What a fool I have been
We have been together for 10 years and produced two great kids. I work in construction and my partner in the health profession.
I have been the main breadwinner and thought my role was to work as hard as I could to make as much money for us as possible to provide the best for the family.
Too late I realise this was the wrong option. I have been left burnt out with no friends outside my family due to the long hours in a stressful job and working nights. I made her feel unappreciated and taken for granted in the relationship due to my work and trying to provide a good life for my family.
One life changing event took place and I lost her. The company’s intention was to make me redundant. My instant thought was how do I provide for my beautiful family?? I searched for two weeks looking for a new job to no avail. I was nervous wreck and became distant and negative as a result. I had never been without a job before and I was scared for my family. So I pushed the things that meant the most away to her mother’s where I knew she and our children would be safe and taken care of. I was in panic mode and desperate because of our current financial position and commitments that I let the best things in my life walk out of my door. It didn’t sink in at first until week 3 that’s when I realised I made the biggest mistake of my life. The aftermath of this has made my wonderful partner ill and me. Mine is self-inflicted but still hurts because I just wanted to protect them. I know I have hurt her so much and can’t get rid of my guilt. She won’t believe me that I was scared of not been able to provide for my family and felt embarrassed and humiliated and can’t even look at my beautiful children. In the end I kept my job so that’s even worse because my panic was for nothing. I tried and tried and pleaded for them to come home but she can’t forgive me for it. I have pushed her away and made things worse when my intention was to make things better.
I love her deeply madly and find it really hard to contemplate that I got it so wrong and can't get my head around the possibility that she no longer loves me and is moving out her mother house to a new home with our children while I am sat here on anti-depressants longing for my family to come home I would give anything to be with them. I now know where I went wrong and vowed to never put them in that position again but she doesn’t believe me. It’s a shame it took this long to realise. I live and hope for the day that she will come home with our children. I wish I could turn the clocks back but I can’t. I am in worse position now than I was at the start of this mess. I just cared and didn’t want my family to go hungry and to be homeless and a seed just grew in my head. I would rather be homeless and live in a box than not been with my Emilie and my two beautiful daughters which is torture and gets more painful every day.
I need to do a lot of soul-searching over the coming months but I hope my contribution serves as a warning to any men out there who may be making there same mistake. (Because believe me! you don’t know what you’ve got until it has gone).
I hope also that the ladies out there who may be in the same boat take time to empathise with us poor guys who are in the main just trying to do our level best. We're not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to these things and need to be pointed in the right direction.
Honest communication and sharing of feelings, desires and goals needed from both sides before it's too late.
There is only one thing that i can suggest as i am in somewhat same situation......dont ever loose hope in god,he will take care of you................
I re-read your post a few times and I'm not sure you did anything THAT wrong in the first place. Did your wife ever tell you she felt neglected and unappreciated and ask you to re-prioritise? If she didn't then it is understandable you might think taking care of your family financially was enough to be a great husband. No one can be expected to be psychic and your wife had a responsibility to tell you if there was a problem that was eroding your relationship.
As for your terrible stress and panic, it is completely understandable and from what you have written I can't help thinking maybe your wife should have helped you in your time of stress.
Obviously, I don't know whether she begged you for years to work a little less and you just ignored her... So when the work situation came up and you pushed her away it was the final straw of a relationship that was already over from her point of view.
As for any advice or a solution? Perhaps, in a way, you are lucky you had this terrible experience at work as it showed you what was important, you are smart enough to realise your mistake and prepared to take responsibility for it. What more can any of us do, we all make mistakes but not all of us try to correct them. AND you didn't lose your job in the end, which is great news.
The only thing I can think to suggest is to continue to provide for and support your family, wherever they are living. Spend time with your children and, if you have a little more free time on your hands try to build the friendships you feel you missed out on by working so hard. Please don't think I am suggesting any of this will be easy, I know everything is much harder when you are feeling low. If you continue to support your family, as you always have, and spend more 'quality' time with them (which was lacking before).... Maybe your wife will appreciate your efforts and believe that it was only in your panic that you pushed her away. Perhaps only time and gentle consideration of her and your children can revive her trust and feelings for you. Good luck.