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Hopeful

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After 13 years of marriage, almost 16 years together and 3 kids my husband told me he wasn't sure if he was in love with me anymore. This came out of the blue, we were in the process of selling our house and buying a bigger one for our family. He backed out of buying the new one but we ended up selling ours. We had moved in with his parents 3.5 months prior to this so that we could sell ours easier. Once he told me this he moved back to our house while the kids and I stayed with his parents. Once our house sold he moved in with some friends of his. In the 3 months from when we moved in with his parents til he dropped this bomb on me alot of changes happened. Besides moving in with his parents, he graduated from college, started a new job and I was injured at work putting me on light duty. This was on top of the stress of buying and selling a house. He moved out almost 3 months ago and we are not any closer to getting back together. He says he isn't 100% sure he wants a divorce but that is the way he is headed. If I thought this was just about the feelings he has or doesn't have for me than I would let him go even though it would be horrible for me, but he has pulled away from everyone that is close to him and started hanging out with new friends that he met at his new job. He is making decisions that are not like him at all. We talked again yesterday and I agreed to stay living with his parents, saving money while he stays with his friends and he agrees to hold off on filing any paperwork for 3 months. I told him I would give him all the space that he needs to get his head figured out and figure out why he is so happy in life right now. We agreed to reassess after New Years. Am I crazy for fighting for my marriage? Should I just let him go? I love him more than anything in the world. We have always been the couple that all of friends wanted to be like, the couple that our families never worried about splitting up. How do we go from that to this? I am so hurt and so confused. Every now and then I see a glimpse of the old him and it is wonderful. We were very young when we started dating and I understand that as people grown feelings can change but he says I am still his best friend. Our sex life has never been an issue, and honestly it still isn't even with us living apart. He is not willing to goto marriage counseling however he is going to counseling on his own. He doesn't believe in counseling so I doubt it will work for him, but I am hopeful. Any advice anyone can give is appreciated. If you feel you need to know more info before giving advice feel free to ask, I am trying everything to get him back. Thank you.

Hopeful

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You must be so confused right now and suffering beyond anything you ever imagined.
From what you have written above it sounds like your husband is having his cake and eating it?

Q1 what have you both told his parents about your situation?
Q2 why are you still having sex with a man who says he is not sure if he loves you?
Q3 how old are the children, what have you both told them?

I understand that you still love him very dearly and having sex and doing anything that was normal in the marriage in the hope to keep him, but he is no longer treating you as his wife. He has shown you this for the last 3.5 months.

I think time has come for you to realise that he is playing with your heart. He is going to counselling yet you say he doesnt believe in it, so how did that get started?

I think you need to go and see a solicitor regarding your rights, you dont need to do anything but at least you will know where you stand, as i dont think come the new year he will give you the best deal for you and the children.

I also think you should go to counselling on your own.

Why do you mention that at work you are on light duties?

As you though - what have you given up since being married, hobbies, friends, careers, have you changed the whole of your life to accommodate your husband and children.

When was the last time you went out all glammed up for a night out with your girl friends?

I look forward to hearing from you soon

Hopeful

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There ISN'T any "not sure" when it comes to whether or not you're in-love with someone still. So either he's deliberately trying to give you cause to sit up, take notice and chase back his attention *or* that's just cowardly talk for 'No, I'm not'.

I suspect NOT the latter, though, when what your husband did re the house selling and not buying, comes under 'ceasing to nest'. And yet he didn't call an end to the marriage, either. So he's just keeping the engine running, basically, without letting it go anywhere. PREVENTING it from going anywhere, actually!

Why wasn't it you and the kids who continued getting the last benefit out of the family home prior to its sale? Did he need an unoccupied venue for some reason?

'FriendZ' or ONE (special) friend?

Graduated and got a new job (with new people) and suddenly felt he could do a lot better in all OTHER areas of his life, did he?

I'm sure you can work out that I'm thinking he's started a '(possibly) go nowhere beyond the bedroom' affair yet doesn't want to lose his "life/family package" (including his wealth and assets) into the bargain. Hence basically 'giving you' to his parents to look after whilst he has his 'marital vacation'. He's basically trying to compartmentalise his old life whilst he gets on with enjoying or establishing his new one, with any potential witnesses (old crowd) kept well away. Now, I imagine, you can see why he needed an empty house, right? : "Fancy a nightcap?".

Mistress in the form of a woman or (we hope) simply a new scene and social life giving him ideas above his station, it is highly unacceptable for a married man to shove his family to one side like that, let alone to keep them there through duping them and 'keeping them warm' in case he needs to go back to them.

You give him 'space', let alone as much as until after Christmas, and what he'll predominantly do with it is enjoy getting on with whatever (or whomever) it is he's getting on with, not mentally working on himself and any pressing decisions.

Are you the crazy one? NO. He is. And that's what happens when a man falls in-love with a woman he's started having an affair with (or falls in-love with the affair and illicit-ness itself). He probably feels he's getting away with his nasty, selfish, duplicitous little plan and feeling very clever about it, which will increasingly be going to his head. I don't doubt he's been far more bulshy and cocky with you lately as well, right?

This is not your failure nor your crime. You can be TOO perfect, you know. Not to someone else LIKEWISE truly into nigh-on perfection for the right reasons, maybe, but certainly to the type of selfish or newly-selfish man who sees a happy marital/family state as a sign of their having reached a place of guaranteed safety in terms of THE WIFE being totally disinclined to want to split up when discovering infidelity and/or being treated like a backroom entity. In other words, the happier the wife seems, the less likely she is - HE thinks - to react too extremely and risk herself and her kids losing it all.

Losing WHAT?

Trouble is, the marriage is no longer happy, not even superficially, meaning, what two states you have up for consideration IN REALITY are, [a] sh*t marriage (thanks to him) with zero respect, zero love-in-memoriam, even, and not even any healthy sense of welfare-protectiveness -versus- [b] an eventually and inevitably better life for your and your kids *and* romantic relationship for you. No contest... IF, that is, you can resist giving into the usual irrational and ignorance-based fears about you and the kids ending up down the pan or whatever such nonsense. (The wife gets half of everything and then there's the kid maintenance on top...and this boy deserves that happening to him!)

If things changing (new job, new crowd) make normally deep-rooting, staunch feelings like LOVE change/lower then I'm sad to say there wasn't much love in him to begin with - not enough, anyway - and your so-called happy marriage was moreover an illusion despite the FAMILY life might have been smooth-running, harmonious and enjoyable. Even if the guy has hit mid-life-crisis, this attitude, this ability to treat you and his own children like this, was always in there somewhere.

Best friend? You didn't get married to lifetime-secure yourself "a best friend", did you. That was supposed to be a side-bonus. And anyway, how can anyone call the way HE'S treating you remotely 'best-friend-ish'? Frankly, I wouldn't cheat on my worst enemy! And I'm not the only one who feels that way, not by a long shot. (Happily, that includes family courts!)

Frankly, what's to save? He's BROKEN the contract already and on multiple levels (to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, forsaking all others, til death do us part). Are you dead yet and I'm talking to a ghost, is that why he's not sharing daily lives with you as a husband should? Hardly. So what's to save?

Answer: yours and the kids futures! And a darn sight more rosy they'll be too. I mean, all things presently considered, that achievement wouldn't exactly be difficult, would it.

By the way: He has the temerity to claim he doesn't believe in counselling WHILST MEANWHILE GETTING COUNSELLING? Oh, come on, now - can't you smell the coffee? He DOES believe in counselling but not for the purposes of salvaging his marriage and nor if you're there to hear what's being discussed, intentions- and topic-wise. So as well as cheating on you with someone or some THING, he is denying you the information to which you're entitled in order to emotionally and practically protect yourself (and your mini-mes).

I know this is hard, a nightmare, in fact. I know he's had many MONTHS to put this decision and plan of his into effect whilst you're still 'back there', in the dark, having to suddenly catch-up and get your head around that whole secret campaign in one fell swoop, but you have to be realistic and look at all the glaring evidence like I just have. This man is either having an affair (and trying to make up his mind with his counsellor between keeping it in-secret on the side for as long as possible versus relegatating you and his 'old life' firmly to the past) OR there isn't any other woman and he simply doesn't want to be a husband and father any more (would rather have the young, free and single life he nowadays feels he missed out on).

You need to put a stop IMMEDIATELY to his having his giant cake and eating it at yours and your kids' expense. (Talking of which...I'm also very concerned at the fact he liquidated your main asset (house). Did half of the equity go into YOUR bank account, did it? Or has he, unbeknownst to you, been using it to splash around and impress?) Suggest you ask around any divorced friends, family or acquaintances for the name of a good family law solicitor (or ask The Law Society) and go and get yourself the wife-surprising super-empowerment known as free initial consultation. YOU are the one with all the power, if only you can be made to see it and start putting it to use. Furthermore, sometimes the wife starting divorce proceedings is all it takes - sometimes the ONLY thing - to snap them out of it toute suite.

Sorry. :-(

Hopeful

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That was a case of a cross-over, HOPEFULWIFE. I was typing it bit-by-bit in between cooking, meaning, I didn't see QUIET FRIEND's post until just now after posting mine. But look how we both came to moreover the same conclusion re his suspicious behaviour?

Hopeful

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Q1: His parents know what is going on, I am very close with them, my family has no idea what is going on as they live 600 miles away from us.
Q2: I am not sure about the sex, we have both said that we shouldn't be sleeping together but somehow we keep ending up in bed together. Sometimes initiated by me and sometimes by him. The plan going forward is to stop so we can try and separate the feelings.
Q3: Our kids are 7, 12, and 14. We really haven't told them much other than he isn't happy living here anymore. So far they don't seem to care but I have seem some behavior changes in them.

I should have said he didn't believe in counseling in the past but says that he is willing to try it.

I mentioned that I was on light duty because there was the added stress of my injury and my schedule being changed at work. I have since gone back to my normal hours.

You ask what I have given up since being married and I don't really feel like I have given up things. We have alot of the same hobbies so I was able to continue them, the hobbies that were different we did separately with our friends. I have a couple of really close friends that I have weekends away with and nights out with. As far as my career, I love my job and the people I work with. I actually make more annually than he does.

Thank you for writing. Having people as the hard questions is helpful.

Hopeful

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I understand what you are saying about most of it. However, I do not think he is having an affair. At first I did but after further talking and investigating I truly believe that there is no one else. I know this may change, however, for now we have agreed to not see anyone else during the separation.
As to selling our house. Well that was a decision we made together at the beginning of the year since we knew we needed something bigger for the 5 of us and we were finally in the position to be able to do it. We have been working for the past 2 years on building our credit to make getting the loan easier. When we sold our house the profit (which wasn't much) went into our joint account. We have never had separate banking accounts. I have always been the one that takes care of the financials for the family so if he was spending money on things other than the family I would know. I used the profits from the house to try and pay off some of our bills so that it will be easier to buy/build a new house or easier to split things should we divorce. I am preparing myself for the worst but hoping for the best. He confused me again yesterday when he contacted me for information so he could set up his retirement stuff at his new job. Why would he list me on it if he's planning on divorcing soon? It's little things like this that keep the hope alive for me.

Hopeful

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Okay, well I'm glad it's something you've already considered. But investigating HOW? And listen, he agreed in front of the vicar and all your family and friends to until death remain living as husband and wife, didn't he? So his agreements are worth WHAT NOW? So tell me what your investigations entailed?

Similarly: "We have never had separate banking accounts." Sharing a joint account does not mean one can't take out an additional individual account.

He's broken the biggest promise in life he ever made. Believe NOTHING. Guilty until proven innocent should be your attitude from now on. You need it to ensure you can protect yourself and the kids should it come to it. Please for your sake get it into your head: you are no longer teammates. And that is why he's BEHAVING like he's no longer your teammate. Okay?

But at least you did get your half of the equity. However, I can't help thinking he left you all homeless out of a deliberate agenda. After all, it's that which has made his living completely separately from you seem fairly reasonable. Think about it.

It's great you're allowing realism where so many women choose to delude themselves, but there are a few holes in your self-preparation is what I'm saying.

What retirement stuff? You mean company pension?

Why would he list you on it? PROVE he has! He could just be saying that TO keep you placated thus warm and waiting.

You need to stop believing everything he merely tells you and have that worst-case scenario you're allowing to-mind ACTUALLY COVERED. Your mantra from now on should be, 'Don't tell me - SHOW ME!' (- Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady). Because after all, if you suspect him of this, that, this (and right now why wouldn't you), he can always show you how WRONG you are, can't he.

Hopeful

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And, yes, stop sleeping with him. Frankly, don't even allow ANY physical contact that could count as affection or come under marital relations. Those are a PERK OF MARRIAGE. And you don't HAVE a marriage. You have your once-husband behaving like he's not your husband, not your kids' father, not even like a steady boyfriend! Except in ways that involve this: blah, blah, blah.

No work? NO PERKS!

Just focus on all the actions, past and present, from now on and take all statements with a barrel-ful of salt.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

B-3