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WW wants space.

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MrCleanSlate posted 1/15/2020 09:39 AM

Infidelity or not, lots of M's hit the rocks due to all sorts of reasons - and three kids and all the extra curricular stuff can do that.

She may simply be burnt out from trying to keep up with the kids and home and work.

Before my A my marriage went to shit. I was too busy coaching and doing all sorts of things, my wife was busy dealing with school, doctors appts, and arranging programs etc (we have a special needs kid). We had both our fathers , plus a sibling and a few aunts pass away. And our texts and phone calls became all about Family Inc. All business so to speak. We stopped communicating. Life got in the way and we burnt out.

Everything else aside - you need to get some MC and also take some time as a couple to really talk. Take a bath with some wine, go to a coffee shop, see a movie, do something. It is amazing what can come out of some good one on one talking time.

numb&dumb posted 1/15/2020 09:53 AM

Whoops. Wrong Post.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 12:19 PM, January 15th (Wednesday)]

BluesPower posted 1/15/2020 12:38 PM

If I still had a WW, and she said this I would say the following:

OK, so start packing and find a new place to live, I will have the Divorce papers to you ASAP, have a great life.

I would not look back, I would not talk to her about it for any reason...

JUST MOVE ON.

Which actually sounds like what you should have done in the first place...

[This message edited by BluesPower at 1:02 PM, January 15th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/16/2020 08:37 AM

I really like what numb&dumb said, too.

Also, what MrCleanSlate said.

I think a lot of people are not prepared for what marriage and kids is really like. No one tells us about the day to day grind. When it happens to us we think there must be something wrong. "My wife doesn't love me anymore because she spends all of her time and attention on the kids." "My husband doesn't love me anymore because all he does is work and sleep." (I know, stereotypical and sexist, but you get the idea.)

People say we need to have date nights. True, but sometimes just not possible. I think we need to recognize and accept that this place is normal and temporary. It will pass.

Unfortunately, many people don't recognize it for what it really is. They don't see it as an opportunity to do some work to foster the M. They see it as a failing and decide to cheat.

Gunnut posted 1/16/2020 12:51 PM

This is not a functional marriage. Even without the affair, both of you dislike each other deeply. How long has the marriage been like this? 2 years? Or even more? Be realistic. Do you think that this can be turned around?

I love my wife, I donít dislike her, but we donít get along well. Weíve had our ups and downs our entire marriage, it first got bad at only a year in, when I had a back surgery. Thatís when her first EA happened (I didnít find out until 18 years later) then things got better for quite awhile and I felt comfortable having kids, and that time was the happiest and closest Iíve ever felt to her, but that came to an end after we found out that our eldest has autism. I donít know if it can be turned around but we are in MC.
You state married for 20 years and she has been unfaithful for most of them. So what are the odds?N

Was there a change in your sex life prior to this space request?

Did she ever love you passionately?


I know the odds are against me with a serial cheater, but we have kids so Iím willing to risk it. No change in our sex life,itís been pretty blah since HB ended. She seemed too love me passionately early on, but who knows.

On one hand, it is likely she is cranky a lot, and that's all you mean. On another hand, if my husband said I was a bitch or bitchy, I feel like that could be true or it could be an attitude he is copping back towards me because he's not patient enough to understand me. I am using us as an example, but I don't remember in our 20+ years together him ever using those words
.
I donít tell her when sheís bitchy, Iím just smart enough for that. I try to take a compassionate approach and ask if something is going on. Why am I with her ? I do still love her and we have kids, if neither of those two things were true, I wouldnít risk R with a serial cheater.

Things are so volatile with her right now that the simplest things like coming up with our schedule ends up with her blowing up, so Iím not asking anything until tomorrowís MC. My questions so far are;
1. What do you mean by space ?
2. Why do you need space?
3. Does it mean that you no longer want to be married?

[This message edited by Gunnut at 1:09 PM, January 16th (Thursday)]

Darkness Falls posted 1/17/2020 20:01 PM

Literally the only words my H and I have said to each other in years are about the kids.

I too like my space.

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/17/2020 21:00 PM

Things are so volatile with her right now that the simplest things like coming up with our schedule ends up with her blowing up,

🚩 of a new A. So many BPs say their CPs were nasty while they were cheating. They like to say they need space, too.

Gunnut posted 1/20/2020 21:00 PM

Itís been busy nuts around here between hockey, blizzards and car trouble, so Iíve been reading but not updating. I really appreciate everyoneís posts and Iíve really been mulling them over, I will answer questions and update as Iím able.

We did go to MC and I asked for clarification about my WW wanting space. The first thing our MC did was ask her if she wanted to D, she said ďNo.Ē Our MC said most partners apon hearing that think that their partner wants out, my WW said she didnít. Our Mc asked her what she mean by it then and my WW said just some time alone to decompress.

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/21/2020 06:52 AM

my WW said just some time alone to decompress.

Is it just me, or is it usually cheaters that say this shit? My H said the same thing. He needs time to "decompress". He has a 45 minute drive to and from work every day. There's his time to decompress.

Gunnut, do you get time to decompress?

CaptainRogers posted 1/21/2020 09:29 AM

Parenting, working, the weather, dealing with the guilt & shame...makes sense that what she wants is that time to just sit and breathe.

As a guy who drives a lot on most days, I can say that being in traffic, even if it isn't heavy, is no time to decompress for me. Constantly being "on alert" for foolish drivers takes a toll on the mental energy as well. There are days that I'd rather drive the 6 boring hours across the state of Kansas than the 15 minutes from my office to my house at the end of the work day.

I'm glad you were able to talk about it with the MC and even happier that the MC pointed out the unspoken connotation to such a request when the spouse requesting "space" doesn't actually explain what they mean by that.

It is a long process to kill off the old habits of poor communication. My wife still misses the mark occasionally. But those times are fewer and further between these days. Hopefully, that was an awakening for her to understand that she needs to either provide context for her words, or simply choose better words, ones that reflect what she is really asking.

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 9:30 AM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

Gunnut posted 1/21/2020 09:37 AM

I do get time to decompress. Iím the primary caregiver to our autistic son. My day is pretty much my own from 8:30am and 2:00 pm while the kids are at school. That time is filled up with keeping house for a family of 5, maintainace on the home, our old vehicles and appliances, and renovations on our house. Iím plenty busy, but I can at any time , between 8:30am-2:00pm during the school year, on weekdays sit down and have a cup of coffee. I spend a lot of time with my kids, which I truly love, but at the end of the day, Iím ready for a conversation with a grown up. Iíd prefer it to be at home with my wife, than heading to the bar or something.

hikingout posted 1/21/2020 09:59 AM

I may be an outlier here, but sometimes stating needs can be actually a sign the WS is growing. I don't know if I can apply it to your situation or not as I don't know enough. But, in my situation time to myself, making time for self care such as exercise or taking a longer bath, or watching a program that I am the only one who likes is actually part of balancing my life and being responsible for my own happiness. If the only time your wife has is between 9 and 10 and every day you want that time to be about you guys, maybe it's good she spoke up. BUT -- she needs to work on her communication skills and negotiating her expectations with you so that you both understand what is happening and how it will be implemented.

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/21/2020 11:32 AM

I've read of people using their driving/commuting time to decompress. 🤷‍♀️ Where there's a will, there's a way.

It's good that she expressed a want. It's good that it turned put to be what it is.

Gunnut posted 2/5/2020 09:09 AM

Thanks all for your responses. I am really mulling over Numb&Dumbs response although I havenít posted about it yet (Iím really having trouble lately getting pages to load and posting things on this sight. Is anybody else having trouble?). In IC and MC we were talking about attachment theory and the pursuit/withdrawal cycle and it seems we have it, with me as the pursuer. I can find a lot online about this dynamic and itís causes, but nothing about breaking the dynamic; does anybody have any advice?

I have been getting out and seeing friends more. I joined a Meetup movie group, but I was unable to go yesterday, because it conflicted with the kids hockey. Iím also in the process of getting a part time job. Iím also considering joining the VFW. I havenít been active at all in the veterans community, because I just wanted to come home, start a family and forget about war, who new marriage would be more traumatic than combat.

redfish posted 2/5/2020 10:45 AM

As other's have said you need to find out what she means by space. Is it moving out, taking a cruise or simply she does not want you in the same room every time you two are home. She needs to answer the why as well. Maybe in her opinion she feels you are clingy.

I find my friends son playing alone he sometimes tells me that his parents need some space. It usually lasts an hour or two and they are back as a family.

It's pointed out as long as this space does not involve long term separation you might want to look into some activities for your self, to decompress.

It's been said, "separation makes the heart grow fonder"


sisoon posted 2/5/2020 13:02 PM

No movie has ever been made or ever can be made that is better than watching one's kid play hockey...or anything else, for that matter.

Good luck on hooking up with the group in the future. Also, VFW sounds like a good choice for a vet.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:03 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 2/5/2020 13:50 PM

Yes, she has a diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety, I wonder if there is more though.

Yah so do I, it doesn't entitle me to be a bitch to my partner, and get angry over little things. It also doesn't give me an excuse for not being respectful or clear on what I mean when I say something.

She needs some accountability in your relationship. Until you hold her to it, she will continue to keep you on this rollercoaster.
Sorry. Just my 2 cents.

cocoplus5nuts posted 2/6/2020 08:30 AM

If you change, the dynamic of your relationship will change even if she doesn't change. It has to.

To change the withdrawal/pursuit dynamic, just stop pursuing her.

Gunnut posted 2/6/2020 12:07 PM


If you change, the dynamic of your relationship will change even if she doesn't change. It has to.
To change the withdrawal/pursuit dynamic, just stop pursuing her.

What does that look like ? A 180į ? I donít see her that much at all and she says that Iím ďComing at her all the time.Ē I am trying to reconnect like our MC says to do, but I donít have much opportunity to do so. I feel like Iím trying to have a regular sort relationship with her and Iím not really the clingy type, so do I just simply stop trying too have any relationship and let the marriage die a natural death like a do not resuscitate order on an old sick family member ?

I know in the written word itís hard to tell tone, but my questions are genuine and not loaded or rhetorical. I just feel so stuck and that there is a crazy making/ no win situation that is my marriage and when I do hear stop the pursuit it sounds to me like give up on the marriage, but maybe itís dead already and my wife is orchestrating itís death or at least the first one of us to see it.

numb&dumb posted 2/6/2020 12:36 PM

I think something for you to explore is to spend thinking about why you are so dependent on her.

I am not saying that in a bad way, but my advice about having a life outside of your M is very healthy advice I'd give to anyone. You need to balance that. Further I think you need to always being available when your W needs something from you. If you aren't than it gives her a chance to miss you. Further, if you give her what she asks for she can't really complain about that without coming across as not knowing what she wants. A MC would see that a mile away. Sorry, A good MC will see that a mile away.

One thing I can say about the pursuer and distancer dynamic is that both are required to continue the cycle. If you stop being a pursuer then she really can't be the distancer, right ?

Once you stop pursuing her she won't know how to act anymore and likely won't like it either. Again, you are doing what she has asked. It is not fair to you to go away and wait for her to need you. You need to re balance this power dynamic in your M. It would not hurt for her to see how it feels when she does want to spend time with you and you are not up for it.

Sometimes you have to play the short game contrary to how you want the long game to end. I'd take on a full 180. Kids and finances only. You need to use that time to fill your life with anything other than kids or your W. You need a life and an identity that is your and yours alone. You have to stop defining yourself through your family.

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