She Wants to Divorce and Live Together

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
Ok this will be a long one but here goes. For about a year and a half me and my wife have problems. It started when she started to find herself. She started making all these changes in her life and it scared me. She lost some weight doing yoga and got spiritual with buddhism. Went and got tattoos that reflected her spirituality. She is 37 with a 7 year old and she started getting a few friends that were only 22 years old into the same things she is into.

Now mind you me and my wife have alot in common (music, movies, art, our animals that we love.) but because of her changes I started to create bad behaviors that I can't stand and that drove her away (lying, snooping around, not trusting her, talking bad about her behind her back out of anger, putting words in her mouth to fit my perceptions of a situation.) Since then we have seeked counceling and I have gotten better but she has emotionally shut down and quit counceling. We had gotten the doctor phil book relationship rescue and as we did the work she says she realized she does not want to work that hard for this marriage and does not want anyone. She keeps everything inside and does not speak her feelings and thats what got us into this mess.

we have been married ten years. I have been working on myself for about four months and have a ways to go. but now she wants a divorce. But the strange thing is we are still friends and do not argue about anything can still go to dinner and go out and have fun, all up until we decided on divorce now she is distancing herself. But when we sat down to work out the details of the divorce. She said she does not want to take me for everything and does not want lawyers involved. Now this women says she loves me till the day I die but is not in love with me. So she is thinking of me in this also. So when we discussed selling the house she would not leave, and she wants to fix up the house a bit before we sell it. She wants to get a better job so she can support her and our son better which means living together for possibly a very long time 1,2,3 years who knows.

My ? is how am I to live with her for that long when I am crushed by all this, and how could she want to stay that long if she wants a divorce? at the rate we do things around here and the job market today and the sellers market for houses this could be a long process. I need some advice badly I love this women unconditionally. thank you Advice
It was really great for her to want to better herself and actively work to do that, and it's a shame that you actively tried to prevent her from doing these things. One of THE most important things that a partner is supposed to do for you is support you in your goals and dreams. In many ways, your actively resisting her attempts to get in better shape and find ways to release stress - all which seem quite healthy - was showing her that you were not a supportive partner. You weren't someone she could depend on long term to really support her. So despite some counselling, she decided she needed to rely on herself and then maybe find a new partner who did give her that support.

She obviously still likes you as a person and cares about you. But truly being in love with someone means that you support them in all of their goals, and that they support you in return. It's about two people "watching each other's backs" against the rough world around you. She doesn't see you as being that person for her.

Because of that, she has stopped sharing herself with you, because in essence she doesn't trust you any more with that part of her. You act as if that shutdown was the cause of the problems. But you yourself say the shutdown only happened once she decided this really wasn't going to work. In that case it's quite normal.

I really advice trying to live together in the state you're in. Living together is hard enough for people who are married and trying to make things work. If she lives with you while divorcing you, it is going to cause huge strains! You won't have anywhere to "get away from her" to think and mourn and such. If for that reason alone I would really *insist* that you guys go to therapy to at least get running advice on dealing with those stresses. There's a child involved here - the child deserves a home that is at least semi-reasonable, not one that is a turmoil of emotions. The child is going to be learning about how to deal with stress from your reactions, and you want the lessons to be positive ones!

And maybe during those therapy sessions you can start to slowly prove to your wife that you ARE able to be supportive now, that you have learned and grown and matured. She herself did a LOT of growing during her period of time where she lost weight and such. She knows from experience that it can change a person greatly. Show her that YOU are going through a similar change and are now ready to be there for her.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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