Wife wants space

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Wife wants space

Postby Hornet73 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:20 pm

Hello all, I'm new here so please bear with me!

A couple of days ago my wife of 10 years (we've been together for 15 and known each other for 20) told me that I'm clingy, needy and suffocating her and she wants space, basically wanting to separate. I will call my wife G, and fill you in on some background info;
We met in 1997, got together in 2003. G was in a relationship with my best mate of 25 years and I was married to someone else when we first met. G ended her relationship with my mate, I split with my wife and G and I got together in the fall out of all that. I lost a few friends because of this, including my best mate and another long standing friend who has since died without reconciling with me. I had found the love of my life and although I was upset at losing my friend, I was happy with G. I moved 45 miles from my home town, friends and family to live with G, eventually changing my job to be closer to home, working for myself.
In the following years we bought a house, had 3 lovely kids who are now 12,8 & 4, got a dog and had what I thought was a pretty good life. Fast forward to May 2016 and she drops the bombshell of not wanting us to be together anymore. This led to 6 months of hell, arguments and her going out 4 or 5 times a week. During this time we did sleep in the same bed, although there was no physical contact. We kept all of this from the kids and they were pretty much none the wiser. Just before Christmas 2016 she started to soften, stopped going out and we ended up having a wonderful family Christmas. New year saw us talk and agree to try again. Her issues with me were my negativity, being dismissive with her and the fact I was drinking too much. i agreed with her on all these issues and knew it was high time to change. I became a positive person, more attentive and i cut back the drinking to 3 or 4 beers twice a week instead of 6 cans every night. For G's part, she was diagnosed with depression and given meds, which she is still on. I promised to support her and did lots of research into depression so that I could do all I could to help. 2017 was a great year, lots of family time, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a lovely trip away and things in the bedroom were as good as ever, although I was still doing ALL the chores around the house while she slept, which I took to be the depression. Just after Christmas just gone, G became a little distant, her texts weren't as loving and I started to panic about our relationship. I was continually asking her for reassurance, which she wasn't really giving me much of, which only made we worse, and yes, made me clingy. That is when she said she can't take it anymore. I've asked her to reconsider and I have done a lot of research on ways to stop being so needy, having a go at the "180" list right now! All I'm asking you lovely lot for is advice on whether you think there is a future for my marriage, if I can prove to her that I can change again for her.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby stephie2 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:13 am

That all depends on if there are feelings there on both sides. Constantly having to change doesn't sound like much fun if it is only one doing all the changing!

I think you both need to sit down and be honest with each other about what you both want out of life and whether you have a future that is worth fighting for. The fact that you have children together needs to considered as they don't want to see mum and dad constantly bickering and upset either.

I was curious to read the first part where you both ditched partners etc to be together. Do you think there is some trust issues there as I am reading in that you didn't trust her when she was going out?
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby Hornet73 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:28 pm

Thanks for the reply stephie2!

I can honestly say that up until the first problems in 2016 that I had no trust issues at all. However, when this all happened a couple of years ago, her going out all the time was very sudden, as this was not something she previously did, although I never had an issue with her going out with friends at all. A week or 2 after things happened in 2016, we had an argument and she left the house at about half 8 in the evening and went out. When she still wasn't back at gone midnight, I started to worry. We have an app on our phones where you can track where each others phones are, mainly for our eldest son, but we are all on the app, so I checked that. Turns out her phone was right near a house where a male work colleague was living at the time, which was a good few miles from where we live and not near anyone else's house that we know. I was aware of this person as he had been my Wife's line manager for a good few years and he came up quite a bit in conversation over the years. She finally came home at about 1am and I confronted her with what I had found out. She totally denied even being there, saying that the app must've tracked her wrong. After that she took her details off the app so I could no longer see where she went. Of course, I put 2 and 2 together and thought she must be having an affair, which she always denied. Once we got back together, she was constantly bad mouthing this man (he still worked as her boss) and when he moved closer to where we live, she refused to drive past his house! Anyway, he handed his notice in before Christmas just gone and that coincided with her change in behaviour, and he started coming up in conversation again in a much more favourable way. He left her place of work last Friday and she went out on his leaving do, with him dropping her home at about 3am. That is pretty much what has caused my needy behaviour of late. Now, she has always denied have an affair with anyone, still denied ever being at his house and said that she was just talking to him about our problems and that going out was the only way for her to get space away from me. At the end of it all, I really want us to stay together. Do you think playing the waiting game is the best way to go? At the moment, she doesn't go out (apart from last Friday), we don't argue and she is very pleasant towards me. It is pretty confusing and considering her depression, I'm not sure how to take it all really.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby Tarantula » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:27 pm

It's not the first time I've smelled whiffs of depression being used as a precursor to, and later an excuse for, cheating.

'I did it coz i was depressed'. Does depression make you horny or something? I experienced it as the opposite...

I'm afraid I think the evidence about her phone showing up at or very near his house is pretty solid. She's trying to deny it because she doesn't wanna face it. And every time she lies, she digs herself further into that hole, where to come clean now would mean she's been lying for so long. That's her story and she's sticking to it.

Something definitely happened between them both and I find it interesting that you didn't mention any of this in your original post, but it only took a little prompt for the whole context to change.

It changes everything because frankly if she's lying, she doesn't deserve much sympathy from you. But having to carry the burden of what she's done for so long is enough to make anyone depressed. Poor her? Well I don't think so...

Phone technology is pretty darn accurate and whilst it's POSSIBLE there was some glitch, the chances of it showing up near where her colleague lives are basically negligible. Plus the love-hate relationship between them... maybe he dumped her and that's why she was mad, maybe he made promises and didn't keep them once they'd slept together, maybe they had all sorts of deep meaningful chats...

Until you get to the bottom of this, your relationship is not going to improve. She needs to come clean. That is the very very very first step in what is going to be a massive uphill struggle for you.

There's no playing games. You need to be direct, assertive and willing to walk away for good. Incidentally this is the opposite of clingy. Clingy is willing to put up with anything just to keep her. You need to demonstrate opposite qualities. Not as in, get angry, but be FIRM. Tell her it's absolutely vital that she come clean about whatever she's done in the past, and from there you can talk about everything else and come to a good, mutual decision... but only if she can have the guts to come clean...

This conversation needs to be calm, but firm. You'll get no clarity until you give yourself clarity. To shift all of this emotional deadweight, you need to start doing things differently.

I know this is such a brief response given the gravity of the issue. But long story short: kick her butt a bit, take control of your problems and deal with the reality as it is... not how you would prefer it to be. The more you resist the reality, the worse it will be for you in the long term...
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby Hornet73 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:24 pm

Thanks, Tarantula.

The colleague from work had fairly recently got divorced, plus had issues with depression so I did give her the benefit of the doubt on that really, thinking she may be getting some first hand advice? Although that doesn't explain why she lied in the first place. She says that at the moment she can only offer me friendship with the way she feels and I do feel prepared to give her that space to see what happens. However, I don't want to just end up as her skivvy round the house, picking her up when she's down, etc if that is all it will end up being. The kids are terribly important to me, so not being around them every day is a bit too much to contemplate at the moment. I guess I just need to give things a bit of time, talk to her when the time is right and see what happens.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby Tarantula » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:11 am

He had recently divorced and so was newly single and looking for some rebound action. That's not a reason to give benefit of the doubt. That's more of a reason to doubt!

My feeling is that you already know you're signing up to be a glorified butler. Don't be too quick to be so agreeable. Why is this arrangement 100% on her terms?

You need to think about what you want to get out of this deal as well. And please don't stay just for the kids - you are modelling what the 'ideal relationship' will look to them when they grow up, and an amicable split is far healthier than staying in this 'mum shows dad zero affection and/or goes out a lot, and dad takes care of all her needs anyway.'

If friendship is all she wants then 'friends' don't sleep in the same bed together or pretend to others that they're a stable, if not happy, married couple.

She needs to become accountable for what she says she wants, otherwise she'll never notice that she might have lost something. Why would she notice if you make it all as eaaaaaaasy and niiiiiiice as posssible for her?

I hope it all works out for you, whatever you decide to do.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby reckoner » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:30 am

I'm sorry to have to agree that the evidence seems quite damning that something is going on between them. I think she might find it easier to end the marriage than admit what has been going on. So I think there is some significant weight behind her wanting to end things.

It sounds like you have got into a vicious cycle where you sense something is wrong causing you to demonstrate the behaviours she finds irritating, reinforcing that something is wrong and so on. As she's the dissatisfied party, she holds all the power, you have to jump through hoops, and that in itself perpetuates the imbalance of the power relationship. The situation makes it very difficult for you to get back on level terms. I don't see how it can end well for you.

Obviously and understandably, you're desperate not to break up the family and leave the kids, but I think you have to take her threat to end things very seriously. Not just for your own understanding, but as Tarantula says, so that she also knows that the prospect is real so when she says it, she must also accept as a consequence that you will no longer be on the end of a string for her. So she can't just bandy the threat around to justify whatever she has going on while you jump through however many more hoops.

I think you have to face the prospect of living life independently of her, both physically and emotionally. And I think that might be what she has been craving from you anyway, because it's impossible to desire someone you also take for granted. Perhaps that will cause her to see you in the different way she needs to to keep the relationship going. But you can't bank on it. Just try to put all your energy into making sure, one way or another, that the kids will be ok. Whatever else happens, you'll always be their dad, and that's the main thing. Very best of luck.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby David020549 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:18 pm

Although your wife has quite likely been "playing away" she is pleading innocent, having kids makes a difference because you will have to leave and pay maintenance as well as living yourself. Don't give her the opportunity of blaming you and poisoning the kids because that will cause lasting damage to their attitude to you, so pay special attention to them while you stay together.
Kids are not stupid, they will see how she behaves and treats you, if and when you leave she still has a hold over you because she will control access to them ( whatever a court says) and that can really mess your life up, including any future relationships.
Best bet is to stay as long as you can
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby stephie2 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:03 pm

Hornet73 wrote:Thanks for the reply stephie2!

I can honestly say that up until the first problems in 2016 that I had no trust issues at all. However, when this all happened a couple of years ago, her going out all the time was very sudden, as this was not something she previously did, although I never had an issue with her going out with friends at all. A week or 2 after things happened in 2016, we had an argument and she left the house at about half 8 in the evening and went out. When she still wasn't back at gone midnight, I started to worry. We have an app on our phones where you can track where each others phones are, mainly for our eldest son, but we are all on the app, so I checked that. Turns out her phone was right near a house where a male work colleague was living at the time, which was a good few miles from where we live and not near anyone else's house that we know. I was aware of this person as he had been my Wife's line manager for a good few years and he came up quite a bit in conversation over the years. She finally came home at about 1am and I confronted her with what I had found out. She totally denied even being there, saying that the app must've tracked her wrong. After that she took her details off the app so I could no longer see where she went. Of course, I put 2 and 2 together and thought she must be having an affair, which she always denied. Once we got back together, she was constantly bad mouthing this man (he still worked as her boss) and when he moved closer to where we live, she refused to drive past his house! Anyway, he handed his notice in before Christmas just gone and that coincided with her change in behaviour, and he started coming up in conversation again in a much more favourable way. He left her place of work last Friday and she went out on his leaving do, with him dropping her home at about 3am. That is pretty much what has caused my needy behaviour of late. Now, she has always denied have an affair with anyone, still denied ever being at his house and said that she was just talking to him about our problems and that going out was the only way for her to get space away from me. At the end of it all, I really want us to stay together. Do you think playing the waiting game is the best way to go? At the moment, she doesn't go out (apart from last Friday), we don't argue and she is very pleasant towards me. It is pretty confusing and considering her depression, I'm not sure how to take it all really.


I highly doubt that she is going to confess even if she has been playing away as she is enjoying having the control over you. I would play the waiting game but make it clear that you are not going to be the glorified butler.
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby Hornet73 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:36 pm

Thanks for your replies everyone, it's good to know plenty of you are out there to listen and offer advice.

Taking all your advice on board, I'm going to take things a day at a time for now,give it a month or so to see how things go. I will send any updates, or any further news, or things I may need advice on as and when.

Thanks for your help guys!
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Re: Wife wants space

Postby 19ironside12 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:19 pm

May I suggest watching Chris Canwell videos on YouTube ? He explains exactly what to do when your wife or girlfriend pulls away or wants space. It will be very helpful to you. The video is called You Must give your girlfriend space , but this would apply to a wife also.
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