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Wife Wants to Separate - Here's What To Do


Wife Wants to Separate - Here's What You Can DoEd came to counseling last week because he didn't know what else to do.  He'd never been to counseling before, so even going to counseling designed for men was a big step for him to take.  But he was desperate.

His wife had told him the week before that she wants to separate.  Then she left for a week - he was stunned.

She's threatened to leave before, he says, but this time he thinks she really means it.

Like a lot of guys, Ed has been putting off for years his wife's requests to go to marriage counseling.  In his mind things were never that bad.  Besides, with a business to run and a family with 2 kids, who's got time for counseling he asks.

He's making time now though.  He says he had no idea that she was this unhappy or their relationship was on the edge.  Ed did acknowledge a few things he needs to do better.  

"She feels that I yell at her a lot."  He's not sure if that's true, but he did say he knows he gets defensive and wants to change that.

So what can Ed do?  He wants to save his marriage.  But is it too late?

His wife left him and came back she says only for the kids and until they can figure out what to do with the house.

Is there anything he can do fix his marriage?  Yes!

  • GIVE HER SPACE When a lot of guys finally wake up and hear their wives, they turn into a super-charged Mr. Fix-it and are all over saving their marriage.  Unfortunately, most of their wives by this time have given up.  Ed needs to hold back on pressuring her to come to counseling with him or to work with him to save their marriage.  She needs a little space first.
  • GO TO COUNSELING The biggest statement men can make to their wives about what she and the marriage means to them is to go to counseling.  Not just once, but again and again for a while.  And on top of that to take the things they learn in counseling and put them to work to change themselves.  When most wives see a commitment to counseling and a willingness to change, they're willing to try again too.

If you're in Ed's shoes, and your wife wants to separate, give these two suggestions a try.  If she hasn't left yet, but she's been asking you to go to marriage counseling, save yourself some pain and go before it's too late.  Ed will tell you that counseling for men really isn't that bad.

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wow, sounds like my marriage. For too long I have been stuck in a loveless marriage and the bad thing is that my huband thinks that if we have sex, everything is good because we are connecting. Well let me talk to the men in the audience...sex is what woman want and are willling to have when there IS a connection between the two of you NOT to make one. We don't feel loved when that's the only communication there is. I am so lonely that I would like to have someone to shower me with hugs and kisses, I miss it so much and my husband really isn't one to do that. I have tried for years (27) to let me know my turn ons etc and he as so much as laughed at me. BIG turnoff guys...I finally have given up and NOW he is going to counseling. I am not sure that I really want it anymore!
Posted @ Saturday, March 27, 2010 6:23 PM by Deejay
Deejay - I don't believe that it ever has to be too late. I'm sorry to hear that he ignored you for so many years, but glad to see that he's getting help now. You make a great point that sex for women is a result of having a connection not getting one. That's a lesson a lot of us guys still need to learn. 
Posted @ Thursday, April 08, 2010 10:57 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
LOL 27 year's and know your going to give up.Come on after waiting this long .Please how stupit would that be . You wasted all time waiting and know your going to throw it away ...
Posted @ Sunday, April 03, 2011 9:31 AM by KENNETH
I'm 28 years old,been with my husband for 11 going on 12 years(4 years)married..I hate the coldness,I can't handle the fact that I cry my eyes out and he just ask me what do u want me to say..as long as I can remember he never showed me what he feels,I don't know when last he gave me a kiss,he never touch me,never even look at me and tell me I look beautiful(I feel ugly)..our sex life is all about him(btw no cuddle nor 4play)just plain sex..we have 2 kids..and my family want to rule my life(telling me)that I can't walk out..I'm came to the last of my life now..and I want out,he never took me for coffee even..and I went for coffee with someone..he found out and choked me..why didn't he see the cracks..don't get me wrong I don't have someone els..I just wanted to feel what it feels like..I admire my friends when they talk about their relationships and Valentines day..am I love him..but not in that way..he is 42 and I'm 28..we never go out..I mean never..I love meeting people..I love talking*and I only have 2 friends..pls help me!!I don't know what to do..I'm sick of the fact that I always have to think of my kids and family first..I want to be happy..and I'm happiest when I'm alone..I'm not ugly..and all this make me hate myself...:(
Posted @ Sunday, November 11, 2012 10:29 PM by Tanya
My wife of 7 years told me the other day she wants to separate but not divorce. She says I'm not the man she fell in love with. That she still loves me and I am her best friend but she's not in love with me. She hasn't kicked me out but wants me to get a good job so I can move out. I am so confused and scared. What can I do???
Posted @ Sunday, January 06, 2013 12:11 AM by eric
Eric, Ask her to go to counseling with you so you both can learn how to separate but not divorce. Once you're there you can both learn how/why she fell out of love with you and how to change that. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:49 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Ok so my waife want a seperation . We still live in the same house and talk on the odd occasion.iv asked her to go to marriagecouncling but she not interested we been married for 20 year 3 children then out of the blue its over .... some thing doesnt sit right ..... any ideas we now have not really spoken for 3 months do i just say stuff it get the divorse papers ready .
Posted @ Thursday, January 02, 2014 2:57 PM by Dean
Ok so my waife want a seperation . We still live in the same house and talk on the odd occasion.iv asked her to go to marriagecouncling but she not interested we been married for 20 year 3 children then out of the blue its over .... some thing doesnt sit right ..... any ideas we now have not really spoken for 3 months do i just say stuff it get the divorse papers ready .
Posted @ Thursday, January 02, 2014 2:58 PM by Dean
I think that the 'giver her space' tip is a good one, although it can seem counter intuitive to a man who is being told that they aren't spending enough time with their wife. 
I also think that women need to come to the mans side of thinking for a bit to help him. Understand why he is doing what he is doing, then you can save yourself from a loveless marriage.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:44 PM by Joe Hann
The love of my life is separating from me after 16 years of marriage. It hit me like a train head on. She tells me she loves me but is not in love right now.I love her with all my heart and soul. I am in counseling because I feel so lost. There isn't a day that goes by and I say I love you. Do not know what I would do without her
Posted @ Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:37 PM by Evan
My wife and I have been married for almost 4 years now and together for 7. A few months ago she admitted to cheating on me one time. She is a diagnosed sex addict and I forgave her almost right away. After that things were going great for a few months until last weekend when we had a date night. She told me I was being too clingy and it was bothering her. I admitted I was a little too clingy because of what happened and agreed to change. I had a few too many to drink after that and told her I wished she was as attracted to me as I am her. The next day she told me she's been unhappy for a long time and wants to separate, and possibly leave me. I don't know what to do, I love her so much and I don't want our 6 year old daughter to be effected by this. I am currently giving her space and she is staying in our guest room. What can I do? I feel sick and lost and confused.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:56 AM by Jacob
Jacob, You're doing the right things so far -- work on changing yourself, back off on being clingy, give her space, and get some professional guidance from a counselor. -Kurt
Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:53 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
My wife of 18 years is moving out, we have a daughter that starts college next week and a 9 year old son. She says she loves me but not in love, We have a farm and its a hard life, she wants us to still keep the livestock and she wants to keep the garden going and can foods for us but not live together, she said she is in no hurry for a divorce and wants to share the kids . I love her with all my heart and have been blind to her feelings, does this mean it is over or is there hope that she will come back home? She said there is no fixing our marriage, i did not see this coming, im so hurt and upset i feel lost, she is taking a job as a care taker for a property with horses. She is moving out next month. What should i do?
Posted @ Thursday, August 07, 2014 12:27 PM by Barry
Barry, Sorry to hear she's moving out. Give her some space, don't chase her, and take the feedback she's given you over the years of what she's needed/wanted form you and use it to work on yourself. By changing yourself you can draw her back. Talking to a professional counselor will help too. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, August 09, 2014 7:30 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
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