How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Hope during divorce
My wife of ten years has filed for divorce. I did all the usual mistakes and took her for granted. I had issues getting on with my 8 year old daughter and the deal breaker was when my wife found that I had been watching porn for years. This didn't stop me wanting her but has hurt her deeply. I have now eliminated porn from my life and after two months, I am about to leave home and give her space.
I know deep down there is love there but she has closed her heart. She is keen for us to be friends as we have young children. She tearfully says things like 'I thought we would grow old together' and misses the man that could have been. It all breaks my heart but she is resolute in ending the marriage as she sees it as the only option.
I want to save my marriage and family but feel lost as to what to do. She has lost respect for me and no longer sees me as a real man. Is building a friendship the only way forward? Can co parenting strengthen our relationship? What would you advise when nothing will stop her need to end the marriage?
ANSWER: Hi Andy,
Saw your story and was touched beyond measure. It breaks my heart getting to see couples who have spent years building their home and getting to see love turning sour. Admit that what you have done is absolutely foolish, because nothing good comes from porn.
The fact that you have an 8 years old daughter would make such act a no go area. Humanly speaking, there may be nothing you can do to heal the wound that you have inflicted on her. Time is a great healer, so give her enough time to get healed.
Secondly, if you are a spiritual person, i would advice you take out time to pray for total healing of your marriage.
Thirdly, do all you can to eliminate anything that she hates from your life. Make her to see a new you and find time out to do positive things she never imagines you can do. Things that kindled your first love and made the relationship blossom in the past.
Finally, never give up on the one you love. The fact that she is hurt does not mean she will never open the door to her heart again. Whenever she opens it slightly, just walk in gently and ensure you don't hurt her again.
Don't think it will happen overnight. I would suggest you don't push her too hard. Give her enough space to eliminate those negative emotions, but don't ever give up on her.
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QUESTION: Thankyou for your reply.
My wife sent me this message and it broke my heart to read it. Please could you give any insight to what I can do, if anything?
I just wanted to say something. Please actually read it, and take notice... and don't just skim it to see what the end result is.
I will never completely get over the loss of my marriage, despite what you may think... about how this is all so easy for me.
Ok, if I had just found the porn on your phone... perhaps with some counselling etc. I could have got over that. I'm not certain I would have, because of our history with it, but I could have tried.
If it had just been your issues with Erica... perhaps with Colin's help, we could have sorted that out, although from what I've seen recently, I'm sceptical.
If it had just been that I felt I was constantly overcompensating for you, not being a true giving human being, generous with love, and giving what you can to make other people happy perhaps I could have been more patient and tried harder to get you to see all the things you were missing that were right in front of your eyes., although partly that's your personality and that can't be changed.
If it had just been that we lacked intimacy in our relationship perhaps I could have tried to spark things up, maybe even tried sex therapy, although the fact that you were so consumed with getting your kicks elsewhere and had nothing left of you to give, I doubt it would have worked.
If it was just that you needed time away from us for your own hobbies, perhaps I could have been more accepting although it was very hard to understand how you can watch everything fall apart and put playing about with models and mixing before your own family and marriage.
If it had just been that we were struggling to communicate, perhaps we could have tried marriage counselling, but then haven't we been here before? And it all stopped when I was 'off your case' for a while.
If it had just been that you seemed to lack compassion when I was upset, perhaps I could have learned how to make myself feel better inside, without you needing to do it for me.
If it had just been that you seemed to not care about work, or being a better provider for us, and wanting the best for your family... perhaps I could have worked more, or encouraged you to better yourself. But I have tried in the past, something always stops you and makes you think you are not good enough.
If it had just been that I was tired and run down from doing pretty much everything for our family physically, mentally and emotionally, yeah perhaps we could have got through that too... maybe.
BUT you put all those things together, and it just seems like an impossible black hole of upset and constant disappointment and it's very hard to have any energy left to salvage anything.
Don't get me wrong, if I had been a bad wife, unforgiving and unwilling to try to make things better... sure I deserve all that crap. But I was fighting a daily battle for my marriage, and I lost every time. I cried in the toilet when no one was around, I questioned my actions and constantly felt insecure because I was getting older and uglier. There was no way I was going to be able to pull this back, as strong as I might be.
BUT what finally broke me was seeing that you didn't need me at all. You could look at Italian Milfs anytime you liked on your phone... what did you need me for? They're better looking, younger and don't answer back. I was dreading our future. How much worse could this possibly get....
I had to get out. For my own sanity and for the sake of our children... it had to be over.
I now understand the scope for her anger and decision as regards seeking for a divorce. Its so sad to say the least, and i can equally see your hopelessness. I still believe you should still give her some time. She is emotionally down and out, and any further push from you can not only hurt her deeply, but can also trigger some unpleasant memories.
Its a complicated and very delicate situation. Not something that may just be handled lightly. How i wished you did not go too far, it would have been different. She is so hurt and getting an angry wife to let go of such deep pain is no mean feat. Just allow the issue to die down and lets see what happens.
By the way, are you close to any of her sisters or friends? If yes, you can use that as an option to calm her down. This should be done when she is a bit relaxed, not in this present state.