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Old 10th August 2014, 12:02 PM   #1
ralfgarnett
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Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

My wife and I separated just over 4 weeks ago and it has been awfull as it just came out of no where, we have been together 20 years and very happilly married for 17 year, however early July my wife left for work as normal we kissed, told each other we love each other and see you later, however she came home that evening and said she had been crying all day and we needed to talk, she told me she loved me but wasn't sure if she was in love with me any more and needed space , obviously this blew me away I couldn't of been more shocked, anyway she has been staying at her mums and from time to time we spoke or mailed each other, before anyone asks neither of us have been cheating we don't do things like that we think its disgusting, however this past week or so we have communicated really well since a couple of times by phone and a few times by e-mail, we spoke yesterday and both agreed that we love each other but are not in love with each other, to me it makes no odds love is love to me you can twist it any way you want, we are meeting up in the week for a coffee and to discuss where we go next, we have both said we want to stay friends for life and even take trips together to places we both have mutual interest and interest in such as Flanders, The Somme, and Malta so that can only be a good thing, it will of course be separate rooms but that doesn't bother me one bit, maybe I'm get old or just wiser but there is more to life than sex, I prefer good company and friendship and if she and I can have that together for life then that is honestly fine by me, we have been married 17 years and we have both said divorce isn't even an option neither of us want one or need one, we have always been close and even at the moment while we are both hurting we are being kind, understanding and gentle to one another, we have never been a couple for Jeremy Kyle style arguing, name calling, sleeping around, domestic violence or any of that filthy kind of stuff those human rats go on about on that vile programme, instead we just like to be quiet and calm around each other and talk and listen to each other the best we can at this difficult time in our lives we are even going to set out some ground rules about the time we spend together do's and don'ts that kind of thing we are both working on the rules and we are looking to agree on what we both feel is important I know it sounds a bit cold and structured but I think its very important to know where we both stand and she agrees with me, but I am feeling happier and a bit more confident that some time some how we can have some kind of future together in some way, Im not being unrealistic she is not moving back in now or even any time in the future but who knows how things will work out in time, and in my opinion the current situation seems quite positive but of course I would value any feedback or opinions that any of you can have and share with me but please be honest I need to hear honest opinions not just things to make me feel better, I wanted to add we are both in our 40's my wife thinks he might be going through the change, her dad died a few years ago and she has never grieved properly, she is also under a lot of stress at work.

Many thanks
RG

Last edited by ralfgarnett; 10th August 2014 at 12:11 PM. Reason: to add extra information
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Old 10th August 2014, 01:31 PM   #2
chosen
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

RG
I am so sorry that you wife has decided to leave you, that must be horrible.

How can you be 100% sure that she hasnt been interested in another man, even if they arent actually sleeping together?Could there be someone at work?Remember that few poeple who have met someone else will admit to it, and now she has left you you cannot know what she does or doesnt do. I never cease to be amazed how many people act in a way that was entirely out of character.

Are you are both happy to just be occasional friends and not a married couple? What happens in the future if one of you decides they need to move on and and make life for themselves? What happens if one of you meet someone with whom they want a normal secure marriage?

MY thoughts are that you need to think of either being properly married, as in living in the same house, get counseling and work on complete reconciliation, or stay apart if she wants to and make new lives for yourselves. I doubt if what you are proposing will work in the long term.

She really has no reason to leave you as far as I can tell.
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Old 10th August 2014, 09:36 PM   #3
Raymond
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

It seems an odd arrangement to me to be honest. It's good that you can remain friends together but I cannot understand why the marriage should end. Marriage is about being friends as well. Two are better than one. I agree with your definition of love. Love is love. Why separate? I think she is being a bit selfish. She will be having the benefits of marriage it seems without living as a married woman. If you can do it fair enough but it does seem a bit odd and not quite right to me. Something else is happening here I believe.
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Old 11th August 2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

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Originally Posted by ralfgarnett View Post
My wife thinks he might be going through the change, her dad died a few years ago and she has never grieved properly, she is also under a lot of stress at work.
RG
Hi Ralf,

I wonder if these 3 things could be key attributes to your problem. I have heard of a couple of women who when going through the change have become very peculiar. Hormones can make people behave in a way that is very out of character, not the 'real' them.

Perhaps it would be wise to book an appointment with the doctor to get this investigated. Also, the loss of her dad and work stress certainly could play a factor.

I agree with the others that this set-up would not work. Perhaps if you were in your sixties, but not forties. I think this is a case of you being willing to accept anything possible to not loose your wife. If you Google '5 stages of grief' this fits in with the bargaining stage.

It's early doors, hang on in there is my advice as I feel there could be hope for you yet.
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Old 11th August 2014, 02:26 PM   #5
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

Thanks to you all for your replies, we have been together 20 years and I like to think I know as much about my wife as I possibly can, we both detest cheaters in marriage or any relationship, only a few weeks ago we were talking about someone that had been cheating and she said if you can't be faithfull in a marriage then infidelity is the wrong way to go, be honest at all times, I know my wife she is not a cheat and neither am I , she and I have both been cheated on in the past so we know how hurtfull it can be and we agree on that she cant lie for toffee and is painfully honest, plus we both believe in god and took our vows very seriously and we are still married and won't be getting divorced she said that to me before I said it to her, I know a lot of this story sounds odd I have had enough women in my life to know about women, sex, relationships etc, but we are genuinely close and are both hurting, one thing I am certain of is that she needs her space and I am honouring that, I am not unrealistic or a doormat but I agree with ronnoco that maybe just maybe there is an ember of hope, only time will tell and it's not been 5 weeks yet so still very early days, who knows what the future holds, if anyone had told 5 weeks ago today that we would be apart I would of said they were barmy honestly I saw or felt no signs absolutely nothing and I am not an insensitive man in fact I'm a bit over sensitive and would of noticed if there were any signs, plus I have all her answerphone messages from around the time it happened and she sounds just normal yet the ones immediately after sound odd but just recently they have been getting more like her normal self, I love my wife she is my best friend anyway and in all honesty if the best we can hope for is a lifetime friendship then fine by me, but as I said who knows the future and I am normally a bit pessimistic but a tiny little bit of me thinks this is not fully over by a long chalk, im not being unrealistic or burying my head in the sand I just have this slight feeling inside I might be wrong but it's not over until it's over and forever is a hell of a long time, time is the key lets just see what time brings, thanks again all of you please keep your replies coming I appreciate your views and feedback RG

Ps, one other thing that I wanted to add is that separated couples do get back together it is not rare, I'm not being unrealistic but it's true, don't forget we have 20 years of history of all kinds behind us that doesn't just get forgotten and binned there must be a bond there, plus my wife loves our 2 cats and our house and the peace and quiet where we live, she is currently staying between her mums house and brothers house which must be a bit unsettling for her and she likes the feeling of being settled plus if she went looking for her own place she cant get a mortgage because she had bad debt problems which she paid off in full and she would find it very expensive to rent locally as our mortgage is only 200 pcm for a big Victorian house, so 100 each per month is a bargain, just thought I would add in these few other ideas to pad out the discussion a bit further, we have always been close, we have never had marriage problems, constant arguing, domestic violence , infidelity etc so we have a clean and untainted past between us this must all count for something, as I keep saying who knows the future nobody of course, we are human beings not programmed robots and decisions, views, feelings can change and time is a great leveller she has even offered to do my shopping for me when she takes her mum to do hers, looking forward to hearing back from you,

Last edited by ralfgarnett; 11th August 2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: EXTRA WORDS
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Old 11th August 2014, 04:01 PM   #6
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

She has just called me and we are meeting up tomorrow evening for a chat about the next stage of whatever the next stage is.
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Old 11th August 2014, 04:34 PM   #7
chosen
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

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Originally Posted by ralfgarnett View Post
She has just called me and we are meeting up tomorrow evening for a chat about the next stage of whatever the next stage is.
Do you have children?

It may be an idea to suggest some Christian marriage counselling when you meet.

Yes sometimes those who are separated do get back together I am sure, its just that I have never heard of that happening. Usually its because one partner wants the marriage to end. I hope that isnt the case here. If she wants to stay apart for good, and just be friends, she will probably want you to sell the house so that you can both get a smaller place each. She wont want to live with relatives for ever I am sure.

If you are believers, does she know that Paul says in the Bible that wives are not to separate from their husbands?
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Old 11th August 2014, 07:26 PM   #8
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

No we don't have children and the mortgage is in my name only, she want's nothing out of the property and we aren't getting divorced, my wife is not a grabbing money motivated person never has been and never will be plus she knows the legal power and might that I have behind me that I use for other matters so she wouldn't want to mess with that, but I don't like talking like this we are not getting nasty why should we ? we are both moving in to a new stage of our relationship as friends that care a lot for each other lets see how that goes, btw I find it strange that you have never known separated couples reconciling I have known quite a few over the years so don't see it as being so unusual, counselling is an area for consideration but maybe a bit further down the line it has been mentioned already and will be again just not at the moment, for now I just want us to spend whatever time we can together, start to heal, enjoy each others company and see what happens, she is not well or herself at the moment she needs to clear her head and rest and become herself again, this could be a blip all our close mutual friends think so but I have to look at worse case scenario and consider that we may never live together again, but as I said previously I am not putting my head in the sand I am a realist but a tiny bit of me detects a slight glimmer of hope she is a good person going through a tough time but it is she that has instigated a lot of the new ideas not me I was just giving her space and time and she came round to our house totally out of the blue, she knows the locks are changed, she knows the alarm code has been changed as has the safe code and she said it upset her, if she wanted out totally then why would that upset her ?, time is a great healer so who knows what will happen.
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Old 11th August 2014, 08:11 PM   #9
chosen
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

IT may have upset her because you have done it so quickly after she left. I would have been pretty upset myself if that had happened to me.Only gone 2 or 3 weeks and already you have made such drastic changes.

If you have been married 17 years then surely she is entitled to a share of the house no matter whose name the mortgage is in? How else will she live if you stay just as friends?She will need a place to live as well as you.
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Old 12th August 2014, 08:44 AM   #10
Raymond
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

That kind of thing comes with a divorce surely? There is no divorce but a hope that things will heal and become better. I think that is a good hope to have and until then a good friendship endures.
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Old 12th August 2014, 10:43 AM   #11
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

I hope so Raymond I really do, it took me about 15 minutes or so to change the locks and codes etc and it would take that to change them back again and I told her that, now she understands why I did it and has agreed under the same circumstances she may of done the same, we don't want a war or divorce none of that some people automatically assume that the moment one person leaves then WW3 must break out, this is the wrong way to go about things, we must talk, listen, understand have empathy, if we do things that way we stay calm and peaceful ithout being bitter and nasty, this way there is always hope and some kind of chance that maybe just maybe we have some kind of chance, but there is no chance if you suddently change the habit of a lifetime and make your partner hate you and vice versa.
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Old 12th August 2014, 12:47 PM   #12
Raymond
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

I agree. That's all you can do Ralf. With time hopefully she will get to the bottom of what the problem is. Your friendship will help in that I am sure.

She seems to be acting honourably which is commendable. I am sure you will learn something here and hopefully the marriage will be richer for it in the long run.
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Old 12th August 2014, 01:05 PM   #13
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

Hi Raymond we are both acting honourably the best we can, we are both hurting not just me, she is a fine woman who I love and respect very much indeed, as I keep saying who knows what the future will bring, what I don't understand is those on here that automatically assume that a separation in a marriage should mean all out war, bitterness, hatred, infidelity, legal battles, instead of that why not talk and be civil to try to put things right, life is very tough for her as well as me and I have to consider that, we were truly in love at one time but somewhere something has gone a bit wobbly, we are both responsible for that so if we get back or not we owe each other to put things right, I hated changing the locks and codes that is the first direct action of any kind I have taken against her in 20 years and she knows that, we are meeting up tonight for a drink and a chat, I am going to play it very calm and none pushy, plus she has done some shopping for me and I have some bits for her from the house she needs, lets see what the next few weeks bring but please wish me luck for tonight feeling a bit nervous about it.
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Old 12th August 2014, 01:54 PM   #14
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

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Originally Posted by ralfgarnett View Post
what I don't understand is those on here that automatically assume that a separation in a marriage should mean all out war, bitterness, hatred, infidelity, legal battles
In the year that I have been using this site, I can't think of many occasions where there hasn't been infidelity or something untoward involved in a split. Although very sad, it does seem extremely common Ralf. The official figures would shock and disgust you.

Of course, when there is infidelity involved, it's a totally different kettle of fish, hence the legal action and often bitterness.

You and your wife are quite a rare example, hence why I think you have a lot more hope than others.

All the best for tonight. I think the way you are both handling it is excellent, well done.
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Old 12th August 2014, 02:22 PM   #15
ralfgarnett
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Re: Recently separated after 17 years of marriage honest advice and views needed

Thanks mate that's really good of you, feeling a bit nervous as we are meeting to talk about anything and everything and also how we go about defining our new relationship, very early days yet but I always believe where theres life theres hope, and I am normally a bit of a pessimist perhaps I am learning things about myself I never knew, no ground breaking decisions will be made tonight or even any time in the near future or maybe if ever, but you just never know whats round the corner and I rarely if ever give in at anything letrs just see,
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