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Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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Relationship advice This post may seem incomplete, as it's founded on a complex series of issues, and may read as incoherent. If you need me to fill in some gaps, let me know. I may also fill in gaps as I discover them. I am composing this on a mobile phone, so... grammer and all.

Several weeks ago, my wife told me she was going to start taking steps to leave the relationship. We are married over 20 years. Our last child just graduated high school. The next day, she gave me the notice.

So, on with the details...

First, I thought things were going well enough with us. Sure, the relationship is quite settled in, and we have an expected presence of minor issues as relationships do have. I don't know how to start to explain the breakdown. It takes two different paths, one for each of us, but I'll try to explain.

All I ask is to please hold your judgements about me. You'll soon read why I ask that. Note that I do own and acknowledge my own responsibilities and failures.

Since the beginning of the marriage, we were "typical", having our ups and downs, and the like. She married at age 21. I'm five years older.

Eight years ago, I had created an account on a man seeks woman kind of website. Wrong, yes, but it was done. It was barely put to use before my wife found out about it, resulting in me closing the account and forgetting about it. In conjunction with that period of time, I had run into an ex-girlfriend from my youth and started a conversation. A secret one, but platonic. That was discovered and deleted at the same time as the other stuff.

Now hold that moment as I continue...

I know that I did my wife wrong for doing that. I had to earn her trust back, and i proceeded to do so, knowing that any kind of alternate relationship like those were wrong, and inconsistent to my newfound philosophy of marriage. The years went by and things got much better for us. We did stuff together and enjoyed each other as a married couple should. All was great.

Except in the last year. The kids are older and were still living with us. One was an adult going to college, the other was a high school senior. They had several bad habits, like leaving lots of clutter in the house, or not cleaning up after themselves, or not following through with what's expected of them as mature people who should contribute to the household.

Since my wife and I both work, it became frustrating to clean up behind them and keep up on their chores, even if we had to do them ourselves. My wife even warned me we she was going to leave after our youngest graduated if they continue to leave messes to clean up. I stepped up my efforts to get it all under control.

When she told me she was leaving, I thought the above was the reason. What she surprised me with is that she was leaving due to that "cheating" I talked about earlier. Just the day before that, we were holding hands and showing affection.

She said that the cheating affected her greatly, although her actions said otherwise as our relationship has improved immensely since then.

What had happened in the last year puts a different perspective on the entire situation. She was overweight when we first met, and that never bothered me. But last year, she had to drop her blood sugar levels to be eligible for a pain relief surgery. Well, that involved a crash diet. One that she stuck to, and lost over 100 lbs. in the last year.

Suddenly, people noticed her differently (according to her) and she developed a confidence to do things on her own when we always did things together as a couple.

I never prevented her from doing things on her own during the entire marriage. She always wanted me to go along on trips, adventures, etc. to enjoy them together. I'm not an abusive husband. I made mistakes, yes, like the incident above, but I cherish this woman.

Suddenly, like a switch, she doesn't need me anymore. I am still dumbfounded. She said she wants to be best friends, but that were not "compatible" anymore for marriage. What's more, she basically wants to cut the cord in the relationship AND family. To live away from us and be by herself, and with the dogs that we acquired over the years.

She says it's because of that incident, but it makes no sense based on her actions since then. I'm confused.

She said it's not about money or possessions. She wants to be able to live on her own, on her salary, and be away from this family life so she can enjoy her own adventures. Until she can afford to do so, she wants to move into a different bedroom. In the end, I can keep the house.


Well, that's the rough details. I can provide more information if/as questions get answered. Thanks for reading.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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We all make mistakes first off and no one is perfect no matter how much they seem to be perfect we all have problems its inescapable and perfect perfection is a facade and impractical but it gives us something to strive toward even tho is truly unobtainable..

Right now I have a girl I love and and been with for almost 3 years and we share a 11mo old together and I never been looking elsewhere for companionship since her.but In my past I was with women and when things got shakey I longed for someone to talk to of the opposite sex,did I Cheat no,did I discuss things I shouldn't have yes,could it led to cheating its possible,so I get where your coming from on that social outreach that she found out about.

It sounds to me she lost trust for you and having children and the heavy work load alone that goes along with just having children can be stressful along with feeling like you may have interest elsewhere even tho you may have explained nothing happen and it was a mistake some people never let that go sadly.

and as you said she needed to get healthy to help her medical situation and in the process lost weight and has been more outgoing and most likely starving for outside positive surroundings also just a change of environment all together.

Women to men seem like complicated people and in some aspects maybe they are most men like the same old same old me personally I can deal with a surprise but I usually take the same road all the time I like to kno what's happening I like ritual so I kno what to expect,But that's me not all men are the same either.

But from the women I have shared my life with the thing I noticed they seem to all have in common is they hate the same old same old seems they get bored and need to have stability but not to the point it's like living the same day over and over again they need to be handled delicately they are by nature more emotional then us typically.

It sounds to me she needs some time to her self time to see if she can do for her self if she can even make it with out you or having to worry about anyone else like she is starving for self independence and self awareness.

Best thing at this point is to be supportive of what she wants to do and I kno that's hard to hear and even harder to let happen but it will show her your trying to be understanding and that goes along way.

But maybe she just needs some time and then she will realize after the kids are gone and she comes back you guys can spend time together do things out side the house together take a vacation find out what interest her.

What I would do is be supportive and try to listen more but don't suck up but try to go places before she leaves a dinner hotel show her you want to make an effort to show her off compliments go along it may not be too late it could be she needs to get out have fun live a lil kids and dought of ur companions long term commitment could be weighing on her so if I was you and if I truly loved her I'd listen,understand and try to be apart of what she may be seeking elsewhere cause sadly women when they are fed up or want something bad enough will do it with or with out you..

If you love her make your most valiant effort to give her what she seeks before she finds it elsewhere it don't matter who's fault or what was done just give it your best shot and hope for the best..

Hope this helps you sir no judgment on you women just need to feel loved and that no one can take their place along with not being caged up or over stressed and need a change of pace and scenery at times..

Hope this helps good outcomes to you

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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She made it very clear to you why she is doing this, and what is it you don't want to accept? This is it! She wants to live her life by herself. Mostly guys want to do this. She obviously waited all the children grow up, and finish school. Now she wants to find her purpose in life. Or simply wants to not care about someone else, and focus on herself, get away from family life. And from what you are saying, you two were not really exclusive. You wanted to be with others, and when you were caught, you assumed you made a mistake, what if you didn't, and maybe she saw that. Maybe she saw you two were not a couple anymore. You were just pretending. Sometimes lies can be pretty strong, and make you believe something that isn't true. Of course, these are just thoughts. Please tell me what you think.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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That is exactly the kind of judgement that I was talking about.

My original post was very extensive, so I had to abridge some of the details to keep it from becoming a novel.

My wife and I were still exclusive. The details of the cheating were partially defined in the original post. I was curious to find out what was out there, the temptation got to me, and the Internet made it too easy to explore temptation. Thus, I made a mistake in judgement during a low point in the marriage.

It was basically an electronic version of the "look but don't touch" natural philosophy tolerated in many marriages. I viewed many profiles over time as results were emailed to me by the service. I had no interest in any of them, even some of the best matches. My sense of morality won over my curiosity and I eventually walked away from the attempt. It turned out that I really wasn't interested in starting an affair. I loved my wife deeply and started to more fully engage in the marriage.

But the emails kept coming over the months, and after a time, I wanted to delete my account on the service to end them. I forgot my password, so I requested it from the service. THAT is when my wife discovered the account's existence. I was almost finished expunging that rotten apple of service from my life when she saw the password message pop up on my computer.

After months of explanations, details, deletions, etc. after that, I thought everything was understood and settled and mistakes acknowledged. That was eight years ago.

Now, she tells me she wants to leave so she can live life independently and uses that eight year old moment as the reason, citing that everytime I have gotten a text or an email on my phone since then, she thinks I'm in some sort of clandestine relationship with someone else. I understand that level of distrust, as long as it's well founded, which it wasn't. Every time she asks me who texted or emailed me, I offer to hand her my phone at that instant, without giving myself any opportunities to delete messages, to let her see what the messages are all about. I have nothing to hide and she continues to refuse my offer to prove that I have fine nothing wrong. Why would she hold on to to the distrust in that fashion, even with the opportunity to learn otherwise?

That's the confusion I'm having.

Is it the cheating, or is it the personal freedom? Things were gonna good between us just before her announcement to leave. There is still frustration with the kids still living in the household, not contributing to family life as much as they should. I suppose the burden is on me now to resolve that part.

She agreed to go to marriage counciling with me, so something is still there.

There are other issues, too. My sex drive is down and years of hypertension has given me "performance" problems. And she has reminded me more than enough times that she needs lots of sex, which induces disabling stress for the times I can perform, hoping that nothing fails. If and when it does, the psychological pressures only make things worse.

As I said, it's a many faceted issue, and the mix of them don't seem to coalesce into a practical reason to leave.

As BOB920 eludes to, she may have a newfound euphoria after her weight loss, and subsequent release from her duties to others, that she'll try to use any other excuse to leave amicably because she knows that the knowledge of her wanting to leave for only her personal freedoms will hurt my feelings. As I said before, I never stopped her from spending time away from the household if she ever needed the rest anytime during the marriage. I just don't want to see her get hurt in the process.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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First of all, it wasn't a judgement. I don't mind man, it's your life but, sometimes you need to push to see the truth. I just wanted you to face reality without hiding, and secondly, BOB920 posted before me, if I saw the post, I wouldn't write this like I was the only one who answered to you. If you want your wife back, be honest with her, not honest as in, I made a mistake or it was a long time ago or I am stressed. These are excuses. Tell her what you really feel, and be more confident, maybe that's what she needs from you, more confidence. Don't give up, show her how important she is, words aren't enough, and take everything she is saying into consideration. She is telling you she doesn't want to deal with this anymore. Make sure what she is really talking about, kids, you, or just marriage.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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We attended our fist session of marriage counseling today. It went well, and we've established appointments for the next three sessions already. Mainly, the hour with the counselor involved her coming up to speed with our backgrounds. Some information was brought up to get a feel for each of our childhoods. You know, typical past experiences for them to gauge the relationship.

Some insight was discovered just from that alone, but I am not going to detail those at the moment. However, the counselor did leave us with a task to practice, being that during our interactions with each other, we are NOT to assume that the other person is doing anything on purpose against us, even if we feel that is the case. What we agreed to do is to tell the other person that we feel like their actions were directed toward us. That way, a potential issue could be resolved immediately. The other person doesn't necessarily need to confirm or deny it, but it does make both parties realize a potential misunderstanding has occurred.

Baby steps...

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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What was the name of the site you signed up for and did you pay for it? This kind of sounds like me and my husband with our problems. Is she still living with you then?

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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If you want to chat let me know we sound like we have the similar problems...

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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BRIANA266, Sorry, I don't remember the name of the site. It happened almost eight years ago. I had purged my interest in anything related to those kind of sites out of my mind long ago.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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I'm surprised you wouldn't remember it

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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I don't remember it because it wasn't worth remembering, nor did I really access it regularly. It had my interest for about two weeks. I'm not exactly known for having an eidetic memory or anything. :)

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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Because of what you did you lowered her interest levels. In the end she wanted no more of what was essentially "not a relationship" anymore.

Wife wants to leave after 20+ years

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Thank you for your input MAGICMAN7, but I must disagree. She and I discussed many things since I first posted this thread. While what I did eight years ago had an affect on her, it was still eight years ago when I stopped doing that, and so much had gotten better since then. I am even more convinced that her weight loss efforts exposed her to more attention from others in a way that she never experienced before. She had told me directly that she is a "new package" with her diet and appearance.

I see this as fate. Had she not had the excruciating pain that drove her to get surgery, she probably would not have had such an incentive to lose weight. I wasn't mistreating her. There WAS a relationship there. It's just that she is fielding an entirely new world of people complimenting her... and I became competition, I guess.

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