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  1. #1
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    Default Help - My wife has walked out

    Hi all,

    I was hoping for a bit of advice as to what to do.


    My wife of 5 years and mother of our two children (3yo and 18 month old) dropped a bombshell on me a few weeks ago, that was that she doesn't love me anymore and doesn't think we can get through this.


    She stated these feelings have been going on for 6-12 months, yet there were no signs at all of unhappiness or anything wrong. Obviously we are both exhausted at the end of the day as we are parents to two young children and both working (myself full time, her part time from home) so most of our spare time is devoted to the kids at this stage of our life, leaving little time for us each evening once the kids are in bed.


    After a good chat, her resentments towards me were purely that of frustration that she doesn't get time to herself, yet I do when I go to work etc. Little things that can and have been addressed as I don't want her to feel overwhelmed. Yet the reaction to the extra help has only made her feel useless which wasn't what was intended.


    I help out a lot around the house and are a very hands on dad which I just love being. Generally after work, I cook dinners at least 50% of the time, help bath the kids, change them into their pajamas, clean the dishes, help put them to bed etc.


    We also have amazing parents who help look after their grandchildren every week when the kids aren't in daycare.


    We never argue or snap at each other, we just seem to get along just fine and always have.


    She spends a lot of time at home and recently commented that she felt like she needed to escape and was feeling claustrophobic, trapped and is if the walls were caving in.


    She agreed to marriage counselling, yet immediately said to the counselor that "it's over, I'm out of here, he needs to get used to that". This was obviously heartbreaking to hear.


    Since then we've gone to a second session and childhood issues were raised and individual counselling suggested before we can move on, yet she is refusing this.


    Although we are not rich by any means, we have a lot for our age (early 30's) and should be proud, happy and grateful of what we have achieved. Two beautiful kids, our own beautiful home, nice things etc... this is also everything she ever wanted in life. The one thing that has changed is a sense of entitlement has started to show over the past few years.


    She has now packed her bags and moved back to her parents. I do not know of her plans, what she wants to do with the kids, there has also been very little talk of kids which is concerning. Its a day by day basis at the moment. I am trying to remain calm and strong for the kids and to keep things as stable and as normal for them as possible, yet she is refusing to follow the counselors suggestion of keeping the kids under one roof so they are becoming unsettled.


    This bombshell has come as a complete surprise and none of our family/friends suspected anything was wrong. She also shuts down when questioned on the situation.


    What do I do?


    Does it sound like there is a mental health issue here? Or does it sound like there is someone else behind the scenes that is promising a better life? Or is it that motherhood and married life is all too hard and she just wants out and back to a single life??

    Her solution is to simply walk away, yet I cannot understand how one can do this with so much at stake, and be so adamant that this is the right decision.


    Any advice as to what I can do to help the situation would be greatly appreciated.
















  2. #2
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    SuperGranny is offline Worlds best grandma! Winner 2012 - Most Helpful Member
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    wow. that is a lot to deal with. Could this be just some sort of 'breakdown'. ?? It seems like she doesn't know what she is doing or what she wants to do. What is the time frame? Has this all just happened today? or over the course of a few months. ?? I dont think you have made any mistakes in what you have done so far. I dont know what else you can do. Gather all the family around and keep the communication open. Marie.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks Marie.

    This has from the first announcement to where it is currently at in less than 3 weeks, including the two counselling sessions and her moving out.

    I really feel as though she is having some form of breakdown/crisis and doesn't know how to deal with it, so her solution is purely to leave and she's adamant that is the right decision and one shes sticking to.

    How do I get her to see that she needs help though? Even the counselor suggested this to her yet she believes shes fine and doesn't need it.

    Personally, I don't think anyone in a solid frame of mind would simply throw it all in with so much at stake and not try and work through it.

    We have seen each other a few times since when picking up and dropping off the children, and she appears happy and like nothing is wrong now shes at her mums.

    I'm seriously worried about her.

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    I'm a bit sleep deprived today so I'm not sure I can properly articulate a reply but I wanted to jump in because I feel I can strongly relate to where your wife is coming from.

    The way you've described your relationship is very similar to mine and DHs relationship except that I don't work at all and am a stay at home parent. When we decided that I would stay home I don't think I really understood what my life would be like. I love my children but being home with young children all day can be utterly exhausting both mentally and physically. It an also be very isolating. We have arguments all the time because, like your wife, I feel like DH gets a 'break' by working outside of the house and he doesn't see it that way.

    There have been so many times over the last few years I've thought and said out loud that I'm about ready to walk out. Despite the fact that DH helps a lot with the kids like you do, I still feel overwhelmed with the responsibility and the feeling of everything around here falls on my shoulders. Yes he might bath the kids and put them to bed but I feel like I do a million things around the home every day and no one would notice unless I actually stopped. I guess what I'm saying is I can understand where you're wife is coming from and I think a lot of mothers would understand. The difference is that while I think about walking out a lot I wouldn't actually do it and certainly not in a 3 week time frame like you've described.

    I think you might be right that your wife is having some sort of breakdown. Maybe she has just reached that point of absolute frustration/ exhaustion/ feeling taken for granted and has snapped.

    Could you take some time off from work and offer to look after the children full time while your wife gets a break for say a week or two? Maybe a holiday on her own could give her a chance to really think about what she wants and needs in life? Maybe a health retreat where she gets to rest and also engage in some counselling to get to the root of the issues she having.

  6. #5
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    Thanks Mama Mirabelle, some of the things you say definitely are true and echo some of the statements she has made in counselling.

    Ive tried talking to her and explaining that the kids are exhausting and its a lot of hard work, but she's not alone and I am happy to help where I can and are prepared to do whatever it takes to ease the pressure she is feeling. Even if it means doing a role reversal. Her response though is its too late, she's done.

    I always make my appreciation known to her and thank her when she cooks dinners, randomly bring home flowers etc little things I know, but I thought I was doing the right thing.

    Really unsure about the holiday on her own though. Happy to send her away for a weekend with her friends but a holiday on her own would worry me about what she is doing rather than being with her family.

    Now she is at her mums I hope that bit of space will help, but I think the individual counselling is what is needed alongside the space to get things back on track, if at all possible.

    Thanks for your feedback.

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    Firstly,
    I'm sorry to hear about your wife, she's clearly having an episode of some sort - could ever be a bit of delayed post natal given that the kids welfare isn't coming up in conversation. that's a lot to put on your shoulders.

    Secondly, take this day by day. Sounds like she's in that raw zone and needs to get it out before she can or will recalibrate.

    I agree she needs alone time to herself and the working from home Is not helping.

    Can I ask you - is there a chance that you can change your working pattern to say Working a nine day fortnight? I know for many this isn't possible but if you're in a corporate job you should be able to negotiate with your boss - even if it's for three months.

    I'm a manager and deal with staff issues. There's always a way to make flexibility happen (even if it's just for a temporary amount of time).

    Honestly I believe change won't happen if you both don't put in. She's not going to want to back cuz she's worried that it'll go back to the same ok routine - which is death by a thousand cuts.

    In other words, you need a circuit breaker so that she has a day or half day every fortnight where she is either out of the house for a period of time.

    Even if you can do a half day, leave early and take over so she can go do her thing.

    She's a mess right now even though it's not coming across that way - she's actually in denial (rejecting everything without addressing consequences) and trying to regain control. This just needs to play out in my mind.

    Although I can imagine how horribly unfair this is to all.

    Unfortunately episodes can happen and you can make it through if you hold on to your wits and let this go to the keeper until she's ready for that conversation about what you're both going to do so she never feels back in that space again. In other words - real changes.

    I wish you the best, it's rough. My advice is also avoid the word "should" in conversations as that goes to expectation territory. Try to stay in the moment, feel empathy for her, until she's ready for a conversation.

    All the best to you!

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  9. #7
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    Default Help - My wife has walked out

    The first thing I would advise you to do is to let her be. Dont contact her, dont try and arrange further sessions or try and solve the problem through reaching out to her.

    It sounds like she is desperately trying to escape and gain some down time or clarity. She seems to need the space.

    You cant force people to try resolve problems they arent ready to face even though i understand that you desperately want to fix things.

    When she is ready to deal with any of the issues including kids she will reach out to you. It has to happen on her terms.. even if she is dealing with depression or another mental health issue, she has to take the steps to reach out.

    Use this time to think about the feedback she has given you up until now.. and try and remember if she has expressed dissatisfaction in your life together previously.. After everything is said and done how much time is left for just you two? When was the last time you had a date together? Gone out for dinner just the two of you?

    if she really feels that she has no time for herself it may be a worth while investment to have the kids in day care on one of her days off so that she can spend that day doing what she likes.

    These are all ideas but they cant be thrown at her now. She has to be the one to reach out to you and the kids when she is ready to talk about this. This may take days, weeks.. or months. You have to wait it out and focus on maintaining a life for you and your kids without her for now.

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    I went through something similar with my first husband. It didn't end well. He just disassociated completely and we had a 'trial separation' which was basically him telling me we were getting a divorce a few days after I moved out. He did have someone else lined up.
    People have given you good advice here but I'll add another perspective. Sometimes people do change and you can't make them want to love you and be with you as much as that hurts. If she's made her mind up for whatever reason she's probably not going to change her mind. Also you could be the best most devoted dad who takes on more than their fair share and this can still happen. Sometimes it's nothing you've done or haven't done which is hard to accept but sometimes it is just the other person not wanting this anymore.
    I feel for you. I'd be focusing on your kids right now and setting up a stable base for them. Let your wife know you're there if she wants to talk but don't push it as you'll likely push her away further. If you can then continue going to the relationship counseling to help you get through this.

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    Default Depression or something else

    Sorry to hear your story.

    Sounds like you are doing more than your share. She could have depression or could be bipolar and not know?

    Her decision sounds sudden...could she have met someone else ? Usually people who do dont admit to it and say its over and dont want to work on relationship.

    Ask her for honesty and that you want to make marriage work...and maybe some space and you do something for yourself ie yoga or swimming to help you with the stress that has unfolded.

    Hope things improve.

    Butterfly

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