight which led to worst. She cannot forget the past fights we had. we are now separated for a month and when i tried to reach out to her she is insisting to let her go. I am now in the No contact rule for almost two weeks now and i need some advise to see if there is a possible of us being together again. We have one beautiful daughter aged 2.
The notion behind the No Contact principle is that it give you each time to heal and evaluate how to proceed in the future. Usually 21 to 45 days is the period of no contact. Sometimes it works really well as some of the anger and resentments dissapate. Ohter times, it doens’t work. When you resume contact again, be sure to keep it positive. I offer a lot of examples of the type of text messages you can employ when the time is right to try and rebuild communications. Go to my website I created specifically for men called Exgirlfriendrecovery.com
Thank you for the reply. is the contact contact rule start from the last time you have talked or from the last time you have fought? Thank you so much as this is very helpful
It usually kicks in shortly after a break up or seperation has occured. But when you start it, you should be very open about it. It is not a form of punishment. One is simply telling their partner that they need some time alone, without communications or contact, in order to heal and work through things. And that the time apart hopefully will open a gateway for a better future.
Hi Chris. That last time we talked was then again she brings up what happened in the past.she said she gave me all the chances. After that i just left and never communicated as she insist that her mind will not change..
We are apart for a month..last time we talked was last week and i have never comminicated since she still does not to reconcile and wanted a separation..does the month count or just he last time we talked for the no contact rule? Thank you
The last time you spoke would be a good starting place. But as I previously commented, make sure she knows why you are shutting down communications. Briefly explain that you want to give her space and that you want to take some time to work on becoming the best version of yourself.
My husband and I had an arguement half month ago. I was angry with him when I found out that he was communicating with his daughter from his first marriage. I admit it was his right to do such but I was angry because when we were ok he seems to have no plan of opening a communication on his past. He is set to have us as his new family not until we had a major issue two years ago that leads to us literally separated with contacts and support. I told him that he he will continue to talk to with child then he can spare my kids and I will migrate our kids and that he has no way to see them. I knew that saying those words was very wrong but my anger tooks over me. Now as a result he cut our communication nor our financial support. That is a big problem to me now because I don’t have a job for I am a full time mother to my two children(2 years old and 1 year old kids) . Since then we did not have a chance to talk but I found out he told his bestfriend that he is no longer caring for us and he does not mind if he will not see the kids or if I will migrate them . He did not send money also for the last two consecutive months. I dont know what is the right thing to do , if I will still push and ask him to send us money or just do the no contact rule. Please help.
It may be best to take some time and let things cool down. Your husband appears to be angry and resentful toward you. With the passage of time, some of that anger may dissipate. when you reach out to him again, it would be best not to mention financial assistance, but to offer your regrets that the communications between him and you got out of control. That is the crux of the problem it appears.
It is Jaya again, am so thankful about this advice . It would be very helpful to me to have an insight like this now for am so confuse on what to do lately. Before we started this mess he told me he has plan to let us move to a new house but honestly now that he is so resentful about what happend I have this feeling of uncertainty about me and my children if he is so sure of abandoning us for good. The thing that you said about giving him some time or space, would it be best for me to wait for him to reach out to me first? And wait for him to return in the country this February and look at if he will come to see us? Thanks
Yes, it would be best to let him initiate contact first. But after a no contact period of around 30 days, if you have not heard from him, you can reach out to him with a text message. If you go to my other website, exboyfriendrecovery.com, you will find several examples of initial contact messges. As far as meeting up with him in February, I wouldn’t get into all that until some positive communications gets underway.
Thank you Chris. My marriage had been sufferung for two years, our contact for that long was on and off . He often block me on social media everytime we have some arguement that leads to fight through chatting. We are literally seperated because he insist that me and my children would just stay in our home country while he is working oversees. That was not the plan before we had a big tormoil in our marrige. He said that our marriage was over but inspite of all those words of him he continued to financially support us even we had a shaky communication. Recently as I mentioned earlier( Nov 13th ) I found that issue of him communicating with his first child made our relationship goes into much reck. I have this regret that if I only used my silly brain and dont let my anger controlled me over then I am not having a hard time financially now. It is really so hard now and thinking that he will financially abandoned us because of it , made my life gooes into deep uncertainties on how to handle my childrens future or if I will file a case against him which is the last thing I dont want to do. Chris how can I make may marriage back into track if my husband is always doing the things on his way and seems not to respect me. Is there any way or chance to win may marriage? Thanks a lot to such a big help.
I think my best advice would for you to take a little time each day and read some of the posts you find on this website. They are full of insights and good ideas. There is always a chance for a marriage to recover, particularly when children are involved. In time, you will get a better gauge if you husband will ever want to really work on improving the relatiionship for not just for the two of you, but for the sake of the children. If it turns out that he doesn’t and you truly believe that to be the case, then you will want to turn your energies to another path focusing on your priorities. All of this won’t happen quickly, but it will be clearer in time.
I was thinking about what you told me, to give it a little time each day and am doing it, I am on the 22 nd day of NC to my strange husband. I knew from the post in your website that the NC is for making the best out of ourselves and to heal and keep in touch with our feeling. It does make sense to me but this days I found it so hard to focus and keep calm. Day by day my anger to my husband keeps stronger speacially when it suddenly comes to my mind how on earth he can do such kind of thing( not supporting financially) the more days pass by and I haven’t heard from him makes me more angry. I am thinking how selfish he is to abandoned us and not supporting us for almost two months now. How can I help my self to focus and heal doing the NC is everytime I think of him is I feel anger. Please what is the best? Thank u Chris.
Sometimes to rid ourselves of negative or anxious thoughts it is best to get physically active. Long walks, jogs, hiking, bicycling, or just about anything that gets you outside and gets your heart and body moving. Activity can release chemicals that benefit you in positive ways. Also, yoga or meditation can tremendously helpful to some people.
Utlimately, you wnat to chase out all the negative energy and thoughts about your husband because they do you no good and you cannot control his behavior or change the past. It is much healthier to focus on things you do have control of….your own attitude and behavior.
It has been a month of NC to my husband and I followed your advice to take some time each day. I still I never heard from my strange husband but I found out that he did not deleted me on the wechat app, he just blocked me.It is also about two months of not having a financial support from him. My only way if I will decided to contact him is through his colleague or his bestfriend whom I have their contacts on my wechat app. I am thinking what is the best to do now because I am really having a hard time financially. If I will contact his colleague or friend and ask if I can talk to him and tell that we need the support even I know he knows that because I don’t have a job right now, but I have this part of me who is so hesitant to reach out like that because I knew he got all of the personal power in our marriage that made him see me little . And also on his last message he said he will not accept me and my kids and he does not care anymore to us . He also said that even if I will migrate the kids , he does not care but accept it also. I am afraid that if I will reach out now I will get the same response to him and my attempt will be useless. I also have this feeling that if I will reach out the reason why I made a decision to argue with him will be useless( I argue because of him talking to his first child which I found disrespectful) . I dont know what is the best to do now for me to gain some ground and uplift my self and personal power. I knew the fact that once I reach out he will laugh at me and gain my personal power again. What should I do Chris? Please help . Thanks.
I know it tough on you right now. And it doesn’t seem you can rely or depend on your estranged husband for any kind of support…emotional or financial. It seems he only makes you feel worse when you initiate the contact. Perhaps there are family and friends that can help you get through these difficult times until you can find some work and become self reliant. That is probably the most pragmatic thing you can do right now given your situation. It is always darkest before dawn. Keep up your good attitude and know that things will get better for you and your children in the future.
Good morning Chris ,
Thank u for your reply, yes Iw as thinking about what is the best thing to do lately and wondering if I will reach out to him after a month of NC because maybe his anger subside and he change his mind but as I say am hesistant because am afraid that he is still angry and have the same response. On your advice will I continue the NC and let him go? He is coming this Feb back in the country, should I just wait if he will come to see us? My friend says that staying quiet and let him go will give me some ground. Chris I still want my family to be whole again but I feel like it is so uncertain now.
No Contact allows you to focus on YOU! Emotionally, you should move on. But if your husband chooses to initiate contact and wishes to explore getting back, then you always have the option of considering if that is what you wish to do. After the no contact period has elapesed, you can also choose to initiate contact. I have examples of different initial contact text messages you might wish to send at that time. You can find them at my website, exboyfriendrecovery.com
Thank you for the advices and also for telling me about the EBR, I was reading the articles and those that I had read was very helpful to me , so now am sure I have another site to be busy browsing again. I was thinking if it is too late for me to do the NC because it has been two years since my husband and I are having the marital problem. We are literally seperated because he works in other country , Through the first year of seperation he keeps on telling me that we were done but we did have an on and off communication until November 2017. He also came to spend time with us when he had a vacation for that two years. But as I mentioned just this November it became worst and I had been blocked and neither the support stopped. I am currently on my 35 days of NC.Is it useless to do the NC since the problem has been to long? Thanks
It doesn’t appear you are getting a lot of traction with No Contact in terms of your husband missing you. Perhaps it has helped somewhat. It is usually not very effective after 45 days. I think going forward the most pragmatic thing for you to do is plan on a future without him in your life. I am not saying that is what is going to happen. The two of you may come to draw closer to each other and actively work on your issues. But since he doesn’t seem to show much willingness for this, then your should continue to focus on YOU and a possible life without him.
It is Jaya again here, after two months of NC I tried to message my husband last January through his colleague because we have no direct contact. He told his colleague that he is going back to the country on winter vacation and just three days ago my sister told me that she saw some photos of my husband through facebook because they are common friends on that social media. She told me that three days ago my husband arrived. But until today I never heard from him. From the photos he posted my sister said he seems so busy fixing some stuff on his parents house like fixing the cars. I am not sure if he has plan to contact me at all and see the kids knowing the fact that he did even give us financiall support for almost three months. I was wondering if it is a wise move for me to reach out to him now asking him if he wants to see the kids? Is it wise to reach out first on him given these situation that he never seems to care knowing pur whereabouts . Pls Chris advice me what is the best move? I am thingking that If I will contact him it will lead a way for us to talk and mend over the problem or it will lead him seeing me as a desperate one and that after he did not support us I am still reaching out. I did not pursue any move until now because am confuse what is right to do so pls help me Chris . Thank u
Hi Jaya….One would think that as a father he would care about the welfare of his children. That doesn’t seem to be in the forefront of his mind. Nor does he seem to have you in the forefront of his mind.
I think you are an amazing person with a caring heart and deserve better. He knows where and how to find you and the kids. If he choose not to follow through with checking on everybody’s welfare, then that says a lot about the man.
Thank u Chris, I knew the fact that it is his responsibility to think of our welfare. It is just I feel regretfull of thinking maybe it is all my fault because I told him that I will migrate the kids and he has no connection to them. Maybe that is the reason why he decided not to care at all now, because prior to that he has plan of letting us move yo pur new house and he supported us before.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a total of 4.5 years and we lived together for 3. The first 2 years were idyllic. I’m talking over the moon happy, to the point that we once had a stranger tell us that we’d made his day because of our unconsciously loving interactions.
So the back story. Before we even moved in together, his ex sued for custody to take their kids to another state (they had joint custody, nearly 50/50). There was a trial that summer and she lost. She sued again the next year. He fought her at first but at some point, he lost the energy to keep fighting and he agreed to let the kids go, as much for them as for himself. During this time, I often threatened to leave, saying right person but wrong circumstances. Once I did leave. It was only overnight but it had a big effect on him. When he begged me to support his decision, even if I didn’t agree with it, I said no. He is a very emotional man; he used to love me so much that it sometimes brought him to tears. But these were big issues for him and he became numb to me…and he put up a wall. Then I started to chase.
I was constantly trying to “fix” our relationship. I talked about it all the time. Literally. I treated him very badly. I said I’d change but I didn’t really know how or what I needed to do. I’ve realized since, after finally finding the right therapist, that I have a form of abandonment ptsd. My father left when I was 6 and never came back. I have always either not let someone get too close or went too fast too soon if they were somehow unavailable. I made a conscious decision to try and be different with him but it still It took me a long time to let him get that close to me. I’ve never let anyone in like I let him and at one time we had a truly wonderful relationship. We tried therapy here and there once the problems started but it was never a good fit. And so we’d just go along, hoping things would improve. They didn’t. And he finally just shut down and said he couldn’t do it anymore. That was the first break up, in January. I moved out about a month later. He started contacting me the next day and asked to see me within a week. We went slow at first, as slow as he he needed to. But about 6 weeks after I moved out, I went over to talk. We ended up having sex. Sex was never a problem for us…it was always frequent and intense. He even started saying we used it as a bandaid. After that, I had trouble with going slowly. If he wanted to spend the day together, I wanted the weekend. And I pushed. Sometimes he stood up to me but mostly he gave in. I ended up pretty much living there the last 5 months, only not. He wouldn’t let me move fully back in but I stayed anyway. He started to feel like he never really got the break he needed. That his wall was still up with me, etc.
So he broke up with me again, 2 months ago. He says still loves me but he’s just not sure I’m the right person for him any longer. He said he’s been trying but his heart just isn’t in it. That he has a lot of uncertainty and he isn’t sure he even wants us to work. Even though he called me his soulmate at one time. I am the same person, just one that did some terrible things to him. I’m not making excuses by saying they were out of my control but rather trying to understand how and why I would hurt someone I love so very much.
We are still in touch most days…often because of me, but not always, and I am struggling with letting go. He’s been traveling for work and I found out that he has been spending some time with someone there. He has told me that I’m making it much more than it is but that we aren’t together so he can basically do what he wants. That hurts. A lot. We spent a lot of time discussing it the week I found out because I insisted. It was awful. I asked him if I could stay the night at the end of that week…he was leaving the next day again, for 3 weeks, and I wanted him to leave with good feelings about me. He asked to think about it and I said ok. He later said it was fine (his words). We actually had a really nice time…the first in a long time. He held me when we got in bed…like he used to. But the really important thing, in my mind, is that in the middle of the night, he had his back to me and I kissed it. Then I rolled away with my back to him. He rolled towards me and spooned me, tangling his legs up with mine. It makes me think that somewhere those feelings for me are still there because t he has them buried so deep that he mostly can’t reach them except in those brief moments that he seems to forget about everything that happened and he lets his guard down. I know I’m not imagining this. But still, he says he’s not sure about us, not sure there is a chance for us to work or even if he wants one.
We are still in therapy together when he’s home…we finally found a good one. But it’s slow going. She says for so long I didn’t listen to him and that I put my needs first, to the point that he no longer wanted to be in such a one sided relationship. She’s right. And sometimes it feels like that’s still what I’m doing. We are also spending Christmas together…I told him I didn’t want to if it was only because he feels guilty or obligated or because he wants all the kids to be together (we have 5 between us and they are close). He said the kids were part of it, but not all, and that he’d like to spend it with me. It’s all very confusing because I truly believe that we aren’t “done”, that he isn’t “done”. Even the therapist says that although she certainly can’t predict the future and there are no guarantees, he doesn’t seemed to have closed the door completely. But he needs to figure that out for himself. She says that the ball is in my court and I need to stop pushing him, cajoling him, etc, to do what I want. I do know that when I push him for reassurances, he digs his heels in and says he doesn’t know, isn’t sure. I know we need a period of no contact because I have not been able to move on, take care of myself, etc. I am still as distraught as when it first happened. But I’m terrified of losing him forever. Even though I don’t have him now. We see the therapist again next week and I plan on telling him then. I have not been able to heal and I can’t live like this anymore.
I’m finding it will be easier said than done. Sorry for the marathon post and thank you.
I am glad you both are getting couseling. That might help you both discover more things about yourselves and each other.
Think in terms of small steps. Let the negative emotions go. Focus on the positive, calmy doing nice little things for each other. A landmark study of couples was done by a guy named John Gottman. He said that those couples that observed the 5 to 1 ratio (positive interactions vs. negative interactions) in their daily interactions with each other are highy predictive to be successful. I think of it as the Kindness Study. Kindness rules. It is the number 1 success factor for a successful marriage.
Thanks for the reply. I think at this point a period of no contact is the only way to go though. I can’t live in this state of limbo anymore…it’s killing me. He can’t give me any reassurances about the future, he isn’t even sure he wants one. So I’m not sure the 5 to 1 ratio would work for us right now because we aren’t actually together, even though we still talk and occasionally see each other. I just don’t think that’s something he would want to do because he wants space. I don’t but I’m going to need to take it anyway, so he can figure out for himself what he wants, without me in the picture. And even more, I need it to heal, to find me again. For over a year and half, I’ve been pretty much solely focused on him and our relationship. I can’t do that anymore because I’m miserable and sad all the time.
I guess I am wondering, from what I told you, if it’s even possible that he can come back from this. The wall, the uncertainty if he wants a future with me, seeing someone else such as it is, etc. If I’m reading too much into those moments when it seems like he briefly forgets all the negative stuff and shows just love. We had something incredibly special and I meant the world to him. I just want him to feel that way again.
The No Contact period is intended to do the things you talked about….to help you heal and draw closer to your feelings. To help you become the best versio nof yourself. It is also intended to help your boyfriend acheive the space he needs and gain some perspective and learn to appreciate what he had with you and also come to value this somewhat different, emotionally attractive version of you. So yes, it could work out for the two of you. And you are right. You need to find yourself again. You need to learn to love yourself again and be prepared to go forward without him again, if it comes to that. Sometimes it is when we don’t need something or pursue something directly, that it comes available to us.
I really do appreciate that you get back so quickly. I think the thing I struggle with the most is why he even needs space…what he thinks it will do, what it’s for. Although I suppose I really need it to, because I realize that I can’t get the me back that I was without it. But I don’t want it and I wish it wasn’t necessary. I think I mentioned that I was planning on telling him this at our next therapy appointment because I think it will be helpful to Gabe a mediator. I don’t think he’ll balk at the idea. I honestly think he might be relieved. But I still feel like having her with us for this conversation will be beneficial. It’s a week away though, and we have Christmas together in the meantime. So we will have to talk before that to finalize our plans. He gets back from his trip tonight. I think I’m finding today to be especially hard because of that. I have been staying at our house while he’s gone. My friends and parents don’t think I should do that but most of my stuff is still there and I hate my temporary apartment. I probably shouldn’t going forward I suppose…if we are making a clean break. I go back there tonight and I’m finding it hard to think about. After Christmas I guess I shouldn’t talk to him at all until the therapy appointment? I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything better. This is the hardest thing I have ever been through.
It will get better. You will learn how strong and independent you truly are when yo focus on becoming the best version of YOU.
Hi Chris , to already know some of my story from a previous post but I do have a follow up question. We are still in therapy (again), which started a few days after we broke up. It’s not consistent because he travels a lot for work. But she’s really good (this after several other tries with a few others that didn’t help).
So are not exactly in the friend zone, in fact I’ve told him that we can’t be. But we talk in some form most days, he hugs and kisses me when we see each other, we even did end up spending Christmas together. But he still isn’t sure about a future for us. I can’t do this anymore because I’m not healing. At all. I end up still asking questions about our chances, etc…things I shouldn’t do. When I do, he tells me he won’t be forced along. So I need to walk away for now. We have a therapy appointment this Friday and I plan on telling him that we need to have a period of no contact. My question is, how do I tell him while still leaving the door open? What should I say? The therapist will obviously help us but I need to start the conversation.
Full honesty is going to work here. Explain that you have come to believe that each of you will benefit if you both agreed to give each other some real space which would involve a period of no contact. Explain you do not want anything between the two of your feel forced. But you do need this for yourself. Explain that you desire time to heal and re-eavaluate your relationships going forward. And that he should do the same thing. Explain you were thinking around 21 to 30 days (3-4 weeks) of no contact, after which you would like to meet up with him some place casual to touch base. Explain you are not thinking about time limits or anything formal, but you feel it is in both of your interests to work on “self” and get in touch with your feelings. Explain that right now, you are not sure what you really want going forward on the relationship front, but you do know for sure that you have been neglecting “yourself” and that has to stop because you are injuring yourself and those arouond you that you love.
So we had our therapy session last Friday and I told him during it that we needed to take real time apart. He said he’d felt like what we had been doing…some contact most days and seeing each other occasionally was better then nothing (I guess for my sake? He wasn’t really clear) but that he understood. We talked a lot after we got home, not great stuff but it was very honest. He is now saying that he needs to figure out if he’s afraid to be alone. Which is incredibly frustrating to hear because he was the one that pursued me for the longest time and I was the one trying to set boundaries. It feels kind of unfair of him to do this now although I do believe that if I hadn’t hurt him in the ways I did then he wouldn’t be trying to figure that out now. I did try to get him to have sex with me that night, saying it might be the last time. His response was that it might not be and there was a better chance of it down the road if I didn’t do this. He didn’t clarify what “this” was but I assume it was me trying to force things. Which he’s told me more than once he doesn’t want me to do. Needless to say, we did not have sex because he felt it would be too confusing considering the circumstances. He has said often that we used it as a bandaid because there was never an issue there…even in the worst of times we had sex 4-5 times a week. And our attraction to one another is still high. Anyway, I left and we were supposed to not talk after that. But of course I asked him something the next morning. We ended up talking on the phone. We texted some after that and I was of course looking for reassurances. He said things like yes, our relationship mattered and that’s why he’s agreed to therapy, but he’s still trying to figure out if I do. He also said never say never and that love was never the problem and that he’s always said he loves me. That’s all very hard to hear because it means even though he loves me, he just isn’t sure he wants to be with me. He talked in therapy about how I was mopey when I got to the house and he thought to himself that nothing has changed. I think I’m ok and then I see him and I can’t just be happy around him. I’m too busy worrying about the future or regretting the past. Sometimes I think he’s waiting for me to get that back…the ease we used to have. That it’s why he’s still around, because he keeps hoping. Maybe but I don’t know for sure because he’d never say that. I found out when we talked on the phone that his dad had gone into the hospital the night before. So he’s been sending me daily email updates (that’s how I told him to communicate going forward, if we had to). He wished me happy new year in one. And when I didn’t respond, he sent another saying he wanted to make sure I got the first one. I answered after that because it felt a little like I was going to opposite extreme. First talking too much for too long about us, and then I can’t even say happy new year back. It seemed like I was still showing that I can’t just be normal with him. So pretty much we’ve had email contact everyday since we went no contact, mostly because his dad is still in the hospital. I didn’t always answer but sometimes I did, sending well wishes. Anyway, I’m not totally sure what my point was with all of this except to vent about how confusing this all is, still. And to say that I suck at no contact. It’s been almost a year since the first break up and over 2.5 months since the second. And he’s still s presence in my life. I can’t figure out why.
No contact is really hard. Essentially what the two of you are doing is practicing a from of limited contact, hoping that is will allow you both to heal more and clear up what each of you really want. I think a lot of the emotions and memories from the past and and the anxieties you have about what the future will hold is influencing your behavior. His too. You both are in love. That is clear, but it shouldn’t be too surprising given the history you have with each other.
Men can be confusing when they tell you they love you, but are not sure if they want to be with you. I suspect that is really what he feels and is trying to reconicile how to make the marriage work in the future. I think your husband is also unduely influenced by his emotions and is bouncing around, waffling, switching back and forth about what is best.
Putting some space between each other may souond counterproductive, but it can help a couple get more centered around what is important. Idententifying the 3-4 key things you need to work on as a couple will also be very important. If neither of you are ready to identify those things and committ to diligently working on them now, then you probably need some time away from each other to get in touch with your priorities and to heal from some of your wounds. That is what No Contact or Limited Contact is intended for. It’s intended to get you out of this purgatory or limbo land….where you want to be with each other….but you don’t…where you feel you are ready to resume your relationship again…..but your aren’t.
I think you owe it to each other to agree to take some time away from each with no or very minimal communications using that time constructively to heal and work on “self” and then come back to each other gain and come up with an action plan and throw your entire heart and all your efforts into making the marriage work once and for all.
Hope that helps. It at least gives you some thinking and talking points with your husband before you seriously embark on a No Contact period.
Hi again, and thanks! We aren’t actually married but we lived together for 3.5 years. Personally I think he’d be trying harder if we were but that’s another story.
I think if I actually asked him to commit to working on things he’d say he isn’t sure he wants to. That he’s mentally and emotionally exhausted from all of this and he just wants to be. So if he feels even an iota of pressure from me, real or perceived, he digs his heels in and says he doesn’t know if he wants a future with me. And yet he is still going to therapy with me. Still loves me, keeps saying he’s never said never, etc.
My own therapist said last night that we are swinging past each on the pendulum. That in the past it was me that was very assertive, maybe even aggressively so (he told me recently that I used to be confident to the point of being cocky…go figure because that’s long gone). I usually got my way, controlled the narrative, etc. And that now that he’s found his voice, he’s swinging past me to the assertive to the point of being aggressive side, while I’ve become more passive. It’s like he can’t tell me he wants us to work things out because it’ll feel like he’s giving in to me. And he absolutely will not do that. Not right now. Maybe never. He even once said that he thinks that I’m having such a hard time with our break up because I didn’t initiate it, can’t control it. Maybe he’s right. I do know I gave lots of my own work to do in dealing with my abandonment issues that caused a lot of my negative behaviors. The bottom line is that treated him very badly…pushing him away while at the same time trying to make him “prove” his love. It wasn’t always like that…for a long time I just knew. But then I got scared. And I drive him away. That’s hard to live with.
So just a quick question about no contact vs. limited contact. It’s been two weeks since we were supposed to start implementing no contact at my request. Since then we have communicated most days via email or text. We have a lot of logistical things and it seems as if we can’t get around them. His dad was in the hospital, his phone broke and he needed me to add him to my plan as an administrator so he could get it fixed, I never received the insurance card for my new car and I’m on his insurance, I never changed my mailing address so I have to pick up my mail…which I do when he’s not home but I still need to find that out, I do my laundry at our house, the majority of my stuff is still there, etc. I’ve kept interactions brief and business-like, but friendly, with no mention of our relationship or how/what he’s doing. That has been a big issue…the constant talks about us that went in for many months before we broke up the first time, and were still happening to a degree since the second break up. That and that when I see him and just be sad and mopey (or even in texts sometimes…ones he would call my cold texts). He just wants me to be “normal” I think…like we used to be. It’s not just me that reaches out, we both have. Anyway, is this limited contact detrimental?
Also, I don’t know if you sa my last post…
Waht you described is a form of pragmatic limited contact. Just keep working your your own life. If he cares for you in a meanginful was, he will find ways to follow and reconnect. Let him be the catalyst. Kill him with kindness.
Hey there Wayne. Drop us a line if we can be of help!
Hi Chris, my ex and I were engaged for 5 years and together for 6 years. We have 2 amazing boys together also. I am the one that wants to work out the problems in our relationship but I’m also the one that caused them. I was taking too much from the love bank and not putting any into it. He told me he needed more affection but I didn’t listen. Now he is saying he has no feelings for me and has a negative view of me as a person. He doesn’t think I can change so he doesn’t see any reason to try. He keeps saying there is no connection anymore. He is one of those people that doesn’t believe in therapy so that is not an option. Do you think the Yes contact principle is a good fit for this situation?
I do think utilizing the No Contact Rule will be of help. But let him know that you are working through some things…healing, focusing on being a better version of yourself, etc…so you are going to curtail communications with him for the forseeable future (21-30 days). When you come out of the No Contact period, there are various tactics you can employ to initiate contact with him in an effort to restart the relationship. Feel free to go visit my website at exboyfriendrecovery.com and you will also find numerous articles there about your situation including how to pull off a first contact text message (lots of examples of text messages you can send) with him when it’s time to re-ignite the relationship.
My husband left before thanksgiving after having a huge fight about his dishonesty and not wanting to work things out. He lies about little things but this time he bought a whole car. And when I got angry he said he didn’t want to work on things anymore and 2 weeks later he moved out! He never gave me any indication that he was so unhappy!
He’s not good with communication and stonewalls me as well as makes me feel unappreciated and unattractive. He does not pursue me whatsoever, and when I want to make Love I have to ask! I feel like he’s been avoidant and has intimacy issues. I didn’t realize these things while dating cause I thought men grow into things for the women they love.
He spent time with me and our dog (no kids) on Christmas but New Years he went out with two divorcee friends of his and flirted with some young girl he met. He also began following her on social media and sending messages though he never did anything with her. This is killing me. The girl told me he didn’t have on his ring but he swears on his life he did and won’t take it off till the fat lady sings. Anyway he lied about stuff yet again and I got the info from her, through gritted teeth!
He avoids the topic of signing papers and moving on now unless I’m the initiator. I told him I’m not ending the marriage and he will have to do it if that’s what he feels in his heart. But then he goes quiet. He still says he loves me and misses me but he’s not right for me. This makes me feel like space is best, but I’m also conflicted if he can be the person I need. I’ve seen him step up before, in fact just before this he was doing everything and I finally started to feel loved so now I am just shocked and confused!
I do deserve better and he says he definitely thinks I do too. He just needs the tools as he’s not been in a relationship longer than 6mo-1yr before me. We’ve been married 2 1/2 years but together for 4.
He says he’s better alone.
My question is do I move on from someone like him? Or would no contact possibly give him the opportunity to come towards me and fix things? Maybe show me the attention and affection and respect I’ve craved our whole relationship?
I’m heartbroken as I thought we were going to start a family soon!
Hi Sarah. Yes, some guys do have attachment issues and your husband may have an insecure attachment style. Now, that doesn’t it mean he cannot learn to modify his his natural style. A lot depends on how strong the connection is that exists between the two of you.
He may not realize just how good he has it and it might take him some time to see the bigger pictue. Sone Men can act impulsively (buying a car, break up) and that kind of behavior can create stumbling blocks.
2 1/2 years of marriage is not a short period of time, so despite what he might say, those feelings of loving you and missing you are probably very real. I think creating some distance between you and he for a short period of time would be good. Briefly explain to him that you need some time to heal and get in touch with yourself and your feelings about what you want for the future and therefor you can choose to limit your contact with him over the next 3-4 weeks.
This can all be conveyed in a positive wway. This will allow you to let some of these fresh emotions settle down. YOu should focus on becoming the best version of YOU. Men are attracted to things they can’t have and if he sees you working on your needs and aspirations and begins having doubts about whether you even want him part of your life, his whole attitude might change.
He too needs to figure out what he truly wants. You have your whole life ahead of you and so don’t feel like he must be part of it. Time will tell if you wish to invest any more emotional energy into the relationship. What you are asking for from the relationship is normal and reasonable and if he cannot truly commit to doing these things for you, then that speaks volumes.
But give this some time. If you continue being positive and upfront, he will eventually have to choose if he is willing to change and adapt in some areas. If he cannot, then you always have options. You need not live a life that is a broken record of heart ache.
Agreed!!! Thank you!!!
One more quick question… Would you suggest I take down our pictures in our home and have him remove the remainder of his things? As if I’m moving on? Or just take that space for now and figure those things out later? Thank you! I’m reeling from this so all of this advice makes me feel like I can prioritize myself and demand better things…
I wouldn’t invest any time or emotional energy in taking down the pictures for now. Keep the focus on your own self healing. Men who compulsively lie are usually insecure. I could be wrong, but my guess is he will try to come back into your life in the future. Ultimately it will probably come down to you deciding if you want him in your life…if you want to give him another chance…if he is really the man you want by your side and as the father to your children. You won’t have to decide such things in a moment. It likely be gradual as you pragmatically assess, with as little emotion as possible, what is in your best interst.
thank you for your genorosity in sharing your knowledge! It is most appreciated.
Hi Chris! I listened to all of your videos! Boy do they help! We officially haven’t spoken in a week but he is still visiting our dog on Wednesday nights when I got to yoga. Last night I returned to some late Christmas gifts, very seeetly wrapped! He took some time! Anyway, we are doing no contact but I feel rude not thanking him? Can I just thank him when we are speaking again and let him know I loved them in a few weeks? I never know the right thing haha…
I feel like it’s best if I don’t… then he might wonder more? Help!
I thinks its Ok you you send out a brief text about the gifts, thanking him. Something like, “Thank you for your gifts” or “I appreciate what you did with the wrapped xmas gifts” Just keep it short and brief.
Unfortunately, I became acquainted with your expertise as a result of a break up in early December.
The breakup was the result of a handful of disrespectful things I stated throughout a 1.5 year relationship that festered within my girlfriend and exploded at once. Think of it as a volcano that was dormant and exploded at once. Yes, she could have been more direct in her feelings.
Interestingly, I was not even aware of how disrespectful my comments were at the time until I was made aware of them (lack of empathy on my part).
I was told by my girlfriend that I needed to enter therapy and figure out my problems on my own because despite deeply loving this loving and caring man, she could not tolerate such toxic language – even if it was just a handful of times. She wants an amazing relationship, and this is not amazing. That was her exact quote.
I agreed to therapy (which surprised her) and she requested space. Of course (tell me if you have heard this before), I violated the YES contact principle to the point where I was blocked on her phone. My fault completely. I had a severe anxiety attack for the first time in my life that resulted in a visit to the ER.
Despite this, she was on the phone with a family member post blocking me and reiterated in a crying voice that she loves and cares for me but I need to work things out but is uncertain to or future.
I am going to truly implement a 21-30 day no contact rule now to focus on ME. My weekly therapy sessions are productive and I’ve discovered that everything comes down to one word – BITTERNESS. In particular, as it relates to a divorce I experienced.
Now that I have greater clarity, I have allowed myself to forgive and get past the bitterness because it does not serve any benefit and only harms those we love, including myself. Life is too short and I’m very blessed to be where I am today – after all the divorce allowed me to meet her.
It turns out that my bitterness has led to anger outbursts to someone ho did not deserve it.
She has not said it is over. She has also not said she is committed. Is this common? Also, what is the best way to reach out when the time frame expires if she hasn’t by then?
Best of luck Frank and keep your focus on becoming the best “You”. It will be hard for her not to notice, particulary if it is for a sustained period of time.
Thank youso much for this. I’m starting no-contact today. It will be tough but I need to feel like me again before making any decisions. Most of me feels like I want to stay with him; however, I need space to no longer experience the panic attacks and the constant state of dread I have been in since he told me he had a one night stand 2 months ago and recently she sent him the pregnancy test and ultrasound. I need this no-contact. I need to feel like me again. I feel like you’ve saved me with this. Thanks again!
Best of luck to your Arizona! You will find yourself. Just keep striving to better learn how to love yourself and embrace yourself and trust yourself. Go on dates with yourself. Be sweet and loving to yourself. Do new and interesting things with yourself and others your care about. Life is full of many paths and any ways to find meaning and fulfillment. With healing, you mind broadens as to what you want and how you can achieve it and those anxious and panicky moments and episodes go sliding away. Your previous worries become so much less concerning and impactful and you begin to dream and think creatively again.
My husband and I have been together for 4 years, married for 16 months this past October, living together for 3 years. I thought we were very happy, and I had a husband that made me feel like the most loved wife ever by both words and actions. About 4 weeks ago, he was telling me how much he loved me and talking in depth about future plans we had made and were making and singing a love song that was on the radio to me and telling me that was forever, and then 6 hours later he completely flipped out on me after a minor argument and now all he will say is that we are not going to be married anymore. I have never even heard this man raise his voice, and he completely freaked out. There was no buildup to this that I could detect – I know there were some frustrations on both sides, but nothing that you don’t get just from living with another person and nothing that couldn’t be fixed. There was still extreme affection from him, he wasn’t trying to be gone more, our sex life didn’t slow down, we were still cuddling in our sleep and he didn’t want me to get out of bed in the mornings, he never walked past me without kissing my neck or slapping my butt, he still chased me all over the house, made me laugh constantly, and sent me flirty and sweet texts all day long, including how I am the best decision he ever made. He still made out with me before going to work, and brought home wildflowers every time he was out in the country. In that one day he went from being an amazing husband to being cold and indifferent. He won’t look at me, talk to me about anything other than who is going to get what, is accusing me of crying to manipulate him (not because he is ripping my life apart), telling me when I asked him what he needed from me that he wasn’t getting was me trying to change my “manipulation tactics”, basically forced me out of the house, opened new bank accounts, erased all 4 years of me from his social media, told me if I didn’t take over my cell phone line he would cancel it, and tried to remove me from his insurance policies (which he can’t do, thankfully). He has told me that I’m not going to be his wife anymore so he doesn’t have to care about how I feel. In 4 weeks he has tried to completely erase me from his life and thinks we should be divorced yesterday. Normally when this happens you get a couple people that say they saw this coming, but everyone is just as surprised as I am and what I keep hearing is that it is obvious to everyone how much my husband loves me. We had been seeing a marriage counselor once a month to adjust to the new dynamic, and the very experienced marriage counselor was also very surprised. This man that was a wonderful and protective husband now has no concern whatsoever for my well-being and is (unintentionally, I believe) trying to bully and intimidate me. I am almost sure there hasn’t been infidelity or another woman involved at all since he wasn’t being secretive or protective over his phone, email, or social media accounts or trying to be gone more or not wanting me to know where he was or who he was with, didn’t make an physical changes, didn’t download any new apps or anything to his phone, etc. but I do believe that someone has been poisoning the well, and I think it is a newly single and very bitter about woman friend of his that started coming over to our house and contacting my husband a LOT right before this happened. My husband is NOT an easily influenced person, but he has been really rundown from his work schedule and having the flu and I think that is a factor. I have asked him not to let another woman be involved while we are still married and he agreed to that and said he doesn’t want to make a bad decision like that – I believe he is intending on honoring that just because of the type of man he is, but I don’t really know this person. My brothers and my dad have been in contact with him, and they get the impression that he doesn’t really want this because he loves me but he’s frustrated and doesn’t know what else to do so he is just getting rid of me and won’t look at me or talk to me because he knows he will change his mind. He just keeps saying we are not compatible. They also think he is being influenced because it doesn’t seem like any of us are talking to the same person – it’s not just what he is saying, it’s the speech patterns and the way he is forming sentences that none of us have ever heard from him before. He is accusing me of very untrue things that have never come out of his mouth before regarding things that happened a few years ago. It’s only been 4 weeks and he is accusing me of dragging my feet and wasting his time with a standoff. This completely blindsided me. Everyone thinks he will change his mind, but some think that won’t happen until after we are divorced because he is so deadest on the divorce. If he divorces me, there won’t be another chance. I could never trust anything he says or does again. I am stuck trying to decide if he is that man that he has consistently shown himself to be, which is not hotheaded or impulsive and has been a wonderful provider, protector, and husband and someone who earns respect, or if this is really the man he is. Then I think about the fact that this very unemotional manly man started tearing up while saying his wedding vows to me, which is the only time I have seen him cry. I am trying to leave him be and not contact him to give him some space, but I am scared. I don’t want to lose my husband. I love him fiercely and I believe he loves me just as fiercely. He is just hurting me so much. We have no kids and are both in our 30’s. I went through my initial pleading/begging/guilting stage that lasted about 2 weeks. Now we aren’t living in the same house or the same city (about 40 miles apart). I had not contact with him whatsoever for a week, and then I had to contact him about a bill that was forwarded to me. It’s clear his position hadn’t changed one iota in that week of no contact – I did ask him a question about his area of expertise and he did answer, but it definitely wasn’t the normal friendly banter we usually have. It’s now been another 5 days of no contact.
Thank you Anne for reaching out. I agree that this a most unusual situation. Lot of mixed signals. Here is one powerful thing you have going for you. There is a lot of positive traction with this relationship/marriage. Being together as a couple for 3+ years in which things sound like they were going well….quite well. That won’t be easy for you husband to simply wash away or delude himself into thinking it didn’t happen.
There is is guy….pretty brilliant man who was around in the 14 century. William of Ockham was his name. He was a scholastic philosopher and Franciscan Friar and theologian. He came up with a Principle that even scientist today still make use of.
Basically when given a very confusing and complicated situation with lots of possible variables and potential explanations, it is almost always that the simplest explanation is the the correct one.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you spoke of this other woman and her negative influence on his thinking. That is the trigger in my view. It is the simplest explanation and it also aligns with the timeline of when your husband began behaving in an erratic way.
I think he is battling himself. I think he has guilt. I suspect that he may be having an emotional affair of some type with this other woman. Not all of the evidence points to that. I could be wrong. It could be something very unusual. Like a reaction to medication. That could explain the odd, helter skelter behavioral changes.
Whatever it is that has set him off into this most unusual path, my guess is that he will eventually open up about what truly lies at the heart of all this.
I don’t think there is another woman involved…..the things he is saying sound like the things I have heard come out of his woman-hating male friend’s mouth recently. This friend found out that his gf was cheating on him and now is calling all women liars and manipulators. I have never once gotten even the slightest suspicion that another woman is involved because there were zero changes in my husband’s behavior before he exploded. He is now accusing me of things he has never said to me, like how I’m manipulative and a liar, etc…….all things I have heard come out of his friend’s mouth about women recently. The strange thing is that my husband had another friend go through a bad breakup at the same time that my husband distanced himself from because of how this friend started treating women. My husband has always been a gentleman and does NOT condone disrespect to women. This makes it all the more confusing. I think what happened is that now he has hit all the big milestones in his life – high income dream career, dream wife, dream house, dream truck, dream vacations…..all things he always wanted to have we have now done and passed. Now I don’t think he knows what comes next and he thinks life needs to be a series of big moments or your life turns out like his parents, who are just roommates essentially. Now there are things he wants to do that he seems to think I don’t want him to do, and he thinks because he accountable to someone else that he can never do anything he wants again because not all of these other things he wants to do interest me – although I’ve always said that it’s ok if we don’t do everything together. I’ve been established in my career a lot longer and also have parents that are happily married and in love with each other 45 years later, so I saw little moments that add up to big things my entire life, like marriage and the building blocks of a career. I don’t mind the process of little things building to big things, but I don’t think my husband has had any experience with that. He went from a broke party boy living paycheck to paycheck and dreaming about improving his life in BIG steps, to being a responsible adult that has adult responsibility that comes along with those dreams. I think he was also feeling like he was failing in our marriage because, without me realizing it, I kind of lost my own identity in pursuit of being the perfect wife. My husband was telling me I needed to get out of the house and start pursuing hobbies more, and I thought he was saying he didn’t want to spend so much time with me. What he was saying (and I agree with looking back) is that I wasn’t doing the things that made just me happy anymore and he wanted me to be more than JUST a wife. He wanted me to be the happy and confident woman he fell in love with. I was doing things with him that made him happy and I enjoyed doing with him (but would never do alone) and thinking it was enough for me. It wasn’t, but I didn’t realize that and he did. It was putting a lot of pressure on him to keep us both happy. Now I think he doesn’t know how to “fix” me, so he doesn’t know what else to do. He doesn’t have things to look forward to.
I just don’t have much hope after he has gone so hard and so fast at insisting on divorce. He has erased all traces of me from his life and is intent on being rid of me as fast as he can. This is not the man I’ve been married to.
Thank you Anne for the update. This is an unusual case. My sense is that he will come back down to earth sometime in the future will regret what he is dragging you through. Don’t place blame on yourself. It is easy for one to think back through everything and beat ourselves up a bit. It doesn’t sound like to me you really need any fixing. Sure, both couples in a marriage end up defining the marriage. But by my read of this situation, the problem emerges from an unrealistic, somewhat immature approach your husband is taking with his relationship with you. It seems to me the most pragmatic approach is to focus on your own healing and lifting yourself up without any emotional reliance on him. Focus on being the best version of yourself. I know you are still struggling with the bizarre turn this has taken. Hopefully he will realize what he really wants and needs and see that it has been in front of him all this time.
Hello, I know it’s been two years since you posted your comment here but your situation is EXACTLY what is happening to me right now. Unfortunately, my husband actually filed for a divorce (now my ex-husband) and it was done in only a matter of a few months. He was dead set on divorce and here we are. I’ve decided to focus on myself but my ex-husband wants to remain in contact with me and also still wants to be in an exclusive relationship with me. It’s odd. Any updates? I hope you see this. Thanks.
I have been married for 24 yrs and because of on going conflict my husband decided that he isn’t leaving me but that we couldn’t live together. He moved out a month ago and would not speak to me for 2 weeks and then called me to come over to his place. He lets me bring him home cooked meals also. He will not talk about our problems. He will not talk about coming home. If I try he gets angry and tells me to leave. He will not spend any time with me except at his place but will barely talk to me then. I am confused. Should I continue to go see him or should I try the no contact? I have tried to just let him go but I have extreme anxiety over the thought of losing him completely.
It doesn’t seem things are working out so well when you visit him at his place. He is shutting you out and when he opens the door, he closes it quickly. It is confusing and that is probably because he is confused about what he wants and is trying to sort through his feelings. He wants everything on his terms and I just don’t see that working out. It’s unfair to you.
I do think No Contact holds some potential. First, I think it will help you find yourself. You are far stronger than you realize. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious. But over time, that will dissipate. Focus on your own needs and doing the things you find fulfilling. He may very well come to appreciate you more and value you and your time more when he realizes he can’t jerk you around emotionally like he is doing now.
You certainly are not happy being around him when he is like this. And he doesn’t seem happy. So don’t be around him for awhile. A form of No Contact or very limited contact might be best here. Don’t be afraid of losing him completely. Yes, it could happen, but if it does, it may very well be the best thing for YOU. Time will sort all this out and hopefully in the future when he has a better state of mind, he will be open to working with you on tapping down his anger issues and the other problems.
Remember Deb….you are strong. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise
I have been married to my wife for 16 years and together for 20.
Our marriage is not really conventional that is for sure! My wife goes out every evening straight from work to do her horse and can arrive home any time between 7.30 and 9pm. Every evening, apart from Friday when we are at my parents, I cook dinner and leave hers in the oven for when she comes in. At the weekend, we normally get takeout or go to her parents for dinner. Every weekend she goes up to her horse at about 7am and arrives home about 1.30pm. She does the washing up begrudgingly about once a week but does no other household chores. If I try to talk about it she just gets huffy and stomps around the house.
Last November my wife went to a family funeral on her own as I had to work and met up with a male cousin who lives in America. Ever since then, they have been in constant, daily contact on WhatsApp, mostly messages but also half a dozen hour long phone calls.
I have spoken a few times to her and voiced my concerns about the amount and suggestive type of communication (from his side) and what it may lead to. She has been insistent that the relationship is nothing like that and that I should trust her.
Now, this where it gets bad! I have been monitoring her phone (wrong I know) and have a log of the conversation that they have been having.
I have kept quiet and let the relationship continue in the hope that it would fade out but it hasn’t.
Anyway, my wife has sussed that I have been monitoring things and we spoke yesterday when she turned up after going to the farm to do her horse. She said that she was going to stay with her parents and didn’t know if it would be a few days or permanent. She said she loved me and that wasn’t the issue, just that I should trust that she would never cheat on me. All the time I stayed calm and softly spoken and helped her with some bags out to her car, I have not begged, shouted, cried or anything like that, I have remained upbeat and positive.
All the time she was shaking a great deal and was crying too. I said that I would not contact her and give her the space she needed but that I was still her husband and am here if she needs anything.
Now this afternoon she turned up, would not look at me, gave the cat a cuddle and shed a few tears, picked up a dozen more bags and put them in the car, this time I just said hello and stayed out her way. When she left she said ‘you know where I am’ and that was it!
Do you think it is wrong of me to be jealous of this and call my wife out on it?
Do you think that this is acceptable behaviour on my wife’s part and that she will not even consider my feelings?
I have had virtually no contact with her since she left and am trying to maintain this but it is hard and I don’t know if this is the right approach to take?
As part of my healing, I have decided to speak to a counsellor about my jealousy. I briefly text my wife and her reply was ‘let me know if you want me to come with you’.
I am feeling very confused about the whole situation and am now unsure myself as to which path I would like the marriage to take.
Any comments or suggestions would be gratefully received.
Hi Paul….sorry for getting back to you a little late. I think you are handling this situation quite well. Yes, I do believe you have a right to feel jealous and she should understand this and be more forthcoming. Her decision to temporarily move out on the basis of you “not trusting” her seems over the top. Her behavior and emotional reaction suggests there are things she want to talk to you more about, but hasn’t.
Since she has demonstrated an interest in going with you to speak to a counselor, take her up on that. Getting some dialogue going would be invaluable and potentially provide an opportunity for the two of you to work on your problems.
I’ve been separated for about 10 months when my husband moved out. We were married about 3.5 years before he moved and we Were having several issues. I take most of the responsibility because I was uninvolved and very closed off. I had a lot of changes occur in such a short period of time it was over evening for me. I suffer from depression and I felt as though I was so I inadequate when he started telling me everything I wasn’t doing or not doing right that I just fell deeper into depression and was just this person in a shell. I told him that I was depressed and he said I was using that as an excuse, so I retreated deeper into myself. I never really felt understood. Since I have had the opportunity to have some silence and can think about things and really take a good like at myself , I realize now the damage it has done to our marriage. I love my husband and want it to work and in the beginning he wanted that too but the past couple of months he has become distant and almost like he is playing these mind games with me. I told him how sorry I am and that I know now what I need to do but he says he doesn’t believe me. He has a lot of anger and frustration toward me and he is seeing someone else which he adamantly denies. I am so tired with this back and forth and not
Time has a way of relaxing his anger and resentment. For now, focus on your needs and becoming the best YOU. I am guessing he will be interested in following up with you if he has not heard from you in a awhile. If he does reach out, take things slowly. Remember, the two of you have 3.5 years together and that is not easily just pushed aside.
My wife recently moved out (last week). We have been married almost 5 years. I have kids from a previous marriage which has always caused some stress as we don’t always see eye to eye on how to handle situations. For the past two months things have been very tough. She withdrew from most everything and would be home late in order to not have to be around me or the kids. She would drive around for hours thinking. This was causing more arguments because she was rarely ever home. She has been saying that she loves me but is not sure she is in love with me anymore. We don’t have the connection anymore and she doesn’t feel drawn to me like when we got married. I have asked what changed, what made you fall in love with me in the first place? Her answer, I made her feel special. I have always done special things to show her how much I care and how much I appreciate her. Nothing there has changed. Our intimacy has lagged over time. I honestly was caught out of the blue on this. I was happy, I thought things were great. She says that even makes things worse that I didn’t see it. I don’t know where to turn. She has sent mixed signals, this is just temporary and not permanent. She came over to dinner with the kids to talk to them about the situation. The the next day she is so distant and telling me that she doesn’t even know if she wants to work on this and that counseling is just something she feels she needs to try because its what she is suppose to do. I know there are things I need to work on, being a better me. I have tended to shut down when we argue and emotional thru this whole ordeal. I know that I am a not a perfect husband by any means but never did I think I was so horrible she would leave. In a few weeks we are suppose to go on a fun trip with friends. Right now she wants to go but not sure that is the best thing for our relationship at this time. I just never imagined our life would have gotten to this. desperately seeking good advice because everything I try to do is wrong. thank you!
Hey Rod. Things can sometimes look a lot worse than what they are. Five years together counts for something and so it is unlikely it will all come tumbling down in a blink of an eye. Sometimes when things get confusing like this, it is easy to for you both to get trapped in all the baggage from the past. Things can get confusing and feelings can become unclear.
I am really big into the concept of practicing a quiet and gentle form of kindness. It is hard not to feel intensely connected to someone who is treating you with kindness. So let that be your calling card when you are around her. Don’t place any demands on her. Just be kind. And to cut through all of the confusion and uncertainty of what to work on…instead of trying to rebuild the whole relationship, just focus on 2 things you both want to do better. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Just agree to accomplish 2 things that can help bring a little fulfillment for you both. Then build from there.
Thank you Chris
I just don’t even know what to think. Trying to be kind and let her know I am thinking about her by sending a simple txt asking how her day is going…. I was told today that you gotta stop txting me and emailing me during the day. It’s to much. Its not like I txt her 15 times a day. Around lunch I asked how’s you day and just letting her know what I did this morning at work. Anything I do is taken to an extreme. We use to txt everyday and see how ours days were. In the past if I didn’t txt her I would get a txt about being pretty quiet today… I told her I am just trying to have normal conversation. But I guess that is to much. It needs to wait til after work. Is she just that far wound up into her needing space that I need to completely check out of her life unless she asks me for contact?
Yes, I think you should pull back and just go quiet with her. The idea is she will eventually wonder why you have not touch based and may initiate contact. I know it is hard, but right now the balance of personal power has mostly shifted to her.
I really appreciate this post. It was informative and subjective. My husband and I have been married for 21 months and have been separated for the last 8 of those 21 months. Within these past 8 months, we’ve gotten together and he’s stopped talking to me for a month straight three times. He is always the one to intiatite contact. The first time, I thought a month of separation was all he needed so we got back together, still living separately. The second time, I was a little more cautious but still started seeing him again, although in secret. And the last time, I told him I would not meet unless he came to my parents home (where I now live, as he is with his parents) and, on his own suggestion, attended marital counseling. We had been going to counseling for the past three months. Of the 10 sessions, during 6-7 of them he stated that he didn’t want to be in this marriage anymore (never using the word divorce). The last session we had was two weeks ago in which I agreed with him and said that if we separate, there will be no contact. He seemed hesitant, but following that day, there was no communication. Until this morning – he called me in th the morning to “wake me up”. I thought it must have been an emergency if he called that early so I picked up. I said “okay” and hung up. Later today, I received flowers from him with the message “Hi.” And around 10pm, a text message saying “Hi.” He then called me 45 mins later. I didn’t pick up.
What should I do?
He seems to be bouncing around emotionally. Usually, it is best to look at the totality of someone’s behavior. Most of the time, he seems to be telling you that he does not want to be in the marriage. That seems to be the dominant feeling that possesses him. My sense is that his recent behavior is indicating his insecurity around what his future will be without you in his life.
Obviously he can’t have it both ways. It is terribly unfair to you. He has had plenty of opportunities to reconcile in a serious way. He has not. What you need is someone you can count on. He doesn’t seem to be that person in your life right now. Maybe never. I don’t know. But you deserve a commitment from someone who will be there for you through thick and thin. You don’t need a human alarm clock who you can’t trust or count on.
I think it best you uphold what you told him you would do. You need some time to heal and focus on your needs. He needs time to figure out what the heck he wants from life. If you do choose to communicate with him, he needs to understand he is causing you emotional pain by rejecting you (when he says he doesn’t want to be in the marriage anymore) then impulsively reaching out to you. Maybe he is caught up in his own selfish loop of impulsive behaviors. But that doesn’t make it OK to keep behaving in this fashion.
Clearly, I don’t know all the details of your situation, but perhaps a much longer No Contact Period is in order before you agree to consider advancing your efforts to reconcile again.
My wife and I have been together for 18 years and 5 years married. Last week she came up to me and said she needed some space, some time to think clearly, some time to clear this fog. She has had some cases of mental illness in the past. She said our relation was not good for her anymore…. since then I realized I had some deep inner demons in me that I needed to fix (Bottling up emotions, alcohol use,among others). I never treated her badly intentionally but we certainly didn’t connect the same way we once did.
So after she left for the weekend to clear her mind…. (In which i tried to contact her the least possible amount of time she came back 5 days later and said she needed more time. That it was still cloudy. I then opened up to her that I also had some personal stuff I needed to deal with in my head as well. We had a VERY DEEP and probably the best talk we ever had. So we decided that it was probably a good time to each take a break from each other…. clear our heads and then see where we are. Is this the best approach? She is seeing a councelor and I’m gonna see one as well for my problems, but I’m a bit worried about the end goal and the stipulations of our time apart. In my head i see a ending with me and her still together but i get a feeling in her head she’s really not sure. For exemple i asked if we should also see a marriage councellor and she instantly said it would be too much working on herself and us at the same time. When I say that it can be healthy for us this time apart she puts back that i have to be aware of the possibility that theres no us after all this. I’m not sure how to process this and what is my best move when trying to implement the guidelines in the no contact rules, endgoals, etc
Hi Jim…I think a form of limited contact would be good for you to employ. I don’t think completely shutting communications down is a good way to go. While I think having some space will help you both with gaining greater perspective and begin some healing, there should be an opportunity for the two of you get work toward joint counseling at some stage. But pushing for that right now might make her feel crowded, causing her to push further away. Remain as positive as you kind in your limited interactions. Embrace kindness and also remember to focus on your own needs as they draw clearer into focus.
Since I wrote this we established some guidelines to our seperation and we decided that 2 weeks without any form of contact would be good. We took care of the finances, house stuff and other small stuff. It’s kind of weird that at first I was devastated and still have more time where I’m feeling extremely lonely, extremely sad. But I also have other moments where I feel liberated, like the weight of the world is off my shoulders, where I feel happy. I can’t remember the last time I felt such strong emotions. I’m starting to think this was a great idea for both of us if we treat it right. I think a light hearted conversation at the end of the 2 week period would probably be a good approach?
Good job Jim…the break will do you both good. When you resume contact, keep it brief and positive. Kindness rules. In the real scheme of things, we all really live short lives. Days, Weeks, Months, and Years seem to fly by. Embrace the present moments that are filled with less stress and worry, knowing that no matter what, you are are going to be just fine.
My wife told me yesterday that she wanted me to leave for 2 weeks with no contact. It is my fault due to her asking me multiple times to stop snooping and my broken promises. It hurt alot yesterday, but I am better today. I am starting to realize all of the mistakes I had made. The things i did to make she she never hurt me ended up pushing her away.
I broke the No contact rule last night. My question is, once the rule is broken, can you come back from it? Or is that the end
Hi Ian…yes, you certainly can. I really think you would benefit by picking up a copy of my ebook, “The No Contact Rule Book”. It is like the bible of all things dealing with breakups and understanding how the No Contact Principle works. It also helps folks with getting through the pain and hardship they will experience during this period. Its not up for sale here on this site yet. But you can go to my website that I own and operate over at exboyfriendrecovery.com.
When there, just click on the website Menu and then choose the “Products” link. There you will see my relationship ebooks and some other services I offer. You are going to get through this rough patch and with a little help, you can turn things around.
Hi Ian…yes, you certainly can. I really think you would benefit by picking up a copy of my ebook, “The No Contact Rule Book”. It is like the bible of all things dealing with breakups and understanding how the No Contact Principle works. It also helps folks with getting through the pain and hardship they will experience during this period. Its not up for sale here on this site yet. But you can go to my website that I own and operate over at exboyfriendrecovery.com.
When there, just click on the website Menu and then choose the “Products” link. There you will see my relationship ebooks and some other services I offer. You are going to get through this rough patch and with a little help, you can turn things around.
My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years. We love eachother very much and are close and best friends. He is a gorgeous, sweet, kind and caring husband. The problem is, sometimes things he says and does hurt me in such a deep way even I don’t know how to process my emotions but in anger (because of the hurt – I want him to feel some hurt too) and become aggressive. He often forgives me and we move on but it seems we can’t move past this cycle.
It’s a little complicated. I constantly feel like he never gave me that passionate/ hormone filled love at any stage. – I know everyone says that’s immature – but here’s the thing, in my culture/ religion you don’t seriously date or have sex before marriage – you date only with the purpose of deciding whether you want to get married or not – I knew him as a family friend from before so it only took us maybe 3 months to decide we wanted to marry each other – I think it was a great decision of course. Now the marriage starts, I’ve been a virgin for 25 years and I find out my husband does not value or need sex as much as me. It’s not like we don’t have it but I sensed early on it was much less than what it should be for a new couple. To this day I feel very hurt that he was never very into me, like when you are crazy about the person at the beginning – sure it wears off, but I never got to experience that with my husband (I always felt that way towards him). Even during our honeymoon he’d drag me to family dinners/ events and even went out the full day with a distant relative to go kayaking. We only had 10 days together before he’d fly back to Pakistan. This was very hurtful for me. I can’t seem to get over it, it like set the precedence for everything.
After 5 months I relocated to Pakistan (I’m born and raised in Australia and not used to living in a third world country) but I loved my husband so much that I left everything to be with him until his immigration paperwork got sorted out – i’ve been in Pakistan almost for 2 years – he got his visa but in that time opened a business which will delay our move another year or so. I am a supportive wife – I support my husbands ambitions and he of course really values that and thanks me a lot for it – but I do throw it in his face when I get angry or have a fight with him.
Throughout that time – he tried to work on his sex drive and interest in sex – he is just not that into it – and thats always made me angry, it always hurts me. I just can’t seem to get over it that he doesn’t want it as much, its maybe 10% important for him but like 40% important for me. He says sorry and says he wish he could change but he can’t… we’ve decided to try counselling for it soon. During the business setup we wouldnt even have sex 10 – 15 or so days in a row. at that time I Wanted to kill myself, I’d tell him that’s how much this would hurt me and he just wouldnt acknowledge it… we got past that phase but it was barely 6 months into marriage.
The problem isn’t just the sex … I just feel like he’s someone who doesn’t feel passion or excitement like a normal person does. He goes out all night at least once or twice a week =-till 4 am to 8 am. I really hate it, it really hurts me so much, and he says its a right for him, he needs space, he never really feels a strong need to come back home to me after work or a nigth out. I don’t understand why. I’m not saying he neglects me – he buys me my favourite things, he’ll take me out on a date once a week too and most days he does come home he spends some time with me. It’s just – I never feel passion from him. He is such a gorgeous, kind, caring and supportive husband – it’s just I never felt any passion from him. It hurts me so much sometimes I feel like killing myself.
I frequently take trips to australia to get away from him and the horrible restrictive and misogynistic environment of Pakistan, but to be hones tthe only thing I’ve ever needed or wanted was a happy, healthy fulfilling marriage – I really don’t care where we live as long as i have a good marriage – and the truth is I just don’t feel happy no matter how great things are between us. I constantly feel heart broken and sad. I feel like theres no escape sometimes – but I know I can’t live without him, and I know that he probably cant be happy without me too even if he doesn’t say it as often.
I’m currently in Australia for 3 weeks, everytime I take a trip back I realise what I gave up for him. my family, friends, career and a much much stronger financial situation. I am a very good looking attractive girl and many men were interested in me who I turned down for my husband.
My hubby pushes me to get a job in Pakistan – I didnt want to settle there – I constantly want to put the pressure on him and my inlaws that we’ll be moving back soon so I don’t want to secure a job – but I’ve found it is depressing me a lot and so I got a job now and will start when I return. Everyone makes jokes about me there that I’m a clingy needy wife – I don’t think im that bad – I do give him space it’s just that I gace up everything to be with him so I do expect him to not go out all night, come home at a reasonable hour and spend time together. I just want him to need and want me like most couples do. and it makes me so heartbroke n and sad that he doesnt.
Do you think I should do no contact during my time in Aus? He only calls me once every two days anyway – I can cut conversations short and not pick up sometimes. Should I take it a step further and try and find employment here to show him Im an intelligent, valuable woman who can make decisions for herself and not revolve everything around a husband who does put his own wants, ambitions and needs first?
When we talk I usually say “I love you, I miss you” etc, the romantic things probably 3 times more than him, should I stop doing that too?
I get so depressed sometimes I can’t stop crying and hurting.
Hi Ameena. It is evident you are struggling with a variety of things. Its not your fault. Nor is is completely your husband’s fault. Part of it has to do with the environment you live. I am not sure that NC or limited NC will have a positive effect. To some extent, it seems your husband is not fully clued in to the things that are bothering you the most. It is not pragmatic to solve everything. It is better to identify those main things which can be addressed Think about taking some time and think about the 3-4 things that are affecting you the most. Write it down. Also write down some potential solutions and actions you might want to take. This will sometimes help you crystallize your thinking. Then at an opportune moment, open up and talk to your husband about about it in the spirit of a joint brainstorm/solution session. Be sure to also share with him all of the wonderfully positive qualities he has and how that makes your life fulfilling so that there is balance. Perhaps this will serve as a springboard to address those main things that is causing you such unhappiness. There are always solutions. There are always other paths we can follow in order to embrace fulfillment. So know that that is the case. It may not always be easy, but don’t ever feel like there is not a way to make things better than they are now. The future is always moving with possibilities.
Also, if you are seeking continued support, consider going my other website, exboyfriendrecovery.com. If you click on my website Menu/products link, you will find some information about my Private Facebook Support Group Community. You should consider joining. Right now I have about 1500 women in the Group and they do a great job of supporting and idea sharing. I also do weekly Faebook lives.
Hello, Chris. I find myself married for 40 years. Since the beginning of our marriage my husband leaves when we have an argument. He used to be physically abusive until I pretty much stood my ground with him. I had to grow-up too and decided I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. However, the emotional roller coaster has never stopped. After reading about narcissism and though I know I am not a therapist, he has the traits and personality of narcissism. Yet, he blames those same traits on me. He has made it a habit this year of leaving pretty much once a month. This time he is more dramatic than before-leaving his ring, blocking me from FB (hoovering). I have learned better to curb my anxiety over this because I know that his emotions are not my fault. He is the one who does the ‘no contact’. In the past I have gone to him only to be beratted and put down yet again. And, then he returns. He has been gone for 2 weeks this time. How long should I wait before taking him off of the bank account and separating our bills? Does it depend on whether or not he takes excessive money out of our account? He hasn’t before but since his episodes come more frequently, and I can’t read his mind, I am trying to be proactive, without pacing the floors. Thanks!
Hi Chris, thank you for providing such helpful posts for us suffering marriage woes. You never think it can happen to you, but yet here I am, deep in the horrible throes of complete marital breakdown. My husband and I have been married for 14 years this July 30th, and together for over 15. We are now separated (as of May 13th), but more on this later. He is the love of my life, and I have never imagined a future without him. However, my husband and I have been on a downward spiral the past couple years. We’ve suffered from various setbacks, job losses, financial woes, moving here and there, and finally ending up living in an RV for this past year and a half before our split. Fights tended to happen about once weekly, it seemed honestly like every Sunday the same fights would rear their ugly heads. We were both so dissatisfied with ourselves and we’ve never had good communication skills, and I know my husband has felt hopeless about our future and also about life in general. I’ve also had serious issues I’ve not addressed in the longest time. I grew up in a very fundamental, abusive in every way “christian” environment (my husband also grew up in the same church, so we have this bond between us), and I’ve not dealt with these issues like I should. My father was an extremely abusive, sick man (he had schizophrenia), unfortunately, and I grew up in a very isolated environment. As a result, I never developed emotionally as I should, and have had serious issues with depression, anxiety, and low self esteem (since our split, I’ve finally had the courage to seek counseling, and found out I’ve got Complex PTSD, which I’m working hard to address – my counselor is very encouraging that I am doing just fine and will beat my issues, thankfully). In addition, my husband’s father has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers about a year ago. My father-in-law is barely 65 and will probably not be with us much longer, so sad to say, which has greatly contributed to my husband’s depression, and my husband has since started contemplating his own immortality. Another problem that’s always been an issue is that his mother dislikes me, which has only caused tension. It’s been a perfect storm of dysfunction, and, to be sure, our marriage was heading for a breakdown.
I could tell my husband has been emotionally distant this year starting early on in February/March. I could feel he didn’t care as much, but I blindly kept ignoring the signs, hoping they would just go away (duh, and I could kick myself every day for this). Here comes May of this year, and it seemed as though my husband was doing everything he possibly could to provoke me, and of course I followed suit, losing my temper and lashing out. Then, on May 13th, after another stupid fight, he says, ‘We’re done, and you’re moving out! You’re the one with the issues.” Everything was my fault. He completely vilified me. Just like that, and I don’t mean just move out, he wanted me to move out of the state (we’ve only been in CA for a few months, another disastrous move). I was completely unhinged, begging, pleading, trying to talk sense. It was devastating. My husband reasoned he should stay in the RV, because I couldn’t take care of the RV by myself. I didn’t end up moving out of state as that’s a pretty tall order, but rented a room somewhere locally, trying to keep my job, etc. Initially, I tried everything. I wrote a letter to his parents taking blame for the downfall of our relationship, for some reason I thought this was a good idea trying to explain what had happened, because I was worried about what my husband might be saying to his family about me. I took complete responsibility and blame for everything. My husband approved of the letter I wrote to his parents, and I faithfully mailed it, trying to do everything I could to make any difference.
Well, after I moved out, we had scheduled some times to get together. I met with him about 3 times post-split, the first time he was not extremely inviting, but we had dinner and talked although he was still resolute in his decision. The 2nd visit was great. I had determined that I would not discuss our relationship at all, and we laughed and joked like old times. We had a great dinner, and he bought me all these things to take home with me. He told me he was proud of me. It gave me so much hope. THEN, before our 3rd visit this past June 30th, I discovered that he’d been having an affair since February of this year with a girl he met at work. And the earth fell out from beneath my feet, of course. When I showed up for our visit and confronted him, he admitted it and was completely cruel and hateful, saying he’d only agreed to these visits to appease me and that he didn’t care about me. He mocked me. He even went so far as to say let’s end things altogether until he met my eyes and stopped mid-sentence. I didn’t react the best. I begged and pleaded again, debasing myself, throwing myself at him, doing everything wrong, of course, which only fueled his fire, I’m sure. But then, I asked him if he still loved me, and he said yes, I love you, and banged his fists on his knees. He then said he needed to date, and if he couldn’t date, then I couldn’t have him, either. Oh boy. He then said he didn’t think he’d ever find anyone that could compare to me, though, and that he still envisions us growing old together from time to time. But then when I was leaving he said he’d call me in 6 months(!), and that even though there’s still hope for us to get back together, it’ll be probably close to 5 years before that’s even a possibility. Unbelievable. After this visit, I sent many many emails and texts pleading with him to communicate more, and he did write back and say that he would reach out, but there was no time frame. That was July 3rd, and I’ve not heard from his since, which is probably for the best right now, I know.
I’ve talked to a counselor who said that he is deep in the throes of a mid-life crisis. She said it’s a textbook case. She said I need to spend this time working on myself, and when he does reach out, he needs to see my positive changes. I am working on myself, and I am doing the best I can although I am so lonely in a strange new town. It’s abysmal. My counselor did say she feels there is hope for our marriage, but it feels so hopeless. We had so many wonderful plans for our future, and now this. Thank you so much for your time in reading this, and any advice!
I do think you got very good advice from your counselor.
We have been separated for almost 5 months. we have had contact some and it usually leads to an argument. We did file for divorce and will be final Sept 5 2018. I have asked him if he wants to go through the divorce and he doesn’t respond to that question. My question is can this no contact rule work now after so long and so much has been said and done? I don’t want the divorce and don’t think he does either. what do you suggest? Please help.
Perhaps Barbie a limited to form of No Contact
great advice and something a lot of people have been recommending.
About a month ago my wife informed me that she wants to leave me for an old boyfriend from 13 years ago. We’ve been together for 7 years and married almost 4. I feel we’ve had a terrific relationship and marriage, I’ve never been happier, prouder, and fulfilled. We’ve always been great together, have a terrific unspoken connection and understanding. I confronted her about a month ago when I noticed several days went by where she seemed distant and unaffectionate. Then I was hit with a total blindside when she told me that she had been communicating with this guy on Facebook for a few months. I always had full trust in my wife and never questioned her commitment or loyalty. I never needed to. What baffles me is she dated this guy for about two years, the relationship ended badly and they haven’t spoken for 13 years. Now she feels she has some deep connection with the guy and he’s her soulmate. I really don’t know what to make of this, is it limerence? 7 year itch? Mid-life crisis? All the above?
Either way, I left the house about two weeks ago now and have been working on putting my life back together as much as possible. We are on good terms though many conversations about our situation are extremely tense or she’ll just answer everything with “I don’t know”. When I left, she told me she would not move quickly on the divorce which to me felt like she left the door cracked open to the possibility of getting back together. She even said she is open to that. It may just be a safety net thing for her, but to this day, she has yet to see the guy she is willing to break our marriage over. I feel she still has feelings for me and is conflicted about her decision, but won’t say anything or think much about them because she is so preoccupied.
Despite being separated and doing my best to not contact her unless necessary, I find myself on the receiving end of many texts and chats from her. They are not about anything specific, just general chit-chat and telling me about what she is up to. While I love and want to hear from her, these messages are killing me. I don’t feel I can begin to heal when I keep getting these, nor can I reflect on everything that has happened. I’m also too quick to respond to her because I want to continue to be there for her.
Everyone tells me to create space as your article says. I think it will help me, but I worry that she won’t use the time to reflect because she’s busy pursuing a new relationship. I know it’s not anything I can control and therefore shouldn’t worry about, but it scares me to think she may just feel I moved on if I stop communication with her.
What is your experience with the limited contact rule when a couple is separated and one of those people are pursuing another person? What are the chances it could be successful and still salvage the marriage?
To cut right to it, my wife and I, married for 24 years) have been having problems for some time now. It got to the point where when we would argue about what I considered to be useless topics I would throw the word divorce out as a threat in hopes of ending the behavior. I now realize how tertthis was. Eventually it came to a point where we separated living arrangements, then, thinking I had no other choice to rebuild our marriage, I filed for a divorce. This devistated my wife. Two weeks later I was doing a lot of soul searching and self reflection and come to realize just how terrible I had been acting about her feelings. I never would allow time for her feelings and would tell her she just should be happy cause it’s a choice. I had stopped showing her that is really is important to me. After this realization I called the attorney and stopped the divorce before we had even signed any paperwork for legal separation. I explained to my wife how I now felt and apologized immensely for my behavior. She now is so emotionally distraught over my past behavior that she doesn’t believe me and says I want a divorce or I would’ve kept saying it. She says we’re getting one cause I wanted it. Anyway, I told her I stopped it, apologized, and have done the big no no and begged her to go to counseling (which is something she suggested months ago but I wouldn’t) and pleaded with her for us to work things out. She now says that she has been on an emotional roller coaster and can’t breathe. She use to want to be wanted but now she just wants peace. I have let her know one last time how much I love her and that her peace of mind and well being are more important than what I want right so I’m going to give you total privacy. I told her that I’m here for her if she needs anything and that I love her with every fiber of my being but that she won’t see nor here from me but that my heart will be knocking on hers because we are deeply connected. Is this a good strategy for what I’ve explained? How long should it last approximately? And at what point should I make first contact and what type should it be? Thank you so much for your advice.
My wife left more than 2 months ago after we had heated argument and I spat on her face which was one of the unfortunate thing that I did and I regret it a lot. I called her names, let her down, criticize her, and gaslighted and neglect many times. We have 2.5 years old son. She filed for restraining order and we have a court hearing for permanent restraining order in another two months. I caused her emotionally abuse and on my end I lacked awareness and education and we both didnt know we were in an abusive relationship. Now that we both know she is on one side of spectrum with anger, hate, and resentment holding against me, and I am on opposite side of spectrum having more love, care, regrets, and empathy. I am also getting psychological help and reached out to her through lawyers that I am interested in reconciling with her but she said that I would never change and that I will always be controlling, manipulative, and abusive. Please advise.
My friend and her spouse have been living in their respective parents home for 2 months now. Even prior to this there has been no major communication, sharing etc. They live in the same city around 5 kms apart but don’t meet each other or communicate to each other. Both the parents are not bothered to find out the issue. What can be the indicators that they are heading towards seperation
Good evening Chris.
Went through your article in depth. Feel it is the only one I’ve come across that talks sense.
My marital issue:-
Husband 52, me 50
23 years married
Overall a happy marriage. Very close, loving relationship. Never slept after an argument without making up.
A few issues, but then which marriage doesn’t have those.
Husband gaslighting me over the last one year about relationship with 26 year old unmarried co worker by saying she is daughter-like. Discovered affair of about one to three months duration through their romantic texts.
Husband says it’s only emotional connection not sexual. Insists the girl is like a daughter ( sic). Apparently he went overboard on the emotional front. Texts over last one month are blatantly romantic, like two preteens in love. Not overtly sexual.
Affair revealed by me to select family friends and his Boss.
Husband says he can never get back with me as i have ruined his reputation and standing amongst family friends and co workers.
I believe that we can reconcile and start on a blank fresh page. Conveyed to him.
He has point blank refused.
Now he lives in a separate room, does not engage with me, eats separately goes to work separately… basically lives a separate life under the same roof.
Refuses to engage with me about the affair or our marriage other than saying he cannot get back.
Total duration five months.
He is currently in touch with the AP through phone and texts.
Also I’m aware the AP is in at least one other relationship with a young unmarried man currently. Maybe there are more on off relationships.
Husband is egoistic, dominating.
Are his feelings for me over and he has moved on?
Though we are in a kind of no contact now, will my moving out have any positive response on reconciliation prospects
It will be one week Sunday since our separation and it wasn’t discussed on contact . Should I just keep the no contact in place and for how long?