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It’s over – or is it?

This husband can’t work out whether or not his wife really wants to separate.

Right now, you’re letting her make all the decisions, says our elder. It’s time to take control of what you can, and perhaps seek couples counseling.

 

Q. Dear EWC

My wife is seeking a separation from me. However, she does not want me to just get up and leave. She wants to wait until after the New Year. She said it’s because she doesn’t want me to move into a hotel. She wants me to find a place close to her for our kid’s sake. We do not sleep in the same room anymore. However, we still will say bye and goodnight with a quick kiss and hug. She also still says ‘I love you’ to me. She says she wants some time to find herself and that she is open to both reconciling and long-term separation. She says things like, ‘Who knows, maybe I will see that I can’t be by myself and that I want you’. The other day she went to the store and came back home with a coffee mug for me. I don’t get it. I’m not sure what to think. I keep thinking we won’t get separated but I don’t want to put my hopes up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

A. Elder Phil replies

I believe I can give you some options for your problem. I hope you will consider what I have to say.

In your writing you describe that your wife wants a separation but doesn’t want you to move until after the New Year. She wants you gone but not far away and not to a hotel. She indicates that the separation may or may not fix things. She may come back and may decide on a longer break up. I can see part of your problems in what you wrote.

Your wife is making all the decisions. She decides what, when and how you will act. The nature of this is not like a true marriage. In a lasting relationship both people discuss major issues (like separation) and come to a workable conclusion. Your situation sounds like a mother/child relationship where she makes the decisions and you listen and do as she says. Frankly this may be part of the problem.

You need to have a one on one with her as soon as possible. You need to hash out the matter from both sides. She must be made to know that while she can leave you will decide when you leave and where you go. She may believe that you will be waiting at the end of the separation but possibly you will not want her to return and won’t need her back. In other words you must take control of what you can; at the moment she has 100% control over this issue.

My considered opinion is that you two need help from a qualified counselor. One who is trained to uncover the problems and suggest ways to solve them. In fact, I believe it is vital that you do this. She may, or may not, decide she wants to continue after leaving but, quite frankly, the separation will not solve the difficulty in your marriage.

I’m glad to hear that she bought you a mug but I suggest you need more than a cup for help with your problem. Please hear me and make arrangements to visit a therapist. You may be amazed at the results.

 

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