This is my first post so please bare with me. It's been almost 4 months since my sweetheart told me that she no longer loves me. She never once said she wanted a divorce, but gave me the ILYBNILWY speech and it's been really tough. After scouring the internet for any information that could help me, I've concluded that she is having a MLC. Here's some background...
My sweetheart and I have been together pretty much since high school. We broke up after high school, lived separate lives, then found each other again around 4 years later. Man, we were so passionate and fell in love, moved to another state and started new lives with each other. We've been together for almost 20 years, and married for 10. We have a 10B together and I have 2 older kids from a previous marriage. My W is a beautiful person, inside and out. Just a really sweet soul.
We've had a few really bad fights where there's been some harsh yelling and cussing at each other over the years, but never physical. We would have some arguments here and there, and then spans of total happiness (in my mind) where everything was great. Not until around 6 months ago did we have ANY fights where the word SEPARATE was ever uttered. There was an argument that we'd had (I don't even remember what it was about) and we did did throw in the idea of separation in the heat of battle. Days after, we made up and I asked her if we're good. She said yes, but under her breath she said,"For now..." Thats when I had a weird feeling in my gut.
So she's been undergoing some treatments for a rare disease where the whole ordeal is quite complicated and intensive with out of state travel. Needless to say her treatments can get quite expensive and time/energy consuming. While preparing to leave for treatment, we got into an argument where I lost it and had an anxiety attack. This last treatment in July was by far the most taxing, as she developed a very bad infection that caused her to be bedridden. Her recovery was really tough and I had to work multiple freelance jobs to keep us afloat since she wasn't working. I guess I wasn't the most pleasant as I was really overwhelmed but did my duties and took care of my family while she recovered. We've gotten into a few arguments and the whole ordeal really wore on our relationship. Fast forward into August, my W was healed up fairly well but was acting really distant. No hugs, kisses, etc. The affection just was not there. For my 40th birthday, she did nothing to celebrate it and she is usually so festive and always celebrated my birthday. That night, I told her that I was hurt by the lack of acknowledgment of my 40th birthday and thats when she told me that she no longer loves me. There was an incident about 5 years back when, like a dumbass, texted another female just to see if I "still got it". I didn't so much as touch this other girl. However, I really broke her trust then and she brought that up and said that she just couldn't shake that. She also said that she's been in "blur" for the last 5 years and she can see very clearly now and knows that she doesn't want to be with me anymore. She said we have nothing in common and that I'm not sweet/romantic enough (which is something she complained about in the past). She said we don't view the world the same. I was crushed but kept a cool head and acted like it was mutual (although I was just lying to her and myself just to save face). We had a good conversation and talked about life without each other and we'd make sure that our kids are taken care of. We made passionate love that night and I felt ok with our discussion. The next day however, was rough. What made it even harder was that it was our 10 year anniversary and we did absolutely nothing to celebrate it. I was crushed, and once again she did not acknowledge the date whatsoever, even to this day.
Since then, I've been an absolute wreck. She's constantly on her phone and she just plain doesn't pay any attention to me or care about what i'm doing. There were a few occasions where she went out with her "girlfriends" and would stay out without telling me where she's at or who she's with. One time she didn't come home until 5:30am and was really bitchy when I asked her whereabouts. She said she didn't have to report to me like i'm her Father. Before, that was standard protocol, letting each other know the details of where we're at. I was never controlling or ever prevented her from doing whatever she wanted. That same incident is when she shouted,"I don't even effin' want this...I don't want to be with you.." that one hurt the most. She hasn't been going out every night or anything, but those few times were enough to make me feel really insecure and worried.
Our situation is weird now. I'm definitely in limbo and don't know how to proceed. We still live with each other, and made love a few times since the bomb drop. We still hug hello and goodbye, although kissing on the lips does not happen anymore. We eat dinner as a family and still do some family outings with our son. I just miss her, I miss holding her and kissing her and being affectionate. I just miss being loved by her. These last couple weeks have been really tough for me, because I see her slipping away even further. She can be so cold at times, like I don't even know who she is anymore. She has single friends that I don't know, and got a new tattoo on her neck. Again, she's ALWAYS on her phone and it makes me very insecure, I keep thinking she MUST be communicating with another guy but I don't know for sure. Her work requires her to be out late as she does work for shows at the casino. That makes me very insecure as well. She told me she isn't having relations with someone else, but how do I trust her? There were days that I couldn't sleep and eat and have already lost weight because of it. I've cried to her and did all the classic mistakes but she just doesn't care and has stated that she isn't attracted to me anymore. The other night I mentioned divorce and maybe she needs to move out since she doesn't value our relationship but she said,"No, maybe you should move out! This whole thing has been very hard to deal with. When I did mention divorce, she said,"I'm not even thinking about that right now, Im thinking of my career!" I told her that I'm in limbo and can't live like this. She still hasn't said anything about divorce. I don't know where her mind is at. Is she waiting for the right time to serve me the papers? Is there a chance she might come around? I've had ups and downs where I felt strong only to be in a deep depression the next day.
HOWEVER, not 2 days ago, I might have had an awakening. I've been starting to feel like I might actually be ok with or without her. I'm afraid that it might just be another upswing, but I'm starting to feel a little more calm and relaxed and able to sleep better. I've been hitting the gym again, and started to train martial arts again. I've been pulling back a bit with my interactions with my wife, but haven't seen a difference yet. I just picked up DB and plan to read it whenever I get a chance to be by myself. Thinking of telling her i'm stepping out for a bit but not give her any details of where im going. My PMA has been stronger and i'm trying to GAL although it's hard because I feel bad about leaving my son to go hang out.
What do you guys make of my situation? I miss her dearly but I know that I cannot control the outcome. I've been doing all the outward things like dressing better and hitting the gym etc. I just want to be happy again. Depression is a horrible place to be. Of course I want to re-attract her as she blatantly stated that she's no longer attracted to me. Is that even possible? Re-attraction? I'm not a bad looking dude and have been told that im a catch by my female coworkers. I think that I've exhibited weakness while she was undergoing her treatments which turned her off, and then even more so while crying to come back to me. I think maybe that's when she lost the attraction. Hopefully my new found strength does not waiver and I slide back into the black hole.
You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts (for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support). Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active, and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down. Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come! Most important - POST!
Get out and Get a Life (GAL).
Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.
Have NO EXPECTATIONS.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.
Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.
Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:
Sorry you're here buddy. You've come to the right place though mate. I don't have much time to post anything but just wanted to touch base to support you and let you know I read your sitch and one of the veterans should be here soon to give you some feedback. I too suspect MLC in my sitch. Look to your wife's childhood for abuse, neglect and abandonment.
In the meatime, read Sandi's rules, read Ready to Changes quotes threads, then all the ones Cadet posted above. Come here for advice before responding to your wife or making big decisions. The people here are fantastic to help that way.
Chin up, and stay strong mate.
PS what MA do you practice?
Me: early 40's XW: nearly 50 T: 15 M: 5 BD: Jan 19 S:10 SS: 22 SD: 24
Very sorry you find yourself in this situation! What I make of it, well it sounds pretty typical. Long marriage, fights here and there, nothing major wrong but passion missing for quite some time, spouse finally checks out and is done. It took a long time for her to get to that point and first you need to understand there is no magic quick fix that will put everything back to "normal" again. You've got a long road ahead and a lot of work to do, mainly on yourself. Start by reading DR and all of the threads Cadet posted. Go through other sitches on here and read the advice they were given. Focus heavily on getting out, GAL'ing and leaving your W alone. Read Sandi's rules and use those as your template on how to behave. The idea isn't to restore your old marriage, it's to set up a scenario to possibly build a new one with her down the road. But you've got to be very patient.
I've been doing all the outward things like dressing better and hitting the gym etc.
Good! Keep it up.
I just want to be happy again. Depression is a horrible place to be.
And you will be, but it takes time to recover!
Of course I want to re-attract her as she blatantly stated that she's no longer attracted to me. Is that even possible? Re-attraction?
Yes. A lot of guys here have done it. Off the top of my head Steve's sitch is a good one to read, so is TXHubby's. Both were dealing with wayward wives having affairs and they attracted them back by leaving them to their mess while they focused on themselves.
I'm not a bad looking dude and have been told that im a catch by my female coworkers.
Take a holistic approach to attractiveness. It's not just appearance, it's value. Your W sees you as very low value right now, her perception of you needs to change.
I think that I've exhibited weakness while she was undergoing her treatments which turned her off, and then even more so while crying to come back to me.
DS9, Thank you. Yes I have problems knowing what to say or do, in fear of pushing her away even further. So I will definitely come here for advice. BTW, I'm a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guy! All my brothers and professor at my gym have been very supportive. I'm grateful for them as well.
AnotherStander, Thank you for your words of encouragement, especially about being able to re-attract my W. Can you please explain your thoughts on how to work on being someone of higher value? Thank you so much!
First, your last two paragraphs were good! Focus on you right now. Do not feel bad for stepping out to GAL, but make sure you are still prioritizing your son as well. GAL with kids means to spend as much time with them as possible, but when you aren't that you are busy. Detachment is starting to catch on with you because you are starting to realize that you are going to be okay no matter what! That is important.
One red flag in the last paragraph. Who cares what other females say? This tells me you are looking for validation externally. Know your own worth, no matter what anyone else says and does. Including your WAW, and any other female.
You suspect she might be messaging someone else. And she has been going out and staying out late and getting angry about you questioning that. Assume she is having an affair, but not because that changes what you should be saying and doing DB-wise, but because of your physical health! Stop sleeping with her, you are putting yourself at risk, at least until you are sure there is no one else.
Finally, one 2x4. And you might already know this, but stop being selfish. That is a huge 180 you need to make. I recognize it because I was just like you! Think about it, your W is bedridden recovering from an extremely taxing treatment, and you are feeling sorry for yourself? Even all of your "missing her" statements were about what YOU get out of the relationship. And you haven't even stopped to consider her happiness, that what she is doing right now above all is trying to be happy. All you can think about is how it affects you. And the 10 year anniversary? Why was that up to her? If you wanted to celebrate, despite your discussions on separation, etc, then why didn't you take the lead on that? So recognize the selfish behavior and start working on it. Get into IC. If nothing else, see this as an opportunity to become a better you, for your next relationship (whether with her or someone else).
Hang in there and keep posting!!
M(52), W(53),D(17) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018
Wow kb! I feel like Iím in the exact same position as you. I just submitted my first post looking for the same help and guidance as you.
Iíve been married to my college sweetheart for 12 years and weíve been together for about 17 years. Iíve been seeing the signs for a while now and one of them was my 40th birthday in April where I barely even saw her the whole day. My BD was on 10/08 and our 12Y anniversary was 5 days later. I bought her roses and wrote a long letter but we did nothing else that day. Both those days felt very dark and lonely. She hasnít said the words but I know sheís not in love with me and is not attracted to me. Iíve moved to the basement and we are living like everything is ok for the kids, but I have a hard time determining if sheís actually enjoying time with me or if itís all an act for the kids. We havenít had any physical contact in two weeks. Itís confusing as hell and hard to stay positive but we need to realize thatís all we can do right now. Working on ourselves is the only way forward. Iíve been working out, eating better, have had one appt with an IC and have scheduled another 5, and trying to GAL.
Try small, repeatable, positive things that you can do to change your daily routine. Last night, I went to a bar by myself to watch the Steelers game. I never do that. It definitely peaked her curiosity to see me go out by myself, especially on a week night. It felt great! Small steps for now.
Steve85, wow thank you so much for that. I truly was being selfish. She was in pain and all i could do was feel sorry for myself like,"I'm so tired having to work more hours while she's recovering." or "Look at me i'm hurting too..." That was really weak and now that I see my error, I can understand why my behavior caused the loss of love.There were probably many times in the past when I acted like that which compounded over time. I needed to be her rock and I was selfish instead. Again, thank you for pointing that out.