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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:58 AM
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Default Really stuck on what to do next

My wife and I have been married for over twenty years and we have three great kids. Cheryl is older than me by five years and we are both in our fifties. We have done some great things together but it has always seemed to me that she has not been very happy these past few years. When we were young we did lots together, travelled and really enjoyed each other’s company. We decided to have fun and wait for marriage and kids. We were both good parents although our oldest was a real handful knowing then and still knowing at 22 how to push his Mom’s buttons. Our youngest is 17 and a girl in the middle at 20.

Anyway years ago I felt that our marriage was falling apart. We suffered through the usual financial difficulties on one income as we decided to have Cheryl stay at home. She did work in recent years but the wage was poor and the environment less than congenial. I suggest several times that we seek marriage counselling but she was not interested as she said I was the one with the problem so I should go on my own. Well I did get counselling about our relationship on three occasions and it helped.

About six months ago things really got bad. Counselling was still out of the question as was the possibility of speaking to the doctor about maybe this being a change of life matter. Anyway there was a lot of talk about her moving to another province for work, taking half of what I owned, leaving me the kids and her starting a new life. The bags were even packed at one point. I went away for three weeks on a work project and when I returned nothing had improved. I slept outside in a tent for a couple of weeks and finally left, relying on a few friends who let me couch surf for a couple of months.

Well after all the uproar now I’m hearing someone still loves me. After throwing my stuff out the door, breaking a couple of fishing rods, telling me in front of the kids that she was leaving and didn’t want them anymore…now all this has changed. She is seeing a counsellor and while I was ready to move back into the home I have provided for my family after offering to buy her out…she now wants to stay and get back together.

I have to say that I’m a bit scared. I think she is doing this because she is afraid to loose the roof over her head, her children and the man who loved her and cared for her for 30 years. It worries me. I can’t say that I really want to get back with her. We have spent some time together the last little while and I have agreed to speak with her counsellor but the feelings that I once had are really hard to rekindle at this point. I do feel sad for her as she has found it very difficult in her life to make and keep friends. She puts a lot of hope in what she expects to find in people and often is disappointed in them when she discovers those little human frailties that we all have. However I also feel angry in many ways that she has brought about a lot of grief in our life. I have been far from perfect but I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, abuse her or the kids and I have never cheated on her. I maintain a couple of friendships with women that I have worked with over the years but they have never been more than that and nor have I wanted that. Cheryl hates this and has even suggested that she harboured the belief that I had slept with them which is not true. That actually hurt me as it proved her lack of trust in me. I always told her when I heard from them and I haven’t seen either of them face to face in over ten years.

Anyway I bring this to the table here just to get anyone else’s read on this matter. I would especially like to hear from any women in the forum for their views on what is going on with her. Should I be concerned about this sudden turn around or should I step up and give this one last chance?. Has she really changed? Do you think she means it? I know you are only hearing my side of this tale but I am being honest in what has happened with our relationship. I never expected anything like this in my life. I never wanted to leave but I felt that it was better to live apart and avoid all her anger and unhappiness than continue to be the subject of her anger. I really miss my kids. This would have been so much easier for me had she left as she had indicated she was going to. Now I feel somewhat stuck wondering what to do.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:43 AM
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start slowly by dating again and doing the stuff you use to do together to try and rekindle the love. She may have had medical issues or whatever but she may really want to make it work. Go to counselling together and see what the issues are. Maybe somewhere along the line between work and raising kids she was unhappy because she lost the intimacy that you guys use to share before kids. You were married a very long time, too long to just chuck it away without being certain that it will not work and that you didnt give it your best shot.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:17 PM
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I know I might get a few people who disagree, but from my perspective, try until you are 100% sure your relationship is dead. If there is a way to salvage 20+ years do it ! Date nights (can just be a picnic set up in ur backyard/patio with candles and homemade dinner, wine...), flowers, take her on a sunset walk/outing and bring out a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses to sit down and enjoy (it's worth the ticket from the police if you are caught)...
Get her away from the home environment for walks, movies, picnics...anything you might have done when you were dating. After being married for that long, and raising children (challenging at the best of times to any relationship), you need to get back to the 'couple' aspect of your relationship.
I'm all for trying until you know in your heart there is nothing to salvage. You need to be able to look back (say 5 years from now) and be confident you did the right thing...
If my ex had of done even one of these I'm sure we would still be together.
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