wife told me we were separating at the beginning of the year … and its hard

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  • #22347 Report


    Hi Guys,

    Advice and pointers please. So the short story is that over the last year things were difficult, basically we were withdrawn and stopped communicating.  I don’t understand why and looking back was stupid for not seeing what was happening.  My wife was going out, increasingly and getting late and later to return. I wouldn’t be able to sleep and we would argue when she got back. I would bury myself in work and give her space, hoping she would come back.

    At the beginning of the year she said she wanted to separate, she had tried but it didn’t work … i though we could try counselling/mediation, but she wasn’t interested in at all (didn’t want to get back together). Now however mediation seems to be an option, to help with the process of separation.  The marriage is over, i’m desperate to start again … but really my focus needs to be the kids.   What happens next?

    TLDR: seperating,  2x kids , one autistic , help!

    #22348 Report


    So sorry to hear about your situation. I am a single mum to a daughter and I left her dad before I found out I was pregnant. He thought that I would get back with him m because I was pregnant but I knew it wouldn’t work. I know he found it really difficult but you can’t force yourself to feel something u don’t. However I now know I made the right decision because he is a waste of space! All I can say is just concentrate and put all ur focus into your children cos they are more important than anyone. That’s what I did and I’ve realised that my daughter is all that really matters to me and that nothing else matters. I feel like nd it really difficult to trust people as I’ve been through alot of difficult relationships so I’m not sure I will ever find a partner again because of that but I’ve just told myself that if it happens then great but I’ll f not I will always have my daughter to get me through even tho at times she drives me mad! Not sure if this has helped at all as pretty useless at stuff like this and knowing what to say to help!

    #22353 Report


    I can see some similarities in your story with my own, from Christmas 2017 my wife became increasingly withdrawn and stopped communicating with me, three months later she just didn’t come home from work one night and the next day turned up with her mother to pick up her things and tell me it was over. Like your wife she had no interest in counselling or mediation as she had no interest at all in being together.  We have one child who is on the spectrum with severe hyperactivity so is completely exhausting to take care of – I understand the extra complexity that can add.

    Unfortunately things went really badly after that for us so anything I can tell you would really just be from the perspective of what to try and avoid – my wife’s focus was entirely on the money and less than 48 hours after walking out (in fact the next time we spoke) I was presented with a list of financial demands I just wasn’t prepared for so your approach is exactly right – focus on the kids and then start sorting out the practicalities that don’t have emotion attached. Most importantly give yourself some time, I didn’t get that as my wife was so eager to cash out and leave which has made it so much more difficult for me to try and move on.

    Try to stay civil and maintain respectful communication even when its really hard, apportioning blame won’t help either party and if you can still communicate it will be better for the children longer term.

    We didn’t discuss how we would tell our son as she did it straight away without me and in the coldest way imaginable and when he got really upset and wanted a cuddle she refused, told him to go away and went out shopping for her new flat. If you haven’t already told your children try to do it together and in a way they can understand, focussing on how you will both continue to love them and spend time with them.

    We didn’t get chance to agree living or access arrangements for our child as my wife rented a flat that didn’t allow kids so by default I ended up as resident parent 100% of the time, over the past year their infrequent contact has dropped to nothing, not even a text or phone call in weeks – don’t let this happen, I’ve seen the damage it can do to a child, particularly one that struggles to process and understand emotions.

    When it comes to dividing money and belongings try to be fair and considerate to each other – I didn’t get any say in things as anything she wanted just disappeared whilst I was at work along with all the money I had spent a decade saving up as the deposit for a house. We were renting so there wasn’t any mortgage to sort out but if there is in your situation get the required legal advice.  As much as it hurt at the time and still stings money and things can all be replaced so it really isn’t worth falling out over them and personally I would try to both find somewhere new to live – the constant reminders aren’t helpful, particularly if you didn’t want to break up.

    For the longer term, if/when one of you get a new partner be considerate how they are introduced into your children’s lives as it can be very confusing – my wife was living with her new boyfriend two days after leaving and introduced our son to him the next weekend on the first time she came to see him after moving out and he had no idea how to process that. He likes the new boyfriend now as he is a lot younger and likes to play the same computer games but it wasn’t a good way to introduce them.

    It is hard and will likely be painful for some time but people always say it will get better/easier eventually.  Focus on your children and yourself, don’t rush into anything, try to stay civil and remember you aren’t alone – there are lots of others who have been or are going through similar experiences and as well as providing practical advice there can be comfort in knowing someone is available to listen who understands.

    #22357 Report


    Thanks for the replies guys, it’s heartening to have anyone take the time to help.  Totally agree that focus on the children is the way, it’s just so raw emotionally that … well you understand.

    So I find myself in uncharted waters , and it seems organising a plan (children first) and finding a map (research) are the next things to do.

    Regarding the autism does anyone have any specific advice for how to talk to children … or just telling children in general? Not finding much information that resonates

    #22376 Report


    Hi there,

    You could try calling Family Lives – their helpline offers emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life.  Their number is 0808 800 2222 and is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.



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