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General :
Help With No Contact. Is There Any Hope?


 HopefuLad (original poster new member #82448) posted at 5:58 AM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

I'm hoping that I can find some support here in the General forum as my issue isn't related to infidelity per se. My wife and I separated about 3 months ago because she was unhappy and doesn't believe that I am capable of change. She moved out and now has her own place. We've been married for 8 years but neither of us has filed for divorce yet. Against better judgement, I decided to make changes and save my marriage without applying the No Contact rule first. In the process, I pleaded, texted and called, instead of giving her space. She eventually started running hot and cold. Some days, she was very warm and even reached out on her own and other days, she was completely distant. I even assumed that we were on a clear path to reconciliation because we were beginning to miss each other and we even started flirting. Unfortunately, a couple weeks ago, she told me that she needed space to process the breakup properly so that she could heal and so that we could both work on ourselves. She pretty much instituted a hard no contact policy. We still love each other but we haven't communicated in over two weeks, the longest ever. I have no choice but to adapt to and respectfully maintain the No-Contact, if there is any hope for reconciliation. Is there any hope for reconciliation or have I blown it?

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2022
id 8766546

Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 12:23 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

I'm sorry you are going through this. Please provide more information, do you have kids with her? Unfortunately, reconciliation is out of your hands, it takes two. My advice is stay no contact, and take care of yourself, get in the gym, take up a hobby, and start moving on. This will make you more attractive vs chasing after her, its called the "pick me dance" its what feels natural and its usually the default move. You did not mention any infidelity but you need to look at bank, credit card, and phone records, something doesn't add up here. I wish you the best and recommend reading the healing library, and the 180, there is very good advice there with or without infidelity.

[This message edited by Tanner at 12:30 PM, Thursday, November 24th]

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 2007   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8766558

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 4:07 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

To me it sounds like you two have a relationship issue with no clear path to resolution. I think defining what you two want will be the key. If that’s not clear, then at least a) how long you two take to discover what you want and b) if some rules apply while that takes place.

I want to emphasize the impact of being married. Not the emotional part per se (although that too is definitely important) but also the legal implications. You say there is no infidelity and let’s just assume that’s true. But if there is and/or if your wife were to date a man during this period of separation and became pregnant by him you would need to enter a formal, legal process to refute paternity OR be saddled with child-support. Technically your wife could enter a loan-agreement that you could be accountable for. Technically the debt she’s running up on her credit-card could be collected through you in a years time…
These are all worst-case and black predictions, but it only makes sense to at least put up some fences and boundaries to prevent this happening. Think of it like when you sit in a vehicle – for most of us the first thing we do is put on the seat-belt. It’s not because we plan on having a crash, but rather to protect us IF we have a crash.

I would suggest the following.
Remember – nothing changes unless factors make it change. You can decide to wait for those factors or to be a factor. The later allows you impact in the resolution and/or the speed of resolution.

What is it that your wife doesn’t like?
Is it a valid issue? Like do you drink or gamble or can’t hold a job or game through the night? Don’t take care of your personal appearance, have health issues or something along those lines?
Is there any merit in her dislike? Like if you sat on the couch all day downing shots… that would be a very good reason to want out.
Is there anything YOU can do to improve YOU?
I think we can all do stuff to be better people so there is definitely something you can do, but it has to be pretty drastic that needs changing if YOU are the reason she doesn’t want this marriage.

Or not… Sometimes people just drift apart. Doesn’t have to be anything wrong with either. It just happens.

However… In infidelity (and this is an infidelity site…) the Golden Rule is that people don’t cheat because of the spouse, but because of their own internal issues. That could apply to your wife – even if there isn’t any infidelity. Maybe her decision to end this marriage is due to her depression, insecurities or whatever. Could be that you are pretty normal or even faultless – but the issue lies in her.

What is the goal of the separation? Have you two decided on that?
Is it to give time to decide if you want to remain married or not, or is it just a delay to divorce?
Is there a timeframe in place? Is this an indefinite separation or does it have a purpose so you can put a 3 month limit to it?
Are there some ground-rules you both adhere to? Like no long-term financial commitments like signing a 1 year lease or financing a vehicle. Or rules on dating and new relationships.
Technically – how hard is divorce? Kids? Assets? Big difference in earnings over the last 8 years? Could you divorce with relative technical ease? If so – what’s holding her back? (I’m not refusing the emotional pain).

I don’t think NC just for the sake of NC servers much purpose. If you are SEPARATED but not divorced as part of a process to discover if you want this marriage then great, establish ground-rules for what communications are allowed or expected. If this is a separation because either of you doesn’t have the courage or strength to pull the inevitable trigger… well… get to the bottom of it and pull.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8766586

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:41 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

She has a no contact rule during separation so she can freely choose to make whatever choices she wants without feeling guilty. You know the old "I can freely Daye b/c we are D" mentality.

I don’t think k she is on the path towards R. She seems to be far from It IMO. She’s not working with you - she’s not doing anything but putting her selfish needs or wants first.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12792   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8766613

GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 9:26 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

1stWife said it before I could. She doesn't want you clouding her judgment with the new guy anymore. The hot/cold routine....I've seen it so many times and it's almost always bc there's someone new around.

[This message edited by GoldenR at 11:59 PM, Thursday, November 24th]

posts: 2734   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8766617

ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 9:46 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

I agree with GoldenR … there is likely someone else. Women normally don’t leave a M without a soft place to land. Personally, I’d start snooping to either confirm or eliminate that possibility.

Just consider that possibility and review what you know through that filter.

Any changes in behavior?

Any new male coworkers?

Any old flames reappear?

Any new GF’s that may influence her?

Etc., etc. …

posts: 151   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8766619

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:41 PM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

Women normally don’t leave a M without a soft place to land

Utter tosh and I challenge any meaningful data or reference to support such a generalization. Women leave marriages for all sorts of reasons and often with no clear path to their future.

HopefuLad – you don’t share enough for us to automatically assume your wife left you for someone else. Its definitely a possibility but there is no need for anyone to make the assumption that it’s because of someone else. Remember – this IS an infidelity-site and for us that contribute here the major trauma in OUR relationships tends to have been infidelity. In yours? It’s definitely a possibility, but it could also be a series of different things. Jumping to one right now isn’t sensible.

I stand by my advice. It does sound like you two need to communicate. I think a set of very direct and basic questions are in order and I encourage you to ask your wife these questions:

What do you want?
Do you see a future for our marriage?
If yes then: How do we progress?
If no then: So let’s formally end it.

If unsure: What timeframe can we place on a decision?
What rules can we have for our separation?
Are you seeing someone else?
Can we agree on a no-dating period while separated?
Or do we agree that we can date when separated?

What goals do we have for the separation?
Are we going to communicate?
Should we seek MC while separated?

Get it? Make the separation have a goal, a purpose. MAYBE that purpose will be to initiate a divorce. If that’s the case… well… it’s like if your favorite aunt passed away – you inevitably need to bury the body and move on. IF your wife tells you she wants out then maybe it’s YOUR role to have the strength to start that process.

But… based on your single post and limited info… All I can say is that No Contact isn’t going to save your marriage.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8766793

BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:52 PM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

Can you give us more information? What do you mean your wife doesn’t think you can change? Have you been abusive, using drugs or alcohol, or cheating on her?

If not, do you suspect that she’s cheating on you but don’t have any info to confirm it?

The reason I’m asking is to get a better idea of what the circumstances of your separation are before speculating or giving you inappropriate advice.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 950   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8766827

ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 9:19 PM on Sunday, November 27th, 2022


Did I miss something where you were appointed my personal critic/cyber stalker? I rarely post, but the past several you have made a point to follow them up to tell me how wrong I am.

I understand you enjoy some most favored poster status here, but I fail to see how your experiences and opinions trump mine or anyone else’s.

… and I stand by my statement. It’s why the term monkeybranching originated to describe this very phenomenon.

… and FTR, I only suggested he snoop a little to see if she is cheating or considering cheating, since OP didn’t seem to be considering the possibility.

[This message edited by ButAnyway at 9:24 PM, Sunday, November 27th]

posts: 151   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8766930

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 9:55 PM on Sunday, November 27th, 2022

That’s because you insist on making generalizations and harmful claims that you can never back up. This is the second one you make that I see reason to follow up – because they are harmful for the original posters IMHO.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8766938

ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 11:09 PM on Sunday, November 27th, 2022

So, now I’m not only wrong, I’m also harmful. I’d like to see you back up that generalized claim.

No, on second thought, I really don’t care to read your theories.

I’m outta this thread unless the OP comes back and asks me to clarify or elaborate.

[This message edited by ButAnyway at 11:10 PM, Sunday, November 27th]

posts: 151   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8766954

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 1:57 PM on Monday, November 28th, 2022

But actually, the issue is that you don't see any problem with saying 'Women normally don’t leave a M without a soft place to land'.

'Normally don't' is ipso facto a statistical argument. You have insufficient data for that generalization, and no such data exists anyway. There are a lot of a lot of anecdotes, but anecdotes are insufficient to support drawing general conclusions. The data I know from personal revelations is that women D without having a new partner lined up.

Drawing statistical conclusions from insufficient data IS harmful. It gives one permission to think one knows something that isn't necessarily true.

I hope readers see this post as clarification, not as piling on. I have a long history of confronting over-generalizations, especially before I became a staff member.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27872   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8767016

 HopefuLad (original poster new member #82448) posted at 9:42 PM on Monday, November 28th, 2022

Thanks for the responses. No, we do not have any children together. I have read quite a bit on this forum and on other forums that there could be a case of infidelity. It seems like that is the go-to or default. I highly doubt that infidelity is the case here, but then again I do not know that for a fact. It is just not in her character not to mention that she literally has NO time for a fling. Then again, if she does, then the joke is on me, right? I can tell you guys that since I have read your responses, the thought of infidelity has totally consumed me and I have now become extremely paranoid that there may be someone else, even though my rational mind disagrees.

Her initial stance was that she wanted a divorce, then a couple of weeks later she mentioned that she was going to hold off on the divorce. She hasn't particularly given me any hope towards reconciliation, but we've been cordial and nice to each other throughout the separation. She doesn't believe that anyone can make sustainable changes overnight (ME) and she encouraged us to individually work on ourselves and at some point we could possibly re-evaluate things to determine if the changes made through our individual growth can move us towards reconciliation.

The NC request was really my fault because I was genuinely doing everything I could to save our marriage; I guess those tactics were eventually repelling, although they were initially welcome . The adverse effect according to her was that it was making her question her decision and she hadn't been able to process her need for the separation. Through conversation, we had both mutually begun owning our past mistakes in the relationship. I should mention that we are both in therapy individually. I only wish we had been able to do that in the relationship. With the NC, any progress we were making through periodic talks about us ceased.

Like someone stated, it is out of my control at this point. My fear iss that the lack of contact would make us grow apart. It's going on almost a month now since we last spoke and it's been the most challenging thing that I have emotionally dealt with to date. I can imagine that it's equally difficult for her. I was just hoping to get some encouragement from the forum as well as the hard truth.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2022
id 8767081

BeingNaive ( member #30652) posted at 9:45 PM on Monday, November 28th, 2022

Perhaps he should have said "It isn't uncommon for women not to leave a M without a soft place to land", but to go out of one's way to say it was "Utter tosh" is a bit rude, imo.

HopefuLad, I hope you come back if you need. We're always around to help! smile

posts: 291   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8767082

 HopefuLad (original poster new member #82448) posted at 10:29 PM on Monday, November 28th, 2022


Thanks for providing some clarity. Unfortunately, we haven't discussed goals in detail as you enumerated. It would be somewhat awkward and even annoying to reach out now to attempt to redefine the objectives during this period of NC. I guess we could discuss that later on when she isn't feeling as pressured. Keep in mind that the dumper initiated NC and at the very least, I, the dumped, need to respect that and maintain my dignity for now.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2022
id 8767090

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:57 AM on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Marriage is too serious to allow embarrassment and fear to control it.
What if she doesn’t contact you in the next six months? Are you putting your life on hold? What about income, pensions, savings, career-change… basically life.
Marriage is no joke. It has a lot of legal implications and effects. It’s not a light-switch she or you can turn on and off as needed. Eight years ago you both willingly entered into a union that has emotional, social and legal implications, and it won’t be terminated simply by her moving out and refusing contact.
I mentioned assumed paternity. We also have inheritance issues, rights to pensions and support, access and power of attorney if incapacitated…

As is everything is unclear.
She can ask for no contact, but you too are entitled to some answers.
As I said earlier: I think defining what you two want will be the key. If that’s not clear, then at least a) how long you two take to discover what you want and b) if some rules apply while that takes place.

Maybe consider this:
Ask her if she would be willing to meet a counselor to decide your relationships next steps. That next step could be to decide no contact for 90 days, or that you meet 2x a month or start dating again or whatever. Or it might be that you two pull the trigger and divorce. Anything has got to be better than the present.

Heck… maybe even ask her what it is in your behavior that makes her not want this marriage. You cant change what you don’t know.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11139   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8767120
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