To Near-Walkaway Wives - 09/29/00 03:28 PM
*********************************************I returned home for a trip to find a note that my wife of 13 years no longer loved me. She claimed that the love she once had for me was completely gone. She claimed that she was strong and independent and no longer needed me.
A few days later she asked for a divorce. During that week I made many changes. I stopped drinking entirely (no alcohol now for 7 years) and threw out all my Playboy's and porno movies. By the following Sunday she said maybe a separation would be better. I responded to an add for someone looking for a roommate. During the first week of the separation I found that she was seeing someone else. She claimed it was an emotional relationship and not a physical relationship. I was completely devastated. I went from 195 lbs to 170 lbs in three weeks. I could not eat or sleep. At this point I saw a counselor since I was in pretty sad shape.
She agreed to terminate the other relationship until we had concluded ours. She definitely wanted a divorce and we went to an attorney to draw up the papers. It was a very fair agreement. However, we agreed to live in the same house until after Christmas so that we(she) could qualify for loan on a smaller house. We sold the house we had lived in for 4 years and bought a small townhouse for her to live in. To my surprise she suggested that I rent an apartment less than 100 yards away.
After we closed on the townhouse, she was free to begin the divorce process but said that she was no longer sure that was what she wanted. Although she said that she wanted to date others while were separated and I was also free to date to my knowledge she only went out twice and with no one in particular - just her girlfriends.
Things progressed positively. We went out together quite often and she spent many nights at my apartment. Our kids acted as if her townhouse and my apartment were all one extended house - walking back and forth at will. By May she asked me to move back in with her. That was more than six years ago and things are still together and things are going well.
These are some of things I observed
1. I was completely unaware that there was anything wrong with our marriage. I did not listen to what she said and she did not say it in a manner that I could hear.
2. She was completely determined to proceed with divorce. She was strong and independent and was proud of this fact. She said there was nothing I could do change her mind
3. I underwent changes that I though I needed to do and enlisted the help of a counselor to assist me.
4. It took time for my changes to have an effect. She constantly felt that I would revert at some point to my old ways. Initially - we are getting divorced and that's the end of it. At week 4 - we may get back together after a year of divorce. Week 12 - a six month separation should be sufficient (no divorce). Week 16 - I know I want you back soon. Week 30 - we moved back in together.
5. When I moved into my apartment, a girl in the building heard that a single man was moving in and immediately came over to meet me. My wife was surprisingly jealous. She wanted to be sure that this girl knew I was not available. I think this was when it first sunk in that if my wife let things go too far she would lose control of the situation.
6. The power and control my wife had obtained was intoxicating to here. She continued to wield until long after we were back together. This nearly broke us up a year later. A person cannot be trod upon indefinitely.
So why did I go off on this huge dissertation? I have wanted to write my thoughts down and get them in order. Your situations look amazingly similar I though I could help.
Wives: Do not give up hope that you husbands can change. It is not easy but if they do you will have no doubt of the love they feel for you. Do not underestimate the extent your husband will go through to save their marriage. We men are quite good a focusing on tasks and following through.
Husbands: Carefully determine what it is that your wife wants. Do what is necessary to accomplish this. Do not give up hope. Do not chase your wife's girlfriends.
There is really nothing you can do to change you wife's mind on the matter. You can change yourself and I believe that most wives will see this and change their own mind. If they do not you have given every effort at saving your marriage have improved yourself in the process.
Sorry for the length
[This message has been edited by Michele (edited 09-30-2000).]