Wife of 21 years suddenly asked for divorce. I need help!

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/5/2017 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   

My wife and best friend is wanting to end our marriage so that she can find herself and see who she truly is. When asked what is it she is looking for, she does not know. In fact she does not know if she will even be happy or if she is making the right decision. She simply wants to end our marriage and try to just be herself.

She has said she loves me and I am a good husband and father and I am not the issue although, each time we talk more and more details emerge about her unhappiness and all stems from me.

We have been married for 21 years and have been together for 25. We have 4 kids together and have had a happy marriage for the most part. Of course there have been ups and downs but through it all we have always been loving and caring towards each other

She says that it’s not me that it’s her who is wanting to do this. She knows that I am firmly against it but at this point I have no choice but to show her I truly love her and to give her the separation.

I am dying inside and have not slept more than 3 hours each night for almost two months. I don’t eat and I feel like I am literally being squeezed by a vice

I love and respect my wife with all that I have and although this isn’t what I want for us, I know that I have to let her go if there is any chance of us reconciling

We plan to tell the kids tonight which will be devastating for them. We have two in college who will be coming home for Thanksgiving and two in High School.

We have always been the unique couple who are married and together as parents compared to our kids friends parents who are mostly divorced

My heart is broken and I feel all alone and depressed. We went to one counseling session as that’s what she agreed to and no more. I have since gone to one other on my own. I am typically not one who cries but I have been crying almost daily for over a month now. It’s as if my emotions are on a faucet that has been left on and I cannot turn it off.

I need help!

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 11/5/2017 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry for what is going on. It is hard when you have been with someone for a long time and then they want out.

There is going to be a grieving process.

At the top of the page it says "depression resources". There is some help for people who's relationship has ended. Look on depression resources for the help. It is four or five posts down. I hope you can find it. I can post the links for you if you can't.

I hope that things get better. I am glad you started your own thread.

Hugs, Karen...

PS Here is that link...


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/5/2017 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
ILoveHer23 said...
She has said she loves me and I am a good husband and father and I am not the issue although, each time we talk more and more details emerge about her unhappiness and all stems from me... I am firmly against it but at this point I have no choice but to show her I truly love her and to give her the separation... I know that I have to let her go if there is any chance of us reconciling.

You are being the adult here by thinking of her feelings more than your own. To be honest, she is being a little selfish, as she is putting her interests ahead of those of the family's. But as you have observed, this seems to happen a lot these days. It's the new family dynamic.

You are sad, of course. And possibly desperate. But do not blame yourself for anything. She probably feels an emptiness in herself that you could not possibly fill. This is her mid-life crisis. She feels disappointed or had hoped that her life would have been more than what she got. It is not your fault.

If you have truly been a good husband and father, then that's all that can be expected of a spouse. You have likely done all you possibly could, and there's nothing more you could do beyond the measures you have tried already.

This will definitely be hard on your children, no matter their age. You as the adult must be strong for them. Trying to dissuade your wife from her pursuit of happiness would likely only strengthen her resolve.

Good luck going forward.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1073
   Posted 11/5/2017 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
That does sound rough.

I went through pretty much the same thing.

What I had was like an in-house divorce, in which the marriage was gone, but we still lived in the same house.

It was like two dogs in a pit.

Both of us very much wanted away from the other, but neither one of us wanted to leave because we didn't want to leave our three year old child.

Second, we didn't want to leave because we were buying a house that we both wanted to own one day, and we liked the house.

Right. Two dogs in a pit.

So you might look at is as, if you stay in a bad marriage, it's going to be rough, also. The children will learn about the bad marriage, and everything is going to blow up, anyway.

Our child found out about the bad marriage at 13, and everything that we had worked for blew up and disappeared in 5 seconds, and it never came back.

What will the living situation be? Are you expected to move out? Are you two buying the house? Who gets custody of the children?

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/5/2017 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all

Thank you for the replies and guidance.

This all began on Sept 19th when she told me it was not working and wanted to end it. We talked for a long time that night and both agreed to at least try and take things one day at a time. She agreed to that and proceeded to do just that. For the next few weeks her and I hung out, went to dinners movies and a play. We were passionate for each other and it truly felt like things were progressing. I was not naive to think that things were normal as I knew she still had some degree of unhappiness.

about 3 weeks later, a bomb went off and she told me it still wasn’t working and now she wants to proceed with a divorce. Again we talked and this time agreed to a separation. We agreed to an in house separation and even worse, I would still be in the same bed. We did this for a week and it was absolute agony. She would not come close to me. She would hide and change clothes in the closet or would quickly cover up when getting out of the shower. No hug or kiss goodbye or hello. No affection whatsoever.

I eventually moved downstairs into my sons room who is off to college. This still was painful as I was seeing her every day. So I went ahead and took clothes to my parents house who live about 20 minutes away.

Each time we talk things get worse and worse. We are not arguing at all but new details emerge that just add to my heartbreak.

I do not recognize this person. She is a loving and caring person with a huge giving heart. She is a teacher and she loves what she does and they love her. Right now she is extremely cold and void of any emotion. No tears no sadness. I look into her eyes and it just seems empty.

She told me that she has extreme guilt over all of this because she knows I am hurting and she is the source of the hurt and will not comfort me through it.

Bottom line is she wants to stand firm with her decision for once she said and put herself first. She wants to put her happiness above all including our kids.

I know the personalities of our kids and this is not going to go well for them. One of the questions that will come up is about the holidays. We have so many traditions and now they are all unknown

Went to church this morning and pretty much cried through most of it while sitting in the back. A grown man crying. I cannot seem to get emotions under control.

All I keep thinking about is that I am losing my best friend of 25 years

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/5/2017 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
ILoveHer23 said...
A grown man crying. I cannot seem to get emotions under control.
All I keep thinking about is that I am losing my best friend of 25 years

It's curious about her sudden change of personality. Do you suppose this might be hormonal ? Nonetheless, if she refuses to participate in therapy, you're stuck without a paddle.

Regarding the loss of your best friend, that is certainly devastating. But you also mention your family (presumably your parents). There is yet another stage of 'growth' that awaits you... when god starts to take away all of your family and friends, one by one, and perhaps all within a short period of time. Suddenly you realize that it's just you and your kids.

We all cry. It is therapeutic. All I can say is try to move beyond this quickly. The holidays will be rough indeed. Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/6/2017 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   

Last night we sat down with tour two high schoolers that are at home and also had on FaceTime our two college kids and we told them about the separation and possible divorce. It goes without saying that it was the most painful and heartfelt thing I have EVER done. Our kids were extremely emotional as was I but not her. She seemed almost numb to it all and even told them that do not think that her lack of emotion means that she does not care, but she is just all cried out.

Right now, our two oldest are angry and refuse to talk to me or my wife. Our two youngest are heartbroken and appear to not trust anything right now. They questioned my last night before I left the house wanting to know what is it that she wants to do and asked is it going out and partying. I had to explain to them that she does not know what she wants but she wants the space and time to figure it out and I/we have to support that.

After the call, my wife asked me to go upstairs and I thought she wanted to talk about what had just happened. Instead, she broke down and cried. I gave her comfort and helped her get through it but it was the first time since all of this began in Sept that she has shown ANY emotions. She was deeply saddened and afraid that they hate her and will always hate her and that she is tearing the family apart for herself. I assured her that I would never let our kids feel that way and would do everything that I can to assure them that they need to support and love their mother even through this as that's what I am doing.

As much as I am hurting, I know that I have to simply let her go to do whatever it is that she wants to do. I have to take this time to work on me to be a better person and possibly someone that she will be attracted to again. I am hopeful and optimistic and I pray every day that we can find a way to reunite. It will take time I know.

Our kids fly home from college on the 17th and the very next day we all go (as a family) to my wife's parents 50th wedding celebration event. This will be awkward for our kids and it will be a sad event for them I am sure. I will do everything I can to create an environment so that does not happen but it is going to be difficult for all of us.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7144
   Posted 11/6/2017 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   

I usually do not respond to posts on these subjects do to lack of experience.

However, being a MOD I do follow the posts as required.

As painful as this is, I want to suggest to you that most of this situation is out of your control.

I say this with compassion hoping you will see that YOU TOO need support and kindness. Now the best place to get this is from yourself. Self-kindness and self-compassion are so important when facing a life changing situation such as this.

Taking care of yourself, making sure you have the confidence, balance of emotions and courage to do what you need to do to stay well. Including seeing a therapist, talking to you doctor about anxiety and depression.

THIS is the only way you can be strong for your children.

I don't have kids myself. However, I don't know if you can keep that promise to your wife. I don't see how you can make a person, feel or not feel something. The kids have to process this situation same as you, but in their own individual ways.

I hope this helps you.
Peace and strength
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/6/2017 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Trina

Thank you very much for the reply.

I’m doing my best to cope. I’ve met with our marriage counselor twice and will be seeing her again this week. Of course she only agreed to go to the initial one

I’m working on me now. Looking for my own place and looking to do things on my own and with friends. I don’t know how I am going to get through each day especially with holidays and birthdays around the corner

I pray that she finds it in her heart to realize that true happiness is still within this marriage

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 11/7/2017 2:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Similar to you, my long term relationship (11 years) came to an end a little over a year ago. Like your wife, it was me that left as I was desperately unhappy, stifled, and couldn't see a way out. I moved out, got my own place and started dating. But the more I dated, the more disheartened I became, no one was ever the same as my ex. I kept looking for him in other people, but no one knew and accepted me like him. When I needed him, I knew he was always there. I think that is your power. Sometimes you need that distance to get the perspective and start seeing the good points in them again. I'm not saying that you will or won't get back together, but I do believe what will be will be. And just remember this is the worst it will be. When it first happened, I remember the fear and pain, I used to just make sounds like a wounded animal in the car on the way home from work, the pain was so great. But now I quite like living alone and worry about moving back in with someone. I wish you all the best xx
Mild-Mod UC - diagnosed 1995; antiphospholipid syndrome - diagnosed 2014; painful bladder - diagnosed 2003
Meds: Mezavant ; enoxaparin

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/7/2017 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I've already replied a couple times in this thread (which I guess went unnoticed) but the observation by 'WorriedUCER' above brought to mind one more consideration. Bear with me as it may seem like a stretch before getting to the point.

My wife and I recently moved to a seniors community in Florida following our retirement. People die here every day. There are probably more widows and widowers than there are couples. We have had some rough patches in our 38 years together but I've always asked myself, would I rather be alone? The answer is always no.

We both have cancer. We have had to face the strong likelihood that eventually one of us will have to live without the other. It is a stark reality that any spouse must face. She says that she would not be able to get by without me, but if I go first she will be forced to. If she goes first I will get by but will miss her humor, affection, and companionship. These are things that would be difficult for anyone to replace.

You have been forced into this situation prematurely, and as Trina noted, you have little or no control over the situation. You are even trying to blame yourself just so you can feel that you are in some way responsible for her departure. Don't do that.

Best thing you can do now is to let go of her entirely, as though she would never come back... which is quite likely. You will suffer tremendous remorse, and that is only natural. Your children are probably mature enough to accept her departure and will hopefully have fond memories of their mother, once the initial shock has worn off. As you noted, many of their friends live in divorced homes.

Your family is what is most important. It has suffered a recent loss, and got a little smaller now. But you and your children will move forward. You will have to.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1073
   Posted 11/7/2017 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I would consider not going to her parents' 50th wedding anniversary event around the 17th of this month.

It will give her a chance to "find herself" as she gets the opportunity to explain to her mom and dad why her marriage collapsed at 20 years, and theirs is now at 50 years.

What is she going to do, get mad at you? She's already been furious for months.

It will give her a chance to grow and give her experience in attending such events on her own.

She has trounced on you for months, give her the chance to gain confidence in her newfound freedom and independence.

She's destroying you and all you're worrying about is her "feelings."

It would give her a chance to test the waters of how well she's going to do on her own.

I think you need to stop worrying about her and start dishing out some things to her as part of your program to gain your independence and letting her fend for herself.

It will be good practice for her and for you.

Every man for themselves. All bets and niceties are off.

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 11/7/2017 9:03:09 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1111
   Posted 11/7/2017 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I know a bit what you're going through. Long term girlfriend left me at one of my worst points when I needed her most and it felt like my world was ending. It was difficult, I would cry every day, had lots of physical pain, and it took me a long time to start to feel normal again. I'm still not even there, but getting there.

As it turned out, she eventually wanted to come back and restart our relationship, but I didn't want to.

I hope things work out alright for you. It won't be an easy road but things do get easier with time (albeit very slowly). Keep taking it one day at a time, and stop feeling bad for crying. You're human, not a robot. If you don't let it out, it will eat you from the inside.
Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Psychogenic Pain (Nausea, Chest Pain & Abdominal Pain)
Current medication: Nortriptyline 50mg, Pregabalin 200mg & Esomeprazole 20mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/9/2017 4:17 AM (GMT -7)   
i am pretty much going through the same feelings that you are going through...
nothing different except that my marriage is 17 years old and we have a teenage daughter

you can go through my thread

its been months now she still isn't quite what we used to be ..neither does she talk about separation anymore ( which is a positive for me ) nor does she get into any conversation or physical proximity with me

i don't have any happiness or anything to look forward to anymore
earlier i would never sleep and always be in a state of sadness

at least all tats not happening anymore

im not sure where lifes heading ..im just not breaking anything here i guess

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/10/2017 12:30 AM (GMT -7)   
@Andy1986 very beautifully put but i guess ur a young boy?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/10/2017 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
vkj said...
@Andy1986 very beautifully put but i guess ur a young boy?

He's probably 30 or 31.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/12/2017 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
RobLee..i loved how you have put it as well ..eventually we all have to live alone but yeah if our spouse doesn't acknowledge that and live happily fr now ...like u said we cannot do much ...its sad but true
hoping for better times

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 62
   Posted Today 2:16 AM (GMT -7)   
@ILoveHer23 are u ok?
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, November 17, 2017 11:15 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,894,984 posts in 317,756 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 157356 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, nancarien.
290 Guest(s), 6 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
SomeonesMom, The Dude Abides, Girlie, OptimisTick, ZoeUK1989, NeedUChelp

About Us | Advertise | Donate
Newsletter | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer
Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All Rights Reserved.