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Need insight on seperation issues
January 27, 2005
9:08 am
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carbuff
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I have now been separated from my wife for over 3 months after she left. We see each other about every third day or so and talk about every other day on the phone mostly about the kids or what we are doing in our jobs etc. She invited me over this past Sunday for dinner and talked a lot about us and she asked me what is wrong with the way we are living now. To me living apart sucks and we have no intimacy which is hard for me especially when I know she was seeing a guy when she left me. She still claims there was no affair but I know she was attracted to him. She also had an affair 3 years ago. I knew she is also attracted to me but she says that she does not feel what she needs to have an intimate relationship with me. She said last night she felt like a fixture in the house and not a person. We got into it some last night and it got a little heated because I said I knew about her phone calls to this guy and how she wanted him to call her and thought he was smart and good looking, etc. (Her friend told me this). She said I am always putting her down (which I don’t). If I get upset at all she says I am always upset. Well I do have feelings and it does hurt to know my wife was or is attracted to other guys when she is telling me how she was so unhappy with our relationship. I also said I sensed she was seeing someone now and she said she was not. I told her it was hard living apart financially and its hard being by myself and taking care or two kids and a house although I am doing a good job of it. I asked her if she liked seeing her kids every three or four days for a few hours and she said well it’s not perfect.
We plan to go out this weekend and if we do will be the first time in awhile. We went out for dinner a few times and shopping but that’s about it. We are still going to counseling but she feels that’s hard too. She does not like t when the counselor or I question her behavior or say anything negative about what she may be doing. Her best friend says she acts to her like a spoiled kid and she can’t stand being around her anymore.
I just want to feel she wants a relationship and wants to work on it and I just don’t feel it. It’s really hard seeing and being with her and having this distance between us. I try to withdraw from her to give us distance but with kids this des not work well and she then calls me or like this past weekend invited me for dinner. I am not sure where she is going with this. Is time the answer?

January 27, 2005
11:30 am
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tracylyn
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Carbuff~

It sounds like she wants to have her cake and eat it too.

So she has a husband that's at home with the kids but she wants to live a single life? It sounds like she doesn't "want" you but doesn't want to let you go either. She has a family that she walked out on in search of something. Not a lot of women are able to walk away from the daily life of their kids. It sounds also like she wants your emotional support, financial support, but doesn't want the intimacy so she gets that elsewhere. Marriages don't work that way.

Was the counseling helping? What did the counselor have to say about the arrangements. We're the two of you very honest about the situation...as in her seeing others?

t

January 27, 2005
1:42 pm
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carbuff
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She told the counselor she was not having an affair. Apparently her definition of an affair is just having sex and in my view it having a relationship outside the marriage. My wife is a recovered alcoholic and before the separation was dedicated to her women’s meeting once a week now for the past month she stopped going and is going to a book club instead. She mentioned to me Sunday that I seamed to have more friends and reaching out to people since she left and she feels she is becoming for isolated. She was also on antidepressant medication and she told me in the last meeting she went off them when she left but who knows. The counselor told me to try to keep my distance from her and have her come to me and she feels my wife is of course not telling the whole truth about other relationships. The counselor went out of her way to say so you want to see other people during the separation right and my wife said no. My wife of course knows where I am most of the time because I have the kids and as she does not who knows what she is doing. When she has them on the weekends I may go out but had a date or attempted to have one. She says the physical attraction towards me was not the problem but it’s the emotional attraction or something like that. The thing is I see her also separating from the kids as they are only 9 and 13 they need a mother to. They were home this week for two days because of the snow and she only called them once and never went over to see them and its only about 8 miles from her work. She is missing their lives and doesn’t seam to care but won’t admit it. She just turned 40 and I have no idea what is going on in that head as it appears to change by the day.

January 27, 2005
2:09 pm
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tracylyn
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Seems she doesn't know what she wants right now....she is searching for something, trying to find her place maybe. She is pushing hard away from facing some truths...when she drank she didn't have to face the truth...when the womans group maybe got too close to see inside...she stopped going...when the counselor asked tough questions....she stopped going. When life becomes hard for her to handle and take responsiblity for her actions..."she stops going".

Being apart from her kids bothers me a lot. I'm trying not to put my personal feelings of that towards her here.

My most concerning thought...is that you need to ask yourself if you are going to stand by and wait for her to decide what she wants or are you going to begin your life and take control of what you want and need. Your life seems to be revolving around what she is doing or feeling or thinking. If you are willing to wait then make that committment but ask yourself if you'll be happy waiting. My advise would be to find out what you need to be happy and what's best for you and your kids. They need a mother....but they also need the ONE person that IS there for them to be happy and healthy.

January 27, 2005
3:01 pm
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carbuff
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I have always been faithful to my wife and have always loved her very much. I would buy her flowers for no reason, candles, etc. The only thing she can really complain about is that I worked too much and I was controlling but I was just trying to get something for us, her and myself. I built our two homes myself and we have a great place but she just never satisfied. I am not saying I am perfect as I would do some things different now but I did my best at the time. I now think about her 24/7 which is taking a toll on me. I am taking care of myself and my kids and going to the gym 3-5 times a week and am in great shape. I look like I did when I was 20. I really miss a relationship to share with knowing there is someone truly interested in me. My couselor said the women would line up to have guy like me but when you only want one women thats not much help.
It is somewhat interesting that my brother told me recently the reason his wife did not like my wife was because she felt my wife was fake. I see some of that now. She told me Sunday about a fantasy she had that she was rich and had a big house and a staff and I had my own business and she just ran things. She just does not take the initiative to do anything (except move out)just talk about it. I talk about things to but I also do allot of things and accomplish allot and maybe she is somewhat jealous of what I do as I have felt that at times.

January 27, 2005
3:21 pm
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tracylyn
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Hummmm, ok, mabye I understand her now a little more.

I think I'm talking to you for a reason....

I left my workaholic, controling husband because everything was more important than us. (but I took our 3 kids with me) His reason for working so hard was to provide us with nice things. A big house and fancy cars and so that I could stay home and we'd all live happily ever after. He'd shower me with gifts. Flowers, jewelry, clothes...but not the emotional love that I needed.

What I needed was a husband that paid attention. A husband that showed affection thru emotion...not "things".

I started seeing another man before we seperated. I turned to someone else (wrong I know) because I needed so badly for someone to pay attention to me. I know now that if my own self esteem had been higher I wouldn't have needed that so badly.

Have you ever just asked her what she truly needs from your relationship. Not material needs....but what she emotionally would like from the relationship. As her specifically what she see's as the issue. Then, don't defend or respond....take some time to see what part you do or do not play it her answer. Perhaps hers are needs that can't be filled by anyone but she hasn't figured that out yet. That's where I was....I had to learn that NO ONE will fill the void but me.

Keep talking.....I hope my experience can help you.

January 27, 2005
4:11 pm
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carbuff
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When we got married 15 years ago she was recently divorced and had a son. He was a handful and then some. So we really never had time for just us. We then had our two children and they have been great. Her son finally had to leave the house and is now on his own and I am in contact with him and he is doing ok. Her son caused us daily problems until recently even though he has not lived with us for about two years. I do talk to him know and we get along pretty good which is nice.
For the last 7 years I have worked a full time job as an engineer and then as a part time farmer.I really liked farming and in doing so I really improved our property and assets but it was a drain on our relationship as she hated the farm. I talked to her this spring about giving up the farm work but she apparently did not see me taking action quick enough and got fed up as she says. I felt the farm was my way of expressing my self in something I wanted to do. The problem I finally saw was that I was having to work all the time and was not having much fun and that’s why I wanted to make this change. I supported her through AA and in her work. I did not drink for 3 years because I thought it would help but she took offence to that as well. She said she lost her passion over time but she says she still loves me but I am not sure what that means. I am not sure if she can get that passion back but she has seen the changes that I have made and has commented on them in a positive way. I am doing my best to make changes for both of us. What I would like to see from her is some move to do the same. She has seen that she has made mistakes too especially in not being honest and up front with me but she felt insecure in doing that.

January 27, 2005
9:21 pm
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alohaoe
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I can relate w/Traclyn... I am married to a man who worked a lot - a job and parttime farming while we had 2 young girls at home. He was so busy trying to be a good provider and father that he kind of forgot about me. I was too young (or not smart enough) to say "whoa buddy, I need your attention" and make him get it. Most women it seems to me need things that money can't buy... feeling valued, needed, wanted, cherished. Its probably not that you didn't feel that, I think mine did and still does but time takes its toll... the book "When the vow breaks" might have a good chapter for you on 'tough love' She has lots to deal with and you may have to set some firm guidelines during this time. No matter how hard on you to do, you might want to take some control back for your own peace of mind and your children. Good luck 🙂

January 27, 2005
9:28 pm
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alohaoe
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I guess I didn't mention that I just had my first counseling session in 8 years - which was how long ago when I first told my husband I wanted a divorce. We went through counseling then. He wouldn't agree to separation so I stayed. Not much has changed until now. As I said, time takes it toll and sometimes you just can't get it back no matter how hard you both try. I truly hope for your sake and your kids its not too late - but I'm worried about the free rein your wife seems to have... don't lose yourself

January 27, 2005
10:04 pm
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carbuff
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Prior to her first affair I really thought she was happy. She had a job and friends but I relay did not know how much she was drinking. I did work too much but I can not reverse time and I told her this as I can only move forward. I took off my wedding ring last night in front of her as she does not wear hers as she said it would not be right as we do not have much of a marriage. She was here tonight to see the kids and we didn’t talk about much other than our work. It’s kind of strange but many times right before she leaves she says something off the wall like we could have a business together, etc. She said that tonight and then she said I could get some guys together and pose for a calendar (because I workout) and we could make a lot of money.
I asked her to have the kids tomorrow night and she said she would but she had to go out for awhile to a dinner party but did not say wear or with whom and I did not ask for what is the point. We are supposed to go out Saturday night but part of me just wants to go out by myself. It would be nice to get some attention for a change. Today at work a coworker came buy my office and took my picture and I asked him what he was doing and he said he was sending to this girl that was looking for a date and I said I wasn’t interested.
I have heard about tough love but I am not sure what it is.

January 28, 2005
8:49 am
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alohaoe
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From tough love chapter (point of view of left behind spouse) "...our spouses need unconditional love, but not love that is permissive, passive, or weak. If our spouses act irresponsibly, it it time to set boundaries and encourage mutual accountability like never before....Tough love is a firm and measured response to the decisions and actions of our spouses. It helps them feel the full weight of responsibility and inevitable consequences of their decisions and actions.... tough love sets up limits on what is acceptable conduct.... Tough love says I love you unconditionally as a person, but I cannot accept your conduct to the extent it adversely affects my life or harms you or others. tough love allows the natural consequences of questionable decisions to hit our spouses sqaure between the eyes without holding anything back... in truth we are moving out of the way to allow the choices our spouses are making to proceed to their logical conclusions... " the chapter also has tough love survival strategies and example conversations you might have, how to set up boundaries, deal with money and visitation, etc. and connects with the Bible. You can probably check it out at your local library. My husband has no boundaries and is very passive to me and our situation (he just wants me to love him and stay). If he read this chapter and followed advice - we might have resolved some issues sooner than later, though I can't say for sure what the outcomes would have been... Get some ground rules for the kids at least going!! For their sakes... they are watching, and learning, how to act in future relationships by watching you both now.

January 28, 2005
11:30 am
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carbuff
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I know my wife likes the control she feels now. I saw her again this morning to drop of a tape to her to return for me and she was very distant but not angry or anything. She probably feels good about that she has a date tonight and that gives her power, who knows. I spoke to our daughter last night (which is almost 14) and she feels mom is not coming back. I told her I have done what I can to get her back but I will be there for them. I have never told her about what mom has done.
I have read some on Tough Love and it way work but for how long and will they run again? I have lost a lot of respect for my wife not just trust, which is non existent. The thing is, she knows trust is a big deal and that has caused us a lot of issues but she continues the pattern. Like last night saying she had a dinner party to go to. I on the other hand would have said where I was going just so there would not be a suspicion there was a date. She talks about having her freedom but on the other hand she had freedom in our marriage but took advantage of my trust. I told her I wanted her to feel free to do the things she wanted to do but we also need an understanding of the basics, i.e. financial responsibilities, honesty, and basic respect. When I talk to her about some of these things she feels put down. I am not trying to put her down but at the same time she had affairs, spent uncontrollable, lied many times, hid stuff from me etc. I made it clear many times there is nothing about me that she did not know. I never locked my email, never hid my cell phone, and always was honest and truthful to her. Her son which is 20 told me that not everybody has the character and values I have.

January 28, 2005
1:18 pm
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alohaoe
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Unfortunately, sounds familiar. I do not drink but have a problem with honesty (which is why I am finally trying to make a move towards separation). Our family life has been great (couple nonexistent). I finally had to tell my girls because I have to be able to look in mirror and know that I am living a truthful, authentic life. One was not surprised, the other shocked and upset (19 and 18). Believe it or not, I was the one who lost respect for my husband that he could be satisfied with so little. He also "let" me do anything I wanted to. All I can say is be careful. I still think you should set some guidelines. What do you have to lose? Right now, she isn't around yet you still plan your life around "maybe she'll be back, maybe she won't" Do what you need to do for yourself and your kids.

My husband has very high character and values as well. He really is a good guy and I think he would do anything for me. For some, that might be enough. Not for me it seems. I am having a hard time leaving because I have to face the fact that my senior may not come with me any or at all. And that is a killer for me! I can't imagine someone willingly leaving their kids both physically and emotionally. She needs some counseling thats for sure. Her own issues seem to getting in the way. I don't think that "tough love" is something that will work for awhile... it really is setting boundaries for yourself. You need peace and order don't forget that. I think it means respecting yourself. Do your children need to see you taken advantage of by her?

Have you thought about a real separation where you only see each other as the children pass back and forth? Really give her distance in all ways?? Let her see that your life goes on even while you still love her and want it to work out? I don't mean by going out with others, partying, etc. but just you aren't going to be there to provide her emotional, physical, monetary, parenting support whenever she needs it. Worth a try?

January 28, 2005
1:45 pm
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carbuff
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That is about what the counselor said in my last visit alone with her (the counselor). She said it’s a 50% chance she would see that she is making a big mistake.
I do my best not to call her but I have to at times due to the kids. My mistake is giving her too much attention when she comes around and saying I love her and miss her. She says she loves me but never says she misses me.
It’s tough to live like this and to me it’s living a lie if I hold my feelings in. Before she left I really tried and changed allot of the things I did but it did not matter. She wanted more attention and when I gave it to her she did not seam to care anymore. I wanted us to spend more time together as I saw her moving away but we never got away just the two of us. I know I made mistakes there is no dought about it but I do realize what I want to do and am doing it now. I am getting out more like going to the gym and meeting new people which I like and she seams to like that as well. I just want a chance to work things out with her. She made a comment the other night I have a chance but when it get too tough like when we discuss problems we have had and she feels like I am putting her down I just blow it. Am I supposed to hide how I feel? I hate getting blamed for what she is doing, i.e. like when I found out she was seeing a guy and talking to him on the phone (like a boyfriend) and confront her about it its my fault. It is easy to blame someone else for your problems.
One thing to mention is that her mother left her father at about the same age and lied and ran around and drank and then wanted her father back but he would not have her. She married and old guy for money and still runs around. Her sister ran around on her husband and after that did not work out they got back together. Both sister and mother have spending problems so things do not fall far from the tree. I just thought my wife was different and I think she was about 5 years ago as she was so giving but now she is self centered and childish. She feels she did not get back in return for what she gave.

January 28, 2005
3:28 pm
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alohaoe
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I'm glad you are going to counseling and the gym. Exercise is a good thing - don't forget to work on your aerobic exercise too. 🙂 I see a lot of guys just doing the weights, looking all buff but couldn't jog a mile. lol

You can see how children learn from watching their parents (your wife/her mother) be careful with your own. They are learning right now too.

You don't really believe her when she throws the blame back on you do you?

gotta run, have an enjoyable weekend. Enjoy some quality time with your kids this weekend. take care. 🙂

January 31, 2005
10:44 am
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carbuff
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This past weekend my wife and I were supposed to go out Saturday night. Due to the snow and freezing rain I ended up stuck at her house and we stayed in and watched some movies and she cooked dinner. I ended up staying the night on the couch with my son which was tough knowing she was upstairs. She feels very content not making love to me. Its like she is getting her affection from someone else which is very possible. I did not sleep much at all that night. We had breakfast and I went home.
When she brought the kids over last night I asked her about her dinner party she had on Friday night. She never said before hand she was having a dinner party but said she had a dinner party to go to. My daughter ended up staying Friday night and said it was a few couples that came over. I was just hurt she did not invite me or just say I am giving a dinner party for the people in my book club. This kind of behavior is nothing new for her even before she left. She feels (and felt) if I asked where she was going or anything like that I was just controlling. She mentioned about one of the couples that were there and how they had moved around and were actually were hay farmers for a few years. I have been a part time hay farmer for 5 years as well as an engineer. I mentioned that people try things like I did (farming) and they did and then move on. As I have not sold my hay equipment she does not believe I am through with it and when I said something about it she just smart comment like “sure right”. I think she believed as this couple are counselors and he is running this book club that maybe they are of a higher status which I think she is aspiring to be (or apear to be). My point was that I was hurt she did and does not include me in her life as I have done and continue to do with her.
She has mentioned before we did not have anything in common and I said this was an example of something I may be interested in or at least be part of the social aspect of the group and I asked her if she was embarrassed by me or something. She said no and she was surprised I would think that. She basically said she was not in the same place as I am in in our relationship and she is not sure if she wants to have a relationship with me and that’s the problem. She says she is working on things and because it’s not like how I want, it’s not right. I just see a repeat of what she has been doing for a long time and what has caused us problems. When I asked her what we were going to discuss at counseling this week she said I don’t know I am sure you and the counselor will come up with something. I asked if the counseling had helped and she said we have a better understanding of the issues now but I said how do get around this road block and she said she is trying to go though it. She mentioned she spoke to an old friend of ours. I asked her if she told her we were separated and she said yes and said the lady said "he is controlling isn’t he". I said is that all she said about me and she said no she really liked me and had alot of good things to say. Unfortunately the only thing my wife picked up on is that I am controlling. I guess that gives her some satisfaction on moving out and breaking up a family. I don’t think she mentioned to her that she ran around on me because that we make her look bad. I am really sick of being a doormat and trying to figure her out.

February 2, 2005
8:57 am
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carbuff
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We went to a counseling session yesterday. We discussed the fact my wife doesn’t know if she wants a relationship with me or not and that I do, but one that is better. This is big difference between us. We also talked about that we were not having a intimate relationship and the counselor said that must be hard and I think I said yes and I am not sure what she said if anything. At that point I was about had it with the session. One example my wife brought up was that when she worked late the other night it was nice just to go to her house and not feel the pressure of being home at a certain time and not having me question her why she was late. I mentioned that the problem or one of them that led up to the separation was that she was always gone and it got to the point I was just missing her and that was it, which it was. I also felt somewhat taken advantage of that she just assumed I would be home with the kids and take care of everything every time she was late or was traveling, which was allot. She never asked me if I had any plans or anything and she would just come home and plop herself down. I felt like putting a hotel sign up at times on the house. In any event it seams that everything I do or say is controlling to her. One example is that most time when we have a counseling session she is late. This past time I called her when the counselor came to get us and she said she would be there in a few minutes. The counselor brought that up as an example of me controlling her. I was caught by surprise by that and said I just thought she may have overslept because she worked late last night and I also thought if I did not attempt to call her she would ask why I didn’t. The counselor felt I had a need to protect her and that I did not have confidence in her. I just feel I am dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t. I also feel it’s very rude for someone to be late and it’s funny that my wife used to complain about her mother always picking them up late when they were kids. To me that behavior is controlling and rude and its nothing new to her. In past times when my wife was late the counselor suggested I call her so what was the point of the counselor bring it up?
The more I thought of things last night the madder I got. I feel I am degrading myself and for what? I have tried to be a good husband and father and have been. If I was the one that drank my face off and ran around and then left her and the kids I would be looked at as a looser but she did it and it’s no big deal.

February 2, 2005
9:08 am
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mj
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Hi Carbuff,
Marriage counseling can be infuriating but hang in there. I found that after a lot of thoughtfulness about the suggestions that my counselor suggested help me realize how my behaviors were affecting the relationship.

It is healthy to feel your feelings and then respond if necessary. I admire you for trying to work things out.

February 2, 2005
3:42 pm
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carbuff
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Just like most people I have changed over the years and I believe mostly for the better. The counseling helps point out things and then you need to step back and look at things in perspective. For example, I believe I would get upset at my wife because I was working hard on our home and the farm and I would just see her disinterested and it made me feel like I was not appreciated and she did not take interest in our home. For example, a large tree fell across our driveway last summer. She never said anything about it just drove around it. It took me more than two days to cut it up and while doing so she drove around it and me to. That just made me feel like crap and now in her rented house with a fire place she asks me for firewood all the time and I told her to take what she wanted. Another example: I did all the outside work and the place really looked nice. She would open her car door and a few Pepsi cans would fall out and she would just leave them there for days. That made me feel like she did not appreciate for I did to keep the place up.
I have been thinking for some time why am I working so darn hard when nobody cares. I know nobody does care therefore I need to do what I want when I want and that way I will not be disappointed with her or someone else. I guess I was expecting too much.

February 3, 2005
8:37 am
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carbuff
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I talked to my wife last night and told her that for quite some time I have been feeling frustrated with her and her lack of interest and respect in the things I did around the home and on the farm. I believe in some respects I took it too personal as I felt if I was working hard improving our property etc. she should be doing the same or at least having some respect for me. I now realize I need to do what I want for me and that way I will not be disappointed in her or anyone else. I also admit that I did work too much and I have been seeing this for some time and cutting back. She felt the work we did early on was fine like when we built our house (second in our marriage) but it got to the point that she wanted more than work every weekend. This is not to say she went without anything material but I think it was a feeling she had that I just was not moving in the same direction as her. I asked her if we could move forward with what we know now to improve our relationship and she said that was a tall order and she is not sure becouse it took its toll on her. To me when you have a family and you have problems and really understand what they are its worth the effort instead of giving up. I never gave up on her when she had problems like going through rehab or dealing with her sons problems. I do not believe anyone is happy in a devorce.
After three months of separation she still shows almost zero affection for me which is hard. I know it’s not a physical thing as she says I look good, etc. but emotional. I not sure if that is her way of holding onto control or if it’s something else like she is getting that attention elsewhere. We are supposed to go out for the first time this weekend as I have tickets to this band and hopefully as she says we can dance and have fun. I am trying not to try too hard but at the same time I want her to know how I feel. Any suggestions from the women if I am on the right path hear.

February 3, 2005
10:45 am
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carbuff
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My wife mentioned last night, and this isn't the first time, that her hands looked old and stubby. I know she wants to stay looking young but to me they look great and although she still looks great overall I think its sexy to have a few lines here and there.

February 3, 2005
3:07 pm
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carbuff
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I talked to a coworker today and is sounds like her ex husband is allot like my wife. She just hopes my wife is not just stringing me along which is what I hope to. Today was a tough day and I have those once in a while. I guess its that sixth sence kicking in that tells you something is not quite right.

February 4, 2005
1:27 pm
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carbuff
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I am not sure why no one has responded to my posts but sometimes I just feel better righting my feelings down. Maybe a diary would help. Anyway, my wife came over again last night to see the kids and we had dinner. She talked to me most of the time about her job and how stupid everyone else is there and how she needs to have people take her more serious (including me). I just let her talk and talk and didn’t say much. I was just thinking this woman has some issues. She appears to just want power and money.
I was watching a motorcycle build show on TV and she says where are all the woman. I said look at the guys they aren’t the greatest looking bunch and she said money talks and bullshit walks. You just have to wonder what is going on in that head. I know her friend told me my wife wouldn’t date anyone that did not have money which goes with the fact she was seeing a doctor, although she denies dating anyone. Now I am no slouch and make dam good money as an engineer so I am not sure if this is a midlife thing or who she really is. We are going out Saturday night on our first date in three months of seperation so I will see how that goes.

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